The mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) is a bird of the order of mallards, duck family. Mallards are found throughout Europe, Asia and North America. It was able to cope brilliantly with the changing living conditions and today it likes to live in the city’s stagnant and flowing water. Of course, it occurs in large numbers in nature. She tends to be shy and cautious in nature
In the Czech Republic, this is the most represented duck that lives here all year round. It inhabits streams, rivers, but also stagnant water from small ponds to large dams. Here they nest successfully on overgrown banks. The ducks were very fond of nesting boxes that hunters build for them above the water surface.
The duck is nicknamed “March duck”. That’s because she starts laying a clutch of eggs during March. A clutch of eggs is around 10-13 green-yellow eggs.
The duck weighs around 1 kg and has a wingspan of around 90 cm. The main morphological feature between a duck and a duck is its typical metallic green head with a white “collar” on the neck.
The duck inhabits all possible biotopes of the water landscape. The duck can be found in small watercourses, small bodies of water, wetlands. But at the same time, it can be safely seen on large bodies of water, where it consistently has the largest numerical representation.
Mallards look for bodies of water with possible shelter from reeds or other grasses.
It is not demanding on environmental cleanliness or disturbance, which is proven by its perfect adaptation to suburban and urban waterways.
Mallards live in flocks. In autumn, they form large flocks that gather on larger bodies of water. They always fly for food in the morning and in the evening. This makes draft duck hunting very popular. Ducks are most active in September and October. In the period of October and November, the ducks start to form pairs, when the duck finds his duck. They live in a monogamous couple. During March, a clutch of 10-13 green-yellow eggs is laid.
Ducklings hatch after about 25 days. After a few days, the ducklings are ready to go to the water, where they look for food on their own. Around two months of age, they begin to molt and change their down feathers to normal ones.
The hunting season begins on the first of September with joint hunts, when the ducks are fully feathered and able to fly well.
Wild duck hunting period is from 1.9 to 30.11. in the Czech Republic. Hunting times may vary abroad. However, this is also a very suitable time for hunting. Ducks gather in large flocks at gathering grounds for the winter season. Thanks to this, hunters can experience really large flocks flying overhead. Such flocks usually number tens to hundreds of ducks.
Both ducks and ducks are hunted without distinction. In autumn, the ducks are beautifully colored.
For the daily rhythm, it is best to hunt a duck in the morning. Get on the pond before dark and wait for the ducks to start flying in from the surrounding area. Of course, it may happen that there are ducks left over from the evening on the pond or watercourse.
Another important hunting time is early evening, when the ducks sitting on the water course are ready to fly away. At the same time, new and new ducks are arriving. And even in the dark. If ducks arrive in small groups like this throughout the evening, hunters will enjoy a quality hunting experience.
The only possible way of hunting is joint hunting, which must meet the legal requirement in the Czech Republic. A minimum of three hunters and one usable hunting dog with water work trials.
Duck hunts are generally held on Wednesdays and Saturdays. However, fee hunts on breeding ponds may be scheduled on other days.
As it was already written above, ducks are usually hunted on the move. On the other hand, large fee hunts are held on ponds where ducks are artificially reared. These ducks are loyal to these ponds and do not fly away with wild ducks. So they can be hunted even during the day. Ducks mostly fly from one pond to another, but they almost always return to their original place of breeding.
Another possible way of hunting ducks is hunting with the help of balabans. This method is not used much in the Czech Republic, but it is a very popular method of hunting abroad.
It is also possible to lure mallards with different types of decoys and try to attract passing ducks. This is the call of ducks that sit on the surface of the water and feast.
Historically, various methods of hunting were used – catching in nets, traps, etc. Of course, these methods of hunting are not used today, and the only possible method of hunting is hunting on joint hunts with shotguns.
Duck hunting requires a 3.5 mm shotgun. Today, lead shot may no longer be used near wetlands and bodies of water. Steel shots must be used, but they have worse ballistic properties. They are lighter, so they are less effective and less vulnerable, and they are hard, so they can bounce off the surface of the water, creating a risk for hunters. On the other hand, lead is characterized by its toxicity, which no one wants to knowingly contaminate their surroundings.
Those who want to try the balabans must arrange them visibly on the water surface. You can also try the duck decoy.
Ducks are generally not hunted for trophies, but for meat and the experience of hunting. Each hunter takes with him from the hunt, rather, how many ducks he caught and how many were caught in total. On the other hand, in older ducks, the so-called “ducks” can be plucked, which are twisted tail feathers and form the decoration of every hunting hat.
Wild duck meat is excellent. She has very tasty breasts that can be modified in many ways. The breast has a spicy taste. They are characterized by a really dark red flesh. They are excellent with different types of sauces (plum, cranberry, etc.). In combination with red wine, no hunter will make a mistake.
We hope you found this article useful!
Your Huntastic Team