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Attn Brad Bortner

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Attn Brad Bortner
Brad,
As I am certain you are aware several old time waterfowlers stated that there was no question that ducks have a sense of smell.
I haven't seen that subject raised for many years. Any updates on the subject? One writer in the 1920s pointed out that since vultures have a keen sense of smell, ducks do also, but not to the degree as vultures. Best, Worth
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Worth, you?ve always liked to ask me hard questions and challenge my knowledge. I honestly don?t know the answer to your question. I?ve heard stories of ducks smelling bait under the water. There are some ducks that feed on dead fish and other critters, but I don?t know if there is definitive science or not if they can smell. Do you know of recent evidence or papers?

Hope you are doing well down in Amity.
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Grandpa told me walk into the wind when I jump shoot. Jump shooting black ducks was his favorite activity. He said they can smell you easy not like a white tail but they can smell you.
South Jersey
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Josh I don't think its smell. I think its more that they have good ears for sound, and have good eyes to pick up movement. I even think the vibration of walking on the mud is felt in those shallow puddles.
********
“A day in the blind is a delightful occasion. If there are ducks to be shot so much the better, but even a day in the open watching the bobbing decoys and the changing weather, with the good companionship of friends, is in itself a more than worth-while experience.”
--J. Kemp Bartlett Jr., “Chesapeake Bay,” Duck Shooting, 1947

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Josh Schwenger wrote:
Grandpa told me walk into the wind when I jump shoot. Jump shooting black ducks was his favorite activity. He said they can smell you easy not like a white tail but they can smell you.




I certainly do not disagree.

To think that any type of wild animal, bird, etc., does not have a good sense of smell, that helps them Stay Alive 24/7 makes no sense at all IMO.


VP











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Not sure how a duck would smell under water without drowning. Just sayin. I?m no duck, but when I sniff underwater it goes terribly wrong.
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 Lol, The story was that the ducks above water can smell bait that is below water. I have no idea if it was true.
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I did figure that, but I couldn?t help myself. It?s been a long few months of working from home.
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I don't doubt that ducks can smell to some degree. Otherwise what would be the point of evolving with olfactory receptors of some kind? It would be interesting to know to what degree ducks can smell but I would guess that it is the lesser of the senses. Otherwise I can't imagine hunters in FL ever killing ducks with the amount of Deet and numbers of Thermacells that are used. But perhaps ducks are used to those smells now and they don't associate the smells with danger of any kind. Or perhaps by the time they do smell it, the ducks are flaring away but they are often in range? Tough question to answer