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Archery Duck, Duck, Goose and a Bow

Duck, Duck, Goose and a Bow

three ducks walking in the snow headed for the river.
Sitting Ducks

Bows Are Useful for…

Bows are useful for relaxation, target practice, competition, big game hunting, medium game hunting, small game hunting, fish and waterfowl. Yes, waterfowl; geese, ducks, swans, those are all waterfowl. Whether you can hunt them legally in your area, that’s up to you to find out how, what, where and when it’s acceptable to do so. 

If you’re a hunter and you’ve never been duck hunting before, I highly recommend it! It is one of my favorite types of hunting. Have I been duck hunting with a bow yet, my honest answer which is the only one I’ll give you, is no, not yet. Do I want to, well yes, I do because I love aa challenge.

How would I prepare myself for waterfowl hunting? Why thank you for asking, I was about to pack up and head out, but I can stick around a little longer to share what I would do. 

First decision to make is what am I shooting? My Diamond Edge XT Compound Bow or my Excalibur Micro MAG 340 Crossbow? Whichever I decide to shoot, I will need some practice. Practice: to perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain one’s proficiency. Before I begin my practice session there are more things to be answered. 

More Questions to Come

  • Will I be shooting flying birds or sitting ducks? (That was good, TBB, that was good). 
  • Will I be taking standing or sitting shots? 
  • If I shoot the Diamond Edge XT Compound Bow will I free hand it or allow it to rest? 
  • What type of clothing will I be wearing? 
  • How many arrows am I willing to lose forever? 

Why do I need to answer these questions? Because practice only produces the desired results if you practice in the most realistic scenario possible. If I’m shooting flying birds, in a sitting position, with my Excalibur Cross-Stix Shooting Rest holding my crossbow, then that’s exactly how I need to practice. 

Setting Up For Reality

I’ll get the Allen Vanish Cushion, my crossbow, the shooting rest, the Excalibur Quill 16.5” Carbon Arrows, (plenty of them), and let’s not forget the target! Let’s set up. I would order the Real Wild 3D Replacement Vitals (until they decide to make waterfowl targets) and hang them in a tree, keeping a long rope connected to it to give it that realistic flight movement. After planting myself on my cushion, I ready my crossbow by cocking it, and knocking the arrow, I give the rope a tug to put the target in motion, disengage the safety and learn the timing of the shot.

This is where I perform (an activity) or exercise (a skill) repeatedly or regularly in order to improve or maintain my proficiency, in the scenario I’ve set up. 

Maybe I’m not ready for a flying target, so what, I don’t give up. There is also the opportunity to harvest those sitting ducks or geese. I’ll set up a practice field for them as well and find out what I’m more confident doing. 

Armadillo 3D target
A Duck, A Goose, an Armadillo…

Practice Like You Hunt

This time I’ll shoot my Diamond Edge XT Compound Bow from a standing position. I’ll gather my equipment, wearing the exact clothing I would be for the hunt, then I’ll place my Real Wild Competition Armadillo archery target down range at the same range I expect the birds to land. No I do not think an armadillo is a waterfowl, it is similarly sized to a goose. Remember I said as realistic as possible. Armadillo it is! 

Now what? I wash, rinse and repeat until I’m confident enough to take a shot on a live target. If I were to choose sitting birds rather than flying ones would you think less of me? If you’re confident enough to take them flying, bring me with you. I want to see this first hand so I can learn your technique. That’s if you’re successful. 

Share With Us

Waterfowls with a bow. Have you? Do you? Would you? Share your stories with me, I’m begging you and The Bow Bully doesn’t beg often. 

3 thoughts on “Duck, Duck, Goose and a Bow”

  1. If you are going to hunt (or practice) flying “things”, I would suggest finding the cheapest arrows you can find unless you plan to do it in a very large field that has been recently mowed.

    My own experience from many, many years ago, is that you will miss far more often than you hit. With the cost of each shot (arrow + hunting tips/blades) averaging $7-$8 (a little less with field tips) one could end up missing a house payment pretty quickly.

    They do make fletching for just this purpose, tho. The arrows used to be call Flu Flu s. I haven’t looked for them for over fifty years, so I don’t even know if they are still available. They used a very large and “fluffy” kind of fletching and it would slow the arrow’s flight and it ended up hitting the ground vertically.

    You had reduced range,, but seriously,, how far did you plan on shooting flying ducks?


    edit. Just looked and they are still available. Might be cheaper to buy some of that fletching material and repurpose that bunch of arrows in the closet that have damaged fletching.

  2. Hi there Ed,

    I absolutely agree, but as you improve you’ll want something as similar as possible to what you’ll be using in the field so the different weight and such doesn’t throw your practiced timing off. I would certainly not want anyone to lose a house over this, great point!

    I’d take your advice and get me some Flu Flu s, I just won’t say that too loud, “I got my flu flu s today!!” That may sound odd coming from the Bow Bully, or maybe not…The idea of repurposing damage fletched arrows, I’m with ya!

    Thanks for the great suggestions! Right on point!

    -The Bow Bully

  3. TBB,

    Agree with Ed, Flu-Flus (and Judo points) are the way to go for small game.

    For running/flying game the KISS principle applies. You want a easy smooth and drawing bow without the complications of sights and releases to get in the way.

    Shooting instinctively with a light (25-35 pound) recurve or selfbow is the best for small game on the move. I’ve taken a number of running whitetails with a 50 pound longbow.

    Done a fair amount of duck hunting with regular wood arrows and they float well. Shooting ducks as they are settling into the decoys is pretty easy – crossing shots are definitely more challenging.

    I find that flying targets, because they tend to follow a predictable trajectory, are easier than running targets which, while avoiding obstacles, are often more erratic.

    It helps to practice on a target that needs a sharp focus to hit. I use a (2 inch diameter, 1.5 inch thick) disk of ethafoam swinging around on a string a foot in front of the backstop.

    A friend impulse bought a “complete hunting bow kit” that was on sale at a local archery store. He had never shot a bow but wanted to deer hunt with it. After two days of instruction he could hit the moving 2 inch disk (from 10-18 yards) with no trouble. He got a nice doe on a walking shot that season.

    Moving targets aren’t that difficult if you train your subconscious and don’t interfere with it when the shot is made.


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