Good freelance, walk in set up?

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Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby Ukcatshunter » Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:48 am

Hello,

I plan to hunt a WMA on a large lake that has some walk in areas. I have no boat so obviously I will be lugging everything in through the woods etc.

I am thinking 2 dozen mallards. 6 black ducks. 6 pintails.

Only take two dozen at a time. Figure I can't buy just 3 black duck and 3 pintails since they come in 6 packs.

Any other recommendations? Standard vs mag?

May through a baby mojo in as well.

Looking at GHG pro grades, tangle free and hard core brands. Any ideas there?
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby Honk-n-quack » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:34 am

buy one of those cheap steel 2 wheel game carts off Cabelas and attach a extended handle, be it a 2x4 ripped in half to welding a steel handle on. I then attached a wheel to the front of it to even the weight out. I can push 6 doz decoys, blind bag, bucket, and shotgun with ease
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby mudpack » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:38 am

Ukcatshunter wrote: I will be lugging everything in through the woods etc. I am thinking 2 dozen mallards. 6 black ducks. 6 pintails.

If you are under 40 years old and in good shape, two dozen will be all you can handle....depending on how far you have to walk.
This last week of the season, my 40 year old partner (I'm 66) and I have been walking in 1.5 miles each way. We are carrying 8 decoys apiece. When you add the gun, case, blind bag with shells-water-calls-straps-snack-camera-cell-extra gloves and cap-etc....and THEN 15 pounds of ducks apiece on the hike out.....well, it gets to be just about all either of us can bear. That last quarter mile is pure torture.
Neither of us can imagine doing it with THIRTY-SIX DECOYS in a bag!!!!!!!!
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby LiquidA45 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 2:54 pm

you can order individual decoys at knutsondecoys.com
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby LiquidA45 » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:11 pm

Just noticed that website has Avian-X mallards and black ducks. The tangle free pintails look good imo.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby woodduck31 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:36 am

I pack in a mile to one of my spots and use a 6 slot backpack type goose decoy bag and put two decoys in each slot. I always dump the sand out of the keels on any of my plastic decoys. That will reduce the weight from a half pound to a pound depending on the type of decoy. I'll put a small 1/8 inch hole in the top front of the keel so it can fill and empty better, but not dump when the wind tries to turn them over. I've never had a decoy turn over that is done that way. The weight on my migration edition mallard decoys is unbearable, but dumping nearly a pound of sand out of them makes them very nice to carry. It is not the foam fill that makes those decoys heavy, it's the sand in the keels. I've also worked with a lot of the feather flex decoys, they are around $45 a dozen, you could carry 20 dozen of them for the weight you'd have in a dozen regular decoys. You could always carry a half dozen traditional plastic decoys and fill in with the feather flex to reduce weight and as tuleman says, you have to consider carrying a limit of 2 to 3 lb each ducks back to the truck too. Adding 20 lbs to your load with dead birds can burn the adrenaline off about a mile short of your destination.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby mudpack » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:23 pm

woodduck brings up a very good point; whichever decoys you get, make sure they are "water-keel" (or, you jettison the sand out of the keels). Decoys with weighted keels can damage the heart when you're packing a good number of them in a long way.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby Stish85 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:11 pm

My walk in spot is about a 1 mile walk. I usually carry out about 36 decoys with weighted keels. The kicker here is that I only have to carry them about half of that, then I can float them. I can tell you that with that weight you won't want to carry them any farther than that even with a good decoy bag. You are still looking at close to 100lbs in the decoy bag, Plus any other gear you bring.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby finsnfeathershunter » Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:44 pm

As far as what species you want to take and amount that's an individual choice. I do walk in myself and carry no more than 18 and I switch up the species depending where I hunt. Don't forget that GHG makes a slightly oversized
Pro Grade teal decoy that actually stands out on the water better than most guys think.

Now for the weight the weighted keels are a problem.

So I dumped the sand out of the keels by drilling holes. Worked great and as mentioned it cut the weight down considerably.

Bad part is that they would tip in the wind and you could no longer throw them to land upright. So after fighting this for years and only carrying 18 I decided to get some flat 6 ounce bendable decoy weights cut them and glued them with JB Plastic Weld to the bottom of the keel.

I took the 6 oz. weight, cut it into four equal pieces, glued 2 pieces to each end on the bottom of the keel. Now they don't tip over in the wind and I can throw them. Still lighter than a full keel of sand and only using 18 decoys the re-added weight is not enough to worry about.

I was surprised at how much sand/weight is in a dozen GHG "Pro Grade" mallard and wigeon decoys.

Also decide if your decoy weights are too big for where you hunt. Even my largest duck decoy decoy weight is no more than 2 1/2 ounces. My standards are only 1 3/4 ounce solid drop lead sinker style.

(No I am not pimping any one brand of decoy over another. I hunt over Drake, FA, GHG, G&H, Flambeaus and Carrylite depending what species I take.)
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby mudpack » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:19 am

finsnfeathershunter wrote:Also decide if your decoy weights are too big for where you hunt. Even my largest duck decoy decoy weight is no more than 2 1/2 ounces. My standards are only 1 3/4 ounce solid drop lead sinker style.

Another good point from fins. My weights are 3oz mushrooms and that is plenty for the places I hunt.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby woodduck31 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:38 am

I wished I could use weights that light, but here hunting the fast moving turbulent snake river I use a minimum of 12 oz up to 16 oz weights to keep the decoys in place. We also deal with a lot of drifting milfoil that will literally carry decoys away on occasion. As far as dumping sand out of the keel, it helps to counter the weights we have to use. You want to drill a small hole in the keel to allow it to fill and dump slowly so they won't turn over in the wind. You do have to place decoys with a water keel, you can't throw them with much success, but I always place my decoys anyway. I always have something strategic in mind when I put decoys out depending on the wind direction and where I'm hunting, not to mention I don't want ice freezing on top of my decoys if I can help it.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby Ukcatshunter » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:48 am

I decided on....

12 life size mallards
6 mix (Puddler pack)
4 goose floaters
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby wjarrell » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:27 pm

Ukcatshunter wrote:I decided on....

12 life size mallards
6 mix (Puddler pack)
4 goose floaters

That's a good walk in spread in my opinion.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby finsnfeathershunter » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:10 am

woodduck31 I agree about moving water on rivers or those that hunt tidal areas. Weight for the decoy line is a must. Lost a few myself in a local river :sad:

All my places are ponds or shallow open sheet water no more than 2 feet deep at the most.

Now full body sized goose decoy floater DO NEED bigger weights even in shallow water. Amazing how even a slight wind or chop on the water can lift the weight off the bottom and the goose decoy will bounce along the pond with not enough weight.

Uk your selection would work for me too almost every place I hunt. Good and simple set up. :thumbsup:

Good luck next season.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby Ukcatshunter » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:33 am

I was going to get the Rig Em Right Texas rigs in 4 ounce weights.

So I should add some weights to the goose floaters? I only have 4 so be a waste to order a 12 pack of the bigger weights. I saw some that crimp with pliers and will still slide etc.

Or should I just switch them all to 6 ounce weights and be ok if I do hunt deep water?

I have no boat so I assume deepest depth be 3.5 feet or so based on fact I'll wade to toss/retrieve etc.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby wjarrell » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:57 am

Ukcatshunter wrote:I was going to get the Rig Em Right Texas rigs in 4 ounce weights.

So I should add some weights to the goose floaters? I only have 4 so be a waste to order a 12 pack of the bigger weights. I saw some that crimp with pliers and will still slide etc.

Or should I just switch them all to 6 ounce weights and be ok if I do hunt deep water?

I have no boat so I assume deepest depth be 3.5 feet or so based on fact I'll wade to toss/retrieve etc.

I like 8 once weights on my goose floaters because we hunt lakes that get pretty windy at times and rives with fast current depending where we step up.
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby finsnfeathershunter » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:58 pm

[quote="Ukcatshunter"]I was going to get the Rig Em Right Texas rigs in 4 ounce weights.

So I should add some weights to the goose floaters? I only have 4 so be a waste to order a 12 pack of the bigger weights. I saw some that crimp with pliers and will still slide etc.

Or should I just switch them all to 6 ounce weights and be ok if I do hunt deep water?

I have no boat so I assume deepest depth be 3.5 feet or so based on fact I'll wade to toss/retrieve etc.[/quote]

I have G&H standard floater honkers with 6 oz weights and that has been enough weight for where I go. But I don't hunt in any water with current. If I did then 8 oz might be better.

Unless its really windy that amount holds for me. Another thing is you can step on the weight and push it into the mud. Aint coming out then. :thumbsup:
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Re: Good freelance, walk in set up?

Postby TJP » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:12 pm

My walk-in spread usually consists of 4 honker floaters, 5 standard mallards, 4 surface feeder mallards, and a pair of randoms. Four of the mallards are on a jerk string. The random ducks are usually pintails or canvasbacks, but I will throw bluebill or woodducks out if there are more of those in the area. I'd leave the spinner at home and opt for a jerkcord especially because the jerk string will be easier to carry/pack. 2oz of lead in the keel will be enough to make your water keels right themselves. Look for three-wheeled "jogging" strollers at garage sales, they can be easily made into great decoy carts.
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