Location is a word that is used a lot throughout all types of businesses and waterfowl hunting is no exception. If you are not in the right location where the birds want to be, then you are going to be staring at a lot of empty sky and doing a lot of work early in the morning for no reason.
Scouting is crucial to have a successful hunt. It is by far the most important aspect of waterfowl hunting.
You can never scout too much! The key about scouting is you have to be scouting at the times you would be hunting so there are no days off when you are not actually hunting. You have to be out driving around at day break to have the best shot at finding birds, watching for where they are flying and landing.
Certain equipment can also aid your scouting ability. For instance, having a good pair of Ziess Binoculars and OnXMaps downloaded on an iPhone is equipment I use whenever I scout. These are as essential equipment and have helped me have many successful hunts. OnXMaps is an app that has multiple versions of maps and topos, which when used together, help you understand the land you are scouting. It also has the land owner’s names identified based which pieces of land they own.
This narrows down the time of contacting the actual land owner to get permission to hunt the next day.
OnXMaps also has the ability for you to put a chip into a mobile GPS unit too and an option within the app where you can use the maps offline when you might not have cellular or data service.
You can never scout too much. And, do not be afraid to scout your areas multiple times before you hunt. This will allow you to the better understand what the birds are doing, the times they are hitting their feeds and where their loafing spots are. This will give you a better chance for a successful hunt.