Whether you’re a seasoned hunter who is planning on adding water fowl to your list of game or you’re a novice who’s decided to get your feet wet (quite literally!) and start your first experience on the hunting scene with duck, dressing appropriately for the part is vital.
No matter what type of game they’re coursing, every hunter will tell you that wearing the right gear is one of the keys to success; this is particularly true when it comes to fowling.
While duck hunting can certainly be an exhilarating experience, if you aren’t properly prepared, you’re going to be pretty miserable. Hunting season for this type of game begins in the fall, and depending on where you’re located, the weather can get quite chilly, if not downright frigid.
In fact, it seems that the worse the weather is, the better duck hunting gets. That’s why it’s particularly important to ensure you’re donning the right gear before you head out into the field.
What should you wear when you’re duck hunting? Here’s the essential items that you need to include on your supply list.
- 1 Waders
- 2 A Jacket
- 3 A Hat
- 4 A Head Net
- 5 Gloves
- 6 A Headlamp
- 7 Waterproof Boots
- 8 Underclothing
- 9 Other Essentials
- 10 Summing It Up
Waders are the first item that should be on your list of things to get for a duck hunting excursion. Where do ducks live? The water. So, unless you want to stand knee- (or even hip-) deep in icy cold water without the proper protection, you’ll definitely want to invest in a pair of waders.
Heck, even if you’re planning on field hunting duck, a pair of waders is an absolute must. You’ll be thankful that you have them when you’re slogging through all of that water and muck – which is pretty much a given that you’ll be doing at some point when you’re setting out decoys and gathering up your prey.
When you’re shopping for waders, we can’t stress enough the importance of quality. While you may be able to skimp on certain types of gear, waders aren’t it! Saving a few bucks just isn’t worth the cold dampness you’ll likely end up facing if you opt for poorly made waders.
Our recommendation: look for well-insulated boot-foot waders that feature deep, yet fine treads; they will keep you well protected and provide better traction control, which you’ll definitely be thankful.
Additionally, we strongly suggest Neoprene for the material, as it’s extremely durable. We also recommend reinforced knees. As far as color, go for camouflage; the better you blend into the surroundings, the more success you’ll have.
While it’s true that thick, insulated, Neoprene waders may make you work up a bit of a sweat, it’s far better to be over-protected than under-protected.
Best Selling Waders
- Durable & Sturdy – OXYVAN Fishing Waders with boots are made of 100% waterproof 4.5 mm neoprene material and also has excellent insulation properties. With great material, stretch liner and triple-finished seams that are stitched, glued and taped.
- Convenient & Comfort – OXYVAN hunting waders for men/women with boots are easy to put on and take off, and designed for making sure you have no obstacles while hunting and fishing. The chest adjustable belt with quick release buckle helps you find the prefect fit, thickened and flexible shoulder strap helps you release the pressure on it, and double-layer knee pads have reinforced padding for added protection.
- Damage Resistant & 100% Waterproof – Besides quality and strong material, armor weld double-stitched and visible bonded & taped seams make OXYVAN fishing waders to be damage resistant and 100% water proof. And guaranteed for better performance, every waders will go through a serious of tests to make sure there are no any problems of quality and leakage.
- Solid & Insulated Rubber Boots – OXYVAN neoprene chest waders’ boots are built-in the waders with 600 Gram 3M Thinsulate ultra insulation. It’s very comfortable and help to block out the cold, you can wear it with or without socks. The design of thickened and feature cleated soles provide better slip resistance.
- Advantages – Officially authorized MAX5 camo helps you hide better; 4.5mm neoprene and 600G rubber boots can trapping and holding body heat to protect you from extremely cold weather while hunting, fishing, camping, riding ATVs, or even just playing outside; Chest pocket doubles as a hand warmer so you can stay warm, dry and comfortable; 8 shell holders on front of the waders’ hand-warmer pocket keep shells easily accessible for quick reloading.
Since duck hunting season starts in mid-fall, it goes without saying that you’re going to want to invest in a quality hunting jacket. Pick something that’s waterproof and insulate; Primaloft or fleece for the insulation and Gore-Tex or Hypershield for the waterproofing material, for example.
In our honest opinion, we think that a jacket system that features several layers is your best bet. You’ll be able to add and remove layers as needed, thereby ensuring your comfort. Sizing is important, too; while you want plenty of room to move, you don’t want your jacket to be too bulky, otherwise it’s going to get in your way.
Another note on sizing: go with something that will cover your rear end, but hits no lower than mid-thigh.
Again, camouflage is important for your jacket. When selecting a pattern, consider the location we’re you plan on hunting, as well as the time of the year, and choose something that matches the local as closely as possible; for instance, if you’re going out during the start of the season, opt for green-colored camo, and tans/browns if you’ll be fowling later in the season.
Best Selling Jackets
- Wader length 3-In-1 jacket
- 100% waterproof seam taping
- Zip out liner with 150-g HARS insulation
- Fleece lined, handwarming chest pockets
- Bellowed lower cargo pockets with 6 inner shell loops
You lose up to half of your body heat through your head, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your noggin covered. If it’s really frigid, a beanie that covers your entire dome, as well as your ears, is a good option. If it isn’t too cold, a baseball cap will suffice.
Our favorite style is a cap that features a neck flap and ear flap, as it will provide optimal protection from the elements. Look for something that is made of material that repel water and resist wind; if it’s particularly cold in your neck of the woods, we suggest a wool-lined hat.
As with your waders and jacket, camo is the best bet for your hat. Again, consider the season and the setting; greens for early season duck hunting and browns/tans if you’ll be heading out later in the season.
Best Selling Jackets
- MICRO POLY RIPSTOP Fabric is extremely lightweight, breathable, and durable. Coupled with structured front. On our 5-Panel Trucker Rope Hat with mesh back.
- 10K HIGH QUALITY WOOD DUCK EMBROIDERY on front panels with detailed Wood Duck embroidery on structured front with mesh back. Ideal for waterfowl, duck, and upland bird enthusiasts
- STRETCH ELASTIC SNAPBACK CLOSURE with our ComfortSnap design that is adjustable like a snapback but has the stretch of a customer stretch fit cap. This added adjustability allows for a better fit on a wider range of large head sizes.
- ONE SIZE FITS MOST AMERICAN FIT SIZING comfortably fitting men’s US head sizes MD – 2X, where other brands only fit men’s head sizes SM – XL. Our American Fit Sizing is a better fit for a wider range of large head sizes while still comfortably fitting down to a medium.
- TRUST OUR 90+ YEARS OF EXPERIENCE Paramount Outdoors has in delivering high quality performance hats and caps to the American consumer. Paramount is an American Owned Company founded in 1929 and based in the heart of Missouri.
A Head Net
It doesn’t make much sense to conceal your entire body but then leave your face totally visible. To cover camouflage your face, you’ll want to invest in a head net.
This piece of gear will not only keep your face hidden from your prey (which is particularly important when you’re looking up), but it will also provide an additional layer of protection against the elements.
Opt for something that’s made of lightweight, breathable material. Again, camo is the way to go (there are dozens of different styles and colors of camo to choose from).
If you really want to go all-out, you there are head nets that are covered with “leafy”-like components; little pieces of fabric that are intended to resemble leaves and will really keep you hidden from your prey.
Best Selling Head Nets
- Bringing high quality gear & apparel to the gentleman sportsmen who love the outdoors and the adventure of the sporting life
- Classic, functional styling
- Built to get you through the season
As we’ve already mentioned (several times) duck hunting gets pretty cold and wet. Since you can’t really keep your hands in your pockets, you’ll want to sport gloves to keep them covered.
A basic pair of gloves won’t due; instead, you should really invest in a great pair of high-quality gloves that are specially designed for water fowling. Water-repellent and wind-resistant materials are an absolute must; a Gore-Tex outer and fleece inner, or some other similar construction.
We also suggest picking a pair of gloves that feature grippers on the palms and fingers so you can avoid slippage while you’re wearing them.
As for size, make sure they go beyond your wrists. A pair of gloves that feature adjustable wrists is your best bet to ensure proper fit and greater comfort.
As with every other type of hunting gear, go for something that’s thick enough to keep you protected from the elements, but not too heavy and bulky, otherwise you’ll have a hard time maneuvering your shotgun, bullets, decoys, and all the rest of your accessories. As far as color goes, camo, again, is your best bet.
Best Selling Gloves
- Designed to fit hunters with big hands from size L to XXL, thanks to the stretchable material. These gloves provide a comfortable and secure fit, allowing you to focus on your hunting experience.
- The laminated grips on the palm and fingers offer an easier and firmer grip on your hunting gear. Enjoy enhanced control and stability when handling your equipment, even in wet or slippery conditions.
- With touch screen material on the thumb and pointing fingers, these gloves allow you to use your smartphone camera without having to take them off. Capture those important hunting moments without compromising warmth or convenience.
- The elastic cuff of the gloves keeps cold winter air out and ensures a comfortable and secure fit around your wrist. Additionally, the small clip allows you to conveniently hook the gloves onto your duck call lanyard, keeping them easily accessible.
- Suitable for duck, goose, and waterfowl hunting, these gloves provide warmth and extra camouflage. They can be worn inside duck decoy gloves for added warmth while setting up or collecting decoys in the water. They are also versatile enough for deer hunting or any other outdoor activity in cold weather.
A lot of duck hunting occurs before the sun rises or after it sets. To ensure your safety, you’ll want to have a headlamp to guide you. A headlamp is a much better option than a flashlight, as it will keep your hands free to use them as needed (and obviously, you kind of need your hands when you’re hunting any type of game, including duck).
Make sure that the headlamp fits you properly. Try it on before purchasing, or if you’re planning on buying it from an online retailer, opt for something that is set on an adjustable strap. Also, you might want to pick a lamp that’s adjustable; that is, the level of light can be adjusted from (low, medium, high, for example).
A standard battery-operated headlamp will work fine, or you could opt for a solar powered lamp. There are pros and cons to each type; for example, with a battery operated lamp, you won’t have to worry about charging it up, but you will have to change the batteries and might not be able to get it wet, but with a solar lamp, you’ll have to make sure that it’s charged up and ready to go before you hit the field; otherwise, you’ll be stuck in the dark. Consider your preferences and choose the option that works best for you.
Best Selling Headlamps
- Designed in the US, DanForce headlamp is a HIGH QUALITY LED HEADLAMP. IPX45 water, dust and damage resistance. Bright headlamp, high 1080 lumens produces 4 light modes: high, low, medium, strobe. Red light head lamp & adjustable 90-degree head flashlight makes it ideal for any tactical use.
- MULTI-FUNCTIONAL GEAR - Easily change focus lights for searching the outdoors when camping. Zoomable focus providing maximum lightning precision for work. Functions perfectly as a hard hat light. Tactical headlamp with red lights for fishing, hunting and any other heavy duty.
- CUSTOM MADE COMFORT – This head lamp isn’t just tough, it’s also designed for maximum comfort. Enjoy temperature control, thanks to the sweat-resistant headband. Its adjustable sizing makes it a custom made head light for your head.
- ALL-WEATHER READY – DanForce head lamps are built to withstand all work and weather conditions, from extreme heat to bone-chilling cold. Plus, the air-tight rubber sealing protects the LED headlamp rechargeable battery from dust, ice, and water, for ultimate dependability.
- OWN THE BEST – Gain the confidence to join the DanForce family! Get the best headlight flashlight, Improved 5000 mAh rechargeable battery, USB cable, carry bag, carabiner and user guide.
While we recommend footed waders, which will keep your feet covered, you’re also going to want to get yourself a good pair of waterproof hunting boots. If you need or want to step out of your waders, you can slip into your boots and keep your feet protected.
Go for a pair of tall boot that extends to your hips, that way, if you need to get into the water and don’t have your waders on, you can do so without having to worry about getting your legs drenched.
Make sure the boots are constructed of durable, puncture-proof material and that they’re reinforced; however, you don’t want them to be too heavy that you can’t move. Your feet and legs not only need to be protection from moisture, but they also need protection against any critters that you may come into contact with (snakes, anyone?).
Make sure that the soles feature thin, deep treads for optimal grip and stability. Additionally, just like waders, you’ll want your boots to be insulated. Of course, as far as color is concerned, camo is the way to go.
Best Selling Gloves
- RUBBER BOOTS FOR MEN: These rubber hunting boots for men by Duck Commander are the perfect camouflage boot that contain extra rubber layer where it’s needed for the durability you need for the outdoors.
- FLEXIBLE NEOPRENE MATERIAL: Neoprene material offers ideal flexibility while providing natural warmth from body heat. The neoprene camo hunting boots are resistant to water, oil, heat and are a great insulator.
- LIGHTWEIGHT MENS HUNTING BOOTS: Getting around while fishing or hunting is more comfortable with these lightweight boots. Made with built-in heel kicks will make it easier to get the boots off at the end of a long day.
- WATERPROOF CONSTRUCTION: Coated with rubber for 100% waterproof construction, the 6mm neoprene is ready for unexpected rain and extreme weather conditions when you least expect it.
- RUBBER SOLE FOR GREAT TRACTION: Always put your best foot forward with the aggressive rubber sole that provides outstanding traction on different surfaces you may need to be working on.
What should you wear underneath all of the above-mentioned hunting gear? Let’s take a look:
- Layers of lightweight tops; a short-sleeved T-shirt, topped with a long-sleeved T, and then a fleece on top of that. You’ll have protection from the cold, but if you end up getting too warm, you can peel off layers.
- For the bottom half, layers are also recommended. A pair of thermal leggings made of moisture-wicking material is your best bet. On top of that, wear another pair of thicker pants that are also made of moisture-wicking material. Never, under any circumstances, should you wear jeans. If you’ve ever gotten wet while wearing jeans, you know why we say you should steer clear of them while you’re hunting for duck; if you haven’t gotten your jeans wet before, if you wear them for fowling, you’ll soon find out why we strongly suggest you don’t.
- Socks are important, too. A pair of thick socks that will keep your toes nice and toasty is an absolute must; something that’s made of waterproof material is your best bet. As for the height, the taller, the better. Make sure they go up to at least your mid-calf; though up to your knee is ideal.
In addition to wearable gear, you’ll also want to stock up on the following essentials when before you go out for a duck hunt:
- Decoys. While you may be able to nab duck without them, but if you want to increase your chances of success, you should bring along some decoys. Ducks are pack animals, so they’ll be attracted to your local if you set out some decoys. Opt for a mixed collection; mallards, canvasback, teal, pintails, and marbled, for example. Wood is a great material, and of course, you’ll want to make sure that they float. We suggest getting no fewer than 12 decoys.
- Duck calls. These are another must-have accessory. While there are several different types of duck calls, the only two you really need are a whistle and a mallard call. Every type of duck trusts mallards, so you’ll be sure to attract an assortment of birds with a mallard call. If you’re aiming for teal and wood ducks, a whistle call will be your best bet.
- A game strap. Unless you want to carry your game by hand, you’re definitely going to want to get yourself a game strap. As the name suggests, you strap it on and attach your game to it, so you can keep your hands free.
- Blind Bag. Blind bags are usually made from strong canvas material, and the best blind bags have a lot of space and strong straps – occasionally ones that attach with hooks to the bag itself so that they can take a little bit more weight than others. Getting a good quality blind bag saves you a lot of time and effort, and it ensures that you have everything you need in the same place.
Best Selling Decoys
- STORM FRONT 2 SERIES: A deadly fusion of what the birds need and the hunter demands—unsurpassed realism and unequivocal durability.
- FLOATING DECOYS: These Flambeau Outdoors decoys float in classic Mallard posture for heightened on-the-water realism. Proprietary keel design features (4) tie-off points for versatile motion in current or wind and depth adjusting anchor eyelet.
- PATENTED UVISION PAINT TECHNOLOGY: Paint scheme of unparalleled realism that reflects the real ultraviolet signature of waterfowl plumage to the eye of live bird for the most convincing decoy scientifically possible.
- REALISTIC DESIGN: These decoys feature a high-definition Mallard paint scheme. Carved by renowned master carvers Tom Christie, Dave Van Lanen and Rich Smoker.
- 6-PACK INCLUDES: 14'' Full Size Mallard Decoys - (2) Active Drakes, (1) Semi-resting Drake, (3) Semi-resting Hens.
Summing It Up
Duck hunting can be tons of fun, and with the right gear, you can really ensure that your excursions will be enjoyable. If you want to save some cash, look for coupons (lots of trusted retailers offer them) or shop during the off-season, when you’re bound to find some great deals.