By Steve Hickoff
Okay, you’ve got a boat blind, field blind or marsh blind system. You’ll be hunting a proven location. The ducks and geese are moving. You need some of that action—and now. These gear items will help you close the deal:
DECOYS: We’ve never had more decoy options, from full bodies for fields to floaters for water; even spinning-wing motorized mallards, wing socks and light shell, easy-to-stack types. Can’t afford many full bodies? Round out the spread with more inexpensive fakes.
MOTION STAKES: Let the morning breeze do some of the work. Steel springs on these stiff stakes create lifelike motion in your full bodies and shell decoys. This little extra can turn birds your way and pull them in. They’re easy to stash, fairly inexpensive and worth the investment.
FLAGS: Add even more motion to your goose spread by flagging. This trick involves realistic bird images on a long handle. You wave and flap it as geese move at a distance in an effort to catch their attention and draw them in. You can also turn departing birds with flapping sounds.
DECOY BAGS: Slotted bags protect your investment. Floating bags allow you to set fakes with more ease. Mesh bags can be carried on your back like the others and hold a lot of decoys when budget is a factor. Most can carry your fakes, motion stakes and flags in one effort.
CALLS: Some argue that a good location and realistic spread of decoys are all you need for a successful hunt. That’s sometimes true—calling waterfowl doesn’t always matter. Then again, it’s clear at times single honkers and small groups (as with ducks) can be pulled in vocally.
BINOCULARS: Other than having ducks and geese dropping down on your spread, there’s no better way to identify waterfowl species than by glassing distance birds in flight or at rest.
HAULING IT: Your decoys, motion stakes and flags are all stashed neatly (or not so tightly) in several decoy bags. You and several buddies could do the long walk in with that stuff on your back. We all do that. Better yet, with calls and binoculars hanging around your neck, and helmet on your head, why not haul it all out to your blind on a Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side?