Prairie Pothole Duck Hunting Tips – Roost or Slough? That’s the Question…

One of the hottest topics in social media and forums pertaining to duck hunting in the Prairie Pothole Region is hunting water. Particularly, are you hunting a transition slough or a ROOST. I understand that when scouting with a duck boat in tow, it’s hard to pass on an opportunity to shoot some ducks…I get it. But the problem, is often there are field hunters targeting those roosting birds and by pushing the birds off the roost, it basically ruins it for everybody. So I HIGHLY RECOMMEND getting to know the difference between a transition slough and a ROOST. I will explain…

A transition slough is usually a small body of water that ducks will use as they transition from the roost to the feed field. Often, they will SKIP the transition slough and just go from roost to field. Now if this is the case, you gotta field hunt. If you have access, it’s a slam dunk for a good shoot (usually).

Now if you’re the type of duck hunters who likes to hunt water, then you’ll want to keep an eye out for those transition sloughs. They’re often easy to spot, as you’ll notice birds dumping into them around feeding time. I’ve seen sloughs of ALL kinds that they use this way, but more often then not, it’s small and manageable from a hunting perspective.


Now it’s time to duck hunt. The gear to use for this tactic is quite manageable, and more often then not a few dozen duck floaters will do. If you have 2 or 3 duck spinners, even better. And I often find that transition sloughs are shallow, meaning, you’ll want to pull out your duck hunting waders.


You’ll want to be VERY CAREFUL with hunting sloughs with waders in the Prairie Pothole Region. The bottom is often VERY soft, and you sink with each step. This is the tough part about duck hunting up here, especially in the Dakotas…sloughs are nasty at times. So be safe when walking past your waste.

These are also great duck hunts to have in the afternoon because you can setup in the light during midday and be ready around dinner time. Don’t get me wrong, mornings are great too…it’s just nice to have a casual gentleman’s hunt at times.

By the way, have you ever been to North Carolina for Pamlico Sound, NC Duck Hunting???


And the best part about these EASY duck hunts??? The birds go BACK TO THE ROOST, where they feel safe, to fly out the next day. Now you can let them chill for a few days and hunt them again…perfect.

We’ve been duck hunting in North Dakota this way all my life, and it’s been pretty sure proof for a good time. Usually, the only thing that ruins a day afield is getting the roost blown. It’s often not on purpose, it’s just out of ignorance. So I hope these prairie duck hunting tips find those who’re unaware. Knowledge is power, after all…

Good Hunting

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