Tips to Stay Hidden While Duck Hunting
Ducks and geese have extremely acute vision, which is used for detecting danger. As a result, those sharp eyes make it difficult for hunters to remain hidden. We will discuss five tips to stay hidden while duck hunting.
- Cover your hands and face.
Waterfowl live high speed aerial lives, and their ability to navigate and remain safe requires keen eyesight. Their vision is adapted to view a more vivid and richer color spectrum than us. Waterfowl hens use this visual acuity to detect the small color differences between adult and juvenile drakes.
If waterfowl can pick up on those miniscule differences, an uncovered face or hands would shine like a spotlight to approaching birds.
- Color coordinate with your surroundings.
The ability of waterfowl to detect minor color differences means you must fashionably match the natural cover. Wearing dark camo in light-colored cover will silhouette you against the natural surroundings. The waterfowl can perceive your outline as a predator.
The need to match the cover is even more important on cloudy days. Cloudy skies produce a flat light with minimal to no shadows and cause color differences and movement to really stand out.
- Playing the shadows.
To duck hunters, shadows can be an advantage and a disadvantage. With the sun shining, natural shadows prevent waterfowl from distinguishing you from the darkness. Whether you hunt in natural cover or permanent blind, use the shadows on a bluebird day.
Natural shadows are beneficial, unless it is a shadow created by a layout blind. A layout blind lying on a flat ground will create an out-of-place blob-like shadow. The unnatural shadow can act like a warning light to ducks or geese. To eliminate this shadow, set your layout blind in a natural depression or dig a shallow bed to hold your blind and reduce its above ground height.
- Stay on guard.
It is important to minimize movement when waterfowl are on approach, but it is equally important when they are flying away. Waterfowl have eyes set on the sides of their head. This eye location prevents binocular vision. The ducks overcome this with side to side head movement. As a result, waterfowl virtually have a 360 degree field of vision. Even when the birds are flying away from you, they can still spot movement in your blind.
- Set up a distraction.
Flat light, limited cover, and other conditions can hinder concealment. When this happens, use movement to your advantage. A strategically placed motion decoy, jerk string, or quiver magnet will draw the attention of approaching birds. Keeping waterfowl eyes off of you can allow shooting opportunities you otherwise may not get.