Shorter days and cooler temperatures signal that another Colorado duck and goose hunting season is fast approaching. Before making the trek to your local hunting shop to stock up on supplies, be sure to take the time to think through what will be needed this coming season. I typically deal with Minturn Anglers in Denver, Minturn or Vail, as their friendly and knowledgeable staff always have time to provide me with practical advice and guide me in the selection of appropriate gear and equipment.

One of the first things I do is evaluate what went right and what went wrong with last year’s hunt. I check over my notes to see which spots were most productive during different kinds of weather conditions. If, for example, a certain location seemed to be more popular with waterfowl during rainy weather, I tend to match the location with conditions.  If one favorite spot was used, I hunt when weather conditions proved most productive last year.

I check all my calls, cleaning and inspecting the reeds. If a reed needs replacing, I put the item on my hunting shop purchase list. If I have my eye on a new duck call, I order early to avoid backorder notices.

Even though I used the best gun cleaning supplies to clean and lubricate my shotgun at the end of last season, I do a thorough cleaning and inspection again at the start of the new season. I always check for excessively worn or damaged parts and remove any signs of rust. Some years I check out my gun and revive my skills by spending some time shooting sporting clays at the local skeet course.

A major decision every year for me is whether to repair, replace or rent decoys. Sometimes I enjoy taking a hands-on approach, preparing decoys myself. When I run out of time – or am simply lazy, I rent what I need from Minturn Anglers. I appreciate their service, and especially value the advice and tips they freely provide to help ensure a successful hunt.

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