Building Your Waterfowl Blind Bag
Wind howling, my brother and I looked at each other and traded our gear out quickly. Taking the bows out of the truck, we loaded our duck decoys, shotguns, boats and headed for the swamps. Mallards flew high, teal whistled by and the wood ducks whipped by at light speed. Shouldering my gun and hugging the bead close against the beak of a wood duck, the gun went off and he dropped.
There is something about a duck swamp. The fellowship of friends, the excitement of fooling birds, even the mucky sulfur smell. But romance aside, if you don’t come prepared, a duck swamp can be part hell. A properly stocked blind bag can save your hunt, and your frustration. Here are the key things to remember for your blind bag.
Lets face it, when we duck hunt, we are heading into dirty, mucky areas. Dirt builds up in the creases of your gun causing issues of reloading, misfiring and specifically problems ejecting spent shells. Having to field strip a gun to manually remove a spent shell has happened more than once. Making sure the action on your guns continue to flow smoothly is key. Personally I like to carry Rem Oil in my blind bag. Not only is Rem Oil a must to prevent rust, it helps keep your gun working smoothly. Every few hours out int he field, I like to at least spray down the action of my shot gun to sure seamless shell ejection while shooting.
Extra Choke & Tool
Ducks don’t always do what you want. Sometimes they commit, sometimes they just just a touch farther out. As frustrating as that may be, having different ranging chokes in your bag can help you make the adjustment you need on where birds are. Having both a modified and a full choke are standard in my blind bag. Having the ability to adjust to the birds distance with your gun and not your entire set up can be the difference between scratching your limit or no limit at all. Also remember to carry a choke tube tool. Once, my brother began shooting ducks until something went wrong. His choke tube was loose and a #2 shot bb wedges itself under the choke. He was forced to buy an entire new barrel. Check the tightness of your choke tube before touching off on that first group.
Nobody ever came back from a hunt and said having wet socks was the most enjoyable part. Every hunt, from the backcountry to the wetlands, starts and ends with your feet. Having your feet swing in a flooded boot or pair of waders on a cold morning will essentially end the hunt. Heck even if they get a bit damp. Put extra socks in a Zip-Lock bag. You might be thankful you did.
Earth’s Balance Pet Solutions
Your buddies might think you are crazy, you might even think you are crazy, but your dog? Your dog’s unwavering dedication to the insane area you decided to paddle or hike to means tough terrain. Your dog might be bounding through mud and briars, far to loyal to leave your side. Enthuse treks, they will probably get cut up. To keep my dogs flesh wounds from getting infected, I have a small spray bottle of Earth’s Balance Pet Solutions in my gear. Sure, it doesn’t look like a hunting product, but it is an all natural based solution which cleans cuts. It works well and my trusted hunting partner deserves nothing less than the best.
With the addition of the essential, food, water, and your shells, having a prepared blind bag is key to a successful waterfowl hunt. Remember these few tips, gear up, and may the wind be at your back.
Last Updated: January 13th, 2015