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Standard Decoy Length vs Real Duck Size

Discussion in 'Decoy Forum' started by captaininsano050, Feb 5, 2018.

  1. captaininsano050

    captaininsano050 Refuge Member

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    Hey fellas, I've been lurking a long time and I see people talk about decoy size here a lot. Apparently, size matters??? Whodathunkit?

    Anyways, after shooting some mallards this year I held one (a hen I think) up to a standard decoy.The hen looked to be comparable in size to the decoy, and I thought great. I looked up the specs, and someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the decoy is 14'' in length.

    What is your opinion? Is 14'' too short, too small, or do you have another reason you run magnum or standard decoys?

    Is it weird to mix and 18'' magnum with 14'' standard? I bought Higdon standard and Higdon magnums just to compare the size difference. The difference is very noticeable.

    Obviously I want standard because of price considerations but all the cool stuff is magnum sized (and magnum priced).
     
  2. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    Two of the best decoys on the market today are the GHG ProGrades and the Avian-X TopFlight. They are "standard" sized decoys.
    Magnum decoys are designed to appeal to hunters, not necessarily ducks.
    There are several reasons I run only standard decoys:
    1. the most life-like decoys are available only in standard
    2. they are less costly than magnum/oversized
    3. they are just as effective in my hunting as magnum/oversized
    4. I can carry more standard decoys than I can magnum/oversized
    5. I like a spread with lots of variations in decoy position; feeders, sleepers, resters, etc. are not generally available in magnum/oversized
     
  3. mpkowal

    mpkowal Elite Refuge Member

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    Alot depends on where and how you hunt,your budget also can determine what decoys you use.I hunt bulrush checks which are flooded alkali bulrush checks and sometimes kind of thick,so magnum decoys show up better and most of the ducks sit right in the vegetation.If I am hunting more open water ,I can use standards and generally prefer more numbers.obviously both kill ducks.
    When Lake Mead was higher level,a lot of our geese used it as a roost and came into our fields to feed from a couple miles away and came in pretty high,well a few guys started running those huge 747 shells with amazing results.
    Size can be used to your advantage.
     
  4. bufflehead1

    bufflehead1 Senior Refuge Member

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    Ducks have limited depth perception so they don't notice the size difference between the two like we do. They do see the larger decoys first because anything larger is more visible.


    I use both sizes mixed as well as swan and goose decoys just for added visibility.
     
  5. captaininsano050

    captaininsano050 Refuge Member

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    I think maybe I am just worried about the size difference in the same spread. There was a good deal on these Higdon Mags so I got them. I got some Higdon standard to compare and it just looks way different size wise.

    On a side note, why do you like the Pro-Grades so much? I'm sticking with Dakotas or Higdons, foam filled, because I'm tired of holes and cheap junk. Paint seems pretty good on some of the Higdons I already had.
     
  6. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator Flyway Manager

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    No one decoy style works in every situation, for every person.

    We also over-think the importance of decoy styles. It is, at best, 3rd in importance, and probably 4th, and accounts for maybe 20% of our success.
     
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  7. creedsduckman

    creedsduckman Elite Refuge Member

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  8. 30# MERGANSER

    30# MERGANSER Senior Refuge Member

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    Big water Big Decoys Small Water Small Decoys Just My 2 Cents
     
  9. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    Uber realistic decoys are more than just feather detail (which is not important in my mind). Realistic decoys have the right colors in the right places, they have head and body shapes and proportions that are accurate, and they have varied and correct body positions....these are important to me.
    You are correct in that when you back away from live ducks you just see the basics. That's why the basics, as named above, must also be present in good decoys. This is my opinion only and, since I'm the one paying for my decoys, I'll get the ones that look most like a live duck in the species the decoy is supposed to replicate.

    By the way, the above is why I prefer the brands I mentioned.
     
  10. Billy Bob

    Billy Bob Elite Refuge Member

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    Decoy realism does not matter at all, the only thing that matters is visibility. Larger size = better visibility. I have hunted entire seasons recently with old Flambeau decoys from the 80's that have almost no paint. Why do they work? the dark color is more visible. Think about black and white silo spreads for geese, they work for the same reason.

    Realism is for the hunter and to lure money out of hunters pockets. I admit "I" would rather look at realistic decoys. This season I hunted over realistic GHG "pro series" and found that they do not pull birds in as well as darker decoys. Ducks have a brain the size of a peanut and will not notice the size differences in sizes so mix away.
     

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