Painting Diver Dekes

Duck hunting for diver species like Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ringnecks, Eiders, Goldeneye and other diver ducks.

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Painting Diver Dekes

Postby grahambiel66 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:03 am

I want to start diver hunting this season so I am going to be repainting several dozen mallard dekes into divers. I need help deciding what species to paint them. I see a decent amount of buffies so I will definitely be painting some like that, but for the majority of them I am thinking either ringnecks or bluebills. I know bluebills are a fairly standard diver deke but here in NC we have a 2 bluebill per day limit and I hear of people shooting a good amount of ringnecks where I plan to hunt. I want to draw in as many species as possible, but since I only hunted this spot once last season, I'm not sure of all the different species that I will be seeing yet. What species should i focus on painting them and how many of each should I start with?
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby QH's Paw » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:54 am

I would say paint mostly BB and maybe a few buffie to set off to the side. The black and white will pull most any diver. I don't really think they can tell the difference of the bluebills and the ringers.
There is one exception and that is Goldeneye. GE usually decoy best to GE deeks.
Go on the Washington forum and checkout some threads from ScaupHunter. He is taking pics and posting as he preps and repaints deeks for a large diver spread.
Here is his most recent thread.
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=190202
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby grahambiel66 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 2:13 pm

Thanks! I'm thinking I don't need more than a half dozen buffies right? Should I throw in some cans or readheads too or just stick to the bluebills?

I'm probably gonna have some mallards and black ducks off to the side as well.
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby apexhunter » Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:00 pm

For NC hunting I'd use bluebill and canvasback dekes and leave it at that. Ringnecks and butterballs will decoy to both and the larger white area makes them more visible from long distances. Plus bluebills are easy to paint as there are but 3 colors if you aren't painting competition dekes with the greenish heads (drakes = black, white and grey/blue for the bill and hens = brown & white).
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby Willie » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:17 pm

Ditto what Apex said. And there are no ducks on Harris...
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby grahambiel66 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 7:51 pm

Ok thanks. I have heard buffies only decoy to their own kind that wrong?
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby ScaupHunter » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:07 pm

Here are the pictures of where I am at on the referenced threads decoy rehab.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

I would make up 5 or 6 buffle heads and stick them to the side of the spread. Place them close to shore if your hunting from the bank. Make up 6 or more Golden Eyes and place them outside your spread where they are highly visible to get them to land on a specific spot where you know you can get a clean shot. I would make the rest of them bluebills. If you have redhead or canvasback ducks in your area it would be worth it to have a dozen of each made up. Craigslist is a dirt cheap way to buy decoys. If you can get them for $2.00 a decoy or less buy them. Otherwise buy Hot Buys for $26 a dozen and use them.
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby grahambiel66 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 8:57 pm

Wow those look great what kind of paint do you recommend?
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby ScaupHunter » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:40 pm

Here are the paints that I have used so far.

Image

The Rustoleum paints are oil based in flat white and flat black. The Krylon is grey primer that I used on the back of the bluebills and bodys of the female canvasbacks. The light blue is acrylic paint, it cost $0.97 and has painted 50 bills with most of the tube left. I am planning to buy a tube of Burnt Sienna for the drake Canvasbacks, and either Cinnamon or a close color in acrylic for the head and tail of the hen Canvasbacks. The large cans of paint were $8 each and the small can was $3.50. The large cans have painted the bodies of about 50 decoys and are well over 3/4 full. I plan to use a sponge and the flat black to dapple the back of the blue bills. I have been using the flat black to clean up the paint edges on the other colors.

I would stick with the bedliner. The undercoating is not sticking nearly as well as the bedliner has. The bedliner dries a lot faster, and has a textured finish that the paint is sticking to really well.

Don't tell my daughters, I painted the eyes with a coat of white, and then used their nail polish on the eyes for the yellow and red colors.
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby grahambiel66 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 9:56 pm

Haha perfect I'm gonna raid the girlfriends bathroom for some nail polish. Thanks for the help!
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby apexhunter » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:39 am

grahambiel66 wrote:Ok thanks. I have heard buffies only decoy to their own kind that wrong?


Over the years I have shot many limits of buffleheads over spreads of canvasback and bluebille dekes so they will decoy to other diver species...but you do need to be set up where they want to be.
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby Zochbirds » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:10 pm

ScaupHunter wrote:Here are the paints that I have used so far.

Image

The Rustoleum paints are oil based in flat white and flat black. The Krylon is grey primer that I used on the back of the bluebills and bodys of the female canvasbacks. The light blue is acrylic paint, it cost $0.97 and has painted 50 bills with most of the tube left. I am planning to buy a tube of Burnt Sienna for the drake Canvasbacks, and either Cinnamon or a close color in acrylic for the head and tail of the hen Canvasbacks. The large cans of paint were $8 each and the small can was $3.50. The large cans have painted the bodies of about 50 decoys and are well over 3/4 full. I plan to use a sponge and the flat black to dapple the back of the blue bills. I have been using the flat black to clean up the paint edges on the other colors.

I would stick with the bedliner. The undercoating is not sticking nearly as well as the bedliner has. The bedliner dries a lot faster, and has a textured finish that the paint is sticking to really well.

Don't tell my daughters, I painted the eyes with a coat of white, and then used their nail polish on the eyes for the yellow and red colors.


Are you doing 2 different coats of black for the bodys? Also are you saying if i were to paint bluebill dekes up i should use truck bedliner for the black on the bodys instead??
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby ScaupHunter » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:54 pm

I would wire brush the decoys, then wash them in Dawn Soap and water with a stiff brush. Coat with a thin layer of bedliner and let dry in the sun for two to three days. Then have at painting the decoys with the colors you want. I would use the truck bedliner as the base paint for any divers you plan to paint. It provides the black parts of the body, and is a tough base layer that takes paint really well.


Here are a few Old Squaw decoys I am almost finished painting. The bills need the salmon color painted on them and then three coats of clear matte finish. I am pretty happy with how they turned out.

Image

Image

Image

Some Canvasback

Image

Finished Bluebill

Image
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby BGipson » Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:34 pm

Those look awesome! I will be doing a couple deeks in the coming month or 2 but nothing of that scale :thumbsup:
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby ScaupHunter » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:37 pm

I am doing a complete decoy spread build. I have been hunting with buddies over their decoys for over a decade. I hunted hard on the east side of the state over a large spread that I left with my dad and brother when I moved back to the west side of Washington. I have less than $2.50 in each decoy. With a total spread of 200 decoys planned I like the $500 price tag I will have over having to spend thousands on new decoys.

The geese decoys are next on my list to build a complete spread.
Last edited by ScaupHunter on Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby BGipson » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:33 am

ScaupHunter wrote:The geese decoys are next on my list to build a complete spread.


Floater or field?
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby ScaupHunter » Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:35 am

Both field and floater decoys. Where I live there are a lot of opportunities to hunt both environments. I never use more than a dozen floaters in combination with duck decoys on the water.

Field hunting means a lot of decoys for early season and large flights of birds during the main migration around here. End of season you often kill more birds over a dozen goose decoys than large spreads. The field spread may take a couple of years to build up.
Last edited by ScaupHunter on Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby Ghillie_55 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:36 pm

what happens to be the brand of the bed liner? Its roll on and not spray correct?

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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby ScaupHunter » Mon Jun 18, 2012 10:39 pm

Image

It is the product on the right side of the picture that you want. The undercoating bleeds thru the paint and takes quite a while to dry.
Last edited by ScaupHunter on Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby grahambiel66 » Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:07 pm

How many dekes does a can of that paint?
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby Shade » Tue Jun 19, 2012 11:30 am

Here is the link (QH, yours didn't come up as a hyperlink..)

viewtopic.php?f=62&t=189661

All the questions that are coming up can be answered by reading this.

Not trying to be an @$$, but Scauphunter has answered these questions like 3 times on 3 different threads.....
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby ScaupHunter » Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:29 pm

Shade,

Thanks for the help.

For all the folks rehabbing decoys. I did not come up with these ideas. I read thru about 200 threads and used what I learned for the project. DHC is a veritable cornucopia of information if you take the time to dig it out.

I started spraying the liner on pretty thick and got 12 to 13 decoys per can. When I got the hang of it I was getting 15 to 18 decoys per can depending on decoy size. There are folks on here who have been using decoys with the bedliner for years and see little to no loss of liner and paint.
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby Dingbatter » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:35 am

I tried to repaint some of my beat up herters bluebills with the Rust-oleum flat black. I had to stop after only one decoy as its not flat black at all, it is very shiney. I held it up to another decoy that I had not painted yet, the difference is night and day. The flat white is okay but the flat black isn't flat at all, it will shine on the water and flair birds. Anyone have any suggestions to a true flat black paint? :mad:
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby Shade » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:41 pm

Dingbatter wrote:I tried to repaint some of my beat up herters bluebills with the Rust-oleum flat black. I had to stop after only one decoy as its not flat black at all, it is very shiney. I held it up to another decoy that I had not painted yet, the difference is night and day. The flat white is okay but the flat black isn't flat at all, it will shine on the water and flair birds. Anyone have any suggestions to a true flat black paint? :mad:



Use the Truck Bed liner pictured above.... But if you must use paint, find a black PRIMER.
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Re: Painting Diver Dekes

Postby Dingbatter » Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:41 pm

Yeah I need to paint as I have quite a few decoys that need work. I have found a cheap flat back at Dollar General that is a spray paint , its very flat and works great. I've used this flat spray paint on scoters and herters heads. I'll need to bush the decoys I'm working on now.
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