Yamaha Outdoors Tips — New to the Duck Blind?

Enjoy your duck and goose blind time, and don't forget that camera...(Yamaha Outdoors photo)

Enjoy your duck and goose blind time, and don't forget that camera...(Yamaha Outdoors photo)

By Steve Hickoff

Are you new to the duck blind or goose fields this fall season? No worries. What seems like a big mystery of decoys, calls and secret maneuvers is actually only part of the deal – and at times even misleading.


Decoys are so “anatomically correct” these days it’s almost like hunting with real birds in front of your blind. Sure, spreads need to appear right to incoming birds, but again, motorized fakes and full-bodied options make calling less of a priority in some situations.

Insider Tips - Paint schemes and body postures on modern decoys are so good you may even think real birds have landed in your set. Let your spread do the work to pull live birds in.


Calling ducks and geese, as hunting bud Gary Sefton has said to me more than once, is mostly to attract their attention so they can spot your decoys and commit to your setup. Once you’ve done that, relax. Finishing ducks and geese with your soft quacks is cool stuff (TV shows sometimes exaggerate this dimension), but let’s not overrate the whole deal.

INSIDER TIP – Ducks and geese sometimes get “call shy” because they see late movement in the blind. Give that stuff a rest at times.


Want to measure a certain degree of a waterfowler’s commitment? Look at their lanyard bands. Some earned them with memorable ducks and geese, for sure. Every band has a back story. Bands of course provide important management information for tracking migration patterns. Ducks and geese are banded in one location and often taken in another – sometimes in different flyways and so forth.

INSIDER TIP – The dedication of a waterfowler isn’t always in the jingling jewelry around their neck though. Some bands can be mail ordered or even come with a new call purchase.


If you find yourself in a duck or goose camp with a lot of veterans, do two things: (1) Listen to what everyone has to say in their enthusiastic conversations about decoys, calling and even bands around their necks. (2) Ask questions when the time is right. Lots of them. It’s how you’ll learn. 

INSIDER TIP – It’s okay you don’t know the answers to everything in the waterfowling world. There was a time hardcore hunters didn’t either. In fact, they don’t know everything now. Nobody does. That’s the fun of it.