The Hunter’s Canon: Top Books for Waterfowl Hunting

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From the earliest tales of the mountain men to current books that detail even the most niche aspects of our sport, hunting has always spawned a vast and rich literary tradition. Over the past weeks, we’ve highlighted our favorite books and onX blog posts on Western Big Game, Upland, Whitetail, and Turkey hunting. We wrap up the Hunter’s Canon series here with our recommended reading list for Waterfowl. As seasons wind down, you’ll have a long reading list to keep you busy through the winter months.

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As we come to the end of the Hunter’s Canon series, our hope is that you’ve started to assemble a winter reading list to keep you busy through the cold months ahead. Look back over our previous posts detailing recommendations for Western Big Game, Upland, Whitetail, and Turkey hunting, then add a few others that didn’t make the lists—there are a lot more good reads out there than we could cover here.

Below, you’ll find books and onX Blog posts that cover everything from great hunting stories to detailed information on how to become a more complete waterfowl hunter. As you might imagine, waterfowl hunting shares one important similarity with upland hunting—the dogs. For that reason, you’ll also find a great book on retriever training and a blog post detailing first aid strategies for both hunters and their canine companions. Waterfowl hunting is a rich topic, so branch out from this list and find a few more titles to add to your winter reading list.

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The Best of Nash Buckingham by George Bird Evans (Editor) 

You might recognize the name of the editor of this compilation from the upland edition of this series. Here, George Bird Evans pulls together the finest work of one of the greatest writers in the American hunting tradition. Buckingham witnessed the decimation of our country’s waterfowl population, and his work is certainly a reflection of his time.

The Outlaw Gunner by Harry M. Walsh

This is the story of market hunting and the effect it had on waterfowl. Walsh brings to life one of the most fascinating periods in our hunting history with detailed descriptions of the tactics used by market hunters and their devastating effectiveness. You’re likely to find a few tips and tricks to help your legal and ethical pursuit of waterfowl as well.

The Old Man and the Boy by Robert Ruark

We’re taking a little license with this recommendation as this book is a coming-of-age work of fiction set in the early twentieth century South. While not specifically a waterfowl-themed work, it demands a spot on your bookshelf nonetheless.

The Ultimate Guide to Waterfowl Hunting: Tips, Tactics, and Techniques for Ducks and Geese by Tom Airhart, Eddie Kent, and Kent Raymer

This is a comprehensive guide to waterfowl hunting that contains both basic information and detailed descriptions that ensure every waterfowl hunter will learn something new. Retaining information will be difficult with a cover-to-cover reading approach, so our recommendation is to read particular chapters or study individual tactics in order to take these lessons into the field on your next hunt.

Retriever Training: A Back-To-Basics Approach by Robert Milner

You may have noticed the field trial approach to training that has defined strategies over the last couple decades. Milner was a bit ahead of his time in recognizing that the lessons learned from older training methods are even more important in a world of high-horsepower trialing dogs. If what you’re after is a calm and steady dog that is equally comfortable in the field and at home, you could do a lot worse than Milner’s methods.

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How to Hunt Waterfowl Using the onX Hunt App

Whether you’re scouting new spots from home or burying the throttle on a predawn run to your honey hole, the Hunt App has the tools you need to hunt waterfowl more effectively and more successfully than ever before.

Anyone’s Hunt: North Dakota Waterfowl

We’re bending the rules with this one, but we figure this short film documenting an accessible waterfowl opportunity should find a place on your winter viewing list. Watch as Steven Drake, Matt McCormick, Brady Davis, and Matt Seidel head to North Dakota for a late-season waterfowl hunt.

Tackling the Hunter’s First Aid Kit

Anyone who spends a significant amount of time outdoors is bound to encounter an emergency situation at some point. Be prepared before it happens with the tools and knowledge you need to address common scenarios. Additionally, understand the steps you can take to prepare for the common canine emergencies you’ll inevitably see.

Get more hunting book recommendations, including turkey hunting books, from our experts.

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Christian Fichtel

Raised in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains, Christian Fichtel now resides in rural Montana. He is a father, writer, hunter, and fly fisherman.