If you are planning to go duck hunting for the first time, there are some essential items you should have on hand. You do not need to bring a ton of stuff on your hunt, mostly because you won't have a lot of room on your boat. However, there are some crucial things you should have to ensure a successful hunt:
Shotgun and Shells
If you are duck hunting, you are definitely going to need a shotgun and shotgun shells. The important thing to remember is that you don't need the biggest gauge shotgun for hunting waterfowl. As long as you stay quiet, patient, and persistent, you can adequately hunt with almost any shotgun at all. When you are buying shotgun shells, remember that you need to purchase steel shells only. Lead shells are forbidden by the game warden.
You will also need to get some duck decoys, especially if you are hunting in a new area. The number of decoys you need will vary, but you may want to start out with ten or twelve mallard decoys. Decoys range from very simple, floating-only models to more advanced models that swim around and have moving wings. Once you have your area scouted and know what to expect when you hunt, you may find that you have no need for decoys if it is a place where ducks tend to flock naturally.
Waders are another necessity when you are duck hunting. Be sure to invest in chest-high waders over the hip-high version. Hip waders will not ensure you are completely dry if you have to get out into the water to retrieve your kill. Chest waders will keep you good and dry. If you purchase them insulated, they will keep you nice and warm as well.
Camouflage gear is essential for any hunter, but duck hunting often requires additional items that other sports do not. One thing to remember is to wear brown camouflage instead of green. Many hunters make the mistake of wearing green when they duck hunt. Green does not blend in well in the grassy banks of most waterways. Also, be sure to wear a mask. Ducks are fairly intelligent, and they can see your face glaring into the sky if it isn't covered. Once they see you, they will not come near that area.
You may also want to have a few other items on hand, like duck calls and a dog to retrieve your fowl. Golden Retrievers or Labrador Retrievers are perfect for this sport, once properly trained. Make sure you are hunting in a legal space and that you don't hunt over your legal limit. To check out hunting supplies, visit retailers like Chauncey's Pawn & Gun.