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Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by drahthaarducker, Feb 13, 2020.
Good for you. Let us know when you've done it here.
I have done it here, that's all that counts.
I have a dozen each of the FUD's and the foam shell Ultralight w/ the detachable heads. About 3 pounds to carry all 24. Have used both together or separately. Used to walk in to the Cache River areas in S. Il. Had some really good shoots in the cypress trees w/ them. Use them in dry fields now and then. Work great there also. Have to watch the wind w/ the foam ones.
As long as your circumstance is such that you're still shooting all the birds you want and not wishing others weren't pushing off, there's no arguing that. Drive on...
Could I get by with cheaper decoys, probably. Does it hurt having good decoys you have confidence in, not a bit. At least I know if they they don't commit its not the deke. First part of early goose here with birds that havent been shot over I agree, you can get by with cheaper dekes , later on with no new birds in for awhile and hunter competition it's tough. The places I hunt ducks mostly creeks and beaver ponds till they freeze not so much but I still use good decoys. Funny experience last year had a bunch of mallards come in after my two bird limit was done and was waiting for blacks. Drake mallard swam over and fell in love with a Avian x flocked black. So I guess I'm hooked! You should see my fly boxes. Like Rick and some others said do whatever works for you.
I think anyone who speaks in absolutes about decoys and the birds they are used upon is a fool.
There are WAY too many variables to do so IMO.
I like my decoys to look as realistic as I can get them without too much effort on my part. I dont use a spinning wing even though I've seen them work well and wouldn't rule them out in the future.
Motion kills ducks in my experience. But it also flares ducks in my experience. We use jerk strings with success and sometimes failure. Probably user error. Timing, string shining, etc.
With Aleutians where we have hunted them we have noticed the more realistic decoys put birds in your lap... wasnt always necessary. Maybe still isnt always necessary.
When they first opened where we hunted at the time everyone hunted them with honker decoys. It worked for a bit. But they really don't sit with the honkers here. Oh small groups of aleutians will sit with mall groups of honkers if the big birds let em. But as a rule not so much.
I bought 4 dozen carrylite one piece shells and took out all but 3 or 4 sentry birds and used them set up way tighter than I ever used goose decoys and in patterns of the spread mimicking the way small groups of live birds sat. Worked a bit then i painted them. Nothing special just all around darker than honkers. Bingo, lights out. I would set up and be done in the blink of an eye after the flight began. Sure I sat the X when possible but so did others with honker decoys of all types.
I by far out killed others. In a time when they were running hunts in that area that were the only thing going for that little bird and if you looked on here and other boards all you could find were sob stories of ripoff guides and landowners and dont waste your time to go there and try to decoy birds, the only way is pass shooting and jump shooting I was taking vacation time and hammering the aleutians for 2 weeks straight, sitting birds with cheap decoys.
One of the ranchers took note and said it's the color of the decoys, I think it was that and not setting them 6 to 8 feet apart in groups of 3 or 4 like honkers sit much of the time.
More recently I have tried those decoys with little success. I've hunted over DSD with pretty great success. Anecdotal? Yup. Too many variables. But I know a few guys who hit them pretty hard and they try not to shoot juvies and they land the birds and glass for collared birds or well colored or adult birds etc. so they have the birds milling in the decoys for minutes or longer. They are very successful and have a lot of bands and collars.
I think that region can play a big part as well as pressure and what options the birds have locally.
I believe the guys that say they realistic decoys and spreads are the way to go in their spots and I believe the guys who hunt only over tarred bleach bottles. It's about what works for you.
I got to hunt a pretty premier duck club in 1997. They killed their 1000th mallard the day I was there and the decoys were all one color, mud. Old magnum Flambea decoys that I would have been embarrassed to hunt over, but the location was so good, the ducks just kept coming.
Same as real estate. Location, location, location!!! Be where ducks want to be and where you have a decent flight. Hard to kill ducks that aren’t there. Next is hide. If birds aren’t finishing right, it’s rarely the decoys or how they’re set. They are seeing you. Fix the blind or layouts instead of wasting time moving decoys. Wear face masks and smack the rubberneckers up side the head to keep their heads down! Nice decoys look pretty but don’t make all that much difference most of the time.
Stuffers best decoy In my opinion you
Can,t paint feathers .
I buy the nicest decoys I can. Solely Bc I don’t want any excuse. I can never say “oh they must have seen the sun burnt decoys, or the one tilted over and flared”. I just try and take decoys out of the equation, and believe you can somewhat do that w nicer decoys. So I know if I’m not finishing birds like I want it’s Bc I did something wrong and need to fix it. (my hide, calling, the way we’re set up, etc)
If a pea sized brain mallard makes it through Arkansas and comes to LA where there’s a hunter behind every tree, he isn’t so stupid anymore. They know what’s right and what’s wrong.