Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Duck Blind Etiquette
By Steve Hickoff
As regular waterfowl seasons wind down around the country, a refresher course in duck blind etiquette might be in order.
You’ve killed the first duck of the morning, but your blind buddies have yet to drop one. Let them take the next shot at cupped and committed birds.
DON’T BE GREEDY
You’ve dropped a good number of birds, but short of the day’s limit. Unload your shotgun. Sit back. Enjoy the gravy time as your buds hunt.
IT’S ALL GOOD
It’s closing time. A sunrise full of ducks and geese moving from roost sites to feeding locations is something to behold. Enjoy it.
Whatever you do, don’t offer a command to a gun dog owned and handled by another guy in the blind. If he asks you to, well that’s different. It’s just bad form to give another waterfowler’s canine orders.
If your bud makes a great shot on a tough bird, tell him. We’re never too old to hear praise about our sometimes shaky shooting skills.
Whatever you do, safety now is as important as when you started the season. Never swing a shotgun’s muzzle past a blind bud, even if it’s unloaded. Double-check your firearm’s safety on a regular basis.
Watch that canine and his direction when gunning near a dog making a retrieve on a downed duck or goose — especially as other birds are working into the spread post-shot. Shoot safely.
Do your share: stake fakes and later collect decoys. Haul gear for everyone. This is teamwork, man. Help load the trailer pulled by your Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side.
COOK IT ALL
When preparing wildfowl, make it a point to use the whole duck or goose if you can. Breast meat is favored by many (and delicious), but cooking the legs for various dishes like soups and stews is also an option, as is parboiling the rest of the bird for meat to pick.
Start shooting more photographs if you haven’t yet this season. The pressure to kill birds is off, and chronicling your time afield for personal reasons should be included in your hunts. In future times, you’ll often care as much about the guys in the photos as the ducks and geese. Save those memories now as the seasons conclude.