Saturday, December 13, 2014
Hunting waterfowl 2
When I arrived at the river one morning, I was greeted by this boat blind. I almost immediately thought to myself, "Good luck with that." Having spent a lot of hours in the immediate area, I knew I had rarely seen any ducks in that spot. I was there for several hours and they never fired a shot. As blinds go, it probably isn't a bad one but, as they say in real estate, "Location, location, location."
It may look like I am right up on these hunters scaring off any chance of shooting a duck, but this photo was taken through a telephoto lens and I am actually several hundred yards away.
I have noticed just from the birds on my back deck, they are very aware when something is different. Don't think you can float a boat in a spot and they are not going to notice. They become very wary of anything new. That is true of at least the birds that habitually visit a spot.
So there is a certain advantage to using a blind like this permanent structure that sits on the far side of the river. After a while, the birds accept it as part of the natural landscape and don't give it another thought.
These geese I saw the other day prove my point. They don't seem to see any danger in swimming near the blind. But, then again, I have never seen anyone actually using the blind to hunt. That immediate area is in an ideal location for hunting both geese and ducks because they both frequent that spot a lot.
The blinds make a convenient place for the birds to eat fish or just rest. I think it would be interesting to be able to go over and look at the roof on that blind to see what kinds of bones are there and how numerous they are. Besides eagles, I have seen osprey, kingfishers and great blue heron use it as a place to spot or eat fish. Whoever built it took the time to try to camouflage it with marsh grass, but much of it had fallen into disrepair.
Here is another blind a little farther down the river that was also being used by eagles as a dinner table. You can see the fish hanging down below the bird on the right.
I tried using a portable blind at one time to film birds, but I found it too restricting. It was difficult to see the sweep of the area and I never felt conclusively that it was an advantage. The birds knew I was there anyway. I decided that if I just didn't move around too much and stayed quiet, it would be just as effective.