Preparing for a weekend of duck hunting can be extraordinarily exciting. Just getting back into nature with a gun and maybe your dog hunting companion can be a lot of fun. However, there a few things you should be aware of before you make the hike out to your favorite duck blind.
Baiting is a No-No!
Baiting is the act of placing, or distributing grain, salt or any other type of food that may attract ducks or waterfowl to the area, or over the area where you are hunting is not allowed. This is due to the fact this bait could lure the waterfowl to the area where a hunter is waiting to shoot them, and that’s against the rules.
In the case where an area has been baited, there is a 10 Day Rule. This means, the baited area is strictly off limits for hunting for 10 days AFTER the food source has been completely removed. This rule exists because the scent of the bait may still be present for a few days after the food source has been removed.
Hunting On or Over Crops
While scattering grain or salt in an area is considered baiting, hunting over unharvested crops are not considered baiting. You may also hunt over fields that have been flooded after the crops are harvested normally. However, hunting over a crop that has not been harvested, but manipulated in anyway (rolled, for example) is considered baiting.
Once again, if the agricultural land has been seeded or has grain spread for the purpose of duck hunting, then is considered baiting. But, if the area is seeded for normal agricultural use, then hunting over this area is allowed.
Hunting Over Livestock
In certain areas where a farmer feeds the animals on the farm are strictly off limits for hunting waterfowl. Generally farmers feed livestock in a specific area over and over again, and the waterfowl may be lured to the scent of the grain. This is considered baiting.
Hunting over or near stored grain on a farm or any other likely destination is also considered baiting and therefore not allowed.
Hunting in Natural Vegetation
Hunting in natural vegetation, where the lands are not used for farming or feeding of any kind, is always allowed. You may also manage and restore a wetland for waterfowl to seek out for habitation. You can replant the natural vegetation and maintain it for suitable habitation of the waterfowl and hunt over this area legally.
All information gathered from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.