Diver questions for the masses

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

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Diver questions for the masses

Postby Bigredman5223 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 6:04 pm

I've never really hunted divers before. We kill redheads, bluebills, and buffies bit they come to our puddle duck spreads down here in south Texas. But now I am headed to a lake that had goldeneyes, ringnecks, buffies, bluebills, and puddle ducks on it.

So my questions are,
I was told that goldeneyes only decoy to other goldeneyes. Is that true?
Secondly, could we run divers in the 15-20 foot water, which is not more than 30 yards out, and run puddles in the shallower water?
How do you call divers or do you call at all?

May sound stupid but I'm a pure puddle duck hunter and this just opportunity just popped up.

Also, don't have any diver decoys yet so what would be a good spread for this?
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby Mike657 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 1:23 am

They could be set in that water. Take a look at the GHG diver pack it has cans, buffies, and the ever so racist goldeneye. I have shot tons of divers over an all mallard spread includeing goldeneyes.I am mostly a puddler hunter too. I dont use a whole lot of calling on divers, but I do sometimes use a diver duck call they respond to mallard calls too. Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby Bigredman5223 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:24 am

Thanks for the response. Me and my buddy's are gonna be buying a few dozen decoys for the hunt. We looked at that pack of decoys but I am going to buy a dozen bluebills and a half dozen oversized buffies. They are going to buy a dozen or so goldeneyes.

Those may seem like dumb questions but I know when I'm out of my element. I am at a complete loss when it comes to divers.

Thanks again.
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby Mike657 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:07 am

No problem, that all sounds like a good plan. I hope you have fun diver hunting. Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby yz450f » Thu Jan 02, 2014 5:57 pm

Set the Buffies and the Bluebills apart slightly. We set the Buffies off to the side in a group and have the Bluebills in a set of lines. The Buffies can be intimidated by the Bluebills so they will land at the tail of the Bluebills or around the Buffies.
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby Bigredman5223 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:38 pm

Thanks so so much for that info. We are also going to be putting out Goldeneyes. Is there a special way to out them out as well?

Thanks again. I need all the help I can get for divers!!!
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby fowlweatherfowler » Thu Jan 02, 2014 7:30 pm

we put our buffies and goldeneyes in small pods off the end of the lines never mixed in.
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby WSUWESTON » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:26 pm

I hunt divers and puddlers and have had the best luck with goldeneyes when having widgeon decoys out. They land right in the widgeon decoys. I have also had them land in bluebill decoys. I have never had them land in my goldeneye decoys. Go figure :huh:
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby Tealer » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:57 pm

WSUWESTON wrote:I hunt divers and puddlers and have had the best luck with goldeneyes when having widgeon decoys out. They land right in the widgeon decoys. I have also had them land in bluebill decoys. I have never had them land in my goldeneye decoys. Go figure :huh:



Most of my experience is opposite of this, I think goldeneyes are racist.
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby Bigredman5223 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:32 am

I have just heard the same thing about goldeneyes. I can't say it from experience one bit. I can just go by what I've been told. We are going to have a dozen goldeneye decoys so we will give it a shot.

Please keep the suggestions coming. I'm not scared to say I don't know cause other people are counting on us to have a good hunt.
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby hydrilla » Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:53 pm

Bigredman5223 wrote:I have just heard the same thing about goldeneyes. I can't say it from experience one bit. I can just go by what I've been told. We are going to have a dozen goldeneye decoys so we will give it a shot.

Please keep the suggestions coming. I'm not scared to say I don't know cause other people are counting on us to have a good hunt.


In my experience buffle heads and golden eyes like to be with there own kind. You don't need a lot, just set a few out to the side (or just past depending on how you are set up) and those birds tend to decoy to those of the same species. I have killed both ringnecks and scaup over just about anyhting. They aren't that picky, especially if you are in a spot they want to be. If you already have a dozen golden eye, I wouldn't spend a lot of money buying a lot of diver decoys unless I was going to keep it up. Before people made bufflehead decoys (that looked decent anyway) I killed plenty over a couple of old mallards dekes I painted to resemble a bufflehead. They would fly right to it. If I were you I would paint up a couple of old decoys into drake buffleheads for one side, toss the goldeneyes to the other and then just pile up whatever puddle duck decoys I have in between. If you have some pintails throw them in there, because the divers look for the white, since most of them have it on them anyway. If you are where they want to be you can kill them over a spread of old Clorox bottles. We did that many time when I was kid, before we had money or store bought decoys.
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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby Labs » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:51 am

I can't post a video on here, but PM me, I have a video of me calling to divers so you can hear what it sounds like...you should be able to do it with your mallard call. I hunt combination spreads all the time and it works great up here...


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Re: Diver questions for the masses

Postby captmike69 » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:49 pm

I think it all depends on where you live. Around here, eyes are very racist. Buffy's are dumber then he'll and will land in anything. Bluebills I have had mixed results with. I always set my species out separate. If I'm not in an area with many blue bills in just use my goldeneye decoys. If there's Buffy's around they dump right into them. Last year we shot seventy Buffy's over an all bluebill spread.
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