July 08, 2015
If you want to kill more ducks and geese on your field layout hunts then you need to make sure you're adequately concealed; you must be invisible to incoming birds.
Here are the five best ways to do just that:
If you're hunting in a corn stubble field, what better way to disappear than to become part of the cornfield?
Pretty much all layout blinds these days come with stubble straps. These straps allow you to cover the outside of your blind with any vegetation you want.
So the best thing you can do when you're setting up is to round up stubble or stalks or whatever vegetation is around you and stuff it into your stubble straps. Don't skimp. Don't leave holes.
If your layout doesn't have stubble straps, then bury it as best you can by piling stalks, grass or whatever on top of it.
One of the giveaways that lets ducks and geese pick out layout blinds in a field is the bump. The birds are looking at this otherwise flat field, but then they see this row of bumps.
After surviving a few encounters where those bumps erupt in gunfire, the birds become wary of them. Take a shovel on your next hunt and dig into the field beneath your blind — only with landowner approval, of course — to sink it lower.
Mud It Up
There's nothing prettier than a brand new layout blind. The camo looks sharp and clean.
Unfortunately, it's also going to have a little bit of shine to it. You might not think of fabric as being shiny, but it can be — especially fabric that's designed to repel water.
So one of the first things you should consider when you bring that handsome, new layout blind home is rubbing mud all over it. The mud should dull any shine your blind might have. As you hunt from the blind over time, and rain and repeated use clean it off, give your hideout periodic new shots of mud to keep it dull.
We Americans like big houses, big trucks, big tree stands. There's no doubt big layout blinds are comfortable, especially on cold days when you have to bundle up to stay warm.
But that big blind can be tough to get to disappear. Try switching to a smaller blind if you're hunting birds that seem particularly wary.
Smaller blinds have a lower profile and less bulk. Basically there's less material and frame to stand out.
The natural place to set your blinds is in the decoys, with the wind at your back. Doing so means incoming ducks and geese will be setting up to land right in front of your shotguns.
That presents super shooting opportunities. It also means the birds are looking straight at your blinds, giving them every opportunity to spot danger and bail.
Shift your blinds to one side or the other, so the birds descend on your spread moving from left to right or vice versa. Now they won't be looking dead at you when they hit the hole.