Concealment is the key
by Brad Wilson - Guest contributor
Many folks tend to believe that waterfowl hunting doesnt require the concealment that other forms of hunting demand. Contrary to that popular belief, concealment could make or break that once in a lifetime hunt. Following are a few tactics that I use personally that could potentially help you in the field.
Most late season birds that make it down to the Gulf Coast have been shot at, called at, and have seen just about every type of J hook diver line decoy spread that could possibly be thrown at them. They have been what we like to call educated
. Adam already touched on decoy set ups for Field Hunting Mallards
, and he or I one will post a separate in depth blog about decoy placement in the near future, but you do need to understand that your spread can aide in your concealment tremendously.
Whether I am in a blind in a rice field or a boat blind in the salt marsh, one thing I will do is get out while everyone is set up in the blind, walk out about 50 yards and look at the set up. If the blind seems to stick out like a sore thumb or someone is not concealed in the blind, then one of 2 things has to happen:
A) the blind needs to be concealed better within the natural habitat in the field or marsh, or
B) we ditch the blind and opt for natural concealment from grass, tree stumps, or any other natural cover.
On many occasions, I had to trade the comfort for a cypress tree, in order to fool the birds into the spread. Dont be afraid to change your concealment mid-morning if what you are currently doing is not working.
The next misconception is camouflage selection. Many guys think that if their shirt, pants, jacket, waders, socks, and underoos arent all the same pattern, they wont kill ducks. I have guys in my crew that wear anything from the newest stuff to old school camo and hats. Facemasks are another tool that you may want to utilize in certain situations. Your main concern is to have your silhouette broken up. As long as you dont look like one solid color to the bird then you should be fine. Be resourceful once again and use your natural surroundings to help in your concealment.
One thing that I normally see when I step out to survey my hunters is gun barrels. Your number one concern while hunting should be safety, so if someone is out in front of the blind, by all means have your gun barrel pointed up and away from others. While you are in an actual hunting situation, keep your gun barrel pointed out at the decoys, low, and away from everyone else. One thing my guys tend to practice is "no hands on the gun" until you are ready to Cut 'Em and the shot has been called. My personal preference for my Beretta A400 Xtreme
was Max4 camo. One reason was the durability of the coating that Beretta
uses and its ability to resist rust, which is a huge issue on the Gulf Coast. The other reason is the ability that I have to further conceal myself and my tools.
Remember: you can have the fanciest clothing, highest-end custom duck or goose call, and the best looking decoys on the market, but if you arent hidden well, the guy that is will be the one killing the birds. Concealment is 90% of the game so dont hide from it!
Brad Wilson is a guest contributor for the Beretta Blog. He can be reached on Twitter or YouTube. You can also Subscribe here.
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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.