Hunting ducks and geese from the shoreline can be one of the most effective ways to bag your limit. However, to be successful it is critical to be concealed well from the sight of approaching ducks and geese. Here are 23 ways to hide when hunting from the shore.
23 WAYS TO HIDE WHEN HUNTING FROM THE SHORE
1) OFFSET DECOY SPREAD
One tactic that is often forgotten when trying to conceal yourself from the sight of approaching ducks and geese is using an offset decoy spread. Most hunters setup their decoy spread so that the birds will land directly into the spot where they are hunting from. They place themselves at the base of a spread such as a “U” shape.
This can be a ton of fun because the birds will be right in front of you when you are taking your shots. However, the downside is that the birds will also be looking in your direction as the prepare to land. This increases the chances of them noticing anything out of the ordinary.
With an offset decoy spread you intentionally place your decoys so they finish crossing in front of you, either from left to right or from right to left. Think of it like tilting the “U” spread 90 degrees to the right. This way you are sitting off to the side and the birds will be focused at an area you are not sitting so the chances of you being seen are decreased.
Additionally, it can be a lot of fun to try a different shooting style as they pass across you rather then head on. You get a long shooting opportunity as the ducks and geese pass in front of you.
2) TREE LINE
A common way that many duck hunters use to conceal with minimal effort is sitting underneath a tree line. My favorite hunting pond has a tree line that borders it while the other 3 sides of the pond are open. I simply sit with my back to one of the trees and place the decoys in front of me in the pond. Regardless of what direction the ducks come from they never have a chance to see me before it is already too late.
3) LAYOUT BLINDS
Layout blinds are extremely effective for field hunting ducks and geese but many hunters forget about using them when hunting shorelines. The great thing about layout blinds is that most are designed with loops on the sides so you can weave in whatever type of vegetation you find nearby to create a natural look. Tall grass, leaves and branches are just a few of the items you can find along the shoreline to get covered up well.
Get the DecoyPro Ducks App
4) MARSH STOOL
Marsh stools are a good tool for duck hunters that makes hunting shorelines simple. Basically a marsh stool is a padded seat that has a 4 or 5 foot stake mounted to the bottom of it. You shove the stake into the mud and then sit on the seat.
Marsh stools are work well because you can find a spot where there is natural cover to sit in like tall weeds and use that cover to remain out of sight. When using a marsh stool you will likely want to have waders on because when you sit you will often be up to your waist in water.
5) BUILD A BRUSH BLIND
Using the natural coverings nearby to build a blind can be very effective. For example, you can grab a bunch of branches and sticks and shove them in the ground all around you on the shoreline. Hopefully some of the branches will even have leaves on them.
Then you can take more leaves and grass and drape them all over the branches. With this technique you are simply trying to recreate a patch of trees or brush look by using sticks and vegetation all around your blind to blend in. Additionally, it does not require you to bring any extra tools or parts to a far away hunting spot.
6) DIG IN
Another effective way to conceal yourself when hunting a shoreline is to dig into the shoreline dirt or mud to hide. One reason why ducks and geese will flare off is that they see the heightened profile of your body or blind compared to the rest of the area. These unnatural heightened profiles can make them wary causing them to fly away well before you ever get a chance to shoot.
However, when you dig a hole you can either lay in the hole and cover with some grass or you can put a layout blind in the hole to reduce or eliminate the profile difference from the blind to the ground. To do this you will need to arrive at your hunting spot early enough and come prepped with a shovel to dig.
7) CAMO NETTING
A time tested way to conceal yourself when hunting shorelines is to purchase some camo netting. This is the standard camo netting that many hunters use for duck blinds, deer blinds and for turkey hunting. It is a simple and cost effective way to conceal yet it is extremely versatile.
Here are two ways you could use camo netting on a shoreline. First, you could use it as a way to build up a shoreline blind. With just a few pieces of wood you could build a simple frame and then use the camo netting to drape over the sides to make the blind blend in. Then use twine or zip ties to secure the camo netting in place.
The second way you could use camo netting is that you could wrap yourself in it and simply lay or sit on the ground near the shore without a blind for concealment. Then simply pop up when the birds are close and take your shots. Here is the link to one option I found on Amazon with this camo netting in a wide range of sizes and colors.
8) BOAT BLINDS
If you own a fishing boat or other style of boat that can be used in shallow water then you may want to consider it as your blind for duck and goose hunting. There are few ways to use a boat as your hunting bind.
First off there are many manufacturers that make boat blind frames for hunting. You setup these frames on the top of the boat and then use grass, weeds and other vegetation to cover it. If you are going to have your boat in the open you will need to ensure that every inch of the boat is covered.
Another option is to pull your boat into a weedy area on the shoreline. Ideally you would want the boat to be far enough into the weeds so there are weeds in front and behind the boat. Next grab some of the weeds and pull them over the top of the boat to help it blend in well with the shoreline.
9) BEAVERTAIL BLANKET
A beavertail blanket is essentially a blanket with the top side designed to look like a variety of vegetation. For example, if you are hunting a weeded shoreline there is usually going to be some type of weeds surrounding the shore. The top of a beavertail blanket will have fake weeds all over the top side of the blanket 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 or digging holes 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) SHIPPING CONTAINERS
For those of you who have long term access to private hunting land then you could consider using a shipping container as your hunting blind. These are the large metal containers that you see on trains and trucks that haul goods from a sea shipment to their final location.
Now this might not be a very cheap option but it is an option that will last you pretty much forever. It will likely be $1000 or more to buy a shipping container but the great thing is they will hold up well on a shoreline and then you just take time to cover it with camo paint and natural vegetation for a sturdy hunting blind.
11) PVC PIPE BLINDS
In contrast to building a blind with wood that you would need to nail or screw together, you could consider making a blind frame out of PVC piping, using detachable connecting joints. Wooden blinds are great but the problem is that once you nail them together they are really not portable anymore. However, if you use PVC piping you can pull them apart at the joints and move locations.
When setting up a PVC pipe blind make sure to get thicker dimension piping so that it can withstand breeze and the weight of vegetation. This is because once you use the piping to build a simple frame you will still need to cover it with brush, branches, grass or even camo netting so it will block you from the sight of approaching waterfowl. Also use some camo spray paint to cover the white coloring.
12) TURKEY BLINDS
Many waterfowl hunters also enjoy a wide range of other hunting as well. Personally, I also enjoy turkey hunting and my guess is that many of you do as well. So why not make use of your turkey blind for shoreline waterfowl hunting? There are a variety of turkey hunting blinds that you might own but most all of them can also serve as an effective waterfowl blind.
13) BURLAP SACKS / SEED BAGS
Burlap sacks and seed bags are typically brown so they make for a great way to blend in with in with dried out grass or trees on a shoreline and best of all you might have some laying around. If you don’t have 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 so you can always use them to cheaply build up a shoreline blind. Use branches, wood or PVC piping to make a blind frame and then drape the burlap sacks over as a vision barrier. Finish it off by taking some of the grass and vegetation nearby and place it along the sacks to blend in.
14) FRAME BLINDS
There are many manufactures that make frame blinds for field hunting but they can also be used for shoreline hunting. One that I have noticed a lot of discussion about is the Tanglefree panel blind but there are certainly a lot of options. 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. Many are tan camo color and then like layout blinds they have loops on them where you can weave in natural vegetation from the shoreline such as weeds to help it blend in.
15) KAYAKS & LAYOUT BOATS
If you are going to be doing consistent shoreline hunting than investing in a kayak or layout boat could be a great use of money. Unlike boats with a motor, kayaks and layout boats are typically able to get into much shallower water making them super easy to get into thick weeds for covering.
In addition, there are waterfowl covers that are made for kayaks and layout boats that can help them be concealed even if you have little natural vegetation to use. By having one of these covers it will expand the location options you have pick from when duck and goose hunting.
16) GOOSE CHAIR
Another great way to conceal yourself when hunting on a shoreline is to use a goose chair. A goose chair is similar to the concept of a layout blind as it will have a backrest and cover. However, the difference is the cover is made up of an oversized goose decoy shell.
If you are hunting a mud shoreline these can be perfect. Simply put out several goose decoys on the shore and then set yourself up in the goose chair and in the goose decoy spread. You will look like just another decoy to the approaching geese and when they come in just pop up the goose shell and take your shot.
Now one downside to the goose chairs is they can be challenging to find. This is because there are not many, if any manufactures that are currently producing them. However, you can often find them for sale used on eBay, auctions or even garage sales. A nice benefit to the goose chairs is when you do find them they are usually affordable for about $30 to $50 compared to the over $100 that a standard layout blind would cost.
17) GHILLIE SUIT
Hunting geese and ducks on the shore with a ghillie suit is a good choice. 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 or sit on the shoreline 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.
18) DECOY IT UP
When thinking of concealment remember to use your decoys as cover as well. Particularly when hunting on a shoreline without much vegetation you can use the decoys to help your hunting spot blend in. For example, when using a layout blind on the shore be sure to place several decoys around the blind to help break up the taller profile of the blind.
Shell goose decoys work very well because you could even zip tie one to your layout blind for concealment. Additionally, you could dig in a hole on the shore and lay in the hole. Then place a shell decoy over your legs as an added way to blend in.
19) 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. You can also buy camo spray paint and spray them in random patterns to make your own camouflage look.
These painters drop cloths make excellent siding for blinds. Simply drape it over the sides of a make shift stick blind or staple it to the sides of a permeant wood blind. You could even use painters drop cloths as your own homemade beavertail blankets. Camo them up with spray paint and then cut small holes for zip ties. Attach vegetation to the cloth and use zip ties through the small holes to secure vegetation.
20) HAY BALES & HAY BALE BLINDS
Hay bales are often used when field hunting but they can also be great when hunting shorelines. Ducks and geese are used to seeing hay bales and should feel comfortable landing nearby. If you have access to one try and get it moved to the shoreline. Or if you own a hay bale blind try it on your next waterfowl shoreline hunting trip.
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. One note is to place the bale at your hunting spot 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.
21) USED & SCRAP CARPET
If you want an option that should last quite a while to build a hunting bind from is used carpet or carpet scraps. It is likely that you have access to some for free that is sitting around. Carpet coloring is often close to what you need such as browns, blacks and even green.
However, if the carpet is not quite the right color you could always smear mud over it to dirty it up well and blend in. Or you could buy some camo spray paint to get it looking just how you want for the hunting situation you will be in.
If you do not have any carpet scraps laying around here are a few ideas to get some for free or cheap. First try checking Craigslist. People are often looking to get rid of pieces of carpet there for free or cheap.
The other option is to call your local carpet supply stores and ask if they have any carpet scraps or old carpet. Many carpet stores remove the old carpet from homes during install and just trash it. Chances are they might let you take a few pieces to build your homemade blind.
22) DOLL HOUSES
Now this might seem like a real silly idea but I have seen pictures of guys who have made their hunting blinds out of old doll houses. For example, one of those Barbie houses that is like a small gazebo for kids could be a perfect hunting blind, it has a top and windows all around.
Of course you can’t just throw out a pink Barbie house without a little bit of prep. First you will want to cover the pink paint with camouflage spray paint that can easily be found at Walmart for a few bucks a can. Then once you place it where you want it take some time to cover all sides with some vegetation to help it blend in.
Again, this is might seem silly but if you are looking for an inexpensive blind and you have access to an old dollhouse it could become your next favorite hunting blind.
23) CHICKEN WIRE
Chicken wire is inexpensive to buy and often times it is likely that you have some extra laying around. You can use a few fence posts or rebar stakes to make a square base that you can wrap chicken wire around. The chicken wire perfectly holds grass and other vegetation that you can weave in.
Additionally, chicken wire makes a great add-on to the sides of permanent hunting blinds. Staple it to the roof and sides of plywood blind structures and use it to hold branches, leaves and grass all around for a well concealed hunting blind.