Saturday morning we had plenty of action in that first hour when the light is low and a pair dropped in low, I shot the bird on the right which was my bird, Chick didn't shoot cause he had already gotten his blackie, the bird on the left lit, which blacks never do when shot at and it should have told me it was a mallard, by that response, but with the available light I thought they were black ducks. Of course Jack retrieves it and it was a hen mallard!!!
The point of this story is that in low light conditions you just cannot tell, I knew that by the size and shape it was a legal puddle duck, and because of the area and my experience I had an idea that it was a 99% of being a black duck so I shot once and passed on the second shot, my partner passed altogether. It takes years and years to develop the skills to identify the birds and even so, in low light conditions which a lot of our shooting occurs, identification is all but impossible. Duck shooting happens so fast that you must make a quick decision which has final consequences to your actions so you must be certain of your target. It is a skill which you develop through years of training and field experience. Enjoy the learning curve and be cautious if you cannot ID your target under the low light conditions.
ENJOY THE HUNT!
“The perils of duck hunting are great- especially for the duck” Walter Cronkite