When the ducks don’t come to you, you can go to the ducks. Floating a river or jump-shooting ponds, potholes, and creeks puts ducks in the bag on tough days. The tactic has an excitement all its own: You trade the breathless anticipation of seeing ducks drop into the decoys for the adrenaline boost of waterfowl blasting into the air in a shower of spray. You’re also trading incoming and overhead shots for chances at birds going up and away. The shooting is much more like upland hunting than typical waterfowling. Here are some tips.
(1.) A jump-shooting gun should be light. You’ll often carry it at port arms throughout a day of hunting. Put a sling on it, too, to save your arms as you hike from pond to pond.
(2.) Although most shots will be close, I’d choose a Modified choke and No. 2 shot. You want a dense pattern of larger pellets. Ducks going away present a small target, and it’s a long way from the rear end of a duck to the vital organs and head.
(3.) The old shotgunning advice “Make haste with deliberation” applies to jump shooting. Pick your target, see it clearly, then…