Yamaha Outdoors Tip of the Week - Off-Season Waterfowl Blind Building
by Steve Hickoff
You have land and water to waterfowl hunt. Secure success by building blinds now.
LET’S GET SERIOUS: Take your blind building and placement seriously. Don’t mail it in, but plan it. Make a sketch. Think like an artist. You’re trying to get this blind to fit into the natural landscape. It’s fun, and buddies can even get involved in the planning.
HAUL IT IN, OUT: From hammers to handsaws to natural blow-down materials from the nearby habitat, you can haul it all there in the back of your Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side vehicle. Seek landowner permission as always, checking legal state regulations as well. Make return trips during the pre-season. It’ll keep you in the game until you’re out there hunting.
THINK INVISIBLE: Some guys actually dig out an area for their blind and insert fiberglass pits. Down there in the marsh and mud, they’re looking up, with only their heads exposed—and only at the shot. It’s a good trick. Again, check to see if your state allows this. The trick of deception knows no boundaries, law willing.
LESS IS MORE: Other times, less is more in some cases, so avoid making your blind stand out by working on it too much! Find another spot someplace else as a backup. It doesn’t hurt to have many different blind options to keep shooting fresh during the season to come.
KEEP IT REAL: Realism is the key. Ever hear of matching the hatch in fly-fishing? Of course you have. It’s the same deal in blind building—sort of. Use natural and manmade camouflage material to do the job. Don’t put birch branches where there are none. One of the coolest blinds I ever gunned out of was on New Hampshire’s Great Bay where a landowner had granted me permission. That hide consisted entirely of rocks. I’ve also hunted mud and stick blinds, and some that looked like lodges with cooking facilities.
CHECK IT OUT: Does it look right, this off-season, just-built blind? Will it stand the test of wary eyes come opening day? Check it out now from different perspectives. Ride there with a buddy or two on your four-wheelers, and ask them (if they haven’t been involved in the construction process): “Can you guys find the blind?” View it from a good distance to simulate what ducks or geese would see—helicopters optional.
Scout new places during blind-making efforts, and have fun four-wheeling in the process. Get out there whenever you can.