It’s fall, which means it’s also duck hunting season and time to brush up on duck camp upkeep and prep tips. Luckily, pro fisherman and expert hunter Andy Morgan is happy to share his know-how in this Backyard Life video. And who better to share his tips? Morgan loves duck hunting. And, as he explains, when you live in the backwoods and live a rural lifestyle to its fullest like he does, it takes a lot of work, preparation, upkeep and maintenance. He understands this well. “There’s always something to be done every second of the day, and it never goes according to plan,” he explains. And that goes for duck camp upkeep, too.
Duck camp upkeep.
Morgan doesn’t typically do a lot of hunting in the afternoon, so this is a time when he can run errands or continue with upkeep. To start, Morgan’s duck camp is located inside the levees. His cabin and shop are built on stilts, so when the water levels rise he can stay above water so to speak. Now, with a flood in the forecast, he has to make sure nothing is situated to get swept away. Backyard living here means something is constantly changing, he explains. So, you have to keep ahead of the curve because conditions change and the river is very volatile.
Duck camp mudroom.
Morgan’s “shop” is both storage and mud room. It’s where he and his family keep their hunting gear. And it’s where they put on and take off their gear. He also uses his shop to store decoys, boots, gas cans, ice heaters and tools they work with on a daily basis. His shop is well above water, so his gear is good and safe in here. Which is a good thing, since on this day water has started to flood the driveway.
How to camouflage a duck blind.
Out on the water, there’s more upkeep to be done in preparation for hunting. In particular, he’s got work to do on his duck blinds. Morgan has a little blind and a big blind.
On the little blind, Morgan uses oak brush for camouflage. A little-known fact about oak brush is that if you cut oak limbs before fall or before a frost, the leaves will stay on the limbs all year long. Unlike other hardwoods, if oak tree limbs are still green and full of sap when you cut them, the leaves stay in place. This is why Morgan brushes his duck blind with oak brush, because it keeps its leaves, which gives you cover, so you can hide from the ducks. Then, he uses wire ties to attach limbs together. Of course, he notes, you can never have enough brush.
The big duck blind.
Morgan’s main duck blind is a floating house. He can drive his boat right up next to it, under camouflage. Here, he can stay the night and the ducks are none the wiser as they float all around outside. This “house” blind has a kitchen, TV, couch, lights and a bathroom. All of the main supplies are kept out here.
To see what chores have to be done after a successful duck hunt, check out Morgan’s tips for cleaning and cooking duck. And, of course, his favorite recipe grilled wild-duck skewers.