Stay out of sight this duck hunting season

Hard Core E-Z Grass │ Stay out of sight this duck hunting season

Written by Hard Core Staff on . Posted in Gear Set Up and Techniques, Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting

Quick and Easy Concealment │ Use Hard Core E-Z Grass this duck hunting season

Hard Core E-Z GrassIf we have said it once, we have said it a thousand times, if you are going to be successful when duck hunting then you have to fool their eyes first. When duck hunting or goose hunting, concealment is the name of the game. All too often waterfowl hunters will spend a large amount of time getting the Hard Core decoys just right, and try to fool those birds with a marginal blind setup. No matter how many times you try to get by with a marginal concealment, you will never put as many birds on the stringer as you would if you had taken the time to first properly hide.

One of the most common themes we hear from waterfowl hunters when it comes to camouflaging or brushing in their boat or blinds is the time it takes to do so. We also frequently hear “There wasn’t much cover available.” If you have been duck hunting long enough, you have probably found yourself in one of these situations, and most likely at one time or another you have made the decision that the hide was “good enough” and you most likely paid the price for it. If you have been there and done that, then you most certainly appreciate the ability to hide anywhere at any time regardless of the conditions, situations or lack of available cover.

Here at Hard Core, we want each and every hunter to be successful when they take to the waterfowl woods. To combat the constant issue of tricking a goose or ducks eyeballs we have developed a wide range of blind grass mats and covers to fit any and all situation you may encounter when duck hunting or goose hunting. The E-Z grass series from Hard Core provides every hunter the base that is needed to camouflage everything from the larges river boat to smallest blind. Regardless if you are covering a large boat or a layout blind having a base camouflage is the most critical piece to any hide. Bases provides the blind or hide the contrast, depth and shadows need to convince even the most wary of waterfowl. When the E-Z grass system is used in conjunction with native vegetation such as moist soil plants or even cornstalks it is a deadly combination and can spell game over for those waterfowl.

Hard Core Blind Grass The E-Z grass system comes in multiple color patters however all are durably woven and come with the patented bungee system for each attachment to any surface you choose. Don’t allow the lack of cover or the time it takes to properly hide keeps you from pulling the trigger this duck hunting season. Improve you harvest this fall by giving the E-Z grass system a try, you won’t be sorry!
Early Season Goose Hunting

Early Season Goose Hunting │ Calling tips to have Canada Geese on a string

Written by Hard Core Staff on . Posted in Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting

Calling Tips for Early Season Canada Geese │ Early Goose Hunting Success

Canada GeeseIn the world of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting, early season goose hunting holds a special place in many Hard Core waterfowl hunters’ hearts. Early season goose hunting not only helps to usher in the beginning of the fall waterfowl season in most areas, but liberal bag limits and unpressured geese can really help keep the action intense. Goose hunting during the early season can help build the confidence of even the most novice goose callers, as the lack of pressure and abundance of young geese can make for an exciting hunt. Regardless of the lack of pressure and young family groups, geese are still waterfowl, and just as easy as a stellar hunt can happen early season goose hunting can also burn you fast.

Regardless if you are goose hunting on opening day of the early goose season or the last day of goose season, calling geese can be both fun and as well as challenging all at the same time. One of the best and simplest tips for calling geese anytime during the season is to mimic what they are doing. Geese tend to be more vocal at certain times and less vocal during others. Geese that are headed to feed, especially if there is a large number of geese using the particular field can tend to be very vocal. Geese that are headed to a mid-day loafing area such as a pasture pond tend to be less vocal depending on the circumstance.

Canada Goose Calling Tips
One of the easiest things you can do, is allow the geese to tell you how to call. In many cases, early season geese can tend to be fairly vocal in most cases. This fact has a lot to do with the family groups, and young geese that are present. Just like in many cases with humans, paternal and maternal instincts tend to kick in and the family heads vocalize to keep the young geese in line. Young geese enjoy the opportunity to holler as well.

Hard Core Sleeper Shell
goose huntingGoose calling during the early season can be quite enjoyable if you are someone who loves to pipe on a flute or short reed goose call. Excitement in your calling can really help you to pull geese to the Hard Core decoys and finish them on the “X”. Keep your calling series short, but with lots of clucks and moans can really help sell the setup, and once those birds lay eyes on the Hard Core elites, its game over from there. The name of the game for goose calling during the early season is to keep it exciting; if you do your part the geese will do theirs! Enjoy early season goose hunting to its fullest.  
Selecting the right duck call Hard Core

Duck Calls │ Selecting a call that fits you

Written by Hard Core Staff on . Posted in Gear Set Up and Techniques, Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting

Selecting the right duck calls │ picking the proper style

Choose a duck call that fits youIn the world of duck hunting, duck calls are king. Selecting the right duck call may seem like an easy decision, however, it can prove to be more challenging than you might think. Duck calls come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and styles. There are calls for open water hunting, timber hunting, cutting calls, short barrel calls, and the list goes one. While it is accurate to say that different calls fit different situations, it is important to select a call that fits you.

Selecting a duck call that fits you is truly a personal decision. There is a lot that goes into it. First and probably the most obvious, is the fit and the feel. Most duck hunters will keep a duck call in their duck call in the hand for the majority of the time there are in the field, so it is very important that the call or style of call you choose is one that it most very comfortable. You know you have stumbled upon the right call when it seems to almost disappear in your hand, and you forget you are even holding it. You truly want the call to become an extension of your arm.

Hard Core Baseball Team Hat Once you have narrowed down a style or design that seems to work best, it’s important to determine what type of call best fits you in terms of your calling style. To affectively operate a duck call, you must summon air deep from the depths of your diaphragm. There many different types of calls, some are louder for more open water situations. These types of calls are typically single reed calls. Softer calls, used predominately in timber situations or to “finish” waterfowl on the final pass tend to be double reed calls. Cutting calls are used to reach out and hit flocks of ducks on the perimeter of the decoy spread and can be a combination of single or double reed. Each duck call requires a different amount of air pressure to operate; much like a flute call requires a difference in air pressure as compared to a short reed goose call.

Hard Core Duck HuntingIf you are new to duck hunting and duck calling, or just looking for new duck call one of the first steps to help you make the selections is to consider the type of hunting you will be doing. While single reed calls tend to be a little easier to operate, the can be somewhat overpowering in flooded timber or small marsh situations. At the end of the day, you just need to find what works best for you. There are many different brands of duck calls on the market, and it is important to take the opportunity to explore and “test drive” as many as you can before making your decision. Selecting a new duck call can be an expensive and investment that can be as critical as selecting the proper duck decoys. Ensuring that you select a duck call that fits you, and you can operate effectively will translate into more ducks in the bag this fall!
Team Hardcore in Louisiana after bucks and ducks

Team Hardcore finds themselves home in Louisiana

Written by Hard Core Staff on . Posted in Big Game, From the Pro Staff, Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting

Louisiana Bucks and Ducks

Louisiana holds a special place in my heart! Having been born and raised in Louisiana’s woods and waters, it’s always nice to be able to come home to the place where my love for the outdoors took root. One thing that was a staple for me when I was growing up was deer hunting.  As I grew older and was able to hunt on my own I then discovered the treasure of hunting waterfowl in the timbers and flooded sloughs of the Mississippi River bottoms, which is home to some the finest deer and waterfowl hunting in the world!  Those are just two of the reasons why Louisiana is known as “The Sportsmans Paradise.”  That’s exactly where Team Hardcore finds themselves this week, HOME!

With the rut in full swing, bucks were chasing does everywhere, but the only thing that came my way were young bucks that needed a few more years to grow. As I sat waiting on that mature buck that never came, I couldn’t help but notice the flocks of ducks flying into the slough that was across the timber from where I was sitting.  Cody, on the other hand, finally had that love struck mature buck chase a doe right across his path.  After getting back to camp the congratulations, celebration, high fives, and all the excitement that is part of the hunt when someone kills something began.  We started talking with our buddy,  John Storey who we were hunting with, about all the ducks that we had seen all day! He told us he knew the exact spot where they were landing and he would love for us to go try to hunt them the next morning. So that night, Kevin and I broke out our duck calls and got our shotguns ready to go, with our decoys already loaded in the truck we were ready for daylight. As the sun started lighting the eastern sky we were throwing out the decoys out around some grass patches in the slough where we planned to hide.  The sky was full of ducks, all we were waiting on was legal shooting time! Let the fun begin!

By: Keith Burgess
Hard Core Waterfowl Hunting

The Boys of the Marsh │ The Other Side of Waterfowl Hunting

Written by Hard Core Staff on . Posted in Hunting, Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting Isn’t about the Harvest │ Memories from the Duck Hunting Marsh



Make no mistake about it, here at Hard Core we live and breathe waterfowl and waterfowl hunting. It’s in our blood, it’s what we do and it’s what makes us who we are. It has helped define us, helped guide in ways that we never even realized until after the fact. Yeah, I guess you could say that waterfowl hunting is our lives.

The most interesting thing about waterfowl hunting, regardless of whether your interest is chasing ducks or geese, it is amazing just how similar waterfowlers as a group are. That is certainly not to say that there will not be those rare instances where you encounter someone whose waterfowl hunting “style” doesn’t necessary mesh with yours, but all in all you can bet that those folks are just as passionate about waterfowl hunting as you are.

Hard Core Waterfowl HuntingOver the years, we have had the opportunity to meet and share the blind, corn field or layout boat with a lot of different people from many different walks of life. Many of them, we met for the very first time a short time before taking the field. The one thing that holds true is that regardless of how new the friendship may be, it doesn’t take long for the fun to begin once we hit the field.

Chasing ducks and geese has truly introduced us to many fantastic people, and helped to foster friendships that we will cherish for years to come. The social aspect of waterfowl hunting is what draws many outdoorsmen and women to the sport. It is what the sport of waterfowl hunting that fostered many of the outdoor traditions that we enjoy today.

All too often the social enjoyment of what we do as waterfowl hunters becomes somewhat overshadowed by the constant focus on the harvest. Now, that being said, here at Hard Core we love pulling the trigger of ducks and geese more than just about anyone but what makes waterfowl hunting waterfowl hunting is more than number of birds that you walk out of the marsh with, it’s about the memories that you make while doing it that matters and what makes the sport of waterfowl hunting unlike any other in the world.

During a recent waterfowl season we found ourselves in Central Missouri in mid-December, snuggled into our layout boats in a flooded corn field with the Hard Core Duck Decoys doing what they do best. We had been going hard all week and grinding out some pretty amazing hunts. This week was special. It wasn’t because of the high number of ducks and geese in the area, it wasn’t because of the strong northwest winds and cold front that was pushing through, no, this hunt was special because we had a some longtime hunting partners in camp that we had not hunted with in a long time.

Hard Core Crewneck

We knew that if we could find the “X” that we would stand an excellent chance of pulling the trigger on some large and in-charge, migrating mallard ducks. Typically, in mid-December this area of the country experiences its first and sometimes “lethal” freeze of the year. We say that it is lethal as it typical years you can go from open water to 3.5” of ice overnight, and the ice may stay on the duration of the duck season. This would be the conditions we would face on this hunt.

With bitter cold temperatures and wind chills pushing the single digits, we hit the water. It didn’t take long to find what we were looking for as we located an area with several thousand ducks huddled in a tight groups feeding in the flooded corn field. While the threat of frost bite was a reality, we were so excited to have the opportunity to joke, laugh and cut up like we used to that we barely felt the cold. Once shooting time was upon us, it didn’t take long for a pair of green headed mallards to find the Hard Core duck decoys, and with the birds finishing at ten yards, with two shots and we had two dead ducks in the water.

Hard Core Waterfowl HuntingAfter the first two drakes were down, it seemed as though we were being strategically being bombarded with wave after wave of mallards. Luckily for us, the waves of ducks were spaced long enough for several cups of coffee to be ingested and several wise cracks to be made at each other’s expense. It pretty telling of sport where you can be reminiscing on previous times spent afield while in the process of making new memories!

Two hours and seven minutes after the hunt started, the final greenhead hit the water bringing our total to 16. As the wind grew colder and stronger, the water we once dredged across to get to our location was now the consistency of your favorite gas station slushy. No words were really spoken as we began to break down the spread. Each of us new our role in the process as if we had continued to hunt together every day since the last. This hunt would turn out to be our last in Missouri during that season as severe ice conditions would push many of the birds further south. We have been fortunate to have successful hunts afield since then; however, this hunt will be one that will always stay close to us. It will always hold a special place in our memory not because we harvested a limit of green heads or that the conditions were brutal, but that we had the opportunity to share those conditions and experiences with some wonderful friends and sportsmen. It’s amazing how much pressure can be removed from a situation when you realize that it’s not about the kill, but it’s about the experiences and the memories you make with friends and family that really matter.

The Landing Zone

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