Sometimes duck blinds get a worn down look, and they need a "makeover."
This usually occurs after the season has been in for a few weeks. Blinds that were thoroughly covered on opening day begin to look tattered as the season wears on. Strong winds have blown some brush away.
Heavy rain or snow has matted down leaves, stalks or vines, causing the cover to lose its loft. Shooting holes start to look cover-bare, providing less concealment from ducks flying overhead.
This is why hunters should take a half day in mid-season to refresh the camouflage on their blind. A few pieces of new brush, a little thickening, a dab of camo paint here and there: all will combine to rejuvenate the blind and conceal hunters
through to the completion of the season. Here are tips for providing a mid-season makeover that will contribute greatly to a blind's success.
First, schedule a specific time for such a makeover, then stick to the plan. It's easy to neglect this chore. The season is open. Ducks are flying.
It's more fun to hunt than to work. Still, force yourself to case your shotgun
and get to work. In essence, this is one of those "stitch in time saves nine" chores, and you need to make that first stitch early.
When you're camouflaging the blind before the season starts, cut some extra brush or stalks for the mid-season makeover and leave them piled in a convenient place. This job is a lot easier to complete if a supply of cover is readily available.
Before starting, circle the blind with your hunting partners, and look for places where camouflage is thin. Make note of where fresh cover needs to be applied, and then get to the task.
Pay special attention to shooting holes and adding cover that will obscure hunters from ducks' overhead view. Adding overhead cover is more critical than adding cover to the sides of the blind. Ducks circling the spread get a good look into blinds that are thin on top.
So, thicken the cover around shooting holes. Refresh vegetative camo on panels that conceal shooting holes. Extend brush out from the roof line. Go the extra distance in providing camouflage that hunters can crouch under and hide in shadows when ducks are circling.
Refresh cover on other places that get a lot of wear and tear. These include the retriever ramp, the boat house shed, the blind's door, etc. Check the blind's exterior for anything shiny, and add a dab of camo spray paint as needed. Tack down or reapply camo netting where it's torn loose. Do whatever is needed to restore the blind's fresh, totally-concealed look.
One more note. Plastic zip ties are a great boon to hunters attaching brush to a blind. Zip ties are easy and quick to use, and they will hold brush tightly through the season. (Use black or brown zip ties so they will blend in with the brush.)
So, don't neglect this chore. Giving your blind a makeover won't take long, and it will add greatly to your chances of success as the season progresses. The longer they're hunted, the more suspicious ducks become of "brushpiles" with decoys floating around them. By rebrushing at the season's mid-point, you can keep the birds fooled and coming in until sunset on closing day.