Rice Field Spread

Discussion in 'Decoy Forum' started by JohnnyMac, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. JohnnyMac

    JohnnyMac Senior Refuge Member

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    Hey guys,

    I am new to what you would call serious duck hunting.

    Growing up my friends and I snuck around taking pot shots.

    With age comes new resources and thus new opportunities. This year I will be hunting some out of a pit in an open rice field. What is the best spread pattern and the best number of dekes to put out? Also, would you recommend a so called "robo" duck with the spinning wings, if so how many and where should they be put?

    I've seen many posts dealing with self-constructed decoys. I am sure that this is the best way, but if you had to recommend a brand what would it be? Flambeaus I see are relatively inexpensive anything wrong with them?

    Any advice you could share with me will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. SwampHunter

    SwampHunter Elite Refuge Member

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    JM,
    Welcome to The Refuge!

    If you visit the Arkansas section of The Refuge you will find a post on how to roll a rice field for duck hunting. In that post I have attached a piture of what we did when we hunted pits. It shows how to set the decoys for all kinds of wind conditions.
    I don't recommend a spinner. A jerk string is what I recommend. Those Wing Magic decoys are nice too. I have one that I don't need, so if you want it, I will cut you a deal on it.
    As far as decoys, go with the ones that you like the looks of and fit your budget. Those Greenhead Gear decoys are very nice in my opinion.

    Everyone is going to have their own techniques and choices they will think is best. You have to find your own too.

    Where are you located in AR? I am in Augusta.

    Take Care,
    Ronnie Ladd
     
  3. twospots

    twospots Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Never hunted rice, but flooded fields... I'll second the Wing magic decoy, and the green head gear decoys. Inexpensive and look real good. The "full limmit" Flambeaus are just too thin for me. My second choice is The Herters Millenium decoys.
    As for spreads in fields, I would keep it simple. Blob of about 2 doz on the right and blob of 2 doz on the left. Keep the middle open. I would put any jerk strings or wing magic dekes just left or right of center, and maybe a few feeders on jerk strings right in front of your blind. This is just one of the multitude of set ups, but it works well for a number of different wind directions, and has been proven for many years. numbers of decoys may varry as well as type. Up here I would add some goose floaters extending out from the upwind side. I don't know how they like rice fields and if you even have that many down there.... We have a ton, and even with only goose decoys out, I can shoot ducks.
     
  4. rhpierce

    rhpierce Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
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    Welcome to the board. I live in Little Rock...where ya from?

    Look at what SwampHunter has to say....he's got some good valuable advice. Most of the time, anyway...the rest of the time, he's just full of it. :l

    I stick with a "two blob" or an arc setup most of the time, especially if the birds are going to be landing straight into the pit. A group on the right, a group on the left, with the pit as the top of the arc or center of the blobs, and some open water in the middle, with maybe a pair or two of decoys in the open water. Don't forget to put some decoys on the "back side" of the pit also.

    On crossing birds, shift the dekes a little to the upwind side, so they are looking to land right in front of the pit, and then everyone will get better shots, rather than just the couple of guys closest to the downwind corner.

    If you add goose decoys, put them upwind of the spread, about 60 yards from your duck decoys, and string out three or four duck decoys between the main duck spread and the geese (i.e., a pair and a couple of singles). The geese will have to come over the pit or beside it to land with the goose decoys, and will be looking at the decoys, rather than at the pit.

    The best number? I've hunted over a dozen, and I've hunted over 3-400. I think, when we had a lease, we hunted 6-7 dozen, and we picked them up after every hunt. Two or more people can do that pretty easily, especially if you have room in the pit to store some Rubbermaid tubs, and store the dekes in those, rather than decoy bags, through the season. Lift them out of the pit and drag them around to pitch out the decoys (they'll float), then stack the empty tubs together or shove them under the bench seat in the pit. Try different things, and different decoys. Mostly mallards, but get some pintails, maybe some teal, and some widgeons. Vary what you put out in the spread as the season goes on. Maybe only one or two pintail drakes, all the mallards, and all the teal at the beginning of the season, and by the end, you've shifted to all the pintails, all of the widgeons, half the teal, and 2/3 of your mallards. Or maybe everything you've got...

    Don't know how experienced or how many are involved in your group, but as much as the decoys, figure out right off the bat in the morning who is going to call the shots and "lead".

    Good luck and keep posting...let us know how you do. You might decide (like some of the other crazies 'round here) to start carving/painting your own decoys after a while.

    Best,

    Rick
     
  5. twospots

    twospots Elite Refuge Member

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    Quote:"On crossing birds, shift the dekes a little to the upwind side, so they are looking to land right in front of the pit, and then everyone will get better shots, rather than just the couple of guys closest to the downwind corner.

    If you add goose decoys, put them upwind of the spread, about 60 yards from your duck decoys, and string out three or four duck decoys between the main duck spread and the geese (i.e., a pair and a couple of singles). The geese will have to come over the pit or beside it to land with the goose decoys, and will be looking at the decoys, rather than at the pit."



    -Awsome advise.....
     
  6. rhpierce

    rhpierce Elite Refuge Member

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    I wish I could take credit for it and seem like a true genius, but alas, it ain't so. That's stuff picked up from elsewhere, and if I haven't learned a single other thing, it's to try and hunt with people who are better hunters/callers/carvers than I am.

    That goose trick worked like a charm two years ago on a flock of specklebellies (white-fronted geese). The pit had only TWO goose decoys, so I trudged them out about 65-70 yards from the edge of the decoys, straight upwind. Threw out a pair of duck decoys between them and the duck spread, and two more singles closer to the goose decoys.

    Sat down in the pit after the morning shoot was pretty well over (boss and his guest had left about 30 min. earlier) because I wasn't ready to pick up decoys and go home yet, wasn't looking for anything, just kind of resting (okay, almost nodding off) and heard a soft single note from a speck. Eased up, and there were about 20-30 headed straight at the pit, less than 15 yards off the ground. They started to slide off downwind, I blew two or three notes on my speck call (one of those, "thank God I remembered this call"), and they started getting noisy and coasting in. They were so fixed on those two decoys, they didn't even flare when I stood completely up, and instead of the birds overhead I shot my limit of two out of the five that were "lagging" behind the main flock...straight out in front, ten to fifteen yards out.

    Didn't hunt any ricefields last year, so couldn't tell you if it's a consistent trick or not, but when it happens....wow.
     
  7. twospots

    twospots Elite Refuge Member

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    I don't think there is any new and original advise for hunting ducks. It's all been tried. We are all just passing information around, but it is good to know first hand that something works...
     
  8. rhpierce

    rhpierce Elite Refuge Member

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    So, since you're in Cincy, where do you duck hunt?

    I did some work up in Ohio several years ago...wondered if there were some decent hunting opportunities other than around Erie.
     
  9. twospots

    twospots Elite Refuge Member

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    Well, there's a pond out back of my work... just gotta be carefull not to shoot cars and people... I always cary some cement blocks just in case...lol Just kidding, don't dial 911...

    There are a few state parks with decent lakes. The Ohio river is a great place but can be verry dangerous in this area. I've never don it, but alot of people do... There are some inland marshes in the north, and one or two down this way, and smaller rivers (Great Miami and Little Miami) are good in the late season when everything is froze up. Finding river spots near gravel pits are awsome for geese. A ton of field hunting done around here though... mostly for geese, but some mallards too... Sometimes it is better to set up and turn around towards the bank with a Bow in your hand... see more deer than ducks sometimes...
     
  10. JohnnyMac

    JohnnyMac Senior Refuge Member

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    Oct 12, 2003
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the great tips and information.

    Sorry for the delay in my responce, I've been at the inlaws all weekend :( Just kidding, they are great.

    I grew up around Hickory Ridge in Cross County.

    Last Januaray I moved to Booneville, and now I am looking forward to hunting in the Arkansas River Valley.

    It's great talking with all you fellow Arkies. I really enjoy reading all of your posts.

    Swamp, I checked out your post on the stuble point system, looks great, as soon as we get some rain on the farm I am going to try it out.
     

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