What determines whether or not you’re having a “successful” duck hunting season? Are there metrics that you use to justify success? Is it the number of birds you’re able to fit in the freezer? Is it the number of times you’re able to get out to the refuge or the duck blind? Talk about a question that’s open for interpretation!

If there’s not already, should there be a defined metric for a successful duck hunting season? Or is it something else that you can’t necessarily quantify with a number, like experiences for example?

Humor me for a minute, or at least for however long this post takes you to read.

I know many duck hunters who argue that their duck hunting season is a numbers game. Hell, I even know some guys who quantify the success of their duck hunting season based on their calculations of the cost of duck (or goose) per pound. Yes, they go into that level of detail to quantify whether or not it was a good season.

For example, a few years back we experienced an incredible drought in California (when is California not in drought though, right?) which resulted in an understandably lackluster duck hunting season. At one point, halfway through the season, this specific waterfowler had calculated that he had spent close to $400 per pound the harvest the duck he had in the freezer. Yep, that’s not a typo, $400 per pound. Before you start feeling too bad for the guy, he belongs to a pretty high-end duck club, and he also factors in fuel expenses and mileage. But still, it’s no small number to scoff at.

Personally, I measure the success of my duck hunting season by looking at a few factors; the number of shooting opportunities, quality of birds harvested, and the frequency of opportunities to get out in the blind or on the refuge. All things noted, there’s one factor that trumps them all. Experiences. Having the chance to get out and experience all that nature has to offer, coupled with the opportunity to spend hours on end with close friends that share the same (or very similar) passions, ranks second to none as a sign of a successful duck hunting season in my opinion.

In summary, I encourage each of you to explore what in your mind constitutes a successful duck hunting season and to not only strive to meet those measures but to exceed them in any way you possibly can. In the grand scheme of things, we’re all on this earth for a short time so let’s spend it doing something we love with those we care about the most.

Happy hunting!