Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Tough Waterfowl Tactics

When things get tough with waterfowl, open up that decoy spread. (DU courtesy photo)

A brushed duck blind with decoys in front of it might solve your waterfowl troubles. (DU photo)

By Steve Hickoff

Okay, your stationary blind is built, or hauled to the spot using your Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side vehicle. Now you’ve got to fool those sky-bound ducks and geese. What if the birds won’t drop in tight, and land outside your decoy spread?

You can move your decoys closer to the blind. 

You can make an open landing area right near the blind by using a fishhook set.

You can put several dekes in close, right on top of you, especially the species you’re imitating with calls.

If the birds are landing to the left side of the blind, you can move your dekes to the right, and vice-versa.

Ask yourself this again: Why are ducks and geese landing outside the spread? 

This can be a scouting issue. Maybe you haven’t logged enough time watching birds move in and out of areas. Flooded timber or fields, pattern your waterfowl. 

Again, creating more pocket space for wary birds to land in can help matters. Sometimes a looser spread, especially early in the season, works. 

If your spread won’t pull in or hold birds, maybe they’ve moved locations. That’s why they call thm migratory. Scout to find the next “X” spot on your list of hunting locations. Pressure can move waterfowl. You have to go with the flow.

Finally, sometimes a small farm pond or elbowed river bend will provide good action. Such little locales might not hold up to heavy pressure, but one morning there could make for a memorable hunt.