Duck Hunting vs. Deer Hunting

Duck Hunting Vs. Deer Hunting

Much debate exists in the hunting community, trying to ascertain whether duck hunting is better than deer hunting. To help with the differentiation, let us start with the obvious fact that ducks are a type of bird, while deer are mammals.

Therefore, it is natural that the ways to hunt both of them are distinct and unique. They have different habitats and peculiar movement habits, which require the hunter to adapt their skills accordingly.

Ultimately, deer and hunting are essentially different. So it depends upon one’s preference, whether they like to hunt the whitetail beauty or the notorious waterfowl.

Both types of hunting have their own set of pros and cons, and one can choose which of the two suits their personality and preferences based on our guide. 


Duck Hunting

Duck Hunting Vs. Deer Hunting

One can hunt ducks or geese for food or sport. These water-loving birds are easily found near fields of crops or near water bodies.

They are agile creatures who are skilled at dodging predators. The standard method of hunting waterfowl is using a call and a decoy. These decoys are supposed to imitate ducks that are eating or loafing.

Mallards are one of the most coveted species of ducks– the prized possessions of all hunters. On the other hand, the red-breasted merganser is a less desirable option because it is a poor-eating bird. 

Duck hunting also involves employing dogs to retrieve the dead birds after being shot. While duck hunting can be highly thrilling, it poses specific challenges for the hunter, and all of them may not be exciting to overcome.

The peculiar nature of ducks and their hunting raises a set of pros and cons, which can be helpful for a hunter when deciding between duck hunting and deer hunting. 


Duck Hunting Vs. Deer Hunting

No need to gut or drag

It is easier and less excruciating when it comes to duck hunting as the hunt doesn’t require the need to gut or drag.

The process is less queasy and brutal, making duck hunting a simpler and more comfortable option.

Fowl hunting is thus ideal for novice hunters who wish to relax and enjoy the hunting process without going through the agonizing gutting process.

A more bearable smell

When going duck hunting, one doesn’t need to bother about the army of smells and odors they might have to face.

Since post-hunting is a messy process, one is exposed to blood and flesh, which can very quickly leave a trail of foul smell.

However, while duck hunting, one does not need to wonder about these problems because there is no gutting. Hunters can peacefully hunt without having their olfactory senses attacked with appalling scents. 

An exciting way to spend time

Duck hunting is a better and more exciting option for spending time because one can see ducks more often.

Because of the duck’s abundance, hunters are more engaged and do not feel bored or exhausted even after hunting for a while.

One may feel more enthusiastic just by seeing more prey, even if they may not be able to obtain all of them. It is an exercise filled with adrenaline and excitement. 

Variety of species

While deer are available in multiple species, ducks have far more varied compositions where each duck is obviously and significantly different from the other. This range of variety is narrower in deer. 


Duck Hunting Vs. Deer Hunting

The uninviting habitat of ducks

Duck hunting can be tiring and exhausting because ducks live in riverine habitats. The presence of water can make the hunting ground uninviting as the temperature tends to drop near water bodies.

Besides being cold, duck hunting can also be wet and dirty, which many people find irritable. Therefore, duck hunting may not be for someone who gets irritated or uncomfortable with being wet, muddy, or cold. 

Less relaxing and rejuvenating

When we recounted the experiences of hunters and asked to compare duck hunting with deer hunting, a typical response amongst the majority was that duck hunting did not make them feel as rejuvenated, refreshed, and relaxed as deer hunting did.

For them, the experience of duck hunting was very tiring. Duck hunting for longer durations left them with a queasy and uneasy feeling instead of the feeling of rejuvenation, achievement, and excitement. 

Deer Hunting

Duck Hunting vs. Deer Hunting 1

Deer hunting has been an adrenaline-inducing activity for people for numerous years now. One primary reason for hunting deer is its meat, also called venison.

One may also pursue it for sport, where the hunters compete to obtain a deer with giant antlers.

Like ducks, deer also have various species, and the most common ones in the United States are mule deer and white-tailed deer.

While deer hunting is an enjoyable exercise, it has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. 


Duck Hunting Vs. Deer Hunting

Easily identifiable paths

It is easier to identify the pathways through tracks made in the ground with deer hunting.

One can quickly station themselves on the X mark created by the intersecting tracks of two deer and have an easy and exciting hunt session. 

Poor eyesight

Unlike ducks, deer have a reduced capacity to identify objects around them. Sometimes they might not be able to see the hunter even if they are standing right in front of it wearing bright apparel.

The clothing rules are pretty lenient as there is no significant need to camouflage for deer hunting. 

Deer hunting is more refreshing. For someone who wishes to wind down, deer hunting may be a better option because, in many ways, it is less demanding than duck hunting.

Duck hunting also involves retrievers who need extensive training for the proper retrieval of ducks; however, there is no such added responsibility in deer hunting. 


Duck Hunting Vs. Deer Hunting

The discomforting task of deer gutting

Slitting the guts of a deer from mouth to anus is perhaps the most revolting task of deer hunting.

No matter how many times a hunter does it, it remains just as despicable as it was the first time. No such gutting is involved in duck hunting. 

The need to mask the natural scent

Deer hunters may need to spray themselves all over with a scent killer or bathe with a scent-reducing soap to fool the deer’s olfactory senses.

They also need to be continuously aware of the wind direction so that the deer downwind may not be able to smell them.

Duck hunting also involves playing with the wind direction, but not as actively as deer hunting.

One may get bored during a deer hunt. Deer hunting is a relatively less active enterprise, the waiting period between sightings is long, and shot opportunities are lesser.

On the other hand, a duck hunt involves more sightings, shooting, and action!

Key differences

Now that deer and duck hunting characteristics are evident, it does not require a professional eye to understand the critical differences.

While duck hunting is more active and involves more sightings and shootings, deer hunting is a more laid-back exercise. Duck hunting is more socially preferable because there is no need for people to remain quiet.

On the other hand, deer hunting is an opportunity to relax and unwind from the buzzing modern life. Hunters need to sit around for hours to spot a deer, making the expedition relatively slow-paced.


To conclude our differentiation between duck and deer hunting, there is no sacred text that says duck hunting is better than deer hunting or vice versa. It is a very subjective judgment and varies from individual to individual.

Both the animals are a source of quality food and recreation. One’s food preferences may also determine whether one chooses to hunt ducks or deer.

Based on their preferred way of relaxing, they may decide whether relaxation means an exciting day with lesser physical exertion or a day replete with shootings, socializing and quick, vigilant responses to stimulus. 

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