Hunting Knob Billed Duck


KNOB-BILLED DUCK (Sarkidiornis melanotos)

Key Characteristics

Knob-billed Duck are one of South Africa’s four largest waterfowl, with males weighing about 2 kg and females about 1.5 kg. The contrasting black of the wings and back with white underside and neck, and the overall large size, are usually sufficient to identify this bird. Conspicuous too is the knob on the bill of the male, which tends to be quite large during breeding season. The speckled head and neck of both genders should confirm identification.


Knob-billed Duck show a preference for temporary pans and seasonal floodplains mainly during the breeding season but may be found in lesser numbers on almost any other inland waters.

The Hunt

These ducks are hunted over decoys from natural and man-made blinds. Morning shoots are generally on cultivated pastures or recently combined maize (corn) and wheat fields. Afternoon shoots are more productive for Yellow-billed duck and usually take place around impoundments. Bag limits are generous and a gun can expect to shoot, depending on the time of the year, between 5 and 10 duck per day. Depending on the time of the year you will encounter, amongst other, the following species: Egyptian & Spurwing Geese, Red-billed Teal, Southern Pochard, White-faced Duck & South African Shelduck. Parties of between 2 and 6 guns can be accommodated. Karoo Wingshooting has waterfowl concessions in excess of 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres).

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