How do I vary my Decoy Spread?

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How do I vary my Decoy Spread?

Postby gukster8675309 » Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:40 pm

Just finished my first season and noticed my buds using a varied species spread had better results than I did. I hunt both marsh and river (back water area). My current spread is 36 mallards and would like some advice on mixing it up a little. I bagged mallards, golden eyes, mergansers, and red heads. Buds about the same, so is that what I should go with? A friend swears by teals and bluebills, but I don't see them flying.
What is a good mix or rather minumum number of each species; a dozen of 2 species / 6 of 4 species / 8 of three species, etc. Kind of limited on what I can carry. Should I stick to puddle ducks and not mix diving ducks? How far should I off set them or set up my spread? Is having geese, a heron, and a mojo duck overkill on the confidence side. I also plan on buying some sleepers and feeders as well. How much confidence is overkill? I was very pleased with my first crack at duck hunting and looking forward to next season.
Thanks in advance for any advise.
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Postby MIDuckHunter » Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:04 pm

For what it's worth....a lot of times I will look at what everyone else around me is using and then try to do something a little different, especially later in the season. I think that the ducks get used to seeing 2 dozen mallards floating around places they get shot at and shy away from that kind of set. Sometimes I do well with only 4 to 6 decoys, other times I do well with 5 dozen, you never know. If you have redheads around you might do well mixing in a 1/2 dozen drake canvasback decoys. The white really stands out and makes your spread noticeable. If I use divers with puddlers I usually run a string of divers upwind of my blind and then put the puddlers downwind. I don't mix divers and puddlers right together. Same for geese if you mix in goose decoys. I hope this helps some.
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sometimes no decoys work best

Postby fowlmouth labs » Thu Jun 17, 2004 2:03 pm

I hunt in Arkansas and in the late season I do a lot of midmorning scouting.I look for ducks that are setting in back water sloughs on lakes or creeks.When you find these ducks chances are no one is hunting in these areas, the ducks know it is safe there, but you can not hunt these ducks the way you normally would. If you go in there and set up decoys and mojos these ducks will flair because they have played that game before. Ducks can tell the difference in real and fake especially in the late season. The best thing to do is go in there before daylight and wait, when the ducks need a safe place to rest you will be there waiting. If the ducks think it is a safe place they will return. Trust me it works. TAKE EM how you can get em.
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Postby Mallyard » Thu Jun 17, 2004 3:55 pm

Last year we hunted over 2 doz. Mallards most of the time... This year we'll have 1 doz wigeion, 1 1/2 Mallards and mabey 1/2 doz spoonies.... On morning hunts we'll also add a few goose floaters ( in the mornings for more time to set up)... So I'd try and make my spread look more natural than the guy before you... We are also adding a jerk string along with our robo duck for motion... We have some still days here, so a good jerk string may be the key for water movment... Hope this info helps..

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Postby Waterfowlerguy » Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:11 am

A good source of help for a begining waterfowler is a book called "Duck Decoys and How To Rig Them" by Ralf Cokenday. Unsure if the spelling is right. But there are lots of good illustrations and tips and it will get your brain working. It did for me.l
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Postby Puddler » Wed Jun 30, 2004 1:44 pm

I hunt in new york on big lakes and small swamps.i use about 4 species in my spread. We have 1 1/2 dozen mallards, 1 dozen divers, 1dozen BLACK DUCKS And about 5 pintails. We put the divers on a line outside of the puddlers. the pintails should go on the edge of the mallards and the black ducks should go inside mallards in groups of 3 or 4. I also use geese floaters and i put the black ducks with them. Im not sure about some places but in new york you should definently have black duck decoys in your spread. we have shot bluebills, bufflehead, goldeneye, mergansers, pintails, teal, wigeon, mallards, black ducks, and a few shovelers from this spread.
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Postby quackhunt1 » Sun Aug 15, 2004 9:05 pm

Last year in Wisconsin, we hunted on some rivers in the northern part of the state, we had 3-4 doz Mag mallards, behind them were about 2 doz Bluebills, and on the outside 4-6 mag. goose decoys. We did pretty good with Goldeye, Bluebills and Bufflehead.
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