New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

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New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby rbol121 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 8:01 am

Hey all, just get into duck hunting. I am looking for suggestions on both quality, durability and also at a decent price. Will mainly be hunting puddle ducks in a private marsh, so looking at also being able to leave out when not hunting on buddies property. Any and all recommendations are greatly appreciated.
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby Honk-n-quack » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:24 pm

Avian X is the only way to go. I used Flam(blow)s and I constantly had problems with paint and bad/sloppy moulding of the bodies. With my 2 doz Avian Xs I have complete trust in my decoys. And they are almost invincible with clear coat on them. I almost bought dakotas but I didn't due to the fact they looked spooked with their heads so high in an "cautious stance". I run them in Avery Fullbody duck decoy bags with 8 oz Jhooks I got at D-cks sporting goods on clearance for $20 a dozen. I also have a GHG puddler pack and I plan on buying some wigeon to round out the spread.
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby Hawk87 » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:41 pm

I am going with Dakotas this year, but for just starting out this pack by g&h is a little more affordable and will last a long time http://www.ghdecoys.com/products/Standa ... llard.html
Public spots can be:
-Good
-Easy to get too/ find
-Not crowded

Pick Two
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby Duck_Stank » Fri Apr 18, 2014 7:50 pm

Private marsh? Anything will work, seriously. I've been using old flambeaus for five years now, the birds don't seem to mind. They don't know what sticker is on your decoy.
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby rbol121 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 7:58 am

Thanks for the opinions guys, I know I will get a bunch of different options, everyone has there favorites. If I could find the avian x that cheap I would jump all over it. Was looking at ghg and maybe some hot buys. I am a person who realizes u get why u pay for. So yes I won't durable but not break the bank. Thanks again.
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby mudpack » Sat Apr 19, 2014 9:00 am

rbol121 wrote: I won't durable but not break the bank. Thanks again.

You want cheap durable decoys? Used G&H.

You want cheap semi-realistic decoys? GHG Lifesize.

You want durable realistic decoys? GHG ProGrades or Avian-X.

(You know that sign in the shop that says:
You can have our service
Cheap
Fast
Good
Pick two.

Well,
Decoys can be
Cheap
Durable
Realistic

Pick any two.)
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby troutman561 » Sat Apr 19, 2014 8:14 pm

Each year I scour the internet for the cheapest deals. I'm 4 seasons deep on the cheapest decoys out there and they are holding up fine. Assuming you don't throw your stuff around redhead and flambeau storm fronts and the like will work fine.
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby rbol121 » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:58 am

Thanks again for all the opinions guys....
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby Frank Lopez » Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:43 am

I think more is made of decoy realism than necessary. There's a fellow that hunts the same marsh as I do. He hunts with his two teen aged boys, and he's a very good waterfowler. He has probably the worst looking set of half dozen or eight decoys you've ever seen. His rig is made up of any odd and end decoy that he's come across in the past twenty or so years. He has a couple of old corkers. A faded Herter's or two and a few other nondescript of hand carved wood, plastic and, I think there was even a paper mache bird in there the last time I looked. There are magnums and standard sizes mixed in haphazardly. His blocks are tossed in a couple of mesh bags without regard. Any paint that remains simple adds to the "speckled effect" on molting birds, to my eye. But, the man knows how to hunt and how to deploy his spread. He kills as many ducks as anyone.

I tend to agree with his philosophy. It's hard to argue with success. When you consider that the bird basically has monocular vision, is flying by at 40 mph and has a brain the size of half a walnut, it's apparent that they just ain't that bright. What they are, is tuned to their environment. In other words, if the spread looks natural, it'll work. And to look natural doesn't necessarily mean that an exact copy of a live bird is needed.

So, if you're on a budget, try some of those "whatever's on sale" blocks and learn how to use them. If you're not on a budget, you can get those super, life like, fully flocked with custom paint job birds. But, you still need to learn how to use them. In my opinion, they aren't going to make one bit of difference to the birds.

Frank
I feel slightly sorry for a man who has never patterned his gun, who has no idea how far his chosen load will retain killing penetration. But I'm extremely sorry for the ducks he shoots at beyond the killing range of his gun and load - Bob Brister
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby On the X » Sun Apr 20, 2014 9:28 pm

I tend to agree with his philosophy. It's hard to argue with success. When you consider that the bird basically has monocular vision, is flying by at 40 mph and has a brain the size of half a walnut, it's apparent that they just ain't that bright. What they are, is tuned to their environment. In other words, if the spread looks natural, it'll work. And to look natural doesn't necessarily mean that an exact copy of a live bird is needed.

I agree with all of this, pretty decoys are nice but more so to us than to the ducks. Do you think gadwalls coming in to gadwall decoys can make out all the airbrushed details? Sure they can't. Movement is where it's at.
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby Echospartan » Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:20 pm

Check craigslist there's some great deals to be found on there if you check it often. Those older flambeau actually are quite durable and can be obtained in the $15-20 a dozen price range quite easily. Some times you can find them even cheaper.
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby rbol121 » Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:04 am

Thanks again guys, just scored a dozen teal and a dozen pintail hot buys for $20 for both dozen off Craigslist. So off to the races I go. Gonna get another dozen or 2 of mallards and maye a few woodies. That should be good for this season. And yes I agree, gonna study up on spreads for the most realism. Thanks again to all.
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Re: New to duck hunting, decoy recommendation please

Postby Honk-n-quack » Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:02 pm

Good luck with your quest. I got the Avian X's due to the fact I have competition in the marsh so I try to have the better spread.

Cabelas had G&H standard mallards for $70 a dozen awhile ago. That is a pretty hard price to pass up.
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