Vital Hunting Gear for Beginner Waterfowlers

by Kent Jones

The thought of starting up a new hobby is quite intimidating, especially when you want to get into waterfowl hunting and you start researching all the stuff you’ll need to do that. We’re here to help you distinguish between the wants and the needs. As a group of seasoned waterfowl hunters that have traveled all over the country and hunted in various environments, here is a list we have put together of must haves for a beginner that has absolutely nothing they need for a hunt:

12 or 20 Gauge Shotgun
This is a given but it’s the most important thing! You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take and you won’t be taking many of those without a shotgun. Be sure to shoot one before your first hunt if you haven’t before and make sure you’re comfortable with it before shooting in the field. What kind of shotgun you shoot really doesn’t matter at the end of the day as long as the gauge is legal in your area and it gets the job done.

Base Layers: A good base layer can be a determining factor of a good hunt or a really bad one. Being cold in the blind is never fun for anyone but a good base layer can help you focus on what the birds are doing around you rather than how cold you are. Heated base layers are even better!

Waders/Bibs: Depending on what kind of hunt you’re going on, you’ll want to invest in a good pair of waders and/or bibs. Our belief is that waders are essential for water hunts and bibs are essential for land hunts. Waders are a given when you’re walking waist deep in the timber but if you’re hunting over water and not directly in it, bibs are crucial to keep you dry and a little warmer in the blind. In colder environments, adequate insulation (especially in the boots) is crucial to retain body heat and stay warm so keep that in mind when shopping around.

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Waterproof Blind Bag:
We cannot stress this enough, get a WATERPROOF blind bag. Doesn’t matter what kind or color (although we recommend camo) as long as the birds won’t see it from a mile away. You’ll thank us later when you fall walking to the spot and your bag goes under with you. It will be carrying all of your gear, including things you probably don’t want to get wet. As a beginner duck hunter, you will fall. It’ll happen. It’s inevitable. Might as well prepare for it now.

Hunting Boots: A good pair of hunting boots can make or break your hunt. No one wants to walk around with wet feet in their crappy boots that give them blisters if they don’t wear thick socks. We’d recommend a good pair of waterproof, insulated boots that will keep your feet warm and dry during your hunt. Obviously we recommend our Cypress Swamp ECW Buoy Boots. No bias there at all.

Alpaca Socks: Wool is warm, but alpaca fiber is warmer. Don’t ask why. It’s science or something. Alpaca socks are much thinner than wool socks but still keep the same kind of warmth, possibly more. This allows for more layering if needed but you probably won’t even need it. One pair of alpaca socks over three pairs of wool socks sounds like a win to us.


A good hat is essential to your first hunt and every hunt after that. If you don’t have a cool hat, no one will ever invite you again and you don’t want that do you? Eventually you’ll have a hat to wear with every outfit, you’ll have hats for different occasions, and you’ll start to think you have a problem but we’re here to tell you it’s not a problem! Don’t let anyone tell you there is a such thing as too many hats. That’s fake news. On that note, check out our website because we have a feeling we’ve got what you need!

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