Duck Hunting Games

One of the fondest memories of my childhood is playing Duck Hunt on the original Nintendo 8 bit system when I used to be a kid way back in the 1980s! My friends and I use to sit around and play duck hunting games and shoot thousands of ducks. We really had a ton of fun with a small gray plastic light gun that you would point at the screen. This toy gun had a built in laser for shooting ducks on our console TV.

Nintendo games and video games in general have really developed into something spectacular since first being introduced in the 1970s. The first system our family got was an Atari and I thought that was cool back then. Then we got the Nintendo and were blown away by duck hunting games and Super Mario Brothers.

I am amazed by the videos games that are around today. I see graphics that are nearly lifelike, with absolutely incredible 3D perspectives and scenes. The most popular games in this area are first person shooter games. However, these types of games have a lot more action and violence than the old school duck hunting games I grew up with.

I walked into a local video arcade last week and was shocked to see how expensive it is to play a video game for only a few minutes. These games are very complicated and I am sure they must cost several thousand dollars. Modern day video arcade games make duck hunting games and other types of games I grew up with look completely ancient.

I have not found a video arcade in the area that still has duck hunting games like they use to have back in the 1990s. Most arcades would probably go out of business by having games like that with such primitive graphics. People today want to play the ultra violent first person shooter games where there is a lot of blood and gore.

All video games are so addictive and essentially a big waste of time. The problem is, once you start playing, it is hard to quit. In fact, when I was a child, I even rode my bike about 4 miles to the largest video arcade in the city, just to go play games for few hours.

It would really be nice to find a casual and laid back video arcade in the area with the kind of classic and low key video games that I grew up with. Playing silly duck hunting games on Nintendo, or even combat on Atari, was fun for hours when I was young.

What Ducks Can Teach You About Branding and Business Success

Of all the mascots I would expect a high-end luxury hotel to have, the lowly mallard duck is certainly not one of them. And yet, that was what greeted me when I stepped into the Peabody Orlando Hotel.

There is an actual story behind the ducks (which is printed on the napkins) but the reality is the story is less interesting than how the hotel has built a brand around ducks.

First, you have the “March of the Ducks” — at 11 am the ducks “march” (or more accurately waddle) on a red carpet to spend the day in a luxurious fountain. This fountain is located in the middle of the hotel and is actually quite a nice place to get a little work done or enjoy a coffee and cupcake (while watching the ducks splash around). At 5 pm they then “march” (waddle) back to their Duck Palace to enjoy a duck dinner and a “quiet evening” together.

Now the fact they make this an event — with marching music, a red carpet and an actual Duck Master (which is trademarked — yes if you were thinking about hiring a Duck Master for your own Duck March you would be out of luck) is one thing. But the ducks are also front and center to their branding.

There are ducks on the carpet, duck soaps in the rooms, drinks named after ducks, ducks embroidered on the staff’s clothes — the list goes on and on. It’s all quite tastefully done and the ducks are elegantly and subtly woven throughout the hotel’s brand and image.

Now the real question is, of course, is it worth it? Only the Peabody knows for sure but from the outside it certainly appears like it is.

First off, remember where the Peabody Orlando is — it’s in Orlando competing against Disney World (who knows a thing or 2 about branding themselves) Universal Studios and other theme-oriented attractions. Without the ducks, the Peabody would be a very nice, high-end hotel that would be like every other very nice, high-end hotel. With the ducks, now you have your own attraction. Now you have something to talk about. Now you have something your kids might want to see almost as much as Mickey Mouse.

(Now there is another Peabody, complete with ducks, in Atlanta as well. The Atlanta Peabody certainly wouldn’t be in competition with Mickey and company, but I suspect there’s enough other competition with high-end hotels and history that the ducks earn their keep there as well.)

One of the main ways you can successfully market yourself to an affluent clientele is to provide an experience. People like experiences. It gives them something to talk about (or write ezine articles about). And if you wrap an experience inside your brand, you just transformed yourself from a “good” business to something extraordinary. And extraordinary is what gets people to notice, to “take a chance on” if nothing else to witness that experience for themselves.

So, for you, what can you do to create an experience for your clients? And is this something that can be woven into your branding strategy? (And if you can make it unexpected or off-the-wall even better.) Or maybe it was an accident you overlooked at the time — with the ducks Mr. Peabody came back from hunting and was enjoying some Jack Daniels with a friend, when they decided it would be a nifty idea to put the duck decoys in the fountain. Well everyone loved the decoys floating around so now we have actual ducks in the fountain. (See what I mean about how lame that story is? But no matter, the point is they saw an opportunity and seized it — do you have any of those “happy accidents” in your own business you can capitalize on?)

Remember the point of a good brand is to make yourself memorable to your ideal clients. And a great way to make yourself very memorable is to wrap your brand around an experience.

The 8 Must Have Items In Your Duck Hunting Gear

Every duck hunter knows you need to have a lot of duck hunting gear with you when you head out to the blind. The ability to carry all of this gear to and from the duck blind is no easy feat, so it is important to fill a blind bag and have it ready to go. When we compiled the following list, we have taken into account the fact that you already have a duck hunting gun, ammunition and decoys. So, to help you decide what duck hunting equipment is a necessity, we have listed the top eight items every waterfowl hunter should carry.

1. The first order of business and the first item on our list, is a high quality blind bag which can organize all of your gear. This is your primary piece of equipment. My favorite is the Avery Floating Blind Bag. It has enough room to carry everything a waterfowler needs. Not to mention its water repellant construction and buoyancy makes this bag an excellent choice.

2. There is no sense in going hungry while you are in the blind. Snacks and water are the next order of business. What types of snacks isn’t all that important, but items which are individually packed such as trail mix and cereal bars will be protected if, the unfortunate should happen and they get wet. Coffee or water can be taken; finding a thermos which floats is a good idea. Oh, by the way, while you’re at it, don’t forget some snacks for man’s best friend.

3. Many duck hunters head out to the blind in the pre-dawn hours much like their deer hunting counterparts. A ball cap light will help until the sun brightens up the landscape.

4. A jerk cord is a must have item. This is the simplest, yet most effective item to create motion on the water when mother nature doesn’t do it for you.

5. A good set of binoculars should be a given no matter what you are hunting. I would suggest a minimum of 8×42. This should be perfect for spotting the ducks off in the distance.

6. You never know when you will need to mend something or improvise a jerk cord in the field. Having an extra nylon cord is always a good idea. This simple, yet versatile piece of equipment can save you a lot of headaches when you are out at the blind.

7. Duck hunters spend many a cold morning in the blind. Having some hand and foot warmers will make the wait easier to take.

8. Last but definitely not least, a prepared duck hunter should have multiple duck calls to increase his chances of success. Consider having a double reed call, short reed goose call and a whistle call in your arsenal.

Being prepared when heading out to the duck hunting blind will make your duck hunting experience a more enjoyable and hopefully a more successful one. Having this essential duck hunting gear ready before you head out will help to eliminate any stress along the way.