When temperatures fall, the water in the air has a nasty habit of forming a crisp layer of frost over anything that will stand still long enough. You know what stands still? Decoys. What doesn’t: real ducks and geese. And darn it if they can’t spot a frosted-over decoy from a mile away, ending your hunt before it really even begins. Snow you can beat off with a brush. Frost isn’t so simple. Here are a couple ways to combat that early-morning sheen of ice.
Wait For It Max Cochran of Habitat Flats recommends not putting your spread out until the last second to reduce its chances of frosting over. If it’s a particularly cold morning, he says, the birds will probably stay on the ground a little longer anyway. Put your blinds out right away, though—you want them to accumulate a layer of “good” frost so they blend into the surrounding environment.
Spray ’Em Down Another solution comes from my father, Pat Skipper, who’s been killing birds in all conditions for decades now. If he suspects morning frost, he brings along a few squirt bottles full of windshield wiper fluid—the same stuff you put in your car. Spray each decoy just before dawn. The fluid dries quickly and won’t freeze in most conditions. Its properties will help keep frost from forming. Each application is good for a couple of hours, and the fluid shouldn’t do your decoys any harm.