Staying Hidden from Keen Eyes Above

The Art of Maximum Duck Hunting Concealment Quick question for you. Can you think of a single thing you do (or don’t do) that’s responsible for more wasted duck hunting trips and waterfowl excursions than anything else? No, it’s not using the wrong duck calls or even inviting your loud mouth friend from down the street (although that’s probably not helping you either). The number one problem you’re likely to encounter at some point is beating the keen and perceptive eyes from above. Waterfowl species of all kinds have some truly remarkable vision, and can pick out small details from the landscape. One object that doesn’t belong can be red-flagged and send a flock along to the next lake or water source they can find. This is especially true in the late season. By that point, ducks and geese have been shot at from nearly every possible natural (or not so natural) looking bush or grass clump they encounter. These surviving ducks are going to be very wary and have little tolerance for things that don’t blend in seamlessly with the surrounding habitat. So how can you fool the waterfowl you love to chase? Follow these simple concealment steps for maximum effectiveness, more limits, and fuller freezers. First, you need to start with a solid base blind, or you’ll have a more difficult time of hiding your full hunter profile from the ducks or geese overhead. Sometimes a full permanent blind is exactly what you need for a full day of comfortable hunting. But the ducks don’t always like to cooperate with that one fixed location, meaning you need some portability. The Hard Core Deluxe Man Cave blind can blend into any environment with the right accessories. It’s extremely easily portable versus building a permanent duck blind, and you’ll still stay very comfortable in it. In addition, it features mounts for duck decoys or goose decoys to be placed overhead to distract them and fully hide your profile. Duck Hunting Concealment | Hard Core Brands Now that you’ve got your portable layout blind, the next step is to dig it into the ground a little if possible. It might seem crazy, but it will help disguise your profile even further. This is especially important in a flat agricultural field, as a row of bumps in an otherwise flat field will really stand out from above. Ideally, your blind will be just as flat as the rest of the field. You don’t have to go overboard with this either – just a few inches can make a big difference. This is also something you’d want to do well ahead of time, so there isn’t fresh black dirt sticking out like a big warning sign on an otherwise dull soil tone. If the area you’re hunting has many hills and uneven terrain, then you can obviously skip this step. Before heading out into the field with your brand new blind, you need to get a little dirty first. New materials, no matter what the camouflage pattern, will have a little bit of a shine to them when the sun reflects off of it. At least until the sun bleaches it a little or it gets covered up. Want a sneaky solution? Rub some dirt and mud over the blind material and let it dry. After it’s crumbly, use your hands to flake the mud off. It will leave a dull residue behind that will remove the shine and help in your maximum concealment efforts. Don’t worry – it won’t completely hide your camouflage pattern, and it will just let everything disappear further once you add accessory pieces. If you still don’t like it, you can always just spray it down with a hose until it’s clean. Next, you’ll want to work on blending your duck or goose blind into the surrounding environment as much as possible. You should use natural materials from the field or swale you’re hunting in if available, as this will provide the most realistic camouflage for blending right in. Grab some corn stalks or reed grass and hook them into your blind loops. If you’re hunting a pretty clean field, use additional materials sparingly and maybe even toss some of the surrounding dirt onto your blind. You want to look like any other spot on the field. But sometimes there’s just not enough natural material available to really brush your blind in. In this case, you need to bring a material with you that will blend in perfectly. Hard Core has several options to cover your blind. Consider the Blind Grass Winter Wheat/Alfalfa for fairly green fields early in the season. If you’re hunting later in the season, or you need something a little more yellow in tone, try the Blind Grass Wheat/Barley for excellent concealment. Hard Core Brands Concealment The next step in the concealment process is your actual setup. Often, duck and goose hunters will set their blinds up with the wind to their backs, and surround themselves with decoys with the kill zone in front of them. It makes sense at first glance. But this setup also forces whatever species of waterfowl to stare right at your blind as they enter for a landing, and anything that sticks out will be that much more apparent. Save the front kill zone approach for early season birds that won’t be so educated and wary yet. Instead, set your blinds up on a crosswind with the decoys off to your dominant side. That way, the ducks will enter your setup looking at the decoys in front of them and not directly at you. This is a little trickier if you have a mixed party of right- and left-handed shooters, as it favors one style of shooting or another. But it’s a great method to entice nervous late season birds into shooting range. Waterfowl Concealment | Hard Core Brands If you’re doing all these things and still getting busted by birds, you need to pause and take a step back. Literally. Step back a hundred yards and slowly move in towards your set. Can you notice anything that stands out from the rest of the field or slough you’re in? You could even use a drone with a camera to check things out from above. If you don’t own one, borrow your kid’s. It might seem extreme, but you can learn more from using an aerial view of your set than anything else you could possibly employ. That also means you could succeed with many times more birds than you would otherwise, so why not be extreme? Using these concealment tips and the best equipment on the market, you’ll find great success with ducks, geese, or whatever else you’re hunting.