Hunting Mallard Ducks in Utah


mallard duckWhether you refer to them as Mallards, or just simply, greenheads and susies, these big sturdy birds are a favorite of waterfowl enthusiasts across the country. They are considered the most commonly recognized and widely distributed North American duck species. They flourish in a number of different environments from flooded timber, wet marshes and agricultural fields.  Flocks are even seen in the numerous open waters of large rivers and lakes dotting the continent. There they will feed on plant, invertebrates, and fish.

With over 8 million Mallards in the US alone, it is considered the most abundant duck species on the planet.  However, populations are decreasing. The females are a tawny, speckled brown color and sport a single purple patch on their wing. Males are instantly recognizable by their distinctive glossy green head, white collar band, and yellow bill.  They can grow to just over 2 feet in length and are about 2-3 lbs as adults.

Mallard Duck Hunting Tips

A well hidden and camouflaged blind is essential for any successful hunt.  Have it covered by branches and surrounding foliage.  You’ll typically want to set up in a medium size watering hole or remote corner of a marsh area.  It’s good to check flights patterns of the birds in advance or go to known early morning or late afternoon feeding areas.  There is, of course, no guarantee but this will give you the greatest change in the largely wait-and-see game. Decoys will greatly increase your chances and should be set up around 30-40 yards out from the blind.  Whether calling solo or in tandem make sure to have mastered the eight general calls that are sure to get a Mallard’s attention.

Guns to use when hunting mallard duck

When asking most hunters what they want in a gun the answer is typically the same: reliability. You want something that can work well in inclement conditions, that is durable, & can be easily disassembled for cleaning.  The answer to this question 10 million times over (in the number of domestic sales of the gun) has been the Remington Model 870.  This 3 1/2 inch chamber, smooth pump-action shotgun is a favorite among water fowlers.  This version has softer recoil which will be appreciated after hundreds of rounds fired over the hunting seasons.  Winchester, Browning, Beretta and others have all improved the technology of late to suppress recoil action and make for a softer shot.

As it gets later in the season the ducks will naturally fatten up making it harder to penetrate the skin. The 2 3/4-inch shells with No.4’s at 1500 fps is plenty punch for the lightly feathery birds.  As you approach the latter weeks of the season its a good idea to pack the 3-inch loads throwing 11/4 ounces of No.2’s will definitely ensure none of the injured fowl make a getaway.