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Increasing Your Odds for More Geese

Hunting partner, Roger Lydeen, is holding proof that concealment leads to success.

Fall is definitely my favorite time of the year. I love the cool evenings and fresh mornings. I enjoy the gradual transformation of the world from summer green to colorful fall. I also greatly appreciate the hunting opportunities that coincide with the change of seasons.

 Of all the types of hunting I do, Canada goose hunting is my favorite. There is something about working these birds over decoys that never ceases to give me a thrill. Not surprisingly, I am not the only one that enjoys this sport. I find more and more hunters are learning the pleasures of chasing geese.

 With the increased pressure on our Canada goose population, birds get wary in a hurry. They quickly learn what decoy spreads are all about which requires extra effort by hunters to continually harvest birds.

 If there is one thing I have learned about hunting pressured birds, it is the need for total concealment. Several companies make excellent decoys that look very realistic, but without a system for hiding the hunters, quality decoys go to waste.

For many years I have utilized layout blinds as the basis for concealment. Because of their higher profile, they are not as good as pits but are the only option I have on the land I hunt.

 The biggest problem in hunting from layout blinds does not come from the profile but from the inability to blend in with the surroundings a person is hunting. I may be in wheat stubble one day, chisel plowed corn the next and alfalfa after that. Plugging all of the loops with the proper vegetation to match the surroundings is time consuming.

 Several years ago I started utilizing a different system for concealing layout blinds. I needed something that was versatile and changeable to fit the various hunting environments I frequented. The materials I started to use are called raffia grass and Killer Weed.

 Raffia grass, which is available at most craft stores, comes in a very neutral color that blends well with wheat or corn stubble. It can be dyed or spray painted to match other surroundings. It can also be rubbed in mud to dull its color. Killer Weed comes in several different coloration patterns that fit most situations.

 The process I use for bundling and attaching these tough grasses is simple. First, I cut the grass into lengths of 18-24 inches. After that, I use a zip tie to bundle the clump together. I attach a clip onto the zip tie so I have a simple means of fastening the bundle to the layout blind.

 By utilizing this simple system, it is possible to change out the color pattern on the blind to better match the hunting conditions. If I am in alfalfa, I add more green. If I am hunting soybean stubble, I take out the green and add brown.

 Even though I start the hunt with a well covered blind, I still try to mix in some of the natural vegetation  found in the field. However, with the bulk of the camo covering done before I start the hunt, I need less time in the field to put the final touches on the blind.

Killer Weed is a simple way to greatly greatly improve concealment.

 In addition to improving my concealment, I also believe flagging and calling are vital to continued success. I run one flag on a 15 foot telescoping pole and another on a short pole. The long pole is used to garner attention from a long ways off where the short pole works well when the birds are in close.

 As for calling and calls, one does not have to be a champion caller to entice birds. However, the vocalizations that are made must be realistic. Utilizing quality calls such as Calef and Feather Duster (available at http://barrelsup.com) will help the process. Remember, learning to blow a short reed call is like learning to play a musical instrument. Practice, practice, practice.

Canada goose hunting will continue to be a very popular sport well into the future. Having excellent concealment is one of the most critical aspects of success. Flagging and calling also add further realism to your set.

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February 22, 2011 - Posted by | Hunting

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