Eight ways your duck or goose hunt can go sideways, and how to fix it when it does
#6 YOU WAKE UP TO RAIN
If it’s pouring rain, you’re usually better off staying in bed than risk getting stuck in, or chewing up, a farmer’s field. If it’s anything less than a hard pour, however, you should go for it. Just be aware that rain can make for an uncomfortable hunt, and that the birds will act a little differently.
When it rains, the birds will often fly later in the morning and the flights will be more spaced out, so patience is key. It will also be less predictable as to where the birds will land, so be prepared to react accordingly. The black hole syndrome common with snow hunts can also be an issue, so take similar precautions not to disturb the soggy ground when setting up.
Decoys often shine when they’re wet, so use flocked decoys if you have the option. Alternatively, wipe down your decoys between flights if they look at all shiny. Of course, there’s often no appreciable sunlight in rainy weather, which in turn leads to another problem—approaching birds can see your set-up better in flat light, so ensure your blind is well camouflaged.
Whatever you do, don’t put off your hunt until the afternoon, hoping the weather will improve. When it’s raining, it’s not uncommon for geese to settle in a field all day long. Bump them out when you’re setting up, and they likely won’t return. If an afternoon hunt is your only option, however, and the birds have roosted midday, set up a full hour earlier than normal.