What do we do in the off season?

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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby cutm Jack » Thu May 15, 2014 3:00 pm

If it flies it dies... Conservation is 8 months out of the year any other time I'm pullin down. I've let greed get me more than once trying to letting that flock make one more circle only to have something happen and there out. Don't get me wrong I like nothing more than ground swatting a flock but when times are tough you can't be picky.


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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Thu May 15, 2014 11:42 pm

I'm really new to this flocking program, and have made my share of mistakes, but if the efforts to make them durable don't pay off, I will be disappointed. Trying to reflock is like painting a sponge!
One thing I do know, what I'm doing looks better than any working, store bought duck decoy I've ever seen, so they better work.
They're more fun doing them than anything I've discovered during the long, cold months of winter after the season's over!
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby waveslider » Fri May 16, 2014 6:58 am

FS,

I am with you on the whole durability thing. We use a lot of individual slot decoys bags now mainly because they are actually the most convenient way to carry decoys for the type of hunting we do. 10 years ago it simply wasn't

I suspect that as long as you don't truly abuse them, you will be pleasantly surprised with how well they hold up. And you will probably also convince yourself that every bird that comes in was a result of the flocking. Which is fine too because it will make you feel like the work was worth it so its a win/win.

Remember that any decoy (painted or flocked) is most likely to chip and flake when things are stacked on top of it. Stay away from that and the flocking will probably stick around.
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Sun May 18, 2014 9:00 pm

Taking care is the name of the game.
A couple of months ago, when I first started this, I'd wear a long sleeve flannel shirt in the garage when painting and flocking, but now that the weather is warming I find a don't have as much time to get the flocking on painted areas, so I have resorted to painting one half the top, and flocking that, then the other half and flocking that..... etc.
I've broken down the decoy into sections more than I did at first.
Bought my first slotted bag two weeks ago, and will probably need two more. Little devils are expensive!
Wife says she will sew up some cotton bags for all the flocked duck decoys, in addition to the slotted bags, but friend pointed out that the floaters might have issues with freezing to the bags after the hunt. Guess I'll be thawing them out in the garage after each hunt here in Idaho in the winter.
It can be done, one way or another!

Will we be getting more ducks finishing to the flocked decoys?
I guess we'll have to see if birds seem to be coming in with more confidence, but I'm sure we will feel better about it all, knowing we have done all we can do to that end.
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby waveslider » Sun May 18, 2014 9:23 pm

Honestly, I tried the individual bags and literally gave up in the middle of picking up on the first hunt I used them. Its a colossal waste of time and I would recommend you tell your wife not to bother.

But, if you are truly committed to it - don't use cotton. The best thing to use is a 'slippery' material like nylon (not cordura).

You probably can't do any better than buying the bags from the guy in Emmett ID that sells them on Craigslist. But don't buy a ton of them until you realize its sucks to use them. :) I use some for our fully flocked goose shells. Plus, you know how to touch up the flocking and trust me that will take a lot less time than wasting w individual bags.

The thing about flocked decoys is that because you have them, you will tell yourself that every group of ducks that finishes was due to the flocked decoys. Forgetting that you actually killed ducks before you had them. Probably killed a lot of ducks without them. I'm not trying to be facetious, its just what we do when we get invested in something like that, especially if you earned them with your own sweat and tears.

At least you will get some pride out of the whole affair knowing that you flocked them. Shooting ducks over decoys you 'made' in some way is akin to catching a fish on a fly you tied. You will like that guaranteed.

Are flocked decoys worth it? I would say it depends on how and where you hunt. When I was a kid, I hunted divers on the MIssissippi with clorox bottles with black magic marker highlights to look like bluebills and we killed the crap out of them. Tied the anchor cord to the handles. But that's big water.

If you are hunting sheltered areas that have a really limited amount of bird traffic and they have the upper hand - perhaps they help. But like so many things, if it gives you confidence, then that's all that matters.
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby 3200 man » Mon May 19, 2014 7:18 am

You 2 fellas amuse me ! I know when I started using flocked Dakotas it was easier to finish birds . I could hit them with
the call , when they were up 150 yds and break off a single or pair , which would pull the whole flock . Instead of having them
circle around 6 or 8 times looking , it would take with the flocked decoys maybe , 3 times around and I would have their
landing gear down back peddling . I do try to be careful with these , as the cost for them was expensive so , with slotted bags
and not stacking them , they still look good . I know in-time I'll need to touch them up so , I'm reading every word JIM and
you fellas offer.....Thanks for your advise !

If nothing Else , I too want to have the best looking decoys ( to me ) on the river ! :thumbsup:
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Tue May 20, 2014 1:44 pm

Wheeling and dealing with dams10ww on his MOJOs.
Half the decoys I'm flocking I've bought from him, but we hunt together too, so he makes my financing easy terms!
He's a chair person on a DU committee here in E Idaho, and I try to always support DU members first.

Looks like another flocking program is lining up for me now, and I'm only half way thru the current one.

Training the dog and flocking decoys. Are the fish ever catching a break!
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Tue May 20, 2014 5:16 pm

Waveslider,
Thanks for the imput.
Maybe I won't trouble the wife to make the bags. You're the second guy who's said that about individual bags being a pain in the hind end.
Yes, I will be able to touch up worn flock. Perhaps I should confine any efforts on preserving the appearance of those decoys to myself. Don't mind the work on them at all.

Sure have killed a lot of birds over 'just painted' decoys over the years, but it's nice to know that circling birds won't be getting to a point in doing so, that they ever catch a glint or glare off any of my flock in the process.
How many birds will that add to the strap? Some that might not have been otherwise...... me thinks!
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Mean Gene » Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:17 am

If you can spare a little extra time each hunt use the nylon bags. If your wife is handy with the sewing machine, have her sew the nylon into the slots on your bags. The slicker you can make them the longer your flocking/paint will last. Honestly, using individual bags takes only a few seconds more for each bird. :thumbsup:
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:31 am

Gene,
I'm thinking along the same line about the bags.
Way too much work goes into them to not do all that one reasonably can to protect them.
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby waveslider » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:10 pm

Not a bad idea regarding the nylon "liners". Regarding the individual bags, I'll make a bet with you that you don't make it more than one hunt before you jettison the idea completely. :)
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Mean Gene » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:51 pm

waveslider wrote:Not a bad idea regarding the nylon "liners". Regarding the individual bags, I'll make a bet with you that you don't make it more than one hunt before you jettison the idea completely. :)



I don't know man. I have used them for a couple years. Yep, they can be a pain, but I like to error on the side of caution, and I'm usually not in a major hurry, so it's worth it to me. Best way would be nylon liners. :thumbsup:
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby waveslider » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:27 am

I suppose it could depend on where you hunt, how you hunt and how much you hunt.

For me, I realized the individual bagged decoys were not an option the first time I used them.
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:49 pm

Finished the first of many hens to follow today.
This GHG bird will hunt now.
Image
Image
Image

Dark she is, but she compliments her drake amazingly well.
Last edited by Fsbirdhouse on Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:32 pm

Busy, busy day today!

Washed the F150,

Went to IF and bought 33 gray landscaping bricks for Jan's Flower bed, then laid them in place.
End bricks to be cut tomorrow.

Bought an Avery 12 slot duck decoy bag, a dozen 7.5 oz. J hook decoy anchors, and a box of 20 ga. heavy loads at Sportsman's to break in Jan's new Autoloader she won at our DU banquet.

Mowed our considerable lawn this afternoon.

Put the head shading on about eight hen's heads this evening.

Dried a load of laundry.

Did the dishes

Just about to make a Gin & Tonic and kick back.
Frankly, I'm quite pleased with myself!
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby 3200 man » Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:52 am

Now you're going to have to wait for your REAR to catch-up to your over-loaded Brain......Yep , Gin and Tonic does help !

I try not to put-off what I can do today , until tomorrow but , with the early summers heat I'm looking for shade at every
opportunity ! Those Hens look Great ! Hopefully there will be a puddle to put them in and birds to be attracted ?

And if there isn't ? You won't have anything to do ? BUT......more Gin an Tonic useage .....with a friend ? :thumbsup:
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Thu Jun 12, 2014 5:16 pm

3200 man wrote:Now you're going to have to wait for your REAR to catch-up to your over-loaded Brain......Yep , Gin and Tonic does help !

I try not to put-off what I can do today , until tomorrow but , with the early summers heat I'm looking for shade at every
opportunity ! Those Hens look Great ! Hopefully there will be a puddle to put them in and birds to be attracted ?

And if there isn't ? You won't have anything to do ? BUT......more Gin an Tonic useage .....with a friend ? :thumbsup:


Larry,
I'm thinking there will be plenty of water to put my floaters in, it's the fields I'm mostly concerned with now. The best I had last season were lost to spuds, and sometimes those will stay in spuds for two or three years at a time once they start with that.
Then there are other fields we are just losing altogether, and that hurts the most!
I feel sorry for my younger friends, even those up in their 40s. They will have to work really hard at preserving the places they now have in the farmlands. I hope I can introduce the few younger of the local friends I hunt with now, to the best of the places I have, before my hunting days are over for good. It may be a help to a few of them in the future when things tighten up.
The river will see increasing pressure as the field hunting dries up, and let's hope that doesn't fall to the environmentalists as that cancer sweeps the land.

A guy has to do everything he can these days to stay ahead of the game. Lots of experimenting, as in flocking his entire spread of duck decoys for starters! The pressure is becoming intense I think, perhaps here more than I imagined even just last year. But it still has that feel of paradise to it here, and I think I will see the end of my time before it's gone entirely.
That is a strangely calming effect when planning the next year's activity.
In my case, I'm really not worried.........very much!
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Mean Gene » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:28 am

Water's gonna be in short supply here, but you can bet most guys won't do anything to alter the way they've always done things. There will still be ducks to kill, but in order to kill them it's going to take more work and effort, and maybe, just maybe folks will have to do things differently than they have in the past. If you have the right tools, and the drive to go use them, you'll kill ducks. If you don't, and wait for the rice paddies to fill, you very well may be sorely disappointed. Those of us who have put the time and effort in to obtaining the necessary gear and have the skills to use it will do just fine. Others...not so much. Could be a year where the loose dust is blown off the car and never returns.
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Re: What do we do in the off season?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Fri Jun 13, 2014 3:34 pm

I think I commented on this somewhere else, but it's sure windy again today.
Guess it keeps it cooler than it might otherwise be?

Was just sitting on the patio watching a few very scattered clouds roll by, you know, the big, white fluffy ones, and
thinking how close to 'High Summer' we are, and it seems as tho the snow just left not long ago.

Drove out through the heart of the local farm country yesterday, and the alfalfa is seeing it's first cuttings almost everywhere.

I'm seeing Morning doves around, but is it just my imagination, or there actually lots less of them than I remember?
I don't think the Collared doves are in competition with them for habitat or food, so maybe it's just a cycle?

I just got a flyer from the E Idaho State Fair telling me to buy tickets early for discounts (I think), and it put me in mind to try even harder to finish the flocking on my decoys, so I'm ready, and enjoy a bit of a respite before the Autumn hustle, and bustle arrives!
Now, with that having been said , a short nap :hi:
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