4. Don't Let Your Guard Down
Keeping movement to a minimum while waterfowl are approaching a decoy spread is important, but so, too, Coluccy says, is staying still when the birds are headed the other direction.
"With eyes on the sides of their head, waterfowl lack binocular vision. But they compensate for that by moving their heads from side to side, continually getting images from both eyes," he explains. "Because of this, ducks and geese can see just about any direction all the way around them. Hunters then make the mistake of shifting in the blind or sticking their head up when birds are going away, thinking it is safe to move."
Using movement—a dark flag or hat—can be very good, Coluccy adds, to catch the attention of birds passing at a distance. But, with a level of vision two or three times better than humans, both ducks and geese will often reach the point where motion might keep them out of the decoys.
"There's a breaking point when you wave that flag and the birds are too close," says Coluccy. "They're going to pick that movement apart when they get within or just outside of gun range. Watch the reaction of the birds. They'll tell you if they like the motion or not."