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What to Pack When Waterfowl Hunting

What to Pack when Waterfowl Hunting

Are you taking off on your first waterfowl hunting trip and not sure what to bring? We have a few must-have items we think you should pack when waterfowl hunting.

License & Permits

The most important item to pack when waterfowl hunting is your license or permit. No license, no hunt.  To get your license, you can typically visit the state’s DNR website to purchase any hunting licenses, waterfowl stamps, and permits you need to hunt.  If they are not available online, this needs to be your first stop when you get to your destination. Also, for younger hunters, some states require that you have completed the hunter’s safety course if it is required.

Shotgun & Ammunition

After you have the proper license, you need to pick out a gun to bring waterfowl hunting. Shotguns are used when hunting for waterfowl. Make sure your shotgun complies with all rules and regulations. The state you are hunting in may have regulations on the number of shells your shotgun can hold.  Most commonly, states say that your shotgun can not be capable of holding more than three shotshells. Along with your shotgun, you need to bring the proper ammunition for your shotgun. All ammunition must be lead-free when waterfowl hunting.


To have a successful hunt, you need to call the waterfowl in close. Bring calls to mimic the sounds of the waterfowl you are hunting. If you are targeting ducks, you could bring single-reed, double reed, or whistle calls. If you are targeting geese, you could bring resonant-cavity, flute, or short-reed calls. Of course, you need to practice with your calls before taking off to hunt. Calling ducks and geese is an art and should be practiced and perfected.


Clothing will make or break your waterfowl hunt. There are two key things to remember when packing clothing. You need to bring items to stay dry and blend in. Most of your clothing should be camouflage when waterfowl hunting. Bring waterproof pants or waders and a shirt or jacket. If you are bringing pants, you will need a pair of waterproof boots. Not all hunts are warm and full of sunshine. Depending on where you are hunting, you may want to bring gloves, a hat, or a facemask.  Since your head is usually the only thing sticking up out of the blind, it’s also important to camouflage your face.  This can be done with a camo head net, mask, or face paint.

Hunting Accessories

In case you get into a bad situation; you need to be prepared. Bring a first aid kit, multi-tool, paracord, flashlight, GPS device, emergency flare, and extra food/water. If you desire, bring other items to assist in successful waterfowl hunts like decoys and accessories, a gun case or sling, binoculars, or a hunting dog. Finally, bring a camera to capture your waterfowl hunt and have the memories forever! Check out our gallery to see photos from past hunts at HD Guide Service! Haven’t hunted with a guide before? There are many benefits when Duck hunting with a guide! Check them out here!