Waterfowl Layout Blind Prep | Science or Superstition? Justin Welker, Professional Waterfowl, Wildlife, and Fisheries Expert Has anyone ever seen their wife buy a brand new $300 purse? Likely yes, if you’ve been married long enough. Has anyone ever seen their wife buy a $300 purse, cover it in mud, put corn stalks on it, and put a white cover on it when it snows? Of course not, everyone known NO WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY! Oh, plus she wouldn’t ever think about doing that! The die-hard waterfowler is a rare bread and most of them have certain superstitions. They practice these superstitions religiously, some not sure even why, they just do. One thing that I always make sure to do is “mud-up” any new layout blind or gear that I will be taking into the open. Yes, I cover brand new things in mud! What does “mudding” entail? Basically it is just what it sounds like, taking a 5 gallon bucket of mud and a brush, and spreading it all over your blind or bag. What does mudding do for a hunter? First thing it does is takes the shine off the waterproofing that is put on to protect the blind. It also helps the blind blend in with the surrounding area. If you were able to see a brand new blind from the air, it would look bright and shiny. I have not seen too many fields that appear bright and shiny. The best part is this mudding process does not hurt the waterproofing or functionality of the blind. I have hunted with people in the past that did not come with their blind mudded. I’m not going to tell them what to do with their blinds, but every time they turn their back in the morning, you better believe I am throwing dirt all over it. Does it make a difference? If you cover the blind very well each hunt with natural material, you may kill just as many geese as the next guy, but what it does for me is add confidence. If geese flare coming in and there is a blind that was not mudded, that’s the first thing I blame. Geese and Ducks use their eyesight to sense danger, rather than smell or hearing. If geese could smell, none of us would ever kill any! So here is the process shown on a new Hard Core Run N Gunner. This is a great blind for those quick hunts before work, or for the hunts that are 3 miles back in the swamp. This blind doubles as a decoy bag to help get your gear to and from your spot. Brand new out of the box, this blind looks clean and shiny. The process is simple, cover the entire blind in mud. On the Hard Core Run N Gunner blind you do not have to mud the inside but, if you use a blind such as the Hard Core Man Cave then cover the insides of the doors. I even cover the mesh portion of the blind in mud, some guys don’t do this because they don’t like the dust in their eyes. Leave the blind outside to dry, shake the excess dust and dirt off, and its ready to hunt. When you get to the field, cover the blind in corn stalks, or other natural foliage and you’re ready to kill. If the birds flare…blame it on your buddy wearing the bright orange hat! Justin Welker has a degree in wildlife and fisheries, waterfowl expert, and avid hunter from Pennsylvania. He manages thousands of acres for better habitat and hunting, and when not helping others on their property, he’s out in the marshes and fields of the Northeast.