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Waterfowl Hunting

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Before you go
 
Additional Waterfowl Hunting pages
- Before you go
- Waterfowl Habitat
 
Before you go on your hunt, it is important to be well prepared. First, double check your equipment and scout your location. Next, be sure to know how to properly care for you game after your successful hunt. Finally, pick out a recipe and start cooking.
 
Equipment, Decoys, Calls
Many waterfowl hunters utilize decoys to bring there quarry close. A variety of decoys are offered on today's market ranging from $40.00 a dozen to $100.00 for magnum birds. The trick is to equip yourself with lightweight, easy to carry decoys. Spreads can be effective with a simple dozen or in some cases with group hunts and open water several dozen can be placed. Remember to inspect the decoy lines from last year as many of the lines ware out and can break. Decoy lines are sold in many catalogs and stores that sell decoys. Try to mix your spread out including several species. The layout of the spread is important. Do not just throw the decoys out in a circle pattern. Place the decoys in a pattern with several birds in pairs and the majority of the spread in a fish hook shape layout allowing the birds to light into the wind at the bend of the hook. This hook should be about 25 yards from your blind.
Several Waterfowling catalogs that offer all, the gear for the trade include Herters, 1-800-654-3825; Knutsons 1-800-248-9318 and Cabelas 1-800-237-4444.

Calls can be very effective to lure birds into shot gunning range. The standard mallard call is the most common and offers the caller three general sounds to lure distant birds as well as duplicate the feeding chuckle of in-coming birds. Teal, Wigeon, and Pintail whistles are also great to carry into the marsh and often add the final convincer to a wary flight of pintail to within shooting range. Instructions on calling usually can be found in pamphlet form or cassette tape from various calls distributors. A rule of thumb is to practice and visit the marsh to hear the sounds made by waterfowl.
 
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Waterfowl Care And Cooking
Like any wild game, waterfowl can be pleasing to the taste bud if a little care is given to the bird after being taken. The palatability of waterfowl varies amongst species and method of preparation. Generally dabbling ducks which are seedeaters are preferred by waterfowlers. However do not underestimate the flavor of a canvasback or redheads as these divers feed on a variety of aquatic plants and are highly palatable. If hunting early in the season during hot temperatures try to get the bird cooled down soon after the taking. Dress the bird if you can and place it in an ice chest. It dose not take long for waterfowl to heat up lying out in the desert temperature which can effect the flavor of the meat. If you plan to freeze your birds, we suggest placing the cleaned birds in a zip-lock bag full of water. All to often six months will pass before you notice the birds in your freezer and if they are not frozen in water they will be freezer burnt which ruins the taste completely.
 
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For cooking wild duck try the following featured recipe or purchase the AZGFD Cookbook

Featured Recipe: SAM’S BBQ DUCK

Bird Preparation: Pluck and clean 4 to 6 large ducks (mallard/pintail). Rinse off ducks and blot them dry with paper towels. Sprinkle: 1 tsp. paprika, ¼ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. lemon pepper over breast of duck. Pour 1 T. of Worcestershire into palm of hand and rub into the ingredients on the duck thoroughly to blend dry ingredients. Skin of duck should appear brownish-orange. Repeat process to remaining birds. Set aside.

BBQ: Place breasts down on the BBQ and allow the heat to actually flame up on the birds. When birds begin to show a dark burned coloration, turn birds over on their backs and again allow heat to flame up and darken the skin. Cover the BBQ with a lid and allow the birds to cook approximately 30 minutes. Check cover occasionally to ensure that the fire has not gone out. Allow the birds to cook longer depending upon your taste preference desire for rare to well done.

Sauce: Slowly melt 1 cube of butter or margarine in a medium saucepan. While stirring the butter, add 8-10 oz. of red current jelly, 2 T. of maple syrup, ¼ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. garlic powder. Slowly melt and blend all ingredients into a sauce that appears burgundy in color.

Serve: Remove breasts and leg portions of meat from the cooked birds and place on serving dish. Pour sauce over meat and serve immediately.

Note: Experiment with the ingredients and the cooking time to find the most palatable for your fowl. Enjoy…
 
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External Resources [More]
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Downloads [More]


Hunting, Trapping & Fishing Regulations, Season Dates & Draw Information

Detailed information on all rules, regulations and seasons

  • 2014-2015 Arizona Hunting Regulations [PDF, 6mb]

  • Hunt Permit-Tag Application Form [PDF]
  • 2014 Antelope & Elk Hunt Draw Regulations
    [PDF, 4mb]

  • 2014 Spring Hunt Draw Regulations [PDF]

  • New! 2014-2015 Waterfowl & Snipe Regulations [PDF]

  • New! 2014-2015 Dove & Band-tailed Pigeon Regs [PDF]

  • 2014 Sandhill Crane Regulations [PDF]

  • Hunt Arizona 2012: Survey, Harvest and Draw Data
    [PDF, 6mb]

  • 2013-2014 Trapping Regulations [PDF]


  • 2014 AZ Fishing Regulations
    [PDF, 7mb]
  • 2014 Urban Fishing Guidebook
    [PDF, 9mb]
  • 2014 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]

  • 2013-14 Raptor Regulations [PDF]
  • Arizona Residency Requirements [PDF]
NOTE: The above files are PDF's and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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