Duck Hunting In The Wind: Does It Make Sense?

Hunter In Windy Weather

Although you might enjoy duck hunting when the skies are clear and sunny, this isn’t always possible.

Bad weather doesn’t necessarily have to be a reason to give duck hunting a rain check, though. As long as it’s not too windy outside, you can still make a success of hunting ducks.

When the wind is blowing at speeds of around 10 mph, it encourages ducks to move around more and it also helps to make your decoys look realistic. These factors can both enhance your hunt. 

In this article, we’ll look at the difficulties you might face and should prepare for when hunting ducks in windy weather and also how you should set up your duck decoys. 


Can You Duck Hunt In The Wind? 

Difficulties with duck hunting on a windy day

Yes because although you might think that windy conditions will derail your duck-hunting endeavors, if the wind speed is less than 6 mph, this can actually be a bad thing.

This is because too little wind disrupts your decoy spreads. Decoys on the water that are not moving at all will lack the realistic movement that fools real ducks. Duck decoys definitely look more realistic when they’re moving in the wind, whether they’ve been set up on water or land.

What works in your favor when you’re duck hunting in windy conditions is that the ducks are usually encouraged to fly. As long as the wind is constant and even, without any dramatic changes, the ducks will continue to move around.

Since windy conditions can push birds to move away from standing water and find shelter, or fly lower, this can make it easier for you to get the perfect shot.

While the ducks are going about their regular activities, the wind moves the natural surroundings, such as the grass and trees, which can help to conceal your movements a lot better. It can also help to mask the sounds you make when you approach the ducks. 

Difficulties When Duck Hunting In Windy Weather

You can hunt ducks in windy weather conditions, but it’s not always pleasant. Here are some potential drawbacks you might encounter or have to consider: 

  • Extra clothing layers are required if the wind is cold or brings a storm with it.
  • If the wind is strong, around 20 mph, the ducks might circle until they find the best time to land, giving them time to analyze your decoy spread.
  • If you’re using a boat, you don’t want the wind to be stronger than 10-15 mph or you’ll have difficulties.
  • If the wind speed is 15-20 mph, you might be able to take advantage of how the ducks fly and some will migrate to other areas. 
  • Gusts of wind may make it difficult to set up your hunting gear and track ducks. 

Decoy Spreads For Windy Weather 

Decoy Spreads For Windy Weather

When the wind is blowing at approximately 10-25 mph from behind your duck blind, this is actually ideal because it directs the ducks to land closer to you.

Ducks usually like to land in the wind. That said, whenever the weather is windy, you’ll have to tweak your usual duck decoy spread.

Here are some of the best duck decoy spreads to use during windy weather:

Crop Circle 

This decoy spread works well when there are variable or light winds. To set it up, put your decoys in a circle. You want a small group of decoys right in the middle. This encourages ducks to head upwind. 

J Spread 

Commonly called a Fishhook. This works effectively when the wind is moving over your shoulder. When you set it up, ensure it’s far away from trees or fences as this could put off the waterfowl that want to land. The great thing about this duck decoy spread is that it can encourage ducks to land anywhere along the interior of the “J” shape. 

Best Decoy Spread For When The Wind’s In Your Face 

When the wind is in your face, it’s important to encourage ducks to fly from behind you and into your decoy spread. To achieve this, you should set your decoys about 45 yards away from your hunting blind. A flock of them will encourage the birds to land.

Note, if you’re setting up your decoys on water, ensure that they’re close to the land so that your ducks won’t land too far away from you.

An alternative to this setup is to place your decoys at a 45-yard distance from your blind, on the water, then place a larger spread next to them on the land. This will encourage the ducks to land in the area on the inside of your outer decoys, helping to make their landing a bit more inviting. 

The Importance Of Proper Positioning When Duck Hunting In The Wind

Hunting position while hunting ducks in the wind

Setting up a decoy spread that will work in windy conditions will help you bag more ducks, but it’s also important to position yourself correctly so that you can make the most of the weather.

Here are some important tips: 

  • If you’re engaged in pass shooting, you should stand in areas where the ducks will fly over you when they move from feeding to resting areas, or vice versa. This is great on windy days because the birds will be forced to fly lower than usual.
  • When using decoys, try to stand with the wind behind you. This encourages birds to reach the decoys in front of you. During windy conditions, the birds might also take time to circle above your decoys before they land, you can take advantage of this. 

Related Questions 

Below are some common questions about hunting ducks and weather conditions.

How can you make the most of cloudy weather when duck hunting?

If you’re dealing with windy and cloudy weather, the ducks will feed at different times of the day. They’ll forage for food early in the morning and late in the afternoon, instead of at night. Knowing this can help you to set up your hunting areas to accommodate the weather.

What is the difference between north and south winds when hunting ducks?

Winds that come from the north sometimes encourage birds to depart for migration, while winds from the south make them slow down or delay their flights, so these are more conducive to hunting. 


If the weather is windy, you don’t have to call off your duck hunt or worry that you won’t be able to bag any waterfowl.

You can still make the most of duck hunting—you just need to ensure you do things to make the wind work for you. In this article, we’ve featured the tips you need to bear in mind before heading out to your hunting area in the wind.


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