All Black Decoys?

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All Black Decoys?

Postby rj_case » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:05 pm

I've been hunting recently and seen a few guys using all black decoys and claiming to have good results, I just got a bunch of decoys and was considering painting a few black to contrast the rest of the mallards in my spread...good idea?
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby gkerrigan » Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:47 pm

I'm curious about this too. I have been thinking about adding to my spread, and I have been thinking in terms of color rather than species. I've heard people talk about the color catching ducks attention. Question is, would you rather have more white color in the spread or more black color in the spread to catch a duck's attention?
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby WI River Widow Maker » Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:38 pm

I know a guy out in colorado that paints all his roughed-up mallards black. He swears it still works great, but they are only fillers, so not every decoy is black.
On the other hand the white areas (i.e. neck ring and tips of tail feathers) are supposed to be distinguishing characteristices that catch the attention of the ducks.

The part that puzzles me, if you have all black decoys or dull colors (hens) with no distinguishing characteristics, how do they know they are ducks? I've seen stump fields from 50-100yds and couldn't tell if it was just a bunch of stumps or someone's decoys. Even with ducks seeing that on the water I feel they would have a hard time distinguishing stumps/rocks form decoys/other ducks without those tell-tail markings.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby MassDecoyCarver » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:36 am

my coastal spread is mostly blacks. I'll set about 20 of them and have everything land with them. Teal, mallards, widgeon, you name it,..and of course black ducks. I have also mixed in a few mallards and that helps.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby dakotashooter2 » Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:28 am

I'm willing to bet that the "black" decoys probably stand out better at long distances especially on the water. That means birds way out that were not seeing the decoys probably can see tha dark ones. The coloration of duck is not always visible due to light conditions, shadows, angle of the sun and such. Even to duck some real ones may just look like dark blobs on the water.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby Frank Lopez » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:34 pm

rj_case wrote:I've been hunting recently and seen a few guys using all black decoys and claiming to have good results, I just got a bunch of decoys and was considering painting a few black to contrast the rest of the mallards in my spread...good idea?


Maybe I misunderstood your question. I thought you were talking about black duck decoys, not mallard decoys painted black. If that's the case, then adding a few black ducks to your stool will work and work well. Black ducks are notoriously more wary than mallards and when mallards see black ducks in the spread, it tends to relax them a bit. Try and mimmic the numbers you see in the wild. I usually put out about a third of my decoys as black duck and the rest mallard.

Frank
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby Slack Tide » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:55 am

Did you ever see one of those lawn ornaments that look like a Cowboy leaning against a tree? Did you ever notice how you will be driving down the street and one of those things snaps your head around and grabs your attention? I do..
All my black duck decoys are painted stone black. I actually use High Temp spray paint over sawdusted foam bodies. We have added a blue speculum patch and paint the heads correctly though.
I think they look mean....

As for sea ducks, I know lots of guys just do all black...
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby rj_case » Sat Dec 24, 2011 10:07 pm

painted 5 of my 12 mallard decoys black and used them for the first time today...the ducks seem to be more interested than usual in my decoys, even in high pressure areas. I think I might be onto something

I'll keep you posted.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby MD4581 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 6:33 pm

any new updates ? Do i need to go pick up some paint and get to work ?
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby rj_case » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:02 pm

they seem to be more inclined to come into the decoy spread, however, I'm still new to the sport so I'd like to think my calling gets better every day so that could have something to do with it. I'll be out another 3 times this week to really test them out.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby ncbufflehead » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:27 pm

i have about 6 dozen that are painted solid black. if i get a puddle duck decoy that needs to be repainted, i paint it black and it doubles as a scoter decoy. puddle ducks do not seem to mind them
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby MS2XX » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:01 am

Depends on what your after. Here on Cape Cod we can only take one Black duck p/day but since we have more Mallards every year, we set up for them but toss in a few black decoys for confidence. As the guy from Long Island NY say,s Blacks are notoriously warey so a few in your spread of Mallards is worth while. Blacks often flare at Mojo's yet the Mallards will suck right in. Try it, you'll like it ! just my two pennies worth. MS2XX :thumbsup:
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby KRB » Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:53 am

MS2XX wrote:Depends on what your after. Here on Cape Cod we can only take one Black duck p/day but since we have more Mallards every year, we set up for them but toss in a few black decoys for confidence. As the guy from Long Island NY say,s Blacks are notoriously warey so a few in your spread of Mallards is worth while. Blacks often flare at Mojo's yet the Mallards will suck right in. Try it, you'll like it ! just my two pennies worth. MS2XX :thumbsup:

Agree, Black duck's are wary and inspire confidence in other ducks.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby mudpack » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:24 pm

Agree, Black duck's are wary and inspire confidence in other ducks.


Does anyone actually think that ducks actually KNOW that blacks are more wary than mallards are?? :lol3:

If they knew that, they'd know to be more wary themselves..........................

Some of you guys believe the ducks think like humans think. News flash: they don't.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby Duck_Stank » Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:59 pm

mudpack wrote:
Agree, Black duck's are wary and inspire confidence in other ducks.


Does anyone actually think that ducks actually KNOW that blacks are more wary than mallards are?? :lol3:

If they knew that, they'd know to be more wary themselves..........................

Some of you guys believe the ducks think like humans think. News flash: they don't.

Boy oh boy do I agree with this! Marketing rules supreme in waterbird hunting. You guys honestly think ducks or geese see your decoys well enough to notice all the fancy paint work, or if you have a sub species or two? Especially with black duck decoys. They don't care what brand you have, and I highly doubt a flying duck notices if you have a black duck decoy or not, if anything it simply adds a darker looking bird, which can be achieved with a different brand of mallard decoy.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:35 pm

The big bird brains who study such things credit waterfowl with the ability to discern detail at two to three times the distance humans can. How they use that information little doubt depends on their experience. IE: birds that have been getting shot at when they try to pitch in with mallards may well be more comfortable joining something that hasn't shot at them.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby mudpack » Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:13 pm

Having the eyesight to discern detail at great distances is not the same as having cognitive powers of logic and deduction.

If ducks had one tenth the brain power of humans, they'd never come into a decoy spread, any decoy spread, ever. Thank heaven they think like ducks and not like you and I. :thumbsup:
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby Duck_Stank » Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:00 pm

Agree with mudpack, their animals. Every year black ducks decoy fine for me on the river, with the same less than stellar decoys used for years, and all being mallard decoys.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:55 am

Rather than focus on the birds that came to crap rigs with a men standing in the middle of them, I'm more concerned with fooling the ones that still push off when I'm doing the best I know how. And when a speck starts to land near a single DSD decoy, only to plainly bump from it and swing across our hide, I'm inclined to believe he saw it for what it was and try to make that less apt to happen again.

Maybe you fellows already fool 'em all, but I'm still working on it.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby mudpack » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:15 am

Rick Hall wrote:Maybe you fellows already fool 'em all, but I'm still working on it.

Hang in there, Rick, eventually you'll get it...... :thumbsup:

(actually, I agree with you on decoy realism. The most lifelike decoys are the only decoys I'll buy. But, the subject we were discussing is "do mallards know that black ducks are more wary than they (the mallards) are, and do they trust the blacks more than they trust other mallards?" Do ducks even possess the ability to "trust"?)
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:37 am

mudpack wrote:
Rick Hall wrote:Maybe you fellows already fool 'em all, but I'm still working on it.

Hang in there, Rick, eventually you'll get it...... :thumbsup:

(actually, I agree with you on decoy realism. The most lifelike decoys are the only decoys I'll buy. But, the subject we were discussing is "do mallards know that black ducks are more wary than they (the mallards) are, and do they trust the blacks more than they trust other mallards?" Do ducks even possess the ability to "trust"?)


Well... I've been blessed with the opportunity to hunt every open day of waterfowl season and most afternoons on the bird rich but high gun pressure Southwest Louisiana wintering grounds since 1984, with the down side being the accompanying responsibility of doing my level best to fill my hunters' game straps. And if I've learned anything from it, it's been the importance of doing my best to pay attention.

When putting a dozen snow goose decoys out with a spread in hopes of drawing a few lost ones repeatedly appears to hurt our chances to start, let alone finish, other birds, it sure appears to me that the birds don't "trust" them, presumably because a dozen snow geese on the ground or in the water is a phenomenon those birds have come to associate with guns. By the same token, when late season ducks and even specklebellied geese are frequently more inclined to land with my big raft of poule d'eaus/coots than with the duck or speck decoys across the pothole, I can't help but suspect it's a matter of "trust"ing something that doesn't commonly shoot at them. Particularly on occasions when the wind favors other locations.

In any event, no, I don't believe ducks think, "Gee, there's a wary what's-it, it must be safe to sit with him." But I certainly do believe them capable of what for any practical purpose amounts to "trust" and "distrust". And I try to play to it with rigs and setups that look as trustworthy as I can manage and as little as I can get away with like what the warier birds might not trust.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby mudpack » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:21 am

I agree with everything you said in the above post. :thumbsup:

Ducks don't possess logic but they, like amoebas, quickly learn to avoid things that cause them alarm/discomfort.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby DKMF » Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:08 pm

Ducks just like geese become conditioned to avoid the average decoy spread. Pretty much from poor shooting and every guy running the same basic spread.
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby Echospartan » Sat Mar 22, 2014 2:58 pm

curious to see any success videos or pictures of ducks shot over black decoy spreads
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Re: All Black Decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:15 pm

You might want to Google Reelfoot Lake hunting, as that's one place a lot of plain black (color, not species) decoys or jugs are, or at least were, commonly used.
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