Decoy strategies/ HELP!

Duck Hunting for puddlers like Mallards, Sprig (Pintails), Black ducks, Widgeons, Woodducks, Teal, and other ducks.

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Decoy strategies/ HELP!

Postby bcooley82 » Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:34 am

Hey folks, I am a new duck hunter and just picked up a dozen mallard decoys. I was just wondering if any of you could give me some advise about decoy strategies. I am open to any suggestions. Thanks
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Postby maduckguy » Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:08 am

Up my way, we just throw them in small groups. Some people use particular paterns, but I have done extensive scouting and they seems to sit randomly. Just leave a landing zone in the middle of the groups and you should be OK.
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Postby Rat Creek » Wed Sep 28, 2005 2:31 pm


Nothing fancy, just random small groups. Within the small groups, keep them pretty close. This is how I see them in the wild.
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Postby duckhunter25 » Thu Sep 29, 2005 5:22 pm

:withstupid: BE WHERE THEY WANT TO BE IS KEY TO ALL!!!!! :thumbsup:
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Postby texan68 » Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:20 pm

A good basic spread. With your doz decoys, make 3 groups of 4, then set the groups into a V, pointing into the wind. Leave about 3-4 feet in between each decoy, and about 10ft or so between each group. The (landing zone) inside of the V is where the ducks are going to land. The individual decoys in the groups should not be in any formation, just randomly set. Its kinda hard to explain without a visual of some kind, so sorry for any confusion.
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Postby lillusk3 » Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:33 pm

i agree with all of them.. as well.. check out where you are hunting.. if there are 100 ducks there.. one dozen isn't going to be realistic.. but if there is 10-20.. see how they gather together.. and copy them..
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Postby bkejwanong1971 » Sat Oct 01, 2005 9:15 am

shooter location is the most important thing eg. in a pothole u want to be where the ducks have been feeding check for muddy waters or tracks in the mud these are perfect indicators. i usually set my decoys in a couple groups setup for a dozen spread prolly be a group of seven staggered close to me on my right side, and a small group of four set further out on my left an a the lonely trailer out behind them at ur max shot range. would be opposite for south paw i imagine.
If u cant get into a pothole then ur best bet would be a natural fly way the ducks usually wont be feeding or loungin there. this senerio usually only produces some good pass shooting ,try set close to the area they flyin over. i hate head on shots so i usually set my self up for a right to left swing.

hope this helps :salude: have a good one
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Postby Cobra » Sat Oct 01, 2005 12:16 pm

Like to set 1 hen off by herself, solo drakes can have a hard time passing her up.
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Postby Huntgeeseya » Mon Oct 03, 2005 6:18 pm

we use a j with the bottom into the wind and the ducks just want to poor into the opening and there always nice and close. even if they land a little outside they are still uner 45 yards
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Postby pooch » Mon Oct 03, 2005 9:31 pm

Good advice. I'll add I like to use Ring necks with the Mallard dykes. That white spot can be seen a long ways. I don't put the Ring Necks with the Mallards, I'll raft them out aways. I use the Ring Necks as "blockers" to funnel the dabbers into the shooting area. Ducks don't like to fly over other ducks and particularly Mallards don't like to fly over Ring Necks. I guess they figure them to be too dumb and reckless. They are pretty dumb.
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Postby duckman1106 » Tue Oct 04, 2005 2:42 pm

maduckguy wrote:Up my way, we just throw them in small groups. Some people use particular paterns, but I have done extensive scouting and they seems to sit randomly. Just leave a landing zone in the middle of the groups and you should be OK.

Nice one. Avoid the "J" pattern and the Nike swoosh. That's what everyone else uses, and it only takes a couple close calls before ducks imprint on that. Use some pintails, widgeons, or shovelers to put some hi-viz white into the spread. The shovelers especially have alot of contrast, which will show up and get you noticed. You could use ring necks like pooch said, but only if you are hunting in a place where you are seeing ringnecks, like on a lake. I don't know about putting ringnecks in a timber hole or a shallow marsh.
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Postby MAX2 » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:34 am

keep the wind and sun at your back. the wind being the most important
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Postby Cobra » Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:27 pm

Unless the wind is really blowing hard I'd rather keep the sun at my back.
First it rained, then it blew, then it frizz, then it snew --- from an oldtimers gunning boat ~~ He understood what it's about!
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Postby JPS » Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:25 am

I mostly use the combination of U- shapes and J-shapes. Best is if you have so many decoys that you can build the shape of small flocks of decoys.
The important thing is to create a landing strip for the incoming ducks.

I place the decoys from 5 m away to 30 m. Not farther.
it is important to have decoys of the species you hunt, therefore i use both mallards, teal, widgeons and pintails.
its also important to have some whitish decoys to attract attension from far away.
Lately I have experimented with the X shape or the Union Jack shape: placing the decoys in groups with X shaped landing strips.
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decoy set up

Postby goosetalk » Sat Nov 12, 2005 2:25 pm

Since you only have a dozen, putting them in small groups is the best way to go. However, you should split them up a little more than 3 groups of four. 2 groups of 3, 1 group of four, and pair looks very natural. The pair should be set away from the groups to simulate that they have just landed. Another good idea is to set a singel decoy by itself where you want the ducks to land. From my experience, ducks will almost always land by a single decoy, rather than into a bunch
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Scouting Ducks

Postby DuckSleuth » Sun Nov 13, 2005 7:18 pm

Went scouting yesterday and saw a good group of geese and ducks in a small cove. Question - If these birds are just "hanging" out in this area (roosting and feeding), what is my best approach to hunting them?

BTW - I will be hunting them on opening day..

Should I:

1) Get in there early (4am), and "nudge" them out of there, hoping they will come back. I was thinking I would park the boat 100 yards away, walk in and gently edge them out of there. My assumption is that since they have stayed in this cove for so long they will come back later that morning.


2) Sneak up to them in shooting range and jump them off the water.

What would you do???
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Postby Sagebrush » Mon Nov 14, 2005 11:58 pm

I like mallard decoys, but also have pintail , widgon & teal. I even took two mallards and made coot (mudhens) out of them. I set the mallards on one side of me and the "High Vis" decoys on the other side, with the teal out in the middle; forming a triangle effect. This set up works with just a dozen decoys or what ever. Works for me.
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