Duck Hunting at Night: Best Time for Duck Hunting

Hunting duck in the night is exciting and shows you the serene and peaceful beauty of darkness. It is a migratory game bird whose movement and behavior change at night, so hunting ducks at night will be an adventurous and challenging thing for the hunters.

It is almost impossible to shoot the duck at night if they are roosting on the water. But they are on moves sometimes, and you have to pick the right time frame to hunt them.

Tips and Guides on Duck Hunting at Night


Here are a few tips you can apply as a beginner for hunting ducks and geese at night and evening:

Duck Hunting at Night

Duck Hunting Equipment at Night

There are many arguments about the right time for duck hunting. We have limited vision at night so decoys won’t give the same result as day hunting on the field or pond. You will need a headlamp, binoculars, duck hunting vest, thermals, earmuffs, muzzleloading firearm or automatic firearm, shotgun, bird calls, another hunting device, etc., to kill them at night.

The decoy movement should be natural and set in a lifelike position. Use high-quality duck calling devices to attract them at night.

Migration Activity of Ducks 

Ducks mainly start migration after sunset, so waterfowl number increases overnight. Some local ducks also make movements at night in the public hunting areas or private land. Bird activity depends on the migration time and duck season. 

Weather condition plays an important part here. Usually, the birds won’t face many predators at night, so when the waterfowl hunters call them or set decoys, they respond quickly.


In hot weather, ducks roost in a sheltered area at night to save their body energy for the day. That’s why they tend to move to different places and when the weather changes, they depend on their reserve fat and energy. If you find their roosting area, make a plan for when to shoot at it.

What Do Duck Sleep at Night

All the birds want to sleep safer place that is away from a predator or other dangers. Like any bird, and ducks rest on the water or a branch. So, that time for geese and duck hunting wouldn’t be a good idea depending on different behaviors in ducks and geese. 

Best Time for Duck Hunting

However, most ducks, such as mallards, Gadwalls, Black Ducks, Blue-winged Teal Ducks, American Wigeons, always sleep with one eye open to keep their eye on around. So they prefer an empty lake and the center of the flock where the Mottled duck spends more time feeding at night so that the sleeping hour can be a bit late. Just remember, if you are hunting there use proper duck hunting waders.

Waterfowls cannot sleep at the tree because of their webbed feet. They also avoid the public highway and prefer to sleep on the water as it is the safest place. If any predator comes from the water, the ducks will get noticed throw the water vibration. They also love small islands and shores for resting.

If you want to hunt at night, use a hunting headlamp cautiously so that they won’t fly away. Before going to the hunt make a plan and go.

Morning or Evening: Which Shift Kills More Duck?

If anyone wants to know the best times of day for duck hunting, the answer will always point at an hour before sunrise. Before sunrise, hunters have to set decoys, duck blind/layout blinds, positions, and other things very quickly, which is hazardous.

Nowadays, most geese and duck hunters prefer hunting one-half hour after sunset as they won’t have to hurry for anything and get excellent hunting opportunities. However, hunting in the late morning or evening, both have some pros and cons such as,

Hunting at Morning


  • Ducks and geese are primarily active before sunrise as they go for searching food. As a duck hunter, you will see them in their feeding place or near water in daylight hours from duck boat options or hiding places. 
  • If the weather is good, you can hunt all day long whenever you find the large to medium size duck in sight. 
  • Their nocturnal activity changes in the weather. If you can reach the waterfowl duck hunting spots/roosting spots before sunrise, you will get enough time to study their behavior.


  • The first con is that you have to wake up at 3.30 am, making your journey unenjoyable, especially if you spent busy yesterday.
  • The sunlight can blind you sometimes during your position or aiming.
  • Most hunters choose the same time, especially in hunting season, so that the place will be overcrowded, and there will be a daily bag limit.

Hunting at Evening


  • You do not have to wake up hurry and set up your position in the early or late morning, and you will get an extended period to rest all day and arrange your things. You can shoot and make a reasonable effort. 
  • Ducks and waterfowl are also active in the late evening, so you will find their roosting place if you scout them properly.


  • The main cons are night means low vision. Some ducks won’t move at night and keep themselves on a body of water, so only when you are lucky can you see them moving.

Where Do Ducks Go at Night

Ducks love warm water, so that you can find them in wetlands, marshes, rivers, ponds, lakes, etc. They are most active at night in mild weather, and ducks also quickly change their location and rest overnight. Hunting at night means you can relax all day and won’t have to wake up in the early morning to reach the hunting spot. 

If the area has been baited, ducks also like to go to these places. Ask your hunting partner,  landowner, or other people about these places. However, you cannot hunt ducks at night in the closed season.

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