Nov 30, 2016 - There’s really nothing worse than spending the time to get your War Eagle Boat to that perfect hunting spot, setting up your blind and waiting patiently in the chilly predawn hunt to leave unsatisfied and trophyless. Recently, Wade Bourne interviewed veteran hunters on concealment tips when hunting pesky waterfowl. Here is War Eagle Boats own president Mike Ward on using boat blinds and natural cover.
Boat blinds allow waterfowlers to hunt effectively over water. These crafty vessels also give hunters the mobility to follow ducks as they shift from one area to another. "We hunt a lot in flooded timber, and if the water is too deep to stand in, we'll use a boat blind," says Mike Ward, president of War Eagle Boats in Monticello, Arkansas. "We'll also use a boat blind when we find ducks working a buckbrush pond or the backwaters of a flooded river. The boat not only gets us to where the birds want to be, but also hides us when we get there."
Ward runs and guns in 16- and 17-foot War Eagle johnboats outfitted with Banded's Axe portable blind. "I like this blind because it doesn't stretch the full length of the boat," he says. "Both ends taper down when you pull the camo net over the bow and stern. This presents a more rounded profile, like a beaver hut. I always try to break up any straight lines on my boat blind."
Boat-blind hunters don't have to rely solely on artificial camouflage. "When it's feasible, we always try to set up with the sun at our back," Ward says. "In timber, we'll nestle the boat in some trees so we're in the shadows. Shade is always great natural camouflage. It will help you blend in anywhere."
When hunting in buckbrush or weeds, Ward will shove the boat back into the cover. "We want the boat to look like a bump in the cover. Again, we'd rather be a beaver hut than a box," he says.
Once their boat blind is positioned, Ward and his partners typically cut weeds, vines, and other onsite vegetation. They add this material to the blind to help it blend into the surroundings. Ward also carries a small piece of camo netting to drape over the boat motor. "The whole idea is to go for a soft look," he says. "Again, we cover all the straight lines and hard shapes and try to look as natural as possible. Then we keep our heads down and hold still when ducks are overhead."
Here is the full article and more tips on concealment.