Editor’s Note: Mike Miller from Canyon City, Colorado, is the Mossy Oak Pro Staff manager for the central flyway for waterfowl. Before duck season starts, he's an elk guide and is an avid outdoorsman year-round.
Usually, when we’re hunting in Nebraska, later in the morning when the ducks have been feeding out in the corn field, they'll fly back to the big water to raft-up and light down with their buddies. We feel that motion decoys are critical to pulling-in those ducks. We’ll have out four or five motion decoys in our spread – like the MOJO spinning-wing decoys and the Lucky Duck motion decoys. By our using motion decoys, the ducks will see those decoys before they’re able to hear any calling. Those decoys seem to grab the ducks’ attention first and help lock the ducks into committing to the spread, before they ever hear the calling. If we have our decoys set-up properly and the wind to our backs, we may have to make a few hail calls. But most of the time, the ducks will come gliding right into the blinds without much calling. If the ducks are coming in, and someone moves in the blind, or they see something they don’t like in the setup and start to go out, we’ll hit the ducks very hard with some hard, loud comeback calls. I've actually talked ducks all the way down until they sit down in the decoys or have their wings cupped. Then my shooters take them. Often, I’ll give the ducks some feeding chatter calls or some soft quacks.
Having really-big boats to hunt out of is one of the real advantages that we have. On the days that there is a heavy wind blowing on that big water, we may be the only boats hunting that day, which means the least competition for the ducks and the availability of lots of good shooting. We've found that typically boat hunters don’t use boats as big as ours for their boat blinds. So, many days when they can’t hunt, we can.
Most of our hunts are 4-day hunts. After the shooting ends, we’ll come in and clean the ducks. We also may have to do some repair work to brush the blinds up better. To brush-up the blinds, we may have to drive to a couple of farms where we can cut prairie cord grass, which is some of the best blind brush I've ever used. We have our boats painted and stenciled with the Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades pattern. When we put that natural vegetation on the blinds and push our boats up against the bank, the blinds look like maybe a pile of logs have gotten pushed-up against the bank that dirt has filled in between the logs. We even paint the seats that the hunters sit on with the Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blade design. We’re able to consistently take ducks day-after-day because our blinds and our hunters all look like the natural vegetation in a region. Our decoys attract the ducks’ attention, and the small amount of calling we do pulls the ducks right into our hunters’ faces.
Here are some YouTube video links for Mike Miller:
- Hunting Canada goose with Mike Miller
- Duck Hunting Tips - Waterfowl Decoys and Blinds
- Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades
- Trying To Conceal Yourself While Waterfowl Hunting