On Thursday night, as the north wind howled outside the window of my man cave, a cold front that would make the month of January proud was roaring through Texomaland.

On Thursday night, as the north wind howled outside the window of my man cave, a cold front that would make the month of January proud was roaring through Texomaland.


With windows rattling and rain falling on my roof — and the threat of snow, sleet, and ice in the forecast over the next few days — my duck hunter’s heart was growing gladder by the minute.


Because the leaden November skies should be full of new migrant ducks flying south between now and Thanksgiving Day.


How do you hunt these newly arriving "flight birds?"


First, beef up your decoy spread says Pottsboro waterfowl outfitter J.J. Kent.


"New flocks of birds flying across Texomaland are going to be looking for the party," said Kent. "So you’ll want to be sure that you have beefed up your spread a little bit with more ducks — and more big ducks like mallards, pintails, etc. — to give it that look."


What look is that?


"The look that says ‘Come on down here because this is where the duck party is being held,’" laughed Kent.


Next, a hunter will want to carefully watch the wind and position their decoy spread accordingly.


"You’ll have a stout north wind blowing over the next few days so you’ll want to be hunting on the north side of the pond, the cove in a reservoir, or a river channel," said Kent. "That will help you be in the slack water where ducks will fly into the wind and look for a quiet place to land.


Kent says to also note places where trees, bluffs, river banks, and other objects act as wind breaks that help to create slack water.


"When you find a wind break, that will give ducks a calm spot to land and get out of the weather and that will be an ideal situation."


Third, Kent says not to be afraid to reach for the mallard call.


"Get on your mallard call, belt it out, and let them know that this where they need to come and hang out," said the pro-staff caller for Zink Calls.


"Lean on the mallard call a little more now instead of the whistle calls that you used a week or two ago," added Kent. "With this big arctic blow — and the advancing season — the birds that are filtering into the Texoma area over the next week or so will have more greenheads in the mix."


While Kent likes to help Fred Zink sell more duck calls like the "Green Machine ATM" acrylic call, the local duck guide says that a hunter can still overdo the calling if they’re not careful.


"If the birds are coming in, let them come on in," said Kent. "Call them on the corners and not when they’re flying towards your spot."


Kent said that in weather like this, traveling ducks aren’t too hard a sell if a hunter is in the right spot.


"A lot of times when you’re hunting these fronts with a hard wind, the birds have been traveling and they’re ready to sit down," he said. "Don’t give them a reason to not come to your spread.


"If they’re coming your way on cupped wings, let them come on in. You don’t have to do something extraordinary."


Fourth, Kent says not to overdo the motion.


"With this big wind, it’s going to allow your decoys to bounce around more and look like live birds," said Kent. "So with motion decoys like a Mojo or another spinning wing decoy, I wouldn’t put too many of them out there.


"One or two is ok. But if you think the birds are flaring off them, pull them immediately."


That doesn’t mean that the guide will not have a motion trick or two hiding up his camouflaged sleeve.


"If I pull my spinners, I’ll almost always have a jerk cord out with several decoys attached," said Kent.


"That way, I can lay off the motion if I need to. But I can also give the cord a quick jerk if I think I need a little ripple on the water to convince the ducks."


With flight ducks looking for a place to get out of a gale, a quick jolt like that is often all that’s necessary to lure in a big flock for a memorable shooting sequence.