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From all small game hunts, duck hunting has always been fascinating me even since I was a beginner. Maybe because of the sound of the landing duck, or maybe because there are some many different species of ducks, or the beauty of the nature in the morning or in the evening. I don’t know. But this article is not about why we love duck hunting. Let’s see then when is the best time to do the duck hunting in Romania.
In my opinion we have to split to duck hunting season in three major intervals:
Opening season, late October up to end of November and January.
This is the time when we get a higher number of ducks with very small work and effort. It is the time when young ducks don’t know what hunters are and older ducks have been forgotten. This time of year decoys and callers are very important but not vital like in the rest of the season. This time feeding process for concentrating birds is vital. Best food for ducks si rice but you can also use corn.
Placement of the food is very important too. For best results you have to use the places where the ducks already feed before. Remember that previous observation of the duck behaviour will make a huge difference for the results of the hunt. Put the rice 3 times per week or even often if you want best results. In this period we will only hunt resident ducks, so do not expect something else except mallard and teals. The plumage of the birds is not fully developed and ducks are not so beautiful as winter time. One more thing you have to consider for this interval is the presence of muschitos.
LATE OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER PERIOD
This is the time when Romania turns into a duck hunters paradise. Millions of ducks comes from North of Europe and Scandinavian countries and group together in large flocks. You can now hunt more than 8 different species of ducks, including Common Pochard (Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata), Gadwall (Anas strepera), Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope), Pintail (Anas acuta) and of course, Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Common Teal (Anas crecca), Garganey (Anas querquedula).
As always previous observation of the duck behaviour is crucial for a successful hunt. If at the beginning of the hunting season feeding is most important factor, now decoying and calling of the ducks. The internet is full with scheme of how to arrange the decoys. One more important factor is calling the ducks. Many hunters use the electronic caller and they are very good if you know how to adjust the volume. But my opinion is that 2 experienced hunters with classical callers will do a much better job calling the ducks.
In late October and especially in November the weather in Romania is very windy and rainy, perfect time for duck hunting. The noise of the moving reeds and waves of the water will make ducks flying almost all day looking for a calm and quite place where the hunters should wait for them.
As most of the hunters agrees, January is an incredible time to experience the duck hunting across big rivers of Romania. This is the time when all lakes and swamps have been frozen and ducks are grouping together on the rivers where the water never froze. Again the previous observation of the ducks behaviour will make the difference. With all their insulation system, winter is a difficult time for ducks and they always prefer water with even half of Celsius degrees warmer.
This is why using a large number of decoys is vital for this period. And when I say large number I mean over 40-50 decoys for a post with 2 hunters. Large number decoys will act like a magnet for any flying duck, probably because they think the water is warmer in that area. Here are some tips for this hunt time. A few handfuls of snow brushed all over your blind will melt your profile into the landscape. Also, the warmer you can keep your body, the longer you can hunt. A sleeping bag will keep yourself warm and still give you the possibility to move quick when the ducks will pile in.
That being said, it is up to when you decide to hunt ducks in Romania.