Early season decoy spread?

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Early season decoy spread?

Postby HARDKORE HUNTER » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:54 pm

I am curious as to the ratio of drakes to hens (mallards) y'all use and a big spread or small spread for open waters? Any advise is greatly appreciated!


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Re: Early season decoy spread?

Postby PetriDuck » Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:09 pm

Open water wise, using mallards, i use almost all drakes. In my opinion, I believe the birds work towards ones they can recognize (hence decoys getting so detailed), that look real to them. I have had good luck that way, im sure many will have other options/opinions. Beyond mallards, using other species, I use all drakes as well (using the hens as fillers to be honest) for decoying. I believe proper placement of the dekes,keeping in mind of the wind factor, esp. in northern California, is key to a good hunt (provided there is a decent amount of bird movement in the area).
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Re: Early season decoy spread?

Postby HARDKORE HUNTER » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:11 am

Thanks Petri! I use all GHG Pro Grades for my spreads! I have Mallards, (of course) Widgeon, and Green Wing Teal. I also have some Final Approach Life Size Mallards to throw and a few GHG Gadwalls! I am going to wait to see what others say and you might be the only response I get LOL! I have heard the opposite though to use a lot of hens for early season! I am down to try anything as long as ducks are in the area I will continue to try to get them over my decoys!

Thanks again,

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Re: Early season decoy spread?

Postby RookieJ » Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:43 am

I set out about 2 dozen decoys yesterday and the birds seemed to like it. Had about a dozen mallards with only 1 drake and then a dozen mixed blue and green teal. I put them in one group because I have been seeing the teal landing with the mallards in my goose decoys during early season goose. I also threw out 4 canadian geese and had a couple groups landing in them.
There will be blood!
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Re: Early season decoy spread?

Postby jrode237 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 5:23 am

This year I plan on running mostly hen mallard decoys along with the GHG pro grade mallard/black hybrids early in the year. To me, they look enough like an eclipse drake mallard (what we shoot for the first few weeks here in central WI) that I believe it warrants using them. Opener is on Saturday and I am thinking 2 dozen mallard (probably 4, no more than 6 drake decoys) along with teal and woodies.
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Re: Early season decoy spread?

Postby cwsmith » Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:18 pm

Personally I will use more hens than drakes in the first week or two.. til I start seeing more colored up birds. I think more importantly make sure you are representing the species that are around early on. For me I will mostly be using my mallards and wood ducks.
13-14 Season

40 mallards
14 GWT
13 pin
10 spoony
10 buff
9 wigeon
8 rgnk
6 woodie
6 gad
5 barrow's ge
3 merg
3 ruddy
2 l scaup
1 g scaup
1 comm ge
1 can

77 canada
4 snow
2 speck

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Re: Early season decoy spread?

Postby olt d2 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:46 am

My early season spread is two dozen ducks, eight Mallards with two drakes painted eclipsed ( heads dry brushed with primer gray and bodies dry brushed with flat brown) four Gadwall hens and a dozen hen Teal decoys. I will add a half dozen woodies if they are in the area.
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Re: Early season decoy spread?

Postby JuniorPre 360 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 8:50 am

This might sound dumb, but I hunt right in the middle of the Pacific Flyway. The area I hunt is a main stop in the middle of the migration. I see a lot of different species of ducks and a lot of them already have their colors. I've always heard about using more hens than drakes in early season. I do apply this tactic when hunting small local ponds and fields and it does work. But in a place where migrating birds frequent, I throw out large groups of whatever I have and a lot of it is drakes. I'd check to see if you are killing local ducks or not. Again, that might sound a little dumb, but it's true.
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