One of the biggest challenges when waterfowl hunting in fields is proper concealment. This gets even more challenging when the field is clear cut leaving behind little, if any natural coverings for concealment. Well the good news is there are still 16 ways to hide in clear cut fields so you can still bag your limits of ducks and geese.
16 WAYS TO HIDE IN CLEAR CUT FIELDS
1) DIG IN
One of the most effective ways to conceal yourself when hunting in a low cut field is to dig into the dirt to hide a layout blind. A main reason why ducks and geese will flare off when hunting a low cut field is that they see the heightened profile of your layout blind compared to the rest of the field. This bump can make them wary causing them to flare off well before you get a chance to shoot them.
However, if you can dig in a hole to put your blind in this will reduce or eliminate the profile difference from the blind to the dirt. To do this you will need to arrive at your hunting spot early enough and come prepped with a shovel to dig in this hole.
The other consideration with this method is that you will want to get the landowners permission before you dig in any holes. Getting permission to hunt private land can be tricky enough and one sure way to ruin your chances to hunt the field again is digging holes without permission.
Some landowners might not care as long as you fill the holes back in before you leave but it is always best to ask in advance rather than risk losing a prime hunting spot.
2) MUD UP
If you have tried option #1 for digging in your layout blind but the landowner will not allow you to dig a hole then you can use this method and mud up your layout blind. Really this is very simple as all you need to do is get your layout blind very dirty to try and best match the look of the field you are hunting in.
Ideally you will want to use mud from the field you are going to be hunting in to blend in the best. It can be nice to bring a pair of plastic gloves to keep your hands clean during this process. Simply grab mud and dirt from the field and smear it all over your layout blind until it is completely covered.
Now sometimes the field might to dry to effectively mud up your blind so if you know this in advance you could bring a bucket of water to pour on the ground and create your own mud. You can even consider mudding up your blind in advance with garden dirt or other dirt around your home but keep in mind that you are ideally looking for the same color dirt as the field you will be hunting in.
3) BURLAP SACKS / SEED BAGS
This option is very inexpensive and you might even have access to some for free. Burlap sacks and seed bags are typically brown so they make for a great way to blend in with in a clear cut corn field or dirt fields. If you don’t have access to any free burlap sacks you can always buy them for cheap and when I say cheap I mean just a few dollars each. Here is one option I found on Amazon for 4 burlap sacks for $11.
Once you have a few burlap sacks you can use them to hide in a few ways. One way is to simply put your legs inside of the sack and use it to cover your legs while taking another sack and pulling it over your chest to cover your top. You could also cut the sacks along the sides to allow them to open up into more of a square tarp and use it as more of a blanket style to cover your entire body.
Now laying directly on the hard ground might not be the most comfortable way to hunt but it can certainly be very effective because you will have a very low profile which will greatly reduce your chances of being spotted. You might consider laying your head on a balled up camo shirt or on a camo blind bag for a little more comfort for your head.
Get the DecoyPro Ducks App
4) BLACK SPRAY PAINT
Another option you can consider to get your blind to blend in with the dirt field is to use some black spray paint on your layout blind to get it looking closer to a mud color in comparison to the camo color that most layout blinds come in.
However, this option is more of a permanent solution so if you will be hunting mud and dirt fields often then go ahead but if not you should consider something else. Even if you do use black spray paint on your blind I would still recommend also smearing dirt and mud from the field over your blind to get the coloring just right.
5) COLLECT AND COVER
If the landowner will not allow you to dig your blind into the ground then another option to conceal yourself and layout blind is to collect vegetation from nearby and place it all over your blind. For example, if you are hunting a chopped corn field you will likely be able to find several corn stalks around that you can grab and weave within the loops on the side of the blind.
One recommendation I have for this method is to not grab all of the vegetation from right next to your blind but rather walk 20 or more yards away to gather stalks. This is because you do not want to clear out the area around your blind as this can look suspicious to the approaching waterfowl.
Now this is not as ideal when you have a clear cut field because if you don’t do it well it can also make your blind look unnatural. Try and look at any other areas in the field that have some excess left behind crops and mimic their look as best as possible. It might not always be the most ideal option but it can be effective if you take your time.
6) MAKE A STICK BLIND
This idea extends the idea from #6 by using natural coverings nearby to cover up your blind. However, the additional step with this is to actually make the area around your blind look like a brush area skipped by during the harvest.
For example, you can grab a bunch of branches and sticks and shove them in the ground all around your blind. Hopefully some of the branches will even have leaves on them. Then you can take more leaves, grass or corn stalks and drape them all over the branches.
Many fields have several areas where crops were not planted due to low spots or too much vegetation. You are simply trying to recreate this patchy look by using sticks and vegetation all around your blind to blend in.
7) FRAME BLINDS
Over the last few years there have been some manufactures that are making frame blinds for field hunting. One that I have noticed a lot of discussion about recently is the Tanglefree panel blind. Although I have not personally used one I have heard a lot of good feedback from waterfowl hunters that are using them.
Basically these are a slightly angled panel that you set in front and behind you to keep you hidden. They are tan camo color and then like layout blinds they have loops on them where you can weave in natural vegetation from the field such as chopped corn stalks to help it blend in and look like a small row of corn stalks that were missed during harvest.
The huge benefit of these frame blinds is they allow for a much more comfortable hunt compared to most other options for chopped fields. This is because these frame blinds allow you to sit upright rather than laying down on the hard grown so you can bring a chair or stool to sit on.
8) HAY BALES & HAY BALE BLINDS
Hay bales are often found in fields so ducks and geese are going to be used to seeing them and should feel comfortable landing nearby. If there are already hay bales in the field this is a great place to setup next to.
A few options are to sit on the ground with your back against the bale in full camo. Or you could sit on a chair on the side or behind the bale with the decoys on the other side so you are concealed as the birds approach. Finally, if you do have a layout blind, you could the head of the blind up against the bale and use it to blend in with the natural bale look.
A consideration with bales is if there are not any in the field currently you could see if one could be moved into the field. However, if this is a possibility you should try and have this done a day or two in advance of your hunt to give the birds a chance to get used to the bale being there before you head out hunting.
9) BEAVERTAIL BLANKET
A beavertail blanket is essentially a blanket with the top side designed to look like a variety of fields. For example, if you are hunting a chopped corn field there is going to be chopped corn stubble and stalks throughout the field from the harvest. The top of a beavertail blanket will have fake corn stubble and stalks all over the top side to make a natural look.
These beavertail blankets are great because they allow you to keep an extremely low profile which will virtually eliminate the chances of birds spotting you. They are also quick to setup compared to layout blinds and other methods making the work of prepping for your hunt much easier. If you have never seen one before here is a link to a popular style. These beavertail blankets run around $70 or so.
10) CAMO NETTING
Another idea to consider when trying to conceal yourself in a clear cut field is to purchase some camo netting. This is the standard green camo netting that many hunters use for duck blinds or even for turkey hunting.
The great thing about camo netting is that it could be used in two ways. First, you could use it to drape over your layout blind and the second is that you could use it to wrap over yourself and simply lay on the ground without a blind for concealment. Here is the link to one option I found on Amazon with this camo netting in a wide range of sizes and colors.
11) FENCE ROWS
Fence rows make for perfect hiding spots when hunting a chopped or clear cut field. First off they are great because the ducks and geese are going to be used to seeing these fence rows so there will be no issue with them thinking something is not right. Secondly they are great because there is no setup required to make them work. Simply sit in full camo with your back against a fence post and you should be concealed well.
Some of the fence posts might have more tall grass around them so pick those ones to sit in for best concealment. Then you can simply set your decoys about 20 yards out in front of you which should create some nice shooting opportunities as the birds approach.
12) CANVAS PAINTERS DROP CLOTH
If you want an option that should last quite a while than you can consider going with a canvas painters drop cloth. These can often be found at paint stores and even home repair retailers such as Home Depot or Menards for around $30 or so for a size that will work to cover you up.
Most of the canvas painters drop cloths are going to be white but you can sometimes find brown colored ones as well. If you can only get white ones that is ok because you could mud them up and make them brown. Similar to mudding up a layout blind you would get the cloth completely full of mud and dirt to get it blend in with the field you are hunting.
13) CHEAP BROWN BED SHEETS
If you happen to have some old brown colored bed sheets laying around the house you could grab those and use them to either cover your layout blind or lay under them in the field. If you do not have any extra sheets at home they can be purchased cheaply at places like Walmart or even dollar stores for usually around $10.
Now some hunters feel that white bed sheets can have somewhat of a shine to them if they get wet and feel it might impact their effectiveness. To reduce the chances of this happening you can simply dirty them up a little bit in advance to help reduce any of this. Having said that there are also many hunters who swear by this bed sheet method and say they have never had any any issues with birds flaring while using a sheet.
14) BROWN SWEATSHIRTS AND SWEATPANTS
Amongst the easiest options to hunting in the a chopped and clear cut field is to simply buy brown sweatshirts and lay in the field. You can buy hunting branded sweatshirts that are marketed specifically for hunting but you will probably pay a premium just for the logo. Simply try and find a generic brand sweatshirt and you should be able to get it for around $10.
Then you can also buy brown sweatpants to go over your warm camo clothes or simply pull some grass or corn stalks over your warm pants to cover up as best as possible. For a headrest you can use something like your blind bag to help keep your vision towards the approaching waterfowl and to put some ease on your neck.
15) FIELD LINE NATURAL COVER
The next recommendation that I have to be concealed from ducks and geese in clear cut fields is to use the field side natural coverings of your hunting spot. What I mean is that many fields will have some type of taller grass or vegetation that you could hide in rather than being out in the open.
For example, the side of the field you are hunting might have some tall grass that you can sit in and then place your decoy spread out in front of you about 20 yards in the dirt field. This way the direct sight of the approaching ducks or geese is taken off you and directed towards the decoys. In most cases using the natural covering is the most effective way to be sure you are not spotted by wary waterfowl.
16) GHILLIE SUIT
One final option to discuss for hunting geese and ducks in clear cut fields is to use a ghillie suit. If you are not familiar with what ghillie suits are I’ll quickly explain. Basically they are a shirt and pants and even a hat with all sorts of fake leaves and grass covering every inch. Actually, snipers use these in war to keep concealed from the sight of the enemies while in jungles.
With a ghillie suite all you will need to do is lay on the ground near the landing zone and you will look like a bunch of grass to the approaching waterfowl. When they get close enough just sit-up and take your shot. Ghillie suits often start around $40 like this one.
Get the DecoyPro Ducks App