Formally Introduces the Field Etiquette RatGuide, a Unique Hunting Resource for the Public Refuge Waterfowler

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RatGuide Helps to Demystify Field Challenges and Improve Quality of Public Land Duck and Goose Hunts officially introduces a unique field guide to assist duck and goose hunters better understand the issues involved while waterfowl hunting on public lands, and ultimately improve the quality of their hunts.

The initial version of the Field Etiquette RatGuide has been well received by waterfowlers of all skill levels, and continues to attract support. The guide itself is a living document, addressing a complex set of interrelated hunting issues, such as cooperation in the field, bird behavior, field travel, hunt planning, decoys, calling, shooting, and other pertinent factors.

The Field Etiquette RatGuide emerged from personal duck and goose hunting experiences while on public lands. “During our hunts on the refuges, we started to recognize situational patterns, both productive and destructive, and felt compelled to develop a resource to help other waterfowlers better understand some of the key, yet sometimes obscure issues while goose or duck hunting,” states’s Brian Morrison. “Most of the challenges we directly observed, or learned about from our network of Refuge Rats, centered on a key issue – lack of information.”

This lack of information could be loosely divided into two categories, field behavior and waterfowl hunting skills. Both categories are interrelated, and both are frequently required for successful quality hunts. “If you want to shoot big bags of in your face birds on a consistent basis while on public lands, it is difficult to achieve without honing your field behavior and hunting skills,” continues Morrison. “Of course, there are those unusual days when you can’t keep the birds off of you no matter what you do, but in reality those events are few and far between. If you want frequent quality hunts, you need to stack the odds in your favor by deepening your understanding of what it takes to be successful on the refuges.”

As for field conduct, this issue is probably more misunderstood by hunters than any other factor. “It is no mystery that many behaviors and standards are well understood by society, such as driving a truck on a public highway. For example, we all know to stay to the right, and don’t speed,” states Morrison. “But other expectations have not been so clear, especially in the arena of waterfowl hunting on National Wildlife Refuges, Wildlife Management Areas, Department of Natural Resources’ lands, and other public properties. Unfortunately, many goose and duck hunters have had to learn the hard way what is acceptable in the field, or worse yet, they are still struggling to find their way.”

Developing strong public hunting skills is also a must for being successful. “There are waterfowlers that consistently shoot solid bags, day in and day out, and their refined hunting skills are a major factor in their success,” furthers Morrison. “This segment of refuge hunters gets it, and it shows. If the other segment of public land waterfowlers would focus on improving their hunting skills, such as concealment, decoys, calling, habitat, weather, bird behavior, and shooting, their bags at the end of the day would improve too.”

Until recently, there has not been a solid information resource for public land hunters to refer to while in the field. “Once we realized there was an information void as it relates to hunting on public lands, we felt obligated to create a unique solution. Our objectives were to bridge the information gap, and provide a practical resource, with the end goal of helping to improve the quality of duck and goose hunting for all,” explains Morrison. “The Field Etiquette RatGuide is the first step towards achieving that goal, and we are pleased to be formally sharing the revised version with waterfowlers everywhere. We are also thrilled of the support already expressed by other hunters about the RatGuide, and are grateful we have the opportunity to give back to the waterfowling community.”

Visit the interactive Field Etiquette RatGuide to learn more, and share your opinions.

About is an emerging company dedicated to serving the unique product and service needs of public land duck and goose hunters, also known as “Refuge Rats.” offers its own specialty waterfowling gear as well as select partner products. In addition, with the assistance of waterfowl hunters across the continent, is driving the effort to help make duck and goose hunting on public lands a quality experience for all. resources and programs to help support this goal include the Field Etiquette RatGuide, RatChallenges, RatTests, and Team RefugeRat. Visit to learn more.
Brian Morrison


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