Puddle Ducks

Puddle Ducks


Puddle ducks are a class of waterfowl that typically live in and around fresh, shallow water. They include mallards, black ducks, pintails, widgeon, teal and wood ducks. Puddle ducks are hunted in every state of the union and Canada. The name comes from the shallow “puddles” of water they frequent. They're also called “dabbling ducks” as they dabble for food at the surface rather than dive under, in most cases. Types of puddlers hunted varies by region, but mallards are easily the most populous and most hunted species. Pintails in the west, widgeon in the south and blacks in the east can often be found in their company. Puddle ducks are generally hunted with decoys in a field or over water like a marsh, swamp or river. Decoys are placed anywhere from 10 to 40 yards out, with a hole in the middle for the ducks to land. Gregarious by nature, ducks in flight will see the decoys “feeding” in a field or loafing on open water, and want to join in. Calling is also essential to duck hunting as it alerts the birds to the decoy spread before they can see it.