2. Finding the right pattern
That same ability by waterfowl to detect minute differences in color also means that hunters need to maintain an appropriate sense of fashion
when selecting what to wear to the marsh and field.
"Occasionally my work as a biologist will put me in the air during the hunting seasons, and I'm amazed when I fly over a decoy spread at how a hunter sticks out when he is wearing a coat or other piece of clothing that does not fit in with the surrounding cover," says Coluccy. "Again, if I can spot those differences, imagine what a duck or goose will see."
Hunters wearing a dark brown pattern in lightly colored surroundings – or vice versa – will appear silhouetted against their surroundings, Coluccy says, and the outline of a person is as much a sign of danger as that of a fox or aerial predator.
Coluccy says that matching your surroundings is especially important when blue, sunny skies have been replaced by clouds and grey.
"The flat-light associated with overcast days really calls attention to what you are wearing and, again, to any movement in the blind," says Coluccy. "If your camo doesn't match or you're moving around, you're going to stick out."
3. Staying in the Shadows
When it comes to hiding from the watchful eyes of waterfowl, Coluccy says that shadows can be both a hunter's best friend and his worst enemy.
"Natural shadows allow you to disappear – with the sun shining in their eyes, they just can't pull you out of that dark background," says Coluccy. "Whether you're in a permanent blind or hunting in natural cover, utilize those shadows when the conditions are bright and sunny."
And while shadows cast by a full-bodied duck or goose decoy are natural, Coluccy says that field hunters are at a disadvantage when the sun hits a lay-out blind.
"The result is a shadow that, from an aerial perspective, is really going to stick out," says Coluccy. "It's going to look like a blob of dark matter that just doesn't fit."
Placing the lay-out blind in a natural depression in the field or digging a shallow foot-print to lower the profile of the blind are two ways to minimize any unwanted shadows. Hunters can also try placing decoys on elevated stakes around the blind at its highest points to break-up its outline and create an illusion that plays on waterfowl's weakened sense of depth perception.