Decoys or not?

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Decoys or not?

Postby radisson » Sun Sep 16, 2012 4:39 am

New to duck hunting and thinking of buying some decoys used wood duck teal and goose. Just want to know if they are needed to hunt successfully. I have a dozen mallards already but have read that goose decoys work well has anyone tried this? I will be hunting mostly marshes and beaver ponds. Any help would be great along with best ways to set them up!
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Re: Decoys or not?

Postby NHDuckHunter » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:57 am

You have to match what you see. If there are no geese around, I won't throw out goose decoys. You won't see many geese in any beaver ponds or small marshes. The teal don't hang around long so those will have a short life up here. I throw woodies out right up until the very end of season.
To more directly answer your question, no decoys are needed to hunt succesfully, but they sure help.
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Re: Decoys or not?

Postby Baymen Moe » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:49 pm

NHD is right about the teal and woodies. I would start with just the mallard dekes. I have shot plenty of woodies and teal over a mallard spread. If you're hunting the beaver ponds, wood ducks are likely to go there anyway.
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Re: Decoys or not?

Postby JustinNH » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:10 pm

Baymen Moe wrote:NHD is right about the teal and woodies. I would start with just the mallard dekes. I have shot plenty of woodies and teal over a mallard spread. If you're hunting the beaver ponds, wood ducks are likely to go there anyway.


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Re: Decoys or not?

Postby NHDuckHunter » Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:51 pm

To go a little further-

Guys come on this site and others all the time and post something like "I'm new to duck hunting, I have "X" dollars to spend, what should I buy".
Here's the thing, if you have a good gun, decent shells, a comfortable jacket, dry waders, a good decoy bag, well trained lab (no other breed will do), a duck call that works for you, water proof gloves, a camo thermos, and $50 burning a hole in your pocket, sure, buy the geese, teal, woodie decoys. Why not, I certainly have teal, woodie, and geese decoys. The thing is, if you are new to the sport, there is probably more important things to spend your money on, but nobody knows what that is except you. It all depends on what you need, and what you have.
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Re: Decoys or not?

Postby mojo » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:33 am

The only time I won't use decoys is jump shooting.

Teal decoys are probably unnecessary though. I got a hell of a deal on a dozen at one point, so I do put a few out early season, but in my experience they don't make a huge difference. Teal will decoy well to most decoys.

Woodies are more about being in the right spot. At best they usually buzz the spread at Mach 3 before moving on or diving in somewhere else. I think success is MUCH more about location than decoys.

Goose decoys do help with visibility IMO. They "pop" much more than duck dekes. I tend to see geese in the places I hunt so I do usually toss some out. If I'm in places where I know for sure they are, they may make up the bulk of my spread with a few ducks mixed in. And I do shoot geese in salt marshes BTW. :wink:
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Re: Decoys or not?

Postby killnkyle » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:33 am

Radisson, I just started with what has become nearly an obsession three years ago. That being said I'm definitely no expert, but from what I have seen and heard is that decoys are helpful and an excellent tool but location and camouflage are more important. If you can't hide well from the birds and aren't where they want to be no amount or various types of decoys will get the birds to commit. If you are truly just getting started and want to be successful invest your time and money on scouting and tools / materials that will help you cover up. A good machete to brush in your hide, some 550 cord to keep the brush up right, and some camo netting will be more beneficial to you than a few extra decoys.

Also if they are blue wing teal those are going to be headed south really soon so I wouldn't bother, if they're green wings go ahead they leave a little later on, last year I shot one the week after Thanksgiving. Wood ducks will help build the birds confidence in your spread but if you're hoping to shoot some woodies you have to be right where the birds want to be (On the X) like mojo said. Last season I did have two geese come in to about 60 yards (called in with a goose call) but I didn't have any geese decoy's out. If I did I'm sure they would have dropped right in.

Hope that helps and if anyone thinks I'm wrong please feel free to correct me which will help me out too

PS, Cabelas has some Flambeau Mallards on sale for $25 a dozen right now.
When you have shot one bird flying you have shot all birds flying. They are all different and they fly in different ways but the sensation is the same and the last one is as good as the first.
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