Is Your Shop Taking Advantage of Waterfowl Revenue?

Waterfowl hunting is big business. Are you cashing in?

Is Your Shop Taking Advantage of Waterfowl Revenue?

Photo: David Hart

It takes more than a gun and some shells to hunt ducks and geese. It takes a lot of equipment, in fact — practically no other sport is more gear-dependent than waterfowl hunting. Decoys, waders, calls, blinds and a host of accessories are vital for a successful day in the field or marsh.

The good news is that waterfowl hunters are willing to buy that gear. According to a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Survey, those who hunt both ducks and geese spend an average of $1,324 annually. All told, they spend nearly $700 million each year. Waterfowlers also spend a lot of time afield, 27 days each, on average. That means they not only put a lot of miles on their trucks, but they also put their gear through the wringer. Nobody is more demanding of their hunting equipment than the men and women who cherish a day in a duck or goose blind.

What you stock should reflect the most common hunting styles in your area. Waterfowlers in the Great Plains, for instance, often hunt dry corn fields with full-body decoys and maybe a couple of battery-powered spinning-wing decoys. Standing in knee-deep water among a flooded forest is a popular hunting method in Arkansas, which means you’ll need a good selection of waders, a few types of mallard decoys and plenty of accessories vital for a successful timber hunt. East Coast waterfowlers often hunt big water, where diving ducks are abundant. The right decoys and high-quality ammo are in high demand around the Chesapeake Bay and the Carolina coast.

No matter where or how they hunt ducks and geese, though, America’s 1.5 million waterfowlers need many of the same things. Calls, decoys, waders, non-toxic ammo and a host of other essential gear are standard in every duck and goose hunter’s garage. Those items have a wide range of price points, too. Decoys can retail for as low as $40 per half-dozen to $100 or more. Goose decoys are often twice as much. Even calls have a broad price range. Mass-produced mallard calls made overseas, for instance, can run as low as $20, while a high-quality, American-made goose call can cost as much as $200.

These days, a growing number of hunters are willing to spend the extra money on those higher-end products. They just look or sound more realistic than less expensive options, they’re more reliable and they can help increase success in the field. And those more expensive products are often backed by a solid warranty.

In other words, stocking your store with waterfowl gear can increase your bottom line and draw more traffic through your door. Stocking your store with the right waterfowl equipment can lead to a long and prosperous business life.

Not sure what to buy? Don’t worry. The sales representatives for the top waterfowl equipment companies know exactly what you need. They not only sell that gear, but they use it too. They are hardcore hunters who spend every spare minute in the field, talking with their fellow hunters and putting the products they sell to the test.


Higdon XS Pulsator

Battery-powered and portable, the Pulsator creates lifelike motion among otherwise lifeless decoys by shooting a gentle stream of water into the air through a 750 gph bilge pump. The rechargeable 12-volt lithium ion battery lasts up to seven hours. The self-contained motion decoy comes with a charging cord and instructions. $129.99 

Mojo Mini Mallard Spinning Wing Decoy

Mojo’s Mini Mallard is the perfect addition to any decoy spread. The spinning wings mimic a duck landing among the decoys, coaxing passing birds to come for a closer look. They are so effective, in fact, that a few states have placed restrictions on them, so check regulations. It runs on four AA batteries (not included), comes with a mounting pole and is small enough to pack into hidden spots. $89.99 

GHG Essential Series Magnum Mallards

There are decoys and then there are decoys that stand out from the crowd. GHG’s magnum mallard decoys are larger than standard decoys, giving hunters an edge in the field. The Essential Series are no-frills decoys that look great and take a beating for seasons to come. They come with weighted, self-righting keels and realistic postures that fool even the most wary ducks. $49.99 per six.

Hard Core Rugged Series Magnum Mallards

Late-season hunters will love Hard Core’s Rugged Series magnum mallards. The paint scheme perfectly matches late-season decoys, right down to the lighter, more visible colors on the hens. And they are magnums, meaning they stand out among all the other spreads in the marsh. Each decoy in the six-pack has a different pose for added realism. The WhaleTail keel creates lifelike movement with little current. $79.99

GHG Pro Grade XD Series Full-Body Canada Goose

A good decoy spread can mean the difference between a good day and a great one. That’s why GHG’s new XD series goose decoys should be a part of every dedicated goose hunter’s spread. The harvester pack of six decoys includes semi-permanent bases, GHG’s Real Motion system, and five different head/neck configurations for added realism. The soft, one-piece bodies take a beating and are fully flocked to fool even the most wary geese. $199.99 per six.


Winchester Blind Side

  • Unique hex steel shot for more pellets per load
  • 1,400 feet per second
  • 12 and 20 gauges available
  • Shot sizes from BB to No. 6
  • From $204 per case of 10 boxes

Hevi Shot Hevi-Metal

  • Dual load packed with steel shot and Hevi Shot
  • 1,500 feet per second
  • Available in 10, 12 and 20 gauges
  • Shot sizes from BBB to No. 6
  • $278.61 for 10-box case, 25 shells each

 Federal Black Cloud

  • Flitecontrol Flex wad for improved patterns and performance
  • 1,500 feet per second
  • 40 percent Flitestopper pellets, 60 percent round steel
  • Available in 10, 12 and 20 gauges
  • Shot sizes from BBB to No. 4
  • Starts at $219.50 per case 

Remington Hypersonic

  • 1,700 feet per second, the fastest waterfowl load available
  • Excellent knock-down power for fewer crippled birds
  • Xelerator wad for tight patterns
  • Available in 10, 12 and 20 gauges
  • Shot sizes from BBB to No. 6
  • Starting at $209.99 per case 


Duck Commander Flash Mallard Hen

  • Crisp sound creates smooth cadences
  • Short barrel
  • Modified from the Pro Series reed system
  • Easy to blow
  • Duck Commander signature double-reed, friction-fit system
  • Jase Robertson Pro Series reed design
  • $34.99

Buck Gardner Double-Cross Short Barrel Poly Mallard Call

  • Spit-Tech toneboard design won’t stick, even when the call is wet
  • Shorter barrel allows for better air control
  • Each call is hand-tuned and tested
  • Double reed
  • Also available in diamondwood and acrylic
  • $25

 Zink Long Neck Rocker

  • Versatile for multiple Canada goose species
  • Short reed
  • Worn-in tone channel
  • Acrylic and wood available
  • Available in multiple colors
  • Includes extra reeds, hard case, leg band and instructional DVD
  • $160


Banded Red Zone 2.0 Breathables

  • CLINCHFIT strap system with over-the-boot, removable protective pant
  • 1600 gram Thinsulate Insulated Boot
  • Mobility-enhancing articulated knee design allows maximum range of motion
  • Fleece-lined hand-warmer
  • Internal flip-up device pocket allows touch screen use while enclosed
  • 900D Reinforced Knee for maximum durability
  • Uninsulated $329.99; insulated $359.99

Drake Eqwader MST Neoprene

  • HD2 Hydro-Flex knees
  • No-buckle shoulder straps
  • Large front cargo pocket, vertical call pocket
  • Waterproof wallet/key pocket
  • High sides for less spillover
  • Horizontal shell loops
  • $299.99

Drake Guardian Elite Breathables

  • Tear-away insulated liner
  • Removable protective outer camo bib
  • Buckshot mudder boot
  • Vertical call pocket, vertical waterproof pocket
  • Large front cargo pouch
  • Against-the-body handwarmer
  • Articulated knees with Hydro-Flex
  • $499.99

Hard Core Finisher Neoprene

  • 5 mm neoprene
  • Reinforced Dura Span knee and shin guards
  • 900 denier coated nylon butt and leg pad
  • Three accessory D rings
  • Two zippered pockets
  • EZ access neoprene shell holders
  • $299

Hard Core Breathables

  • 4-Ply High Density Polyester Shell with Single Seam Crotch
  • 120 Gram Removable Poly-Quilted, Insulated Washable Liner
  • Dura-Span/Neoprene Reinforced Knee and Shin Guards
  • 900 Denier Coated Nylon HD Butt and Leg Pad
  • 3-N-1 BAP pocket system with zippered pass though pocket, zippered storage pocket, and hook and loop storage pocket
  • Exterior Shell Loops
  • $299.95

Sitka Gear Delta Zip Wader

  • Waterproof AquaSeal zipper for easy on/off
  • Durable and breathable GORE-TEX Pro laminate
  • Warm, lightweight LaCrosse AeroForm insulated boot
  • Reinforced shins and knees
  • Made in the USA
  • 100 percent serviceable by Sitka
  • $949

Other Gear

Avery Marsh Seat

No more squatting on your knees or searching for a place to sit. Avery’s marsh seat allows hunters to sit anywhere in comfort. The lightweight stool has retractable sink-proof feet, fluted aluminum tubing and an adjustable and removable carrying strap. The tube extends from 27 to 37 inches so you can sit comfortably in a variety of situations. It weighs just four pounds and is foldable for easy, convenient storage. $59.99

Drake Stand-Up Decoy Bag

Lugging a few dozen decoys to your favorite spot is a whole lot easier with a bag designed for the job. Drake’s large decoy bag holds more than two dozen standard duck decoys and comes with a built-in steel coil spring for easy loading and unloading. It is constructed from heavy-duty, rot-proof polyester and comes with two-inch polyester shoulder straps for comfort. The bag collapses for easy, convenient, off-season storage. $54.99

Avery Floating Blind Bag

Keep your gear in one place and keep it from falling to the bottom of the lake with Avery’s floating blind bag. Built to last a lifetime, this bag is made with metal buckles, an armor-coated bottom and closed-cell foam floatation. The roomy 16x8.5x10 interior compartment holds everything a hunter needs for a full day in the marsh. Interior and exterior pockets add to the storage space. It comes with a shoulder strap and carrying handle. $64.99 

Hard Core Duck Strap

How could a device as simple as a duck strap be so important? Ask any successful duck hunter. Legally, hunters have to keep their birds separate. Hard Core’s duck strap helps hunters do that and makes carrying a limit of birds out of the marsh easy. Simply slide the heads through the powder-coated stainless steel loops and toss the 600-denier polyester duck strap over your shoulder. The closed-cell foam in the strap takes the strain off the shoulder. $9.99

 Banded HEAT Hand Warmer

Thanks to Banded’s HEAT electric hand warmer, your hands will stay toasty, no matter how cold the temperature. The battery-powered, fleece-lined and 100-gram, Primaloft-insulated warmer has a storage pocket with an iPhone charging cable, eight shell loops and a zippered rear storage compartment. Say goodbye to numb fingers and missed shots. $119.99

Rig ’Em Right Step-Up Jerk Cord

Bring lifeless decoy spreads to life with Rig ’Em Right’s Step-Up jerk cord system. It’s a great option where battery-powered motion decoys are illegal or just to any spread. It comes with custom-designed swivels for attaching four decoys, 100 feet of line, a heavy-duty string winder, a floating stuff sack and a 1.5-pound floating anchor. $39.99


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