When you’re duck or goose hunting, concealment is key, which is why brushing a layout blind is so crucial.

These birds are hyper-sensitive to their environments and rely on their eagle-eye vision to protect themselves from predators (that means you!).

To execute a sneak attack, you must remain out of their view while in plain sight to get a close, accurate shot.

Don’t give yourself away to the waterfowl by sticking out like a sore thumb.

Take a cue from the hunters of the animal kingdom, and be sure that you blend seamlessly into your surroundings by a natural-looking covering.

But what is the best way to ensure your concealment?

We’ve got some practical and simple tips to keep you covered through properly brushing a layout blind.

Layout Blind Concealment Tips

  • Prepare in Advance
  • Dig Deep
  • Mask with Mud
  • Go Natural
  • Stay Small
  • Keep it Covered

Prepare in Advance 

One guaranteed way to scare off waterfowl is to set up and brush your layout blind in broad daylight right before you begin shooting.

Just think of a game of hide-and-seek where you choose an elaborate hiding spot while the seeker’s eyes are open.

Early mornings are typical for making arrangements, but if you can, it’s best to set up the night before, especially on cold, calm nights.

Blinds that are frost-free are darker, which is another asset. 

Dig Deep 

Looming shadows caused by a tall blind will frighten waterfowl and urge them to keep away, even from a long distance.

You can prevent your layout blind from sticking out by digging a pit to secure the blind and maintain a low profile. Six inches or more is a good rule of thumb.

The one thing to be careful of, however, is the darker soil that may be spread on the ground after it has been dug out. This can be a real warning beacon for geese.

Mask With Mud

Hunting is dirty work, and the more mud and soil you can pile onto your blind, the better chances of it blending in.

Brand new blinds are shiny and eye-catching, the opposite of what you want when trying to conceal yourself.

Slathering your pretty new blind will make it vanish.

Go Natural

In the animal kingdom, predators have known about blending in since the beginning of time. Many of them have natural camouflage that makes them almost invisible to their surroundings.

Humans don’t have that benefit, but by brushing your field layout blind with elements from the natural surroundings, you can disappear and be rendered undetectable to waterfowl. 

Stay Small

A layout blind is not meant to feel like a yacht or luxury hotel room.

Though it may not be the most comfortable way to spend the day, the more snug your blind is, the easier it is for you to go unnoticed.

As an added bonus, smaller blinds require less brushing.

Keep It Covered

After you have kicked open the blind doors to shoot, feathers aren’t the only thing that will get ruffled.

Be sure that you keep yourself undercover by brushing in again after you start shooting. 

Also, be wary of any unnatural items like metal rods. These can create lumps and artificial environments that are a dead giveaway to geese and ducks that something isn’t right.

Best Brush Materials For A Duck Blind

  • Mud
  • Natural Vegetation
  • Sticks
  • Hay
  • Camouflage Netting

Mud

Mud is a must!

It is a simple, no-cost way to take away any unnatural shine and help your blind blend in.

It is also a material that is usually in plentiful supply in any wetlands region.

Natural Vegetation

Another essential element of brushing your blind is to gather natural vegetation from the surrounding area.

If you are near a cornfield or a lake, bring some hedge clippers and garden shears to snip off local foliage.

Just be sure to do so away from the blind as you don’t want to draw unnecessary suspicion to your hiding spot.

Sticks

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but they also make an excellent cover.

Gather twigs, branches, and other slim sticks to create a natural-looking brush that obscures your layout blind and makes it look like a part of the scenery. 

Hay

Hay isn’t just for horses; it can also create suburb brushing material for a layout blind concealment.

Hay mimics grass but is easier to move and control. 

It spreads out well and offers excellent coverage for spots that are sticking out and unsightly.

Just be sure that it matches the surroundings.

Camouflage Netting

You’ll still want to incorporate natural coverings like mud, sticks, and local vegetation.

Still, camouflage netting from a hunting supply store offers a great base to cover the blind and yourself for brushing.

If you don’t want to shell out the funds, burlap can work just as well.

Hiding Layout Blinds In Short Grass

Thick natural vegetation is a blessing for waterfowl hunters who are brushing a layout blind because it does much of the work for them.

But what do you do when that’s not an option, and you are stuck with short grass? 

Try these tips in short grass scenarios:

  • Work with natural coverings from nearby vegetation
  • Be sure to dig in a bit, if possible and permitted, for more coverage
  • Use camouflage netting or burlap as a base and to conceal yourself
  • Lay low and cover up with a beavertail blanket with a natural-looking topside that blends in with your surroundings. This will help you keep a low profile and stay warm.

Brushing A Layout Boat Blind

Boat blinds offer a lot of opportunities to track ducks and geese over the water.

Flooded timber can be a great hunting location, but the water is often too deep to stand in for long periods. 

But even on the water, boat blinds need brushing to blend into their surroundings.

Here are some suggestions for brushing a layout blind in a boat.

  • Utilize tall weeds, reeds, cattails, and other water vegetation as concealment
  • Make a base cover with camouflage netting or a similar covering
  • Mimic a beaver’s abode and gather sticks for coverage
  • Go for a natural look that blends seamlessly with the setting

Conclusion

Waterfowl hunting is a thrilling sport that takes skill and keen focus.

Savvy hunters take their cues from natural predators and learn how to conceal themselves, and blend in with their surroundings to offer an element of surprise.

But proper concealment needn’t break the bank.

While items like camouflage netting or burlap can provide a solid base, the best tools for brushing a layout blind are natural vegetation found in the location of your setup. 

So dig deep, throw some mud, hay, grass, and sticks over your blind and vanish before the waterfowls’ eyes.


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