Yamaha Outdoors Tip of the Week - Ten Blind-Building Tips for ATV and Side-by-Side Waterfowlers
By Steve Hickoff
Tip 1: Take your blind building and placement seriously. Don’t mail it in, but plan it. Make a sketch. Think like an artist. You are trying to get this blind to fit into the natural landscape.
Tip 2: Take the equipment you need on the back of your ATV or Side-by-Side (SxS), from hammers to handsaws to natural materials from the nearby habitat. Seek landowner permission as always, checking legal state regulations as well. Make return trips during the pre-season.
Tip 3: Match the terrain, bro’. Ever hear of matching the hatch in fly-fishing? It’s the same deal in blind building—sort of. Use natural and manmade camouflage material to do the job. Realism is the key. Don’t put birch branches where there are none.
Tip 4: Testing, one, two, three. Hunting buddies love to joke with each other. Take yours along. Better yet ride there on your four-wheelers, and ask them this once you arrive where your hideaway has been built: “Can you guys find the blind?” Do it from a good distance to simulate what ducks or geese would see—helicopters optional.
Tip 5: 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.
Tip 6: 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.
Tip 7: Okay, is your blind built after a few ATV or SxS runs? Now you’ve got to fool those sky-bound ducks and geese during the season. What if the quackers and honkers won’t drop in tight, and choose to land outside your spread? You’ve got to tighten that blind up. Move decoys closer, and make your pocket right next to the blind using a hook-type set.
Tip 8: Tote your decoys to the blind on the back of your SxS or ATV. Put several duck species in close, especially those you’re specifically hunting and imitating—no brainer, right? Mix in goose dekes. Ducks can then reference the decoys tight to the blind when you call. Also, if ducks are lighting to the left side of the blind, you can move the decoys to the right side, and vice versa.
Tip 9: What if your blind spots won’t hold waterfowl? Find an out-of-the way location nearby, maybe a place where ducks and geese take refuge due to hunting pressure. Sometimes a small beaver dam water or farm pond is the answer.
Tip 10: Your four Yamaha wheels will help you check out new places during blind scouting efforts, and you’ll have fun four-wheeling in the process. Get out there whenever you can.