18. Hammer Time for Silhouettes
When hunting on frozen ground, a mason's hammer is extremely helpful in setting silhouette decoys. A mason's hammer has a long, sharp claw, and one swing opens just the right size hole in frozen ground for a decoy stake. "Before you go out, tie a piece of orange surveyor's tape around the hammer," Nemecek advises. "Invariably, you'll put it down when setting decoys in the dark and then spend the next half-hour looking for it. If it has orange tape on it, you can find it quickly."
19. Stare Down A Drake
(Tate Wood, Drake Waterfowl Systems, Mississippi)
Many green-timber hunters prefer to work ducks to the water and then flush them and shoot as the birds gain altitude. Tate Wood says the temptation is to wait for the birds to flush before looking for a drake to shoot, but this often leads to ineffective flock shooting. "A better way," Wood advises, "is to lock onto one drake as the ducks land, and don't take your eyes off him. When the ducks flush, stay focused on that one bird and shoot, making sure you get that first duck before trying for a double."
20. At the End of Your Rope?
(E. J. Deubler, Louisiana)
When rigging a duck boat, trim the bow line so it's just shorter than the length of the boat. Invariably, when the boat is running, this rope will fall off the bow and line out beneath the boat. If it's longer than the boat, it'll tangle in the prop and kill the motor. "When this happens, you have to get out of the boat and untangle it, and where we hunt in the south Louisiana marsh, that can be a real problem," Deubler says.