Pre-Dawn Decoy Placement

Setting decoys in the dark can be a real pain. Here’s a tip I learned in the military for keeping a pace count during land navigation that I feel will help you with setting up decoys in total darkness.

Start by placing two objects exactly 20 yards apart by using a range finder (if you don’t have a range finder, the local football field will also work, just use the ground lines for 20 yards). With your feet together at the starting point (typically at the decoy), start to walk your NORMAL PACE and steps to the ground blind. Write down that number. Turn around and count your pace back to the decoy also at your normal pace and steps; it should be about the same. Take those two numbers and add them together, then divide them by 2. That will be how many steps it takes you to get from your blind to the 20 yard mark for decoy placement.

Step two: take that number and divide that by 4 which will give you your 5 yard count. that number will be convenient to remember for when you want to be closer or farther away than 20 yards.

Example: My personal 20 yard count is 24 steps. I know it takes me 24 regular steps to get to 20 yards. Divided by 4, and it takes me 6 steps to reach 5 yards, making it easier to get to different distances.

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