Discover the waterfowl hunting

Bandeau Gibier d'eau Solognac

Waterfowl hunting is practised relatively rarely in mainland France; in fact, only 13% of respondents claim to hunt waterfowl despite the many different ways that exist for hunting waterfowl. Find out about these different practices and the equipment they require.

 

The presentation methods

 

WADER HUNTING OR OPEN-WATER HUNTING

Chasse Devant Soi Solognac

This hunting technique consists of exploring wetlands trying to surprise waterfowl. This is the equivalent of open-field hunting.
The most hunted game with this technique is the snipe, in marshes and wetlands.
Generally wader hunting is done with a pointer

PASS SHOOTING

Chasse à la passée Solognac

This hunting complies with the principle of the lookout with areas where the game passes through early in the morning or at dusk being selected. The lookout must be located between the resting areas and feeding grounds, in other words, the areas where they will come to eat. Camouflage is therefore important for this type of hunting, in order not to be spotted by the game. A retriever dog is just as important and Labradors are extremely predisposed to this wetland hunting.

 

 

HUNTING FROM A HUT OR GABION

Chasse à la tonne Solognac

Behind all these synonymous names hides a lookout which is specially designed for hunting waterfowl; it is well camouflaged and is located on the bank of a lake. The principle behind it is to get your ducks positioned on a lake in order to shoot them once they are in range. This hunt uses decoys that can be live or artificial, with the latter encouraging other ducks to fly over the water and then land.
This kind of hunting is practised mainly at night and more intensely in coastal areas.

 

BOAT HUNTING

Chasse en Bateau Solognac

A kind of hunting seldom practised in France, the aim is to get close to the waterfowl via boat.
It is practised mostly at sea or on big rivers and some lakes.
Boat hunting regulations prohibit the use of an engine during the hunting phase and limit the number of guns allowed on the boat to two.

THE SEARCH OR LIFT FROM THE LAKE

Following the same principle as for battue hunts of big game, beaters direct the game towards a line of shooters in position.
This hunt is mostly practised for mallards or coots on large lakes.
Driving the game is carried out with boats with the engine also being prohibited for this type of hunt.

THE VISION OF WATERFOWL

CAMOUFLAGE

Few people know it but ducks have an incredible vision that allows them to see the smallest details, from very far away.
They do not see in front of them, but instead have what is called a lateral vision.
What hunters do wrong is that they move about too much and it is these movements that the birds perceive first, along with the movements of the motorised bird.
Consideration must also therefore be given to camouflaging your dog with light-coloured dogs needing to be better camouflaged than darker dogs, which are less visible to birds.

DECOYS

According to Ludovic, a waterfowl hunter since childhood and manager of Decathlon's hunting department, "There are never too many decoys on a lake", indeed, crowds attract crowds, but according to the season, the number of decoys on the water needs to be adapted. Once these have been positioned, agitate the water under the anchors in order for this scene to be more realistic and therefore lead the waterfowl birds to believe that birds feed in this location.

WHAT WEATHER IS BEST FOR DUCK HUNTING ?

Ludovic, department manager, gives us his opinion on the matter.

WIND

"First and foremost there are generalities that any good hunter of migratory game birds is aware of. Wind is one of the key factors to consider for a good day of hunting; windy days are days that will be synonymous with birds passing through. In fact, the more wind there is, the more birds will fly low; Northern winds, too, are factors for birds passing through."

PLACE

"If you hunt on the seashore or in swampy areas that are influenced by tides, it is important to take into account the coefficients of the tides. The higher the coefficient, the more the feeding grounds will be covered with water and the greater the crowds of game. Also, if the tides are in line with sunrise or sunset, it will be the perfect time to see the game."

THE WEATHER

"Weather is also a factor to be taken into account because fine days are less favourable to low-flying birds; indeed the nicer the weather, the higher the game flies putting it therefore out of shooting range. Days with low pressure coupled with a strong wind make the birds fly lower putting them, therefore, within shooting range."

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