17 Things To Do Now That Duck Season is Over

Now that Duck Season is over, what are you going to do with all that free time?  You’ve been slogging out of bed at 4 am and trudging home at noon . . . 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, for 60 days . . . You’re losing duck season, but you’re getting back the gift of time – what will you do with it?

  1. Work your duck dog – now is the perfect time to sharpen some of the weaknesses you noticed during the season. Plus, it’ll keep your pup sharp and ready to roll going into next season.  Of all the things on this list, this may be the most productive.
  2. Go snipe hunting – or quail. Or whatever small game season you have remaining into February.  For us in Florida, snipe is a fun little wing shot and keeps our dogs happy traipsing around in the muck.
  3. Start prepping for Turkey Season – waterfowling done? That’s okay, because the thunder chickens are starting to dance. Start scouting now, and you’ll get your shot at a big Osceola once mid-March rolls around . . .
  4. Plan your next adventure – April showers don’t bring May flowers – they bring tarpon and snook. Plan an adventure with your duck hunting crew during the off season.  Go fishing.  Or, better yet, start planning a trip for next season – book that bucket list hunt you’ve always wanted – sea ducks in Alaska or Canvasbacks in Canada or Mallards on the delta . . . Dreaming of adventure will definitely get you through the summer doldrums.
  5. Buy your wife flowers – on the off chance that 1) you’re still married, 2) she hasn’t left you for the pool guy named Sven, 3) she remembers what you look like . . . Might be good to dial up 1-800-flowers and pay for the upgrades on the bouquet.
  6. Go to the skeet range – I’ve seen some of you shoot. Start working on fixing those bad habits now.  Spend an hour or so a week busting clays.  You’ll thank me for this one come September.
  7. Work on your golf game, particularly 40 yards in – or go to the eye doctor. Because ranging isn’t natural to everyone.  Get out on the links with some buddies and a sixer, and practice ranging . . . You’ll be amazed at how far 30 yards actually is, and more amazed at how far 50 yards is . . .
  8. Watch duck hunting videos on the Internet – duh . . . If you’re not tagging your buddies in duck hunting videos on Facebook, you’re not holding up your end of the bargain. We need to see mallards and pintails gorging in a mud field.  We have to see tornados of geese dumping into the corn.  We don’t want to see dual surface drive motors careening around flooded timber – We NEED to see dual surface drive motors careening around flooded timber.
  9. Eat ducks – You’ve got a freezer full – what are you waiting on . . . Grilled duck and smoked duck and fried duck and duck poppers . . .
  10. Go gun shopping – this WILL solve all your problems (provided “marriage” is one of your problems) . . . The new SX4 is out . . . So is the Super Black Eagle 3 . . . Or maybe it’s time to upgrade from a pump to an auto . . . Or maybe you shoot an auto and need to get back to the basics . . . What are you waiting for . . . Pull the trigger (pun intended) . . .
  11. Shave – I grow facial hair like a 16 year old, so I’m never gonna be mistaken for a Robertson. At the same time, it’s time to clean it up a little . . . Duck season is great for stubble and full beards, but summer is coming, and it’s time to polish it up a little . . .
  12. Sleep – 4 am became natural after the first week of the season. After 3 months, however, you’re starting to feel it.  At this point, 6 am feels like a weekend at the beach.  Catch up on some Z’s
  13. Diet – 9 months of the year, I avoid sugar. I try to avoid carbs.  I don’t eat things like hot dogs.  Then duck season rolls around and, suddenly, anything on the roller grill at the gas station seems like a viable meal.  I’ve eaten 3 meals in a day at a 7-11.  Or, the guys all go out to a diner and gorge on such culinary delights as biscuits and gravy, bacon and eggs, and, at one of my go-to’s, fried bologna.  So now it’s time to get off the gravy train and focused back on, at the very least, moderation.
  14. Exercise – Sure, setting long lines at 5 am is laborious. No one is going to confuse it with P90x, however.  Take care of your self a little now that the grind is over.  Trust me – we’re setting you up for some success . . .
  15. Dating – You’ve shaved. You’ve dieted.  You’ve exercised.  You’re ready now.  It’s time to hit the field.  Good luck to all of you.  Pro tip 1 – tread softly around Valentine’s Day. Pro tip 2 – avoid this one if you’re married.  It can cause confusion and unnecessary expense.
  16. Boat shopping – Look. Is a duck boat a necessity?  Absolutely it is.  Must you have the latest and greatest duck boat on the planet? Redundant question, right?  Dual surface drives.  Carbon Kevlar.  Enough light bars to play at Wrigley Field.  Hydraulic driven blinds (is this a thing? ‘Cause I NEED my blind to set up at the push of a button) . . . Now is the time . . . Even if you don’t have the cash, it’s sure fun to dream . . .
  17. Shop the duck hunting sales – All the big stores will do this during the offseason – Mack’s, Rogers, Academy, Bass Pro, Cabela’s . . . Do you really need more decoys (does anyone, ever?)? Absolutely you do . . . Take advantage of the deals and you’ll feel connected to the season just a little longer. At this given moment, I have carts on all the aforementioned sites, loaded with coots and wood ducks and ringnecks, just waiting for “buy now” to be clicked.  Pro tip – this is easier if you skip all the other tips on this list.

What are we missing?  What are some other activities to chase down this off season? Comment below

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