The “41” is the Waterfowl grand slam. Hunters will travel from one end of the country to the other, hunting everything from sea ducks in coastal Alaska to puddle ducks in Florida. 

No doubt there is an opportunity to hunt multiple species of ducks in one sit, especially when positioned along one of the flyways like in Louisiana. 

If we chose to include information about every species on this page, we would quickly turn it into an encyclopedia. So rather than bore you with a wall of duck information, we will briefly describe the duck categories and a few of our favorite spots to check some of them off the list.



Puddle ducks are ducks that get their food from shallow water. Puddle ducks are the quintessential “butt in the air” ducks that most hunters and bird watchers will see in shallow ponds, flooded fields, and drainage ditches. Wood ducks, Mallards, and Teal are the most well-known puddle ducks. Puddle ducks are considered the best table fare of the waterfowl world. 

Whistling ducks are standouts since they aren’t prolific migrators and often nest in trees, unlike most other duck species. Both species are southern ducks and are often associated with rice fields and low-lying areas. They are highly vocal ducks that create calls, unlike any other bird.

  • American Black Duck 
  • American Wigeon 
  • Blue-winged Teal 
  • Cinnamon Teal 
  • Gadwall 
  • Green-winged Teal 
  • Mallard 
  • Mexican Duck 
  • Mottled Duck 
  • Northern Pintail 
  • Northern Shoveler 
  • Wood Duck 
  • Black-bellied Whistling Duck
  • Fulvous Whistling Duck


Divers or diver ducks spend most of their time in deep waters where they diver for food. The extra waterproofing of a diver makes them a bit tougher to kill than a puddle duck. While this seems anecdotal, many taxidermists will agree that the skin of divers like redheads is thicker than a similar-sized mallard.

  • Canvasback
  • Redhead
  • Lesser Scaup
  • Greater Scaup
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Common Goldeneye
  • Barrow’s Goldeneye
  • Bufflehead
  • Ruddy Duck
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Common Merganser
  • Red-breasted Merganser


Sea ducks are birds you will only find near the coast unless there is a heck of a storm. These birds spend most of their time in open waters near bays and coastlines. Layout boats and rocky shorelines are common places to bag sea ducks. Whatever you decide, make sure you have a weatherproof gun.

  • King Eider 
  • Common Eider 
  • Other optional Eider species include:
    • Atlantic Common Eider 

    • Pacific Common Eider 

    • Northern Common Eider 

    • Hudson Bay Common Eider 

  • Harlequin Duck 
  • Long-tailed Duck 
  • Black Scoter 
  • Surf Scoter 
  • White-winged Scoter 


Honkers, the biggest waterfowl on the wing geese, take a lot of firepower to bring down, but the yield on a full-sized snow goose is better than any duck you’ll shoot. While many geese and swans are taken in the southern states, goose hunting is a much better option in northern states, where the big birds migrate to fatten up and stay out of the extreme cold.

  • Greater White-fronted Goose 
  • Tule Goose 
  • Snow Goose or Blue-phased Snow Goose 
  • Lesser Snow Goose 
  • Greater Snow Goose 
  • Ross’s Goose
  • Canada Goose [ any one of the seven sub-species]
  • Atlantic Canada Goose 

    • Interior Canada Goose 

    • Giant Canada Goose 

    • Lesser Canada Goose 

    • Western Canada Goose 

    • Dusky Canada Goose 

    • Vancouver Canada Goose 

  • Cackling Goose [ any one of the four sub-species]
    • Cackling Canada Goose 

    • Aleutian Canada Goose 

    • Taverner’s Canada Goose 

    • Richardson’s Canada Goose 

  • Emperor Goose 
  • Brant Goose 
  • Atlantic Brant 
  • Pacific Black Brant


    • Tundra Swan
    • Trumpeter Swan

    And for whatever reason, the Sandhill Crane.

    It’s not a duck or goose, but they were recently added to the list for whatever reason. Crane hunting can be a heap of fun in states where they are considered a pest, and regardless of the regulations, they are fine table fare.


It would be nearly impossible to check every species off the list in one year. However, you can still start planning your hunts to shorten that list. Check out our list of waterfowl guides at to start checking off species on your big “41”.