Western Hunting Journal, Premiere Issue whj001_premiere - Page 80

TECHNIQUE photo Pictured here are several examples of blinds that are well placed and built correctly. erything else. Decoys and call- ing can draw geese to where you need them most of the time, and we will cover those techniques in future articles. Nearly all field seams or edg- es have at least a few clumps of taller grass. If there are fence posts, or an irrigation head, so much the better. You can build your hide starting at this foun- dation by bringing in larger clumps of grass. The key is to not over-build. You could build a giant clump that would hide your blinds perfectly, but now it’s a giant clump of grass that casts a huge shadow. Take ad- 78 WESTERN HUNTING JOURNAL vantage of lowering your blind fronts and add just enough clumps and cover to make it look like there are just a few taller clumps at this location. Don’t add much to your blind. Instead, add more beside your blind and taper the clumps to the sides up to 30 feet beyond the sides of the blinds. HIDING THE FRONT EDGE AND all four corners of your blind is just as important as cover- ing the black hole where your head lays. A sharp spade shovel is your most important tool for great hides. In a pasture, I use it to cut an envelope that the front of my blind can slip into and dis- appear. After the hunt, as you pull the blind out, it lays right back in place without causing any damage. When building your hide in a spot with lean cover, such as a single post and a couple clumps of taller grass, you might not have the luxury or angling your blind. To make a smaller footprint, and to keep your blind lines consistent with the geometry of the field, you may have to face your blind di- rectly toward the field or even at a 90-degree angle. If there are literally no posts, or taller clumps, or anything sticking up higher than the surrounding area, you are still better off the “create” this type of area from scratch, rather than just laying grassed lay- out blinds down in a flat field. Once again, we will want to do this at any kind of field seam: crop changes, directional crop row changes, color changes of any kind. Geese know that lay- out blinds in plain sight equals the boogieman. Just a small amount of cover can effective- ly conceal a group of blinds, so make that cover yourself. Pound in a few fence posts, bring in some clumps of grass and scatter them over a 30-yard width, but in a straight line, like a fencerow. Many farmers put white buckets over irrigation heads. Or white PVC on any- thing they don’t want ran over with a tractor. Bring your own posts and buckets; anything that creates a break and looks natural. We joke that no goose is going to believe a hunter would purposely place a white bucket next to him, which is why it works so well. Creating a rough edge out of nothing can be done the morn- ing of the hunt, but if you have a few fields that you love to hunt and have marginal cover, go create these areas ahead of time. The longer the birds have to get comfortable with them, the better. Most of the time you are still best off to have some space between blinds. This just looks