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Decoy raft effectiveness

Discussion in 'Boats, Blinds, & Gadgets Forum' started by CA Hunter, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. DMallard

    DMallard Senior Refuge Member

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    Long lines don't exactly look natural, either. Ever seen 12 live ducks evenly spaced in a straight line? But when you put two of them side by side parallel to each other they can look like "rafted" ducks, especially to divers who fly low to the water.

    When you set a diver spread, you generally throw the long lines out with a cluster of decoys closer to the blind. Whats the difference between that and a decoy raft with long lines extending from it?

    Currently building two decoy rafts at 5x8' each. They should hold almost a dozen decoys each and can be clipped together lengthwise or widthwise. Lakes around home can be 50+ feet within 20-30 yds from shore, so they will allow me to have decoys farther than three feet from the bank.

    I worry about how they might do with puddlers, though. Not sure they will be as fooled as the divers. Will have to try and see.
     
  2. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    Punctuation would go a long way towards making this understandable.
     
  3. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    That's why experienced long-liners tie their drops to the main line with different spacing, and use drops of different lengths.....
    We try to avoid anything that looks 'unnatural' when we're placing decoys.
     
  4. CA Hunter

    CA Hunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Perfect, statement, now only the question, what looks natural and what not.

    Was hunting 2 days in the raw, first day all ducks besides teal were ignoring the raft. They do not flare, but they do not pay any attention. teal were coming eagerly and in less than 40 min i got my limit. All came to the raft ignoring the mojo spinner
    The next day, same place, same everything only one teal came to the mojo. All others just flew buy.

    So the question is: what "looks natural"?
     
  5. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    I'd say, "not the raft".
     
  6. CA Hunter

    CA Hunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Today took my dog for a walk to some local ponds where ducks usually hanging around.
    Found a high ground approximately 100 yards away from creek with some current. There was a group of 7-10 mallards, 3-4 teal and other ducks and coots. 20-25 in total.
    The first observation was, when not destructed mallards keep lines with 3-4 feet distance between then, They move fast, change locations, but there always one or 2 lines with a couple of buts sticking up. coots and other ducks were swimming in between braking the formation.
    I was watching them for a good 1/2 hour. Then i started getting closer, as soon as they saw me, but i was still safe in their opinion distance, they formed a much tighter group and slowly started swimming away. When i came closer they flew away.

    Then i moved to a pond(no current) with similar duck percentage. There was a little different story. The ducs where in a big mixed group, but the distance was 4-5 feet away from each other, the only exception was 2 pairs of hen/drake mallards hanging 1-2 feet away from each other and 2-3 mallards close to each other very actively diving for food. As soon as they saw me, the story repeated itself, they formed a tighter group and swem away.

    I indeed got a very strong impression that ducks form tighter groups when they are concerned about something which might signal to other ducks a potential danger.

    Anyways, it is too late now, the last week of the season, but next season i go back to my 2 long lines with 6-8 deks attached to them every 3-4 feet.
    It is a little bit more work to put them out and pick up, but they are years pooven system which worked well for me.

    Thanks everyone for contribution. shoot straight, stay safe and dry.

    ..
     
  7. grande long

    grande long Refuge Member

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    using the raft currently for late season divers in icy waters the cans and blues came and landed right next to it yesterday.a black duck tryed to land on it
     
  8. CA Hunter

    CA Hunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Maybe it is a different area. Here they have more open water, so naturally they spread wider( just maybe).
    On icy water there might me less open space, so tighter groups look natural. Just my thought
     
  9. grande long

    grande long Refuge Member

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    hunting a point on big water it seems the colder the rougher the weather they are tight were talking divers.
     
  10. DMallard

    DMallard Senior Refuge Member

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    I think the important distinction is divers vs puddlers. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the rafts were developed with diver hunting in mind. Not sure I would expect to fool many puddlers with a decoy raft of mallards. Not sure you could make the raft disappear enough for them smarties.
     

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