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.
Most of our duck hunting is in Nebraska, because Nebraska is in the duck’s flyway. There's a lot of food there for ducks, and fewer waterfowl hunters in Nebraska than in Colorado. We also have a lot of big-water hunting in Nebraska and use some big-water boats we've converted into duck-hunting boats. In Nebraska, we have an oil well boat, and my special project that I'm building. I’ve taken an old, 22-foot 1958 Bailey bridge boat and turned it into a duck barge with bench seats, heaters and a stove in it. Hunting from this boat is like hunting out of a floating pit blind. We brush the boat up with natural vegetation we find in the area. You’ll be surprised at how good these boats look. We can have breakfast on the side of the bank and can shoot eight people out of each one of these boats.
We put-out pretty big spreads of decoys on our river boats – generally 8-dozen Canada geese decoys made by Avian X, and 8 dozen Avian X duck decoys. When we’re hunting big water in Nebraska, we long-line our goose decoys and set-up a normal duck decoy spread with a pocket out in front of the blind. We’ll usually put out about 16-dozen decoys for our boat blind hunts – all mallard decoys, the primary duck in this area. Too, mallards are the number-one duck that our hunters want to take.
In good weather with the birds flying well, we can limit out in about 2 hours, including the time required to set-out the decoys, eat breakfast, shoot the birds and pick up the birds and the decoys when the hunting is over. If we’re having a hard time filling our limits, or if some of our shooters don’t shoot very well, we’ll start moving our decoys in closer and coaching our shooters to help them shoot better. Also, we may change the direction of our motion decoys.
Tomorrow: How Mike Miller Hides from Ducks