Scouting for Waterfowl

Whether you’re chasing the migration thousands of miles from home or just a few minutes down the road, tools, tips, and tricks in this guide will enable you to consistently find more ducks and geese. Learn how to be a better waterfowler.

Whether you’re chasing the migration thousands of miles from home or just a few minutes down the road, tools, tips, and tricks in this guide will enable you to consistently find more ducks and geese. Learn how to be a better waterfowler.

Key Mapping Features for Scouting Waterfowl

From analyzing the terrain you’ll be hunting, to checking wind forecast the night before, onX Hunt puts the most powerful scouting tool in your hands.

Custom Waypoints

Marking feeds, roosts, or loafing ponds is one of the best ways to remember all the details of your scouting session. Choose different colors to mark different years, add notes, and add photos to your Waypoints to remember the important details that make or break a hunt.

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Crop Data

Both ducks and geese utilize various types of crops as they make their way from Canada down to the southern US, and now you’ll be able to pinpoint their food sources from north to south. With 19 of the most popular crop types, you’ll be able to find prime areas to search for fowl.

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Tree Species Data

Watching mallards drop through the canopy of flooded timber is one of the most spectacular sights in waterfowling. Not all timber is created equal, and with the Tree Species Data you’ll be able to identify the most important species for finding ducks.


Use the Tracker Tool to mark your trails into holes so even in the cover of darkness, you’ll easily be able to get in and out. It also provides valuable information on what areas you’ve scouted and areas you may have missed.

Offline Maps

No service? No problem. Some of the best areas are far from civilization, and having a fully functional map at your fingertips changes the game. By downloading maps beforehand, you’ll be able to easily get to your hunting spots and get back to the truck safely.

Waterfowl Scouting Tips

Waterfowl Scouting Tips

Learn more about how to use the Hunt app to successfully find new spots for chasing upland birds, whether you’re across the country or close to home.

How To Set Up Your onX Hunt Map for Waterfowl Hunting Success

Duration 7:01
Improve your odds of success Waterfowl Hunting with some tips from Matt Seidel from onX Hunt. Learn how to utilize layers and scout hunting grounds to plan your next waterfowl hunt.

How To Find Ducks on Public Land

Duration 7:49
How to find new areas to duck hunt on public land using maps, specifically onX Hunt.

5 Tips For Waterfowl Scouting | How To Find More Ducks & Geese

Duration 8:51
While doing some preseason scouting I breakdown 5 quick tips I have for scouting for waterfowl. They include techniques and tricks that I put into action when scouting for duck or goose hunting and they have helped me find more birds while also being more successful when going to hunt them.

Find the ‘X’ with Crop Data Layer

Duration 7:21
This review features onX hunt’s new crop data layer and how you can use it to help find the ‘X’ on your next bird hunt. Todd Helms shares his experience with the new layer and how he plans to use it this fall for waterfowl, upland and big game hunting.

Anyone’s Hunt: North Dakota Waterfowl Episode 1 | presented by onX

Duration 9:44
In Episode 1, the crew breaks down the hunt and all that goes into it. The latest installment of Anyone’s Hunt takes a look at North Dakota for a late season Canadian Goose Hunt. With frigid temperatures early closing times, they are forced to to overcome a number of challenges.

Goose Hunting Tips & Tactics with Cory Loeffler – onX Hunt Masterclass


Join Corey Loeffler and onX’s own, Ben Brettingen, for tips and tactics on how to hunt geese. We’ll go over scouting, decoys, calling, and using onX Hunt to help you find more geese this fall!

Waterfowl Hunting Educational Blogs

Scout Waterfowl like a pro

With a comprehensive set of features for waterfowl hunting, you can’t go wrong with onX Hunt.

Waterfowl FAQs

Can you hunt waterfowl production areas?

Broadly speaking, you can hunt in waterfowl production areas. However, you should always check local regulations to ensure that additional restrictions or closures have not been put in place. Thousands of these waterfowl production areas around the country have been funded by the sale of Duck Stamps.

How do I get into waterfowl hunting?

Getting started in waterfowl hunting isn’t difficult. You’ll need a hunting license and Duck Stamp, a shotgun with non-toxic ammunition, camouflage or earth-tone clothing, a spot to hunt, and the onX Hunt App. Learn how to use the Hunt App for waterfowl hunting here

When is waterfowl hunting season?

Waterfowl hunting seasons occur in the fall and winter, but they vary by state and species. You’ll need to refer to your state’s regulations and onX Hunt Central to find season dates for your species of interest. Additionally, many states are further broken down into zones with differing seasons.

What birds are considered waterfowl?

Waterfowl, in the hunting context, refers to ducks, geese, and swans. These birds are generally found on or near water, and they all have webbed feet.

What is the best state to hunt waterfowl?

With migratory waterfowl flyways covering the vast majority of the country, you surely aren’t far from quality waterfowl hunting. To learn more about prime waterfowl hunting opportunities near you, check out our blog post on the best waterfowl hunting states.

What do you hunt waterfowl with?

Waterfowl are hunted with shotguns, and a 12 gauge autoloader is the most common choice for hunters. Lead shot was banned for waterfowl hunting in 1991 due to several detrimental impacts on waterfowl populations, so steel, tungsten, or bismuth shot is used.

See our other onX e-scouting guides for deer, elk and upland birds.