Well I have been thinking about how I could camouflage my layout boat better. Last year it got s paint job and this year I wanted some way to try and make it like a layout blind without having to buy one of the boat covers with the stubble straps. My first idea was to make a grid out of paracoard over the top of the boat, it failed. But out of the failure arose a better idea then a correction to get the final product.
So I started with the grid idea and it failed so my next thought was what about those cargo nets that stretch. Well I hit up my nearest Harbor Freight store, discount hardware tools, found two medium sized nets for the front and back portion of my boat then two motorcycle sized nets for each side. The nets came with hooks that I used to fix the nets to the boat.
So after a week of having the nets attached to the boat, looking at it, and contemplation I decided the nets needed changed just a bit. It was not exactly what I wanted and I had some coverage areas that were minimal. So my thought to fix the nets had me remove all the hooks and started from scratch on placement. I went to the nearest hardware store and bought some fine metal wire. I finally got back to the boat and started by tying the two side nets end to end. I centered them up on the sides and then worked my way to the front by tying the nets together with the small wire. I finished the nets all of the way around the boat and it covered everything I needed. I placed my layout blind in the cockpit of the boat, last year it worked out amazing for me to have the top coverage and the built in backrest and pouches. I had some grass left from Roger's Sporting Goods from last season I began zip tying the grass to the cargo nets. With time it began to look amazing.
|beginning to grass|
So I grassed my boat and left it for a week and occasionally looked at it during that time. Last year I learned my lesson when I painted my boat. It is hard to know when to stop painting or camouflaging something. Last year I paint just a little extra that was to much but luckily I realized it and stopped. So that is why this year I would do some work and take a break and think everything over. It is easy to add more but hard to take something back once it is done. So while looking at the boat I realized that it did have some bald spots and that I hunt in smart weed in the the places I hunt. So I ordered some smart weed from Cabela's. I began filling in the bald spots with some extra grass.
|little more grass|
So with more grass on the way from Cabela's I left the boat a little bare in spots but covered most of them. I tied some of the grass from the boat to the flaps of the blind. This did wonders in breaking up the line between the cockpit and the layout blind. Finally the smart weed grass came in. I added it sparingly to the boat since I do not hunt in just smart weed but there is some in the corn and spots I hunt.
|smart weed grass added|
|opening in cockpit|
So I let the boat sit for a week and looked it over again, catching a pattern yet? I noticed that I had a very noticeable square behind my layout blind and the cockpit. I am thinking that the boat is almost done. So now that I had a problem I had to figure out how to correct it. The tricky part is I need access to that spot to steer the boat in the marsh and it is storage for supplies or a dog if I can borrow some one's. So that adds a new level of difficulty to the design of correction. Well the square was 30 inches by 30 inches so I thought why not go with what I know already works, cargo nets. I returned to Harbor Freight and bought two motorcycle nets. I tied them together and placed them in the cockpit. Dang it they did not fit enough. The nets measured 15 inches by 12 inches. So I thought to myself why did they not fit. Duh, come one Mike two would only cover half of the opening. Well to fix that issue I had extra net tucked around the backside of the opening from the large net on the back. I pulled the extra net up and tied my half net to it. I attached the net with the hooks given with the nets. I had ran out of grass but I pulled the net back to see how well it worked. The net worked great but the hooks got tangled up in the other portion of the nets. So after a few minutes of thinking and looking at my duck gear I use carabiners for all kinds of things during hunting. They work amazing to attach things. I figured I would substitute the carabiners for the hooks. It worked perfect. I went and bought some extra grass and finished off the boat with grass. The whole package looks amazing and is more than half the price of the slips sold by the major layout boat manufactures.
|Back net closed|
|Back net open|
|See through mesh on layout blind|
So now that I am feeling amazing about duck season and can not wait to put the boat in the marsh and watch it disappear. I had hurt my knee while at work at the beginning of this product. So after going through workman's compensation claims and seeing numerous doctors the diagnosis was discovered. I partially tore my ACL in my knee. The breath was taken out of my sails with knowing how much time is needed to rehabilitate from the injury and surgery and how close duck season was. Crunching the numbers that the doctor said was needed for crutches and rehab things were not looking good.
The big question is will I make in to the marsh this season for duck season. I have learned so much in the past years and want to keep learning but it is not looking good for this duck hunter. So stay safe and HEALTHY from now to the end of duck season fellow hunters.