Are you thinking of joining the millions of duck hunters nationwide? Have you ever wondered where these passionate duck hunters reside? While duck populations vary from state to state, it’s important to understand which states are most popular for hunting. To provide insight into this hot topic, we created an overview of the top 12 active states for duck hunters in 2023. Here, discover key information on notable hunter habitats and hotspots in each area that could serve as your next destination. Whether you’re a beginner looking to take up the sport or a seasoned hunter wishing to add more challenges and thrills — there is something here for everyone that will enhance their next outdoor adventure!
Texas has some of the most diverse duck habitats in all of the US, as well as ample opportunities for hunters looking to take on a challenge. With its large lakes, rivers, and prairies — Texas is home to some of the best duck hunting grounds in America. In particular, areas such as the Gulf Coast region feature an array of marshlands and coastal plains ideal for teal, pintail, and redhead ducks.
The Natural State is known for its exceptional waterfowl hunting sites that provide plenty of hours to hunt different species throughout the year. Popular spots include Lake Chicot and Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area — two popular sites filled with pintails, gadwalls, mallards, scaups, and other ducks.
Missouri has long been a major hotspot for duck hunters — thanks to its wide variety of wetlands, sloughs, rivers, and reservoirs that are all home to large populations of ducks. In particular, the southern portion of the state is known for having some of the best concentrations of mallards in America!
Oklahoma’s wetland habitats provide great opportunities for duck hunters — especially in areas like the Panhandle and southwestern districts where you can find plenty of teal, redhead, gadwall, and shoveler ducks during their migration season. The Great Salt Plains Wildlife Refuge is also another popular spot located northwest of Oklahoma City where various species make their home.
Louisiana is a duck hunters’ paradise, as it’s located at the junction of two main migration routes — allowing for some of the best opportunities in all of the US. With its extensive network of marshes and wetlands, you can find large numbers of pintails, green-winged teals, wood ducks, gadwalls, and mallards throughout the state. Popular locations to hunt include Last Island Marsh and Rice Prairie Wildlife Management Area — both renowned for their high concentrations of waterfowl species.
Mississippi is a great location for duck hunting because it sits right between Arkansas and Louisiana in the “Snake River Flyway” — which is a major migration route for many species. The state’s wetlands, swamps, and bayous are teeming with wood ducks, mallards, pintails, wigeons, and other varieties of waterfowl — making it an ideal destination for duck hunters looking to spend some time in the outdoors. Popular areas include the Delta National Forest and Ross Barnett Reservoir — both offer excellent opportunities to take on a challenge!
Florida is home to some of the best duck hunting sites in America. From its expansive marshes, swamps, and prairies — there’s something here for everyone interested in waterfowl hunting. Popular destinations include St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge — both are renowned hotspots for hunters looking to challenge their skills against ducks like gadwalls, pintails, mallards, and more!
Alabama is a great spot for duck hunting as it’s situated between two major flyways — providing ample opportunities throughout the year. Some of the most popular spots are around Mobile Bay, where you can find large concentrations of gadwalls, mallards, pintails, and other species of ducks. Additionally, Bayou La Batre is another great spot as it has plenty of wetlands with some of the best concentrations of wood ducks in America.
Virginia offers a wide variety of duck hunting spots perfect for any skill level. The state’s numerous lakes, rivers, marshes, and bays provide ample opportunities for hunters looking to take on a challenge. Popular locations include the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge — home to some of the largest concentrations of mallards in all of Virginia. Other sites such as Lake Drummond are also fantastic as they feature large numbers of teal, widgeons, redheads, and gadwalls!
New York has some of the best duck hunting opportunities in the United States due to its large variety of wetlands, rivers, and lakes. Hunters can look forward to finding mallards, wood ducks, teal, and more throughout the state. Some popular spots include Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge near Syracuse — which is home to one of the largest populations of northern shovelers in all of the US! Additionally, Lake Erie is also a hot spot with plenty of scaup and redheads that are perfect for any hunter looking for a challenge.
Georgia offers excellent duck hunting opportunities with many different species found throughout the state’s numerous marshes, swamps, and bays. Popular locations for duck hunters include the Altamaha Wildlife Management Area near Savannah — which is home to some of the best concentrations of gadwalls and pintails in all of Georgia. Additionally, Lake Blackshear near Cordele is another great spot with plenty of wood ducks and teal that are perfect for any hunter looking to test their skills.
North Carolina is full of marshlands and wetland areas that offer ideal conditions when it comes to hunting waterfowl species. Hunters can expect to find large amounts of mallards, wood ducks, ring-necked ducks, scaup, widgeons, teal, and much more throughout the state’s various sites. Popular spots include Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge — which is home to some of the best concentrations of pintails in all of North Carolina.
No matter what type of duck hunting you’re interested in or where you plan to go — these top 12 states have something special to offer everyone! With its variety of habitats and unique ecosystems, each area is filled with countless possibilities that can help bring your next outdoor adventure to life.