Duck Hunting for puddlers like Mallards, Sprig (Pintails), Black ducks, Widgeons, Woodducks, Teal, and other ducks.
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I'm new to duck hunting, and have been buying a lot of decoys lately. I have 2 dozen mallards, then a a half dozen woodies, half dozen gwt, half dozen pintails, and a half dozen widgeon. I'm not sure how to set out my spread. Starting with early season and progressing through the fall. Do you mix all the birds or keep them seperate on the water? What is more realistic?
Thanks for the help.
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I tend to keep them somewhat sperate but kinda mixed where groups meet. the groups arent spaced out form each other compared to the spacing of each kind in a group.
and I'd try to put the woodies near an area with a little more cover like around trees or log protruding from the water. dont make some crazy pattern when setting them up just toss them out, but leave a "hole" where you would prefer the ducks to land, and make it easy for them to land in your hole according to the wind... never have the wind in your face, always have the wind blowing at your back or across (from left to right or R to L) your decoy spread. I will usually set up with a cross wind if I can, I'd rather have a nice swing shot at a duck and have the ducks looking at decoys when they are landing not staring right at where I'm trying to hide. I get a lot less flared ducks before I shoot this way.
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rabbitdundied wrote: I use my mojos in places I don't want birds to land.
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Woodies in cover if possible.....i put my gwt along the shoreline or where shallow water is. I make 2 small groups of mallards. Well 2 groups but real close but leave opening (crosswind i prefer too) where the ducks can land
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I agree with the previous statements about the decoy setups but
NUMBER 1 :MAKE YOUR DECOYS RESEMBLE WHTA YOU SEE... WHEN YOU ARE SCOUTING AND REALISTIC TO THE WATERFOWL IN THE AREA
2. Like mentioned above ducks working in on a cross wind is preferred
3. Pay attention to the way the ducks are working into your spread if they are not finishing. Make your adjustements moving where you are set-up or the decoys accordingly. Sometime they done wanna work over tall marsh grass or tree line or the wind is causing them to work a certain way pay attention to these details
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Much of how a spread is laid out depends upon the size and type of water you are hunting as well as the time of year. While there are some "rules of thumb" many follow, the number of blocks and geometry of a decoy spread will vary greatly from timber to marsh to rivers to big water and even then from early to late season. The previous responses gave good information but it comes down to reading the birds and the time of year that determines what will work on your hunting area.
Just remember, many a duck has fallen while decoying to a handful of decoys so do not think you have to lay out a huge sperad to be successful...but again this can depend upon the other conditions. Just keep it latural looking and think "family groups" and put out decoys of the species you are seeing. There is no need to put out woody or GWT deeks when all you are seeing is mallards & widgeon.
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There are a lot of pros on DHC but this other site helped me out the past few seasons.
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I agree with everything said above except for in my experience I prefer the wind at my back.. I like having big ole redlegs dropped and hovering 10 ft off the water in my face.. Gets the heart pumpin and is one of my favorite sites.. So I would say if at all possible set up with the wind at ur back..
"keep the lord in your heart, and keep your powder dry..." chris knight
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most people set up the deeks right in front of there blind with a hole for the ducks to land. ive found that no matter my set up or what species. the majority of the ducks i have killed light outside my spread, i use two dozen on most occasion with mojos wonderducks mixed bags of ducks and geese but no matter what they dont often light in the hole i make. i started putting the deeks off to the down wind side and they have been putting in right in front of me.
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It sounds like your hunting puddle ducks with the decoys you bought, also in half dozen, so that must be green head gear? every body has given great tips so far, I like doing these things early season, but later on I put puddlers in a "J" downwind of me then put a dozen diver decoys straight in front of me at the top of the "J" that have lots of white or black to contrast the water, if you don't believe it try it. Started this last year, figured it out half way through the hunt and after I switched every duck I saw bombed in without question, did a few more times, with same results and in different weather conditions. Like the others said woodies near mild cover, teal in shallow water, if you use gadwall decoys keep off the main group in their own little areas. Hope this helps
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Get a pair of binos and glass the birds in your area where your hunting. Copy what you see.thats the only real way to tell
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