By Bill Mays
When it comes to waterfowl hunting for ducks or geese from a blind, considering profile height and matching the surrounding cover is the difference between success and failure.
Call it the hunting version of matching the hatch.
Let's take the example of rice field hunting. When installing a blind, it’s very important to stay with the cover height of the rice check.
If the blind is a sunken tank on top of the rice check, build the blocker fences that cover that black hole the same height as the Johnson grass.
If the cover is cut low, the blocker fences or blind covers must not go any higher than the natural cover.
When I’m hunting a rice check that has tall Johnson grass my blind covers are raised up and the Johnson grass cut long to match the rest of the natural cover.
After the grass is cut from the far ends of the rice check, it is then zip tied to the blind covers. On my way to the blind each hunt, I always cut an armful of new grass to add to the blind covers.
The next match-the-hatch trick is to take a gas-operated Weedeater and go no farther than 40 yards down the check in each direction and cut some holes in the tall Johnson grass.
The reason you cut holes in the Johnson grass shows is apparent later in the season. As the dog(s) retrieve the ducks and geese around the blind, they knock down the grass, making the blind stand out like a fort.With holes and gaps already cut in the grass all down the check, the blind blends in.
Once holes are cut in the rice check, I then put check duck decoys on a stand that raises the decoy up from the grass. This gives the ducks in the air a good look at the resting ducks on the check.
Use old sinker decoys, mostly male ducks with a lot of color for attraction. I like to use a lot of sprig check decoys for the white color. White will always stand out better and the ducks will pick that color out faster. Gibson makes a decoy check stand that is very inexpensive and is safe for the hunter and the dog.
Resting decoys on the check is a surefire way to attract more ducks. Combine that with a proper blind profile height and cover that matches the natural growth, and you will not only match the hatch, you'll exceed your usual harvest numbers!
Bill Mays is an outdoor writer from Northern California. To find out more about Bill, go to his Southwind Enterprises website.