Hide Tips

Raffia is EVERY Waterfowlers friend.  Like bacon, it makes everything better.  Adding raffia to a blind, especially a layout blind or Dog field blind, is an exceptional strategy  to improve your concealment. I offer you my strategy for getting myself lost in a field and undetected by my quarry. 


First I always use multi-colored raffia grass.  Dark tan, golden, green, and purple-brown are my go to colors. Why four? Because by using multiple colors I can blend into multiple fields.  No matter if it is a pea, oat, corn field, or a marsh, by adding field debris  into and over the raffia grass the affect will be to synergize the camouflage blend.  The raffia will grab and increase the volume of the cover and create a fabric affect with depth.  


One, (I have many) of my pet peeves is when a buddy arrives to hunt with me and throws his layout blind in a line with others and stuffs three pieces of grass in the sides and gets in.  If you hunt with me, and are not related to me, and I get out of my blind to grass your's~ You probably wont be hunting with me again. 


To me, the most important element of a hunt is to be where the birds want to be.  That means scouting.


Next most important element; the hide.  Yep, that means that calling, decoy numbers, and quality of decoys are all LESS important than your hide. Concealment better be something you think about prior to "showing up" at the hunt.  Your hide is about your preparation!  


Here are the actions I take to prepare my hide prior to arriving in the field.


First, I lay the blind out and brush it with a muddy water mix.  Nothing caking but I want to get the new glare off the blind.  I have even taken a can of flat tan spray pant and "dusted" from about three feet away.  


Next the real action.  I take some small, thumb thick three foot shanks of raffia and bend them in half.  I then snake that through a material loop on the blind and pull the raffia through the loop to make a "Cow Hitch".  Let the raffia grass hang to the bottom of the blind.  Spread these over so that the bulk of the blind is covered by the raffia in this manner. 


The above will cover most of the bulk of the blind and looks good.


Now to add raffia that will "grab" field debris and cover the gap of the blind doors.  Here is what I do. I take plastic wire ties, the kind used to bundle wires.  The three inch size works great.  Now take two ties and an 8" to 10" shank of raffia approximately the size of the pinky finger. Use one tie to pull the shank tight with the second tie inside the bundle.  This will allow you to tie the these smaller bundles onto the stubble straps of your blind in a permanent  fashion.  These bundles will stand up and catch field debris.  These bundles will also allow you to cover the door of your blind.  


Doing these steps allows me to pull my blind out of the trailer and place it in the field and with the help of a garden rake and a few hand-fulls of specific field growth, have a blind that is super well camo'd in just a few minutes. 


If you field hunt from a layout, do yourself and your hunting buddies a solid and get some raffia grass and prep your blind BEFORE you enter the field. 


Until I see you in the field, be safe, be good, and BE LUCKY!