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Waterfowl Blinds: A Natural Cover


For a waterfowl blind “natural cover” is still preferred. First and foremost a natural cover is “natural”. Whether as a hunter you are in hiding in cattails along marsh edges, in willow clumps surrounding potholes, behind grasses in flooded timber or in the tall grass along slough margin its all for the same purposes in waterfowl hunting. On the other hand if there is a suitable natural cover available – a convenient place to put a bucket on which to sit and adequate shooting lanes, you may well not even have to erect that hunting blind.

Today’s commercial production line blinds come in more than several formats. Popular among goose hunters across Canada are so called “goose chairs” , a one man blind that is little more than a modified reclining lawn chair over which a super sized goose shell is hinged. To the birds these waterfowl or specifically goose blinds these look just like the rest of the decoys in your spread. The hunter sits back in the chair and with the goose shell pulled down over his body, and then peers through narrows slits in the shell to watch for the birds. When thee birds are in range the hunter just flips the shell back over his head to shoot. These chairs can be quite effective though somewhat awkward to shoot from, particularly for older hunters who may find it difficult to complete the sit=up required before shooting.

Relatively newer are waterfowl hunting blinds that are little more than modified versions of modern backpacking tents. These consist of camouflaged nylon covers available in a variety of patterns stretched over shock corded aluminum frames. They are easy to erect, light and highly mobile. Depending on their manufacture the can have a number of removable panels or openings through which the hunters shoot. These same blinds can be most effective in fooling those smart birds. On the other side they are somewhat confining and are definitely not for the claustrophobic.

If you are in search of diving ducks including canvasbacks, greater and lesser scaup and redheads, it is best to locate dense beds of submerged food plants such as sago pondweed or celery. This can be difficult if you are not out on the water, but watching for these birds from shore often reveals clues in their preferred feeding sites. If you cannot locate feeding areas opt for points of land that extend well into the lake. These are good spots from which to decoy divers flying between their roosting or loading sites and prime feeding areas.

Lastly there is one of the most effective blind styles available that is generally referred to as the “coffin blind” Though this design has been part of the duck hunter’s world for years, and is the basis for the sneak boat and similar hunting styles, it is only now with the introduction of commercial upland versions of this coffin blind into the marketplace. As the name suggests this type of waterfowl and duck blind has a very low profile replicating the look of a coffin. Based upon the same lightweight frame over which the camouflaged nylon is attached, it features two full length top loading doors that swing open to allow the hunter to swing open and shoot. Coffin blinds have lounge chair like suspension systems within them that allow the hunter’s head to be somewhat inclined. They are actually quite comfortable to lie in, even for extended periods. Pile in a little natural cover around a coffin blind and it virtually disappears, especially from the perspectives of an incoming duck or geese.

What is amazing is the level of camouflage that these professional duck and waterfowl blinds create. The hunter can be virtually impervious and oblivious to the waterfowl around him. That is the whole point of the waterfowl blind to the hunter is it not ?

In Blinds

Author:Hailey Swanson

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