Decoy Spreads

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Decoy Spreads

Postby JohnTheSlayer » Mon Dec 16, 2013 5:32 pm

Alright guys i have a question for yens. How are you all settin up your decoy spreads to really stack up those dead green heads? I have tried a lot of different ways here lately and hardly any of them seem to work for me. Keep in mind, i'm huntin Otter Slough and i have only 6 dozen decoys with 1 mojo spinner. So what is my best bet for this time of the year/season? Thanks y'all
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby sehunter1 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:46 pm

If I knew I would kill a lot more greenheads. Best advice I can give, ditch the mojo after December 1st.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby soldier_twiggy » Tue Dec 17, 2013 7:54 am

I've abandoned the patterns that so many guys cling to. I now toss my dekes the way birds on water actually look: a large, fairly unorganized mass. If it's warmer out, there'll be more space between birds and the middle of my flock will be much thinner than the edges. If it's cold, my dekes are placed just a foot or two apart. I pretty much always use a mojo and rarely use less than 3 dozen dekes. With dekes, more is almost always better.

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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby mjcraig15 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:19 pm

More is NOT always better with dekes. If it looks unnatural to the ducks they are not going to come to it. I have shot many a greenhead over small spreads. We use the mojos first thing in the morning, and then often bring them in once the sun gets up. Pay attention to the wind to determine where to put your decoys. Hell we have intentionally set our decoys 70 yards upwind of where we set when the birds are stopping short. You really need to be willing to adjust and adapt. We often will move our spread around until we get the birds to do what we want. Walk around through the decoys every so often to stir up the mud. Jerk strings for movement, or even kicking the water to put ripples out there. You don't need 10 dozen decoys. We often only put 2 or 3 dozen out even though we have 10 - 12 dozen, and don't have much problem killing our ducks at Otter Slough. Soldier is right about changing the spacing based on the temperature. Also tie the strings to the front of some decoys and the backs of others so they don't all face the same way. Be sure to stick it out till 1 down there. We have killed many ducks between 12 and 1 at Otter this time of year. The ducks will tend to sit on the refuge till it starts to warm up when there is ice in the area. There is no magic setup that will allow you to kill your limit every time. The key is adapting to the conditions and how the birds are working.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby MOduckMOfun » Tue Dec 17, 2013 1:09 pm

mjcraig15 wrote:More is NOT always better with dekes. If it looks unnatural to the ducks they are not going to come to it. I have shot many a greenhead over small spreads.


I second this. I primarily use a small spread. When everyone around you is using an entire marsh spread and you are using a small spread but you can get some movement on the water, it makes you stand out in a good way. My view is to stick to a low number or high quality decoys, and try to add as much movement to the spread as possible through either kicking mud up occasionally, jerk strings, or anything. I agree with mjcraig on the mojo as well. They're good for a while on public areas, but I've had many a bird flare later in the day because of a mojo.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby JohnTheSlayer » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:28 pm

Thanks guys! Yens gave me exactly what i was lookin for. I usually do adjust my spread durin the hunt, sometimes even 3 times a hunt. I do think part of my problem is that i don't stick it out until 1 and quit early. Almost all the guys i talk to that hunt Slough say that kill most their birds late in the mornin. But i was mainly wantin to know why here lately i've had birds workin my spread maybe two good circles then they flare? Why do you think this is? Is anyone else gonna be down at Slough on Friday? I know imma be there!!
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby illinichillin » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:10 pm

MOduckMOfun wrote:
mjcraig15 wrote:More is NOT always better with dekes. If it looks unnatural to the ducks they are not going to come to it. I have shot many a greenhead over small spreads.


I second this. I primarily use a small spread. When everyone around you is using an entire marsh spread and you are using a small spread but you can get some movement on the water, it makes you stand out in a good way. My view is to stick to a low number or high quality decoys, and try to add as much movement to the spread as possible through either kicking mud up occasionally, jerk strings, or anything. I agree with mjcraig on the mojo as well. They're good for a while on public areas, but I've had many a bird flare later in the day because of a mojo.


I have taken up the hobby of restoring old LL Bean magnum cork decoys purchased off EBay. The repainting is time-consuming, but a real challenge. Next year I plan to try using 12-15 of these decoys to see how it goes. These cork decoys ride extremely well on the water, and are quite realistic.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby 2Longgone » Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:22 pm

Less is better, i only use 3 to 4 dozen, two dozen being dakotas, with a pulsator. Shelved the mojo this whole year.
Movement by the hunter, shinning faces, obvious decoy strings, lack of concealment causes the majority of flares, hide and stay hid.
Typically the best hunting is between 11 and 1, I don't even get in a hurry to be set up by LST.

This week, with a full moon and the majority of birds moving down south it's gonna be a tough week at the slough.
I expect the crowds to be back to 50 or 60 with the thaw out.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby JohnTheSlayer » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:30 pm

Yeah i feel like i can never be hidden good enough, and i find that somewhat hard to do at Slough. BUT the bird average is slowly starting to climb! 1.6 today haha i'm just trying to have some sort of hope it'll be good by Friday!! :bow:
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby soldier_twiggy » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:22 am

Adaptation is key. If you aren't where they want you ain't gonna get them.
I've hunted over 6-8 dozen deke spreads in both central and southern MO with great success. I have slso setup 6 dozen spreads only to pull a dozen or two and go deeper into the marsh later in the morning after the birds have all but told me where they wanna be.
I need to start pulling my mojo earlier. But every time I think of doing it I start to think "the birds that are a half mile out won't know I'm here without that mojo waiving to them. "

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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby MOduckMOfun » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:28 am

soldier_twiggy wrote:I need to start pulling my mojo earlier. But every time I think of doing it I start to think "the birds that are a half mile out won't know I'm here without that mojo waiving to them. "


I have the same issue and thought. Gets me every time.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby mjcraig15 » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:29 pm

Muddy up the water. They can see it from a long ways. Put ripples on it when it is still. Those birds can see it from quite a ways.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby oktakem » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:48 am

We prefer to start off small when we are in the woods. One dozen nice mallards on a small pond can do some damage if they are around!!! It grows as the season progress'. When we hunt the Mississippi we go big period, especially with divers. We like 10-14 dozen including only 3-4 dozen mallards, sometimes more depending on what's around. Works well for us on the river.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby soldier_twiggy » Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:46 pm

My typical puddle-pack is a hodge-podge of species (even some that don't "make sense"). We're talking about 12-18 mallards, 12-18 pintails, 4 woodies, 4 cansvasbacks and (when I remember them) a couple Canada's for confidence. I know woodies are gone early and cans typically aren't playing in small water with puddlers, but variety in shapes and sizes have proven to really work out in the marsh.

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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby sehunter1 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:12 pm

I LOVE my ringneck decoys. Seems to be a killer confidence decoy. I still haven't worked up the nuts to run an all ringer spread. But I'm gettin closer.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby CUT'EM ALL JACK » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:01 am

i just cant talk myself into ditching the mojos either, im running a teal, a woody, and a big mojo drake right now, the woody and teal are a lot faster than that big boy, but i can turn the big mojo on and off... just cant seem to talk myself into pulling it.... but ima try it next time i go out, just to see :thumbsup:
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby sehunter1 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:02 am

I'm calling very little right now with limited success. No success on heavy calling. I've pretty much stopped the mojo a for the year. I'll put em out in rain and fog, but only then.
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby sehunter1 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 12:04 am

That was meant for the other thread
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Re: Decoy Spreads

Postby BigAL64 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 8:34 pm

soldier_twiggy wrote:My typical puddle-pack is a hodge-podge of species (even some that don't "make sense"). We're talking about 12-18 mallards, 12-18 pintails, 4 woodies, 4 cansvasbacks and (when I remember them) a couple Canada's for confidence. I know woodies are gone early and cans typically aren't playing in small water with puddlers, but variety in shapes and sizes have proven to really work out in the marsh.

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We killed 2 woodies on Thursday! There are still some around.
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