American Hunter - December 2012 - 50

Shortly after first light, flocks started
lifting off the roost and heading our way. I
glanced over at Gary then tried to flatten
myself further into the dirt upon seeing
how much he stood out, despite our best
efforts to strategically place decoys around
us. No doubt he thought the same looking
at me. To make matters worse, the prevailing wind forced us to face directly away
from the roost, meaning the geese would
fly directly over us before they could turn
into the wind and drop low enough to
shoot-yet more opportunity to spot us.
Surprisingly, the first flock flew over at
 yards and never veered off course until
about  yards downwind, whereupon
the geese banked hard and locked up,
gliding right at us. Under all those watchful eyes, I was feeling positively exposed,
but hey, maybe they were more focused
on our widely scattered spread. No such
luck, it turned out. At about  yards they
sounded the alarm and backpedaled as
fast as they could. Ditto the next eight
flocks no matter what measures Gary and
I took to fix our hides. Soon it was time
to abandon ship before the flight thinned
out. Pointing to an irrigation ditch about
 yards downwind, Gary opted to hide
there and hope for some pass-shooting.
I decided first to fold up the blinds and
place a few decoys on top to minimize our
human imprint then move to the ditch.
This was my first hunt with Avian-X's
honker decoys, and I wanted to see if the
heavy overcast could be a factor since my
decoys weren't fully flocked.

The next dozen flocks did the same as
the previous ones: They flew straight over
the spread, cupped up and made a sharp
U-turn then flared violently. The difference, this time, was that when the birds
flew past me on the way to another field, I
was able to call one or two geese out of a
flock here and there and bring them within
 yards. They clearly weren't suspicious of
field edges despite heavy hunting pressure
here, and in no time I had my four geese.
Out of curiosity Gary and I decided
to remove our blinds and bags from
the spread to see if that made any difference. Five minutes later a small flock
flew over and dropped into the decoys
without hesitation then another did the

  ❘

same. The decoys were fine. Amazingly,
the folded blinds and shell bags were the
culprits. Even covered with decoys, their
unnatural rectangular shape gave them
away. It was an eye-opening experience
that once again proved that even with the
best decoys set up on the "X," if you're
not well hidden you're doomed to failure.
Here are five ways to reduce your human
imprint and hide from prying eyes.

Special Attention for Blinds

Certain types of fields are exceedingly easy
to hide in, like harvested corn with lots of
cut stalks. But low-cut and uniform-colored fields, like wheat, barley and grazeddown pastures, pose huge challenges. If
you look like a lump that casts an unnatural
shadow, or a color that doesn't match the
field, you're going to stand out.
Fact is, geese have caught on to layout
blinds. They've learned to steer clear of
rectangular shapes and straight lines and
shadows, and they know evenly spaced
mounds in a spread mean danger. That's
why it's critical to spend lots of time stubbling or brushing up your blinds. If they
don't blend in perfectly, their geometric
shape will give you away. And don't
rely on your blind's camo pattern alone,
because flat surfaces will reflect more
light than irregular three-dimensional
ones-another reason you should mud up
your blind at least once a year. To augment
natural vegetation that might be scarce,
zip-tie bunches of raffia or use Avery's
KillerWeed blind kits. With a little spray-

 ❘  .


http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - December 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2012

American Hunter - December 2012 - 1
American Hunter - December 2012 - 2
American Hunter - December 2012 - 3
American Hunter - December 2012 - 4
American Hunter - December 2012 - 5
American Hunter - December 2012 - 6
American Hunter - December 2012 - 7
American Hunter - December 2012 - 8
American Hunter - December 2012 - 9
American Hunter - December 2012 - 10
American Hunter - December 2012 - 11
American Hunter - December 2012 - 12
American Hunter - December 2012 - 13
American Hunter - December 2012 - 14
American Hunter - December 2012 - 15
American Hunter - December 2012 - 16
American Hunter - December 2012 - 17
American Hunter - December 2012 - 18
American Hunter - December 2012 - 19
American Hunter - December 2012 - 20
American Hunter - December 2012 - 21
American Hunter - December 2012 - 22
American Hunter - December 2012 - 23
American Hunter - December 2012 - 24
American Hunter - December 2012 - 25
American Hunter - December 2012 - 26
American Hunter - December 2012 - 27
American Hunter - December 2012 - 28
American Hunter - December 2012 - 29
American Hunter - December 2012 - 30
American Hunter - December 2012 - 31
American Hunter - December 2012 - 32
American Hunter - December 2012 - 33
American Hunter - December 2012 - 34
American Hunter - December 2012 - 35
American Hunter - December 2012 - 36
American Hunter - December 2012 - 37
American Hunter - December 2012 - 38
American Hunter - December 2012 - 39
American Hunter - December 2012 - 40
American Hunter - December 2012 - 41
American Hunter - December 2012 - 42
American Hunter - December 2012 - 43
American Hunter - December 2012 - 44
American Hunter - December 2012 - 45
American Hunter - December 2012 - 46
American Hunter - December 2012 - 47
American Hunter - December 2012 - 48
American Hunter - December 2012 - 49
American Hunter - December 2012 - 50
American Hunter - December 2012 - 51
American Hunter - December 2012 - 52
American Hunter - December 2012 - 53
American Hunter - December 2012 - 54
American Hunter - December 2012 - 55
American Hunter - December 2012 - 56
American Hunter - December 2012 - 57
American Hunter - December 2012 - 58
American Hunter - December 2012 - 59
American Hunter - December 2012 - 60
American Hunter - December 2012 - 61
American Hunter - December 2012 - 62
American Hunter - December 2012 - 63
American Hunter - December 2012 - 64
American Hunter - December 2012 - 65
American Hunter - December 2012 - 66
American Hunter - December 2012 - 67
American Hunter - December 2012 - 68
American Hunter - December 2012 - 69
American Hunter - December 2012 - 70
American Hunter - December 2012 - 71
American Hunter - December 2012 - 72
American Hunter - December 2012 - 73
American Hunter - December 2012 - 74
American Hunter - December 2012 - 75
American Hunter - December 2012 - 76
American Hunter - December 2012 - 77
American Hunter - December 2012 - 78
American Hunter - December 2012 - 79
American Hunter - December 2012 - 80
American Hunter - December 2012 - 81
American Hunter - December 2012 - 82
American Hunter - December 2012 - 83
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 91
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American Hunter - December 2012 - 97
American Hunter - December 2012 - 98
American Hunter - December 2012 - 99
American Hunter - December 2012 - 100
American Hunter - December 2012 - 101
American Hunter - December 2012 - 102
American Hunter - December 2012 - 103
American Hunter - December 2012 - 104
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