Is Duck Hunting Expensive?

essential gear for duck hunting

At first glance, duck hunting can seem like an expensive hobby.

You’ll need to ensure you have all the right gear to be able to do it successfully. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t save some money in certain areas of the sport.

There are many ways to reduce your costs when duck hunting, such as only focusing on the bare necessities you’ll need to start bagging ducks.

Let’s look at how much you can expect to pay for duck hunting essentials. We’ll also feature some tips on how to save money when duck hunting.

How Much Will I Spend On Duck Hunting? 

decoy spreads

Duck hunting will cost you a certain amount, even if you save money on your purchases wherever possible. There are some essential pieces of equipment that you will definitely need to purchase before duck hunting.

Let’s take a look at what you’ll need and how much it all costs. We’ll discuss budget-friendly options and some extra accessories that you can choose to splash out on if you want.

Budget 

Essential pieces of equipment for duck hunting
  • Duck blind. Various duck blinds come in a range of prices. You can find a quality duck blind for $80 to $100. These have camouflage patterns on their material to conceal you better.
  • Decoy spreads. You’ll need 6 to 36 duck decoys to have an efficient spread if you’re hunting in a small area. For larger fields or bodies of water, you might need a few more. Mix different decoy styles to create a realistic spread. You can buy a six-pack of duck decoys that come in different positions for around $50.
  • Duck calls. Duck calls that are made out of plastic can cost as little as $9, while ones that are made of other materials, such as wood, will cost you more.
  • Waders. Duck hunting requires you to step into water, so make sure you have waders. These can cost over $100, but you can find them for much less.
  • Clothing. You need to ensure that you dress appropriately. Duck hunting requires you to have the following:
    • Boots. Make sure these are waterproof and go all the way up your calf muscles so they protect you against water and cold. You can get an affordable pair of suitable boots for approximately $65.
    • Camo jacket. This will ensure you stay undetected in your hunting environment. You can buy a budget-friendly camo jacket for $100 to $350.
    • Camo shirt. This should be a long-sleeved shirt. You can get one for around $40.
    • Gloves. These are essential to keep your hands dry and warm. Make sure they go all the way up your arms. They cost $20 to $40.
    • Pants. These should be water-repellent. An affordable pair of duck-hunting pants cost $40 to $100.
    • Face mask. This will prevent the sun from reflecting off your face and alerting the ducks in the area. You can find a face mask for duck hunting for $10 to $20.
  • Duck hunting blind bag. These keep all your small hunting accessories safe and organized. Make sure it’s made of durable materials such as polyester and that it’s covered in a camo pattern. You can find one for less than $100.
  • Binoculars. You’ll need a waterproof and fog-repellent pair. An 8×42 pair will help you track flying ducks, while a 10×42 pair will give you the clarity you require when scouting your hunting area. You can find a 10×42 pair of binoculars for around $100.
  • Shotgun. Duck hunters should have a 12-gauge, 16-gauge, or 20-gauge gun. You can find a shotgun for about $1,800. 12-gauge shells are cheaper than 20-gauge shells.
  • Duck hunting license and a federal duck stamp. You’ll need to get a duck hunting license to legally hunt ducks in your region, and a federal duck stamp is essential if you hunt migratory waterfowl. Both of these legal documents cost $30 to $65.

Optimal

optional gear for duck hunting

If you have more money to spend, you can purchase duck hunting gear and accessories that are more high-tech or that have additional features to make you feel more comfortable when duck hunting.

While you’ll still require the previous list of duck hunting essentials, there are some other items you should eventually invest in too. While these might not be affordable for beginners, if you’re a seasoned hunter, they will make your duck hunts more comfortable. 

  • Marsh seat. For long duck hunts, you want to be able to sit down, so a folding, compact marsh seat will come in handy. Check it has non-slip feet so it won’t get stuck in the mud. A marsh seat costs around $55.
  • Kayak. This is ideal because it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver. You can purchase a quality kayak for $1,000 to $1,500. 
  • Walkie talkies. These are useful if you’re hunting with other people, you can stay in touch and share logistical information. Look for rechargeable walkie-talkies, which cost around $120.

Is Duck Hunting Profitable? 

If you eat the animals you hunt, duck hunting can be classed as profitable from a food source perspective.

Duck hunting is also profitable in terms of non-material gains. You’ll gain a lot of skill and knowledge when learning to duck hunt, as well as time spent in nature, which will broaden your perspective on life and teach you invaluable things about the outdoors.

Duck hunting is a skill that can improve your self-confidence. When you learn new hunting techniques and methods, you’ll feel good about yourself and feel a greater sense of self-worth. 

How To Reduce The Cost Of Duck Hunting

How to reduce duck hunting costs

There are many ways to reduce duck hunting costs. These include the following:

  • Make your own duck hunting blind. This DIY tutorial, O.F. Mossberg and Sons, Inc, shows you the steps to follow to construct your own blind, which can save you a few hundred dollars. 
  • When buying duck decoys, try to look for sales. You don’t have to start with a lot of decoys. Some duck hunters bypass decoys altogether, especially late in the season when ducks are difficult to fool. 
  • Choose plastic duck calls. These are much cheaper than wooden ones and work just as well. 
  • Instead of buying a boat, purchase a used rig and camouflage it. 
  • Try to borrow as much duck hunting gear as you can. 

Related Questions

Below, we’ve answered two common questions regarding duck hunting.

What do you need if you’re duck hunting with your dog?

If you’re hunting ducks with your dog, you’ll need to have the right supplies for Fido, such as water, food, a platform for when you’re hunting in deep water, a leash, a bed/cushion, and a whistle. 

What other stamps do you need for duck hunting?

Check with your state laws to see if you require conservation stamps in your region. 

Conclusion 

Duck hunting doesn’t have to be expensive. In this article, we’ve listed essential duck hunting gear that you can buy on a budget, as well as some extra items you should spring for if you have some extra money.

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