HUNTING TIPS & TACTICS
Pintail hunting has become a very similar style of hunting to the Mallard duck and in some instances can be done simultaneously.
Even though the Pintail’s overall population across the continent is much lower than the common Mallard, they’re one of the few waterfowl species that have also evolved to feeding in harvested agricultural fields and thus are very susceptible to a field set up.
Decoy manufacturers have capitalized on this opportunity and there are many options to add a full body field set up for both Mallards and Pintails alike, giving the field waterfowl hunter an opportunity to hunt both species of ducks at the same time. Using a spinning wing decoy or two mixed in the field set up has also been proven to be very effective in conjunction with the full body decoys in Canada and down into the Dakotas to decoy the smaller flocks of Pintails as well.
In addition to hunting Pintails in the field, hunting this puddle duck in a water setting is the more traditional method. Due to the fact that the drakes migrate earlier than the hens, it’s more common to see larger numbers of drakes in the central and southern region of the US throughout the regular fall seasons rather than harvesting the drakes in Canada and the upper Dakotas early in the year, as again the drakes do migrate earlier than the hens. Adding one or two dozen Pintail decoys to a standard Mallard water spread is a very common and realistic set up as the two species do intermingle quite frequently in the wild.
The drake Pintail, otherwise known as a Sprig, for it’s long tail, is a prize for many waterfowl hunters both in the bag and on the table. Although the long tail does not normally occur until the full plumage of the bird has grown in, usually in late December, due to the fact that the overall population of the Pintail species is considerably lower than many other puddle ducks, harvesting a drake Pintail in any setting should be considered a prize to any avid waterfowl hunter.