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spivak

what do and don't the ducks see?

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Sitting in my canoe, looking across the lake at the other duck hunters, really makes me wonder about what the ducks see and what we do to camouflage ourselves. On opening morning I watched a couple of guys motor by in high end camo and, once they were in their spot, proceed to paint their faces in the best of waterfowling tradition. Yet with the sun on their faces they were as pink and as bright as new erasers. I could watch their heads move and then turtle down as ducks flew by. Still they shot a few birds.

Are any of us really get surprised when someone shoots from a nook and we say "whoa, I didn't know anyone was over there!"? It seems it isn't much beyond second nature to recognize all the groups of hunters on a particular body of water. Hunters inevitably appear as dark blobs amongst the lighter reeds. I expect it really all comes down to movement and no camouflage in the world is going to hide that. It seems the successful hunters I know--whether it is deer, pheasants, waterfowl--are successful in spite of their equipment, not because of it.

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I know that I, along with most others have a bad habit. When there's a lul and you're standing up checking out the skies, what do you do when you spot a duck closing fast? You drop to the floor, or at least I do. It's almost impossible to not do that but you know they see it every time! If a guy was to move slowly down, even in bad camo, I think it would make a world of difference.

It's a hard habit to break. But yeah, you could pick out every hunter in a slough, even from water level. Imagine how easily you could from the air!

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Movement has to be the #1 deal-breaker no matter the camo. Reflections off guns and boats right behind that.

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movement is everyones worst enemy. i hate getting busted and dive down in the boat wish i would learn to just stsy still!

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yea I think its the most important thing even more than decoy placement if they see you they arent going to wanna look down there they will just keep flying!

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Depends on the bird too. Mallards and geese, face nets and camo make a big difference, along with the biggie movement -ANY movement. Divers, we rarely wear facemasks unless out in open on the bog, and a buddy even wore a red coverall suit back in the old days, never mattered, but there were tons of duck back then too.

But you sure can tell the exact moment when those mallards or geese "make you" by their head movement and wing beats, hehe.

I also think hunters think too much about side camo (our view from the water/ground level, and not enough from the overhead view, like a higher flying duck would see. Think about you boat, that coke bottle, the shiny thermos, the bag of powder sugar donuts smile A blind that covers much from the top, or at least some good camo sheets or camo paint and hid items makes a big difference I think.

Also, I saw the difference in a layout blind that was new and one that was muddied up and vegged up good - what a difference. I rolled mine in mud last time out, that thick NoDak mud, and it is now much better.

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its hard to keeep the top down when its so dead, my blind is 90% closed when its a hot n heavy day but other slow days I keep it open and always get busted some day I will learn. I hope!

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this year on opener before we should shoot we had 3 teal come right into the decoys. we did not move and we were standing in plan sight. The only way they saw us was our face or hands then they busted us. but we stood there and they did not even see us. the other thing i do is. I put alot of cattails between me and the decoys. I have missed duck when I was shooting them because of too much cover.

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sit in a layout blind for spring snows and you will learn in a hurry the importance of making sure your blind outline is broken up into irregular shapes. those smart beastards will pick out your blinds and bail so fast if your lazy its unbelievable.

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