Each hunting experience is different and you’ll need a lot of stuff to accommodate you during various seasons and for the various quarry. Things are no different when it comes to waterfowl hunting gear, so we’re going to let you know how to choose helpful equipment.
There are many things you can buy, starting with the basics like weapons or clothes, and ending with accessories such as callers or decoys. We’ll tell you which items we think are worth it for the long-run, so read on to find out more about this topic.
How to Choose
Each item you need for waterfowl hunting has particular characteristics and its selection is based on taking them all into account.
However, when we’re talking about waterfowl equipment in general, the choice is mainly based on three factors:
As such, make sure you get products that are manufactured from top shelf materials, that are resistant to damage and durable. Depending on the item you’re looking for, you’ll find different fabrics, so our advice is to:
- Do your research online.
- Ask about seams and craftsmanship.
- Inquire about the brand reputation.
Versatility is another significant factor because you need gear that can be used in different situations and various weather. So get items that:
- Are appropriate for various seasons.
- Can withstand cold and warmth.
- Are resistant to wind and water.
- Work for different waterfowl.
And lastly, the utility is related to both quality and versatility, but above anything else you’ll need to get items:
- You actually need.
- That are easy to set-up, hold and operate.
- That camouflage you well.
- With a low weight and compact dimensions.
Otherwise, you’ll just end up with something you’re not using either because you don’t need it, either because it hinders your movements and technique.
Top Items to Choose from
There are many necessary items you need when you’re waterfowl hunting. Some of them we’ve already discussed, some of them we’re sure you have. But there are other extras to get in order to improve the success and comfort of your hunting trip, like the ones below:
Drake MST Eqwader Plus 1/4 Zip
Weight: 3 pounds shipping weight
Specifications: large zipper; internal drawstring; Realtree Max-5 color; waterproof; regular fleece and neoprene manufacturing
Best Use: mid-late season hunting
Description: This 4.1 stars Drake MST Eqwader Plus 1/4 Zip has a price range between $87.98 – $113.99, depending on the size you’ll choose. The good news is you can get anything between a Small and a 3XL, and according to most internet reviews, it will fit you well.
That’s probably because this brand is renowned for its innovative technologies used and care to build a strong reputation in the hunting department.
So you’ll get a resistant jacket that’s perfect for waterfowl. Its durability can be seen in both its strong, large zipper and its internal drawstring. This even makes it more compact to wear under waders, so it won’t mess with your shots.
This is a Realtree Max-5 design, but there are other colors and patterns you can choose from. You have a lot of options available regarding hues, but they’ll all serve to camouflage you to perfection, mimicking the waterfowl’s environment.
The top half of this jacket is waterproof, which is great for unpredictable on-field situations when the weather might go completely haywire. The bottom is made from regular fleece, which is a very warm fabric, that’s moisture-wicking too.
The cuffs are manufactured from neoprene, so you can rely on their durability and resistance to water and the wind, all of which makes this jacket a reliable piece of equipment for the mid to late season.
Waterfowl Wading Systems Max-5 Neoprene Stockingfoot Wader
Weight: 1 pounds shipping weight
Dimensions: Medium, Large, XX-Large
Specifications: easy to hike in; nylon and neoprene exterior; neoprene soles; camouflage pattern; clean stitching; double knees; gravel guards; H-style suspenders; 2 D-rings
Best Use: mid-season hunting
Description: This 3.7 stars Waterfowl Wading Systems Max-5 Neoprene Stockingfoot Wader has a price range of $80.55 – $82.29, depending on the size you choose.
Either way, you’ll get a reliable item to be used when hunting waterfowl, especially if you’re sick of boot waders that can sometimes be uncomfortably attached.
This product offers a good quality for its price range, so you must keep in mind that it’s not an epitome of waders, albeit dependable.
That’s because it has a good design, that renders it comfortable to wear. You can easily walk while dressed with these waders, and maybe even hike for longer distances. The materials used for making you feel this comfortable are mainly nylon and neoprene.
The outside is made from a mixture of these two, while the soles are only neoprene. These are durable and water-resistant, yet light fabrics. So don’t be surprised if this product is a bit thin.
We love the camouflage pattern and the clean stitching too because it makes this wader good for waterfowl hunting and able to withstand on-field damage. The whole design yells durability, with the double knees, gravel guards and H-style suspenders that can easily be adjusted with buckles. You even get two D rings in the front to carry other gear more comfortably.
However, the straps aren’t that large and the seams could be seal taped, just like the boots. So you’ll have to use a special spray for that.
Besides, the included hand warmer is good, but we’d like to see some pockets on these waders, as well as some shell loops. Basically, it’s a quality equipment for the price, but there’s still room for improvement.
Related: Waterfowl Wadding Systems offers this wader in three sizes: Medium; Large; XX-Large.
Banded Gear Air II Blind Bag
Weight: not listed
Dimensions: 14 x 8 x 8 inches
Specifications: Realtree Max-5 color; great stitching; resistant 900D polyester; water-resistant; 728 in3 capacity; side pouch; handle; padded shoulder strap; armored bottom
Best Use: all-season hunting
Description: This 4.4 stars and $29.99 Banded Gear Air II Blind Bag comes in an appealing Realtree Max-5 color, that’s great for camouflaging yourself when you’re after waterfowl, seeing as it has a similar pattern and nuances to their environment.
Its whole design is based on a traditional and professional military look, although its construction benefits from the technological advancements available nowadays.
That’s because all the metal buckles and pins, as well as the insulating grommets are extremely well stitched, giving this bag a plus of sturdiness. Not to mention the overall aspect, which inspires confidence.
That can also be due to the fabric used on its outside, which is a sturdy 900D polyester. Although this material is strong enough to protect your bag from various damages, and it’s water-resistant, it’s not wholly waterproof.
The small weight and reduced dimensions turn this bag into a portable piece of gear, and you can easily carry it either by its handle or on your shoulders thanks to its padded shoulder strap. Its high capacity of 728 in3 is big enough for you to store most of the equipment you need on hand.
When it comes to compartments, it has a side pouch and an inner pocket, both sealed shut with dependable zippers. The inside storage area can quickly be dried if water gets inside since it’s lined with mesh. The bottom of this bag is reinforced and armored for more protection too.
Related: Banded offers this bag in the Mossy Oak Bottomland color too.
Stormr Men’s Stealth Jacket
Weight: 3.5 pounds shipping weight
Dimensions: Small – 3X-Large
Specifications: 71% fit as expected; Realtree Max-4; Neoprene Core Technology; neoprene cuffs inside inner sleeves; many pockets
Best Use: extreme environments
Description: This 4.6 stars Stormr Men’s Stealth Jacket has a price range of $367.71 – $374.95, depending on the size you’ll choose, but either option is great seeing as it has a fit as expected score of 71%.
That’s pretty high for the internet community, so you can rest assured chances are it will fit you too. But if you’re not sure about your size, we’d advise you to get one bigger, not one smaller.
All the sizes can be found in just one color, Realtree Max-4, so you don’t have too many options in that department. But that’s not to say the design isn’t both appealing and utilitarian, seeing as it can successfully camouflage you during your waterfowl hunting trip.
But the whole construction is based on comfort and protection against the weather, keeping you warm and safe from water and the wind.
That’s because this jacket is manufactured with the Neoprene Core Technology. That means it will help you stay dry even when you’re hunting or fishing inside water. The inner sleeves also have neoprene cuffs inside, so the water doesn’t get in through there either.
And the fabric used for its exterior is very strong, reinforced for increased resistance to abrasions.
We also like that it has a lot of pockets: three inside for your cell phone, callers, and tether, and two large ones on the outside for shells. These outside shell pockets also have magnetic closures, which don’t make any noise when opening/ closing them for increased stealthiness.
Related: Stormr offers this wader in three sizes: Small; Medium; 3X-Large.
Kershaw Duck Commander Tickfaw Speedsafe Folding Knife
Weight: 1.6 ounces
Dimensions: 10.2 x 4 x 1 inches
Specifications: sharp; 2.25 inches blade; 3 inches folded; reversible pocket clip for right and left-hand carry; SpeedSafe opening; secure liner lock; steel blade; nylon handle
Best Use: all-season hunting
Description: This 3.8 stars and $15.37 pocket Kershaw Duck Commander #7418DCX Tickfaw Speedsafe Folding Knife is just the thing you need when you’re out hunting for waterfowl because it’s sharp and small. It only has a 2.25 inches blade, and its length, when closed, is barely 3 inches.
That renders it a highly portable piece of gear, and rather safe too since it’s foldable. So you won’t be in any trouble of accidentally stabbing yourself when it’s in your pocket.
Speaking of which, thanks to the reversible pocket clip, both right and left-handed people can attach this knife according to their dominant hand for an easy grab. The reason is you can set the clip for carrying the knife either on your right or on your left.
The whole thing is safe starting with its opening, that is based on a SpeedSafe technology which enables you to open it easily. All you have to do is pull back its flipper so the blade comes out on its own. The secure liner lock is another good preventative measure for not hurting yourself as it blocks the blade in the open position when using the knife.
The materials and design represent additional advantages. The blade is made from stainless steel, with a bead-blasted coating, rendering the knife resistant to chipping and corrosion, apart from being easily resharpened.
The handle is manufactured from glass-filled nylon, which is strong, yet still lightweight. The grooves in the handle are dimensional and account for a good grip, which prevents slipping even when your hands are wet or cold.
Lucky Duck Lucky Junior Mallard Decoy
Weight: 4 pounds
Dimensions: 20.5 x 23 x 10 with attached wings
Specifications: adult mallard drake; adult mallard drake; mimics landing position; motion-based decoy; 4 AA batteries needed; plastic build
Best Use: duck hunting
Description: This 5 stars and $39.99 Lucky Duck Lucky Junior Mallard Decoy is a fairly realistic depiction of an adult mallard drake, which comes in really handy when you’re out hunting for ducks, especially mallards.
You’ll basically get an accurately painted plastic male duck, with the body and head posture set, and with wings and feet extended as to mimic a landing position.
Therefore, the ducks will be attracted by the realistic looking motion, because with the use of 4 AA batteries, the decoy will flap its wings.
Apart from resembling a male mallard, the spinning wings look very lifelike, and the position is realistic too, looking exactly like a duck who’s just landed on the safe ground. However, keep in mind that the batteries aren’t included in this set so you’ll have to get them separately.
The whole thing is very qualitative despite its reduced price. That’s because it’s manufactured from injection-molded plastic, a strong and resistant material that has a long lifespan. Basically, you’ll be able to use this decoy for many hunting seasons, without fear of damage or the paint fading.
The wings are plastic made too, and they have an aerodynamic design. Their lifelike flapping movement doesn’t make them prone to an accidental detachment on-field because they’re reinforced with magnets.
These also renders them silent, so the ducks won’t notice they’re fake. The ground stake is sturdy too, it’s made from three pieces so it can be easily adjusted to the height you prefer, reaching a maximum of 42 inches.
Flyway Customs “Short Go” Poly Goose Call
Weight: not listed
Dimensions: not listed
Specifications: hand turned; hand tuned; manual; wide range of vocalizations; fast; effective; requires little air; polycarbonate and laser-engraved barrel polishing
Best Use: geese hunting
Description: This Flyway Customs “Short Go” Poly Goose Call is one of the easiest to use and most effective such products on the market, and it’s pretty affordable too since Flyaway Customs retails it with just about $125.
For this low price, you’ll get a well-crafted item, that’s hand turned and hand tuned. That tells you the sound is going to be extremely realistic in order to lure in more geese.
And since it’s been minutely field tested, you know the reed is going to work perfectly, vibrating when you blow air inside to produce the desired vocalizations. This performant manual caller will give out a plethora of sounds, like rough growls and sharp cries, and the good news is it doesn’t waste any time producing them.
So it’s easy to use too, you don’t need to push a lot of buttons to activate it, you just need to blow a bit of air to produce the lifelike calls geese are attracted to. As it needs very little air to work, the extra advantage is you not getting winded.
We also like that it’s manufactured from solid materials, like the polycarbonate build that’s polished by hand with a laser-engraved barrel.
This construction makes it resistant to damage and to water, reassuring you that it will last for hunting seasons to come. Besides, it has an ergonomic grip, and it fits nicely in your hand.
Sitka Gear Face Mask
Weight: 0.8 ounces
Dimensions: One size fits all
Specifications: polyester; open mesh; elastic drawcord; Optifade Waterfowl design; mouth opening; low-maintenance
Best Use: warmer season
Description: This 3.2 stars Sitka Gear Face Mask has a price of approximately $25.00. Don’t expect an extraordinary gear though since this is just a face mask with nothing extra special to brag about. It does its job well, which is protecting your face when you’re waterfowl hunting.
It’s made from polyester and it’s an open mesh mask, so you can breathe comfortably when wearing it. It has an elastic drawcord in the back so it can fit all head sizes, but we would have liked to see a drawstring too for tightening it and securing it better.
As it is, the elastic cord may stretch out during your hunt, and it may not hold so well.
We like the mouth opening, though, because it’s perfect for operating a caller. That helps you keep the mask on instead of constantly taking it off when you need to use the caller. The Optifade Waterfowl design looks pretty well too, and it will surely keep you camouflaged.
The weight is another advantage since it’s below an ounce, but it’s only appropriate for duck hunting in warmer weather. If you’re to go geese hunting in late season, we would advise you to get a heavier mask.
Apart from providing a comfortable wear, this mask is convenient too because you can rapidly put it on, and the area around the nostrils and mouth is a great fit.
Plus it’s low-maintenance so you won’t have any problems when washing it, not to mention that it’s small and compact, easy to carry in your pocket or to store in a small space.
Related: Sitka also offers this mask in the Open Country pattern.
So What Do You Need?
We’re curious to see what you’ll get, seeing as we’ve reviewed such different pieces of gear. So tell us all about your final decision and your reasons for making it. What sort of other equipment do you need when you go hunting for waterfowl?
What would you buy if money wasn’t an issue? And lastly, what products would you have liked to see reviewed here that we missed? The comments are right below!