Duck Hunting at Night

Whether for sports or food, duck hunting remains one of the most interesting outdoor activities of all seasons. The different movements and changing of location involved in the hunting are things to experience. Also, going with a dog to always help in the retrieving of the game is fun to partake in.


Asides from the fun part of this adventure, waterfowl hunting are one of the highest generators of revenue for the state conservation program. The economic impact of duck hunting is usually felt when hunters spend money on travels, acquiring licenses, acquiring firearms, and other gear for hunting.

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There have been a series of arguments about the best time for duck hunting. Some elderly hunters believe that hunting in the early hours of the morning proper is a free ticket to having a fridge stocked up with duck meat.

The younger generation of hunters believes that change is constant and necessity is the mother of invention, hence evening hunting. None of these arguments, however, considered the possibility of duck hunting at night.

Duck Hunting At Night

Duck hunting at night is an adventure a lot of duck hunters have never tried out. This could be due to the different behaviors of the different species of the waterfowl. Under normal circumstances, ducks generally are known to roost at night in large numbers on water. Hunting them at night becomes almost impossible when in that mood. Duck hunting at night can only be possible in a situation when they are on the move.  

However, research has shown that some species of ducks are more active during the night than the day in mild weather conditions. Some of their species, especially the mottled duck, spend most hours of the night feeding and spend the better part of the day resting in fall and winter.   


Also, ducks respond quickly to a change in their environment by moving to a new location. Things like weather conditions; extreme cold, predatory disturbance, etc are majorly the causes of their movement. Most ducks migrate in the middle of the night. This could be a golden opportunity to utilize if chaos is your thing. 

On the other hand, some people feel no pang of guilt if they decide to disturb the peaceful roosting of these waterfowl by hunting them while they rest. This is the coward’s way most times, it ends up producing nothing as the flock goes haywire trying to escape from the source of the deafening sound. 

There are other times with better chances of profitable duck hunting; early in the mornings and in the evening before the sun sets entirely.  

While arguments about hunting hovered around morning and evening sessions, the reasons for the choice became a case when most ducks are available to be preyed on. 

Duck Hunting In The Morning

The saying that, “early birds get the worm”, is never to be overlooked because there is always some truth about it. The morning is the time most species of duck feed. A plus to this is that ducks leave their roost at about this time to feed. Their active nature lasts one or two hours.

With good weather, they can feed for some time without being disturbed. This period can be leveraged to put a smile on any hunter’s face.

However, a lot of people do not fancy waking up as early as 3:30 am or 4: am in the morning. Doing it several times could bring down individuals, health-wise.

Duck Hunting In The Evening

The traditional time for duck hunting has always been in the early hours of the morning. However, adventures and necessities have led to evening hunting by a newer generation of duck hunters.

One of the good things about hunting in the evening is that at this time of the day you have gotten enough rest and feel agile as opposed to waking up at 3:30 am

Also, the temperature of the day lowers as the sun retires. Ducks, on the other hand, begin to move out for final feeding before looking out for a roosting spot for the night. The situation can be utilized to retire in a happy mood for the evening.

In as much as this time frame can be maximized, ducks may not be ready to move out until some minutes to the end of shooting hours for the day. The time frame left for duck hunting may not be more than 15 minutes.

Tools For Duck Hunting


For duck hunting at night or in the day, hunters usually have an almost limitless number of decoys at their disposal. They are used in attracting ducks to a particular or secluded area, thereby making hunting easy. They are mostly used in public places. They also have mounting poles and telescope poles. These help to make the decoy to be in a lifelike position when set in a pond.

The perfect decoy for duck hunting should be lifelike in terms of posture and movement, and portable. For the sake of being lifelike, the AvianX TopFlight Wood Duck Floaters (6 packs) are the best decoy.

There is also the decoy line used for hauling all the decoys in at the end of the duck hunting.   


A rifle is good enough for duck hunting. No particular type is more preferred over others. 

Duck calls

It is an instrument used to lure ducks into decoys. Although quality matters, proper usage also matters when getting a duck call. The Duck Commander Jase Robertson Pro Series Duck Call is considered the best duck call.


The lamp comes in handy when one is duck hunting at night or in bad weather. With a headlamp, your hands are always free and ready for use.  The  Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp with a coverage of about 70 to 100 yards is considered to be the best



Earmuffs are used as shields against the loud sound of gunshots when hunting. Earplugs can also be used in the absence of earmuffs.

For duck hunting, the best earplugs are the Peltor Sport Tactical 500 Smart electronic hearing protection with Bluetooth technology.


They are used for accurately spotting and observing the movement of the duck. Buy one with clear, stable glasses. The Upland Optics Perception Binoculars with quality glasses are considered one of the best binoculars for duck hunting at night and in the daylight.



One thing about hunting is that uncomfortable gear equals unsuccessful hunting. When it comes to duck hunting at night or during the day, you need a pair of footwear that allows you free and smooth movement even inside water. The Stika Gear Delta Zip Wader with its versatility and ease of usage is one of the best waders for duck hunting at night and during the day.  

Thermal wears

Duck hunting at night and in day time requires a type of clothing that will protect your body against the temperature and weather of the environment. Go for the type that increases heat when the weather is very cold.  

In addition to these, GPS, lifejacket, phone, marsh seat, are also needed.

Where To Find Ducks

Ducks are mostly found on warm water bodies in every country of the world except Antarctica because the country is extremely cold for them. Some species of ducks travel a long distance to places where water bodies are warm and do not freeze. Some of these water bodies include:


  • Wetlands
  • Marshes
  • Ponds
  • Rivers
  • Lakes
  • Oceans
  • Streams
  • Bays

However, it is important to note that they can be found in agricultural fields and any other places where they can find their food. 


Traditionally, the early hours of the mornings are perfect for hunting ducks.  

Answer: Without any form of disturbance or change in habits, they roost until the early hours of the morning.

Answer: As adventurous as it sounds it is almost impossible to hunt ducks at night because they are either roosting, feeding (depending on their feeding habits and species), or migrating because of disturbance.

Bottom Line

Duck hunting at night is not an easy task, but cannot be referred to as impossible either. Since most ducks take to roosting at that part of the 24 hours, some other ones in a different location may be on the move to feed or to find another location due to disturbance by predators or unfavorable weather conditions. That time can be leveraged to get some waterfowls for lunch and dinner the next day.

If you finally make a choice about duck hunting at night or during the day, bear in mind that cold weather and ducks are enemies. Also, know that since ducks love water, a frozen one calls for a change of location.  While going hunting, make sure to have thermal wear, alongside waders to remain dry and for easy movement.

Author Profile

Gabriel Tackett
Double major in Engineering and Geology at the University of Minnesota. Experienced shooter & hunter for over 15 years. Certified NRA officer for over 10 years working as a writer at .

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