Big Ducks

Duck Duster

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I have a question pertaining to pulling in big ducks.
We hunt using an airboat and put out around 150 silhouette duck decoys and 50 duck floaters. We have no problem pulling in teal but the big birds won’t commit and stay just out of range.(btw we are seeing tons of big birds in this particular area) We have tried removing the mojo from the spread, moved decoys around, and hidden ourselves better. Not sure what they don’t like!? Does anyone have any ideas or ran into the same problem?
 

dubob

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Have you tried using only 5 to 8 decoys total? I've had limit days on 'big' ducks using only 3 decoys in tight pockets and 7 or 8 decoys on bigger open areas. In Canada one year we shot 2 limits of snow geese using only 3 stuffer speckle belly (white front) decoys. Big spreads are not always the correct approach.
 

Duck Duster

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I have not tried a small spread, might be worth trying. Usually hunting big open water so we try to put out a lot of decoys to compete with the piles of live birds all around.
 

dubob

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It's a situational decision. If you're hunting in an area that has rafts (hundreds of birds) within a few blocks of your location, it is going to be difficult to pull birds to your spread. There will be a ton of motion visible to the birds in the air from the live rafts. It is very difficult to duplicate that with decoys. Not impossible; just difficult. Jerk strings, swimmers, spinners, and flickers can help.

If, on the other hand, there aren't any big rafts within a half mile or more of your location, a small spread may catch the eye of singles, pairs, or small groups of birds flying nearby and looking for company and there will be less chance of spooking the birds with an improper or badly arranged large decoy set.

Small spreads aren't always going to work. But if you pay close attention to the environment and conditions and adjust your spread accordingly, there will be times when the smaller spread will work better than a larger spread. It's a learning process. Learn to be adaptive to the environment and conditions on every hunt.

I'll leave you with a quote from a very wise man.

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Good luck and enjoy the sport. :tu
 

Drifly

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How far away from your airboat are you? Good cover and hiding yourself is always a key. If birds can see you it doesn’t matter how many or how few decoys you have.... your busted.

good luck
Drifly
 

bustsducks

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If you're hunting out of coffins in open water you probably don't have a big enough decoy spread. Guys that hunt open water coffin hunts that use 3 or 4 hundred silos are pretty successful. You want a big black hole.

Park that boat about a half mile away.
 

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