Fully flocked ducks

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Fully flocked ducks

Postby sehunter1 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:25 pm

After a pretty dismal year I'm looking to shake things up a bit. My spread is 2 dozen mallards with a dozen oddballs mixed in. They aren't old but you can tell they have been used as well. I'm thinking of going to 12-18 fully flocked mallards but they cost a ton. Has anybody used this and if so noticed a difference between them and standard decoys?
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby MODAKR » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:16 pm

I've not used fully flocked but I have a doz Dakota's with flocked heads on drakes. The intention was that these are my 'varsity' squad of decoys for hunting duck parks. And I hate to say it cause I'd never really thought decoys would make a difference but in heavily pressured areas like duck parks I am starting to think they do make a difference. Obviously decoys are a small part of being successful compared to location and your hide But if you want to be attentive to every detail that can make a difference then decoys are also key. I thought these decoys looked sort of goofy in the catalog but in hunt situations I think they look superb especially in December when birds have excellent color. My opinion is they are one of the top 2 or 3 decoys being produced right now. They are spendy for sure, but my idea was to get one doz of the best and use them at duck parks and its worked well for me. I bought mine last year from Rogers for about 50 bucks less than cabelas sells them. I think they were around 140. Prior to these decoys I was using GHG's and I think they are good too, but IMO the Dakota's are a bit better.
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby sehunter1 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:34 pm

Thanks for the good input. I've been a ghg guy ever since I got serious about ducks. Part of my problem this year was location, most days I just wasn't where ducks wanted to be. I'm a stickler for hiding so I don't think that was an issue. But after a 30 duck year something has to give. My decoys don't look bad, the flocked decoys just look better. I plan to add little battery powered props to them as well. I've used them in the past and on calm days they add very realistic motion. The thinking being if my 12 ducks look more like the next guys 12 ducks I should (most times) be more successful.
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby QakQak » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:57 pm

Fully flocked is the way to go. Especially this time of the year. Go for quality, not quantity. When I public hunt, I take about 12-15 flocked decoys, with a pintail, black duck for the color

But, as always strategies change late season versus early season. I will use few more decoys earlier in year, maybe less drakes than this time of season when birds are mostly paired

That's what makes hunting so fun, unique strategies; trial abd errors..
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby SMcGarrity » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:01 am

Dakota mallard floaters are the best I've used. Only con is that they are heavy.

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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby aunt betty » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:16 am

In early season I use dirty, dull, unflocked decoys due to the fact that most ducks are dumb and not fully plumed out at that time. Lots of teal and grey ducks...
Around Christmas I start using my flocked decoys. Down where I hunt, people call flocked decoys "January mallards" .
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby TheMiz » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:41 am

Those Dakotas are on sale at Rogers right now for $144
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby MODAKR » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:44 pm

Sehunter- i got no idea how many days you hunt but in my book killing 30 ducks yourself would be a good season. I did the math and I avg'd 2.3 birds per hunt and hunted 12 days of regular duck season. That's certainly not stellar, but I go when I can which is not always when it's best. And a couple of those days I knew it would be tough and it was but I'd rather be hunting than wondering if the hunting is any good, so I just go. I don't have time to scout I just go when I can and try as hard as I can when I'm out there. Just sayin... If you think your success is dismal compared to what it should be its probably something other than flocked decoys, in my opinion anyway. All the things you mention are good and all that strategy I think is what makes many of us love duck hunting!
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby txhunter90 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:48 am

I hunt my dakotas all year and you can say, im in the right spot part of the time. But these flocked decoys stand out. We have done pretty good this season
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby sehunter1 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:25 am

Thanks for all the good input guys. I'm keeping my old dekes for early season use and lease purposes. I think I'm gonna get a dozen, either Dakota or higdon. We killed a big fat greenhead yesterday morning and he landed right beside an older hot buy. Almost didnt look like the same species of duck...
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby sehunter1 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:44 am

MODAKR wrote:Sehunter- i got no idea how many days you hunt but in my book killing 30 ducks yourself would be a good season. I did the math and I avg'd 2.3 birds per hunt and hunted 12 days of regular duck season. That's certainly not stellar, but I go when I can which is not always when it's best. And a couple of those days I knew it would be tough and it was but I'd rather be hunting than wondering if the hunting is any good, so I just go. I don't have time to scout I just go when I can and try as hard as I can when I'm out there. Just sayin... If you think your success is dismal compared to what it should be its probably something other than flocked decoys, in my opinion anyway. All the things you mention are good and all that strategy I think is what makes many of us love duck hunting!


I'm lucky enough to live on a zone border had have an understanding employer. Normally I hunt 30-40 days a year. This year was a little less so that's part of the reason my numbers are down. It could also have something to do with pulling one pill lower than 15 on all my duck park hunts. Either way 30 isn't what I'm used to most years it's double that. I know I make it sound more like a numbers game than it should be but duck is a pretty big part if the diet around our home. Deer, rabbits, squirrel, doves, and fish as well. If I didn't eat so many of the darned things I don't think I would care as much. We are kind of purists with our food. We grow and hunt probably 50% of it. Anyway I'm getting off track. I agree with ya that the decoys probably aren't the root problem. But I don't know what else to change and I believe they may give me a slight edge.
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby MODAKR » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:04 am

No, i hear ya SEhunter. I do honestly enjoy just getting out to hunt, but after a few hunts of rarely pulling the trigger, that does get frustrating and really makes you want to start trying different things and getting some dakotas or other flocked decoys certainly isn't going to hurt you. But also sounds like you didn't have much luck with pill numbers too. you probably know this already, but the biggest lesson i've learned with the duck parks is to hunt til final bell. those pressured ducks get their clocks set to 1pm after opening weekend. i've watched guys leave the pool next to me at 1030 cause nothing is moving and i stick it out and end up getting some good shooting in the last couple hours. my approach now is if my schedule does not permit me to hunt til 1, i don't go. and kudos to you for being a good steward and ethical hunter. unfortunately, my family will usually only sample the wild game i prepare, but i have a good neighbor who enjoys it as much as i do and we trade wild game dishes back and forth.
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby mjcraig15 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:33 pm

I hunted a total of 11 days this year and killed 60 ducks myself for a 5.45 avg. I hunt all public ground (Mostly duck parks). A good majority of our decoys are 20 - 30 years old. We have repainted some of them, but have no flocked decoys, and most of them cost in the 30 - 50/ dozen range. The new decoys look nice, but they are not necessary to kill ducks. I hunt with a guy that has 50 + years experience and my father and I together have 40 + years experience. It is not necessarily how nice your decoys look. None of ours look great. It is where you setup, how you call, how you adjust to what the birds are doing, and luck drawing if at a duck park (That is what my boy is for :lol3: ). Don't put your faith in buying a new decoy spread to help you kill. Ask BigAL64 or SwampCrawler. I have hunted with them numerous times over the last couple years, and have had some darn good hunts over an old used decoy spread. Too many people think they have to spend more to kill more. IMO I would not waste my money on the more expensive decoys, but learn to adjust to the birds.
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby BigAL64 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:07 pm

mjcraig15 wrote:I hunted a total of 11 days this year and killed 60 ducks myself for a 5.45 avg. I hunt all public ground (Mostly duck parks). A good majority of our decoys are 20 - 30 years old. We have repainted some of them, but have no flocked decoys, and most of them cost in the 30 - 50/ dozen range. The new decoys look nice, but they are not necessary to kill ducks. I hunt with a guy that has 50 + years experience and my father and I together have 40 + years experience. It is not necessarily how nice your decoys look. None of ours look great. It is where you setup, how you call, how you adjust to what the birds are doing, and luck drawing if at a duck park (That is what my boy is for :lol3: ). Don't put your faith in buying a new decoy spread to help you kill. Ask BigAL64 or SwampCrawler. I have hunted with them numerous times over the last couple years, and have had some darn good hunts over an old used decoy spread. Too many people think they have to spend more to kill more. IMO I would not waste my money on the more expensive decoys, but learn to adjust to the birds.


I can attest to this!! We killed a 4 -5 man limit 7 times in a row over those old beat up suckers!! Most of them I would have thrown away if they were mine!!LOL!! Some of our pills weren't the best either. Just got to adapt!! That being said I hunt with a guy that has fullcurls and I believe they have helped add a bird or two when you are not where the birds want to be!! If you want them and they will give you confidence buy them. But you don't need them.
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby sehunter1 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:06 pm

There are lots of things I don't "need" :biggrin: Part of the purchase is simply that I'm a sucker for new stuff. But I also want to know if it's gonna up my average per day on public land hunts.
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby SMcGarrity » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:34 pm

Having a very realistic, different, and in my opinion, better looking decoy isn't going to hurt. I'm a betting man and I would bet that all things being equal, the better/more realistic spread would put you in a position to shoot more birds over time. That is not to say that being where birds want to be, hiding, shooting well and knowing when/how to call aren't important. Some factors dictate success more than others. But I look at it as a numbers game and anything that I believe that might give me a better chance...well I'm going to use it!

There are places that you could literally erect a cell phone tower in the middle of...and birds would still want to work. An overstatement, yes. But location, location, and location are the three biggest things that can impact your opportunity to shoot birds.

My 2 cents...

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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby SMcGarrity » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:40 pm

And yes I'm a sucker for new stuff...

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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby semomudhen » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:54 am

I run nothing but body language and a few full curl drakes. The body language decoys blow the dakota's out of the water imo. They run about $150/doz but sometimes they post a few specials on their facebook page. That's how I have bought a few dozen of mine. The pintails are unbelievable. just my 2 cents though.
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby SMcGarrity » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:10 am

I will have to check out the body language decoys. Blows Dakota out of the water...must be a helluva decoy?!?

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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby MODAKR » Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:52 pm

mjcraig15 wrote:I hunted a total of 11 days this year and killed 60 ducks myself for a 5.45 avg. I hunt all public ground (Mostly duck parks). A good majority of our decoys are 20 - 30 years old. We have repainted some of them, but have no flocked decoys, and most of them cost in the 30 - 50/ dozen range. The new decoys look nice, but they are not necessary to kill ducks. I hunt with a guy that has 50 + years experience and my father and I together have 40 + years experience. It is not necessarily how nice your decoys look. None of ours look great. It is where you setup, how you call, how you adjust to what the birds are doing, and luck drawing if at a duck park (That is what my boy is for :lol3: ). Don't put your faith in buying a new decoy spread to help you kill. Ask BigAL64 or SwampCrawler. I have hunted with them numerous times over the last couple years, and have had some darn good hunts over an old used decoy spread. Too many people think they have to spend more to kill more. IMO I would not waste my money on the more expensive decoys, but learn to adjust to the birds.


i would say that is nothing short of stellar and i think many would agree with me... and i completely agree that location trumps everything including decoys, and i'm talking general location, like which duck park you are at, and then which pool you got into and then where the ducks want to be within the pool; which would indicate that you got to hunt a location that ducks wanted to use during shooting hours for all of your hunts, which is awesome. all of my duck park hunts were at Leach except for one at EB. and some of the pools at leach are so bad, in my opinion, that i dont' think they have the potential to kill a limit. i mean, you need to at least have ducks fly close to you so you can work on them and that simply does not happen in some of those pools. a couple of my hunts at leach were in Dec. when things had been iced up for some time. one hunt i got 2nd to last choice and took it. i sat there and watched ducks in other pools all morning... nothing came within 200 yards of me despite my efforts; they knew where they wanted to go and it wasn't where i was at. at 1245, a flock of bootlips came right in and saved me from being skunked. my last hunt at leach, i was one of like 8 parties and i drew pill 1 for the first time ever so obviously i got a great spot for that day. they still had like 40k ducks in the refuge but they simply would not leave. again i stuck it out til last bell. 6 ducks were killed that day at Leach and i killed half of them. I certainly have plenty more to learn about hunting ducks in MO, but i honestly don't know what else i can do in those situations
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Re: Fully flocked ducks

Postby SMcGarrity » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:58 pm

semomudhen wrote:I run nothing but body language and a few full curl drakes. The body language decoys blow the dakota's out of the water imo. They run about $150/doz but sometimes they post a few specials on their facebook page. That's how I have bought a few dozen of mine. The pintails are unbelievable. just my 2 cents though.


I took a look at those body language decoys...interesting stuff. Perhaps the pics don't do them justice b/c I can't say I was blown away. But considering the work those guys put into each decoy, the full flocking, and the customized poses/positions I would think that would result in a premium gunning decoy. Would love to see some in person...

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