Field Tip – A Rake and Rafia

Let me set the scene, it is 1 hour before legal shoot time on the morning of your hunt. You finally meet up with the lads on the field, the night previous you laid out the spot on the freshly combined wheat field that you hunt on. There are fresh bird feather and crap on the ground confirming that the birds love this spot. We move in the trucks and the trailer doors open exposing all the gear and decoys that you wish to set up before the first group of ducks hit. We unload our Canada decoy shells, Full Bodys, Robo-Ducks and our course our good old reliable layout blinds. The wind is taken into consideration and the layout blinds are set up so the wind is to our backs, next comes the setup of the decoys in the pattern that will hopefully encourage the birds to drop into a kill zone right in front of the blinds. Everything is set up, gear is loaded into the blinds from the trucks, now it is time to get those layout blinds fully stubbled up. We walk outside of the spread and pull stubble and fasten them into the layout blind straps. Given a good amount of useable stubble I can cover up my blind in about 15-20 minutes. Here is the problem. I am usually the guy who has to move the truck and trailer off the field and then walk back. I have less time now before the setup. Yes we could hit the field earlier but I learned something that I want to pass onto you.

A few years ago, we went hunting with a friend Cal R. and when he hopped out of the truck he had a lawn rake and he had rafia grass already on his blind. I had seen the lawn rake being used but after seeing Cal use it in the field I realized what a time saver it was. With a quick minute of work, Cal had enough field grass piled up to work with, he then just pushed it up on the back and sides. The rafia grass he had blended well and he just tossed a little on the top. 2 minutes and he was done. Next week, there was a rake in the trailer and rafia on my blind.

I just purchased a new Hard Core ManCave layout blind and wanted to put my rafia  on it. I had some rafia ropes that I bought a few years ago. I put these on the back of the blind, the feet, and on the tops of the doors.2015-08-20 20.42.41

2015-08-20 20.42.36

I also have some loose rafia grass which I will put on the doors. I picked some up from Canadian Tire two seasons ago, The colour is nice and it works well. I do have some rafia ropes that you can get from BassPro for $25. I use them on Piper’s blind. I could put a string or two on the lower sections of the blind.

2015-08-20 20.47.36

Now when I get to the field I rake up loose stubble and toss it around and on the blind. When applying rafia, the rule of a little goes a long way applies. Too much will actually make the blind stand out. You still want to add natural stubble but if you can speed thing up, bonus.

When looking for grass to add to the blind watch out for some of the really light colours. Some of those products will not blend with the natural vegetation and can actually be spotted from space.

So raid the garden shed and chuck in a leaf rake, keep your eyes open for some rafia quick grass and apply it before you  go into the field. Good luck.



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