Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

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Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby canderso » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:25 pm

So fellow NJers, I was given 3 dozen older plastic Bluebill dekes during this past season. The paint is a little rough, but most of the dekes appear to be very serviceable. I plan to do a floating test for each of them as the weather gets warmer here. I will repair the ones I can and plan to repaint all of them as necessary.

I currently hunt with 4 dozen dekes ( 1 doz Bufflehead, 2 doz Bluebills, and 1 doz Old Squaw). This number has given me a fair amount of success. I have a group of friends that come down to hunt with me for two weeks during the season. I generally provide the diver dekes for the spread. I was planning to incorporate this new batch into the spread for next season.

Should I simply repaint these as Bluebills?
Should I mix and match them. . . Some Bluebills, Ringnecks, Canvasbacks and Goldeneyes?
Paint some as Scoters?

I fall into a line of thinking that the ducks are going to be drawn to the colors of the ducks more so than the head shape, bill shape, etc. if they are close enough to flare due to the duck not being "quite right", we should be shooting.

So I guess the gist of it is, how would you paint 3 dozen dekes for hunting divers in NJ?

Thanks in adavance.
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby pvn6616 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:17 pm

You will get MANY opinions, bottom line is follow your gut instinct. We all have our individual preferences to why we hunt and what we enjoy hunting. You obviously hunt divers, so I would paint them as scaup, the most common of the divers locally. Only makes sense to have the largest amount of decoys the most common duck around with your others spread around on the outer edge of the spread. Observe nature, rarely will you see mixed flocks of birds resting together. It happens, but not often in the wild. Maybe in refuges, etc,.. but birds on Barnegat Bay rarely do. Mimic nature, large amounts of scaup , some buffs and squaws is a perfect rig! Just my two cents worth.
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby canderso » Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:31 pm

Now Pete, don't sell yourself short. I would pay more than 2 cents for your advice! But since you are only charging 2 cents, I will gladly take that to the bank.

Would love to have you and Chick out on the boat next year for a diver hunt or two. Have to keep in touch on that. you know the boat, it isn't a Cadillac but it does the job pretty well.

Oh, and I plan to paint my engine this year too. Time to grow up and be real duck hunter.
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby pvn6616 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:32 pm

Yeah, have to paint the engines before next season, that's for sure! :wink: It's a DUCK BOAT! BE PROUD! I love duck hunting, it is number one in my life, why wouldn't I paint my engine!!!(motor) LOL...thanks for the invite, likewise, I'm always seeking others to assist me on an expedition...we will hook up
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby olclamman » Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:38 pm

candrso
ive used rustolem brush or spray to paint my decoys its out door high quaity paint
obty the in vite is still there for you to hook up with us for trainin
oc

see ya in the pines
retired less money more wife
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby Duck Slayer424 » Tue Mar 06, 2012 8:57 am

I would touch up the whites and leave the rest natural. Divers can't tell at 20 yards
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby FOWLGAL » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:34 am

Here are a couple that I just painted for a friend of mine
IMG_0011.jpg
IMG_0092a.jpg
IMG_0012.jpg
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby canderso » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:33 pm

Hey Fowlgal, nice job on those repaints. I have been having fun doing this with the kids. When I did my OS, I drew lines on each bird with a pencils, then the kids and I sat down and painted together. We had a lot of fun doing it. We decoyed a lot of birds over them and shot a few over them too.

I think I will paint atleast 2 dozen of them into Bluebills, then maybe 1 dozen of something else (Redheads or Ringers). I have a dozen GHG Hot Buy Mallards that I am going to facelift into Buffleheads too. Lots of painting to do. Then there's paint for the boat and motor. Rebuild the blind. Train the dog some more and get her steady to wing, shot and fall. Teach the boy to shoot better. Get my oldest daughter through hunter education. Wait, I got to go, too much to do and only 8 months to go! :biggrin:
Last edited by canderso on Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby Deuce N Ducks » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:37 pm

Some Bluebills


what self respecting waterfowler from New Jersey calls them "bluebills"???????????? :help:

Any way, trying to paint 4 different species especially on just plastoids will just be a pain in the ***

Just get:

Rustoleum Flat black & flat white
Liquidex sterling blue(for the bills)
and paint them up as BROADBILLS


Everything will decoy to broadies including brant and puddle ducks
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby canderso » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:48 pm

Got a little work done today with my son. The decoys came out of hiding, were stacked up, counted, inspected, washed and set out to dry.

Prior to cleaning. 34 older Bluebill dekes ready to be put back into action after 10+ years of inactivity.
Image

The next victim of a well desreved bath.
Image

Most of the crew drying out in the boat. We found 7 dekes in need of repair. Some should be easy repairs due to holes from steel shot. Some may be more difficult and ultimately not worth repairing, but we have them so we will give it a try.
Image

The dekes are labelled "Made in Italy" and it appears the drakes have a water through keel while the hens don't. Does anyone know anything about these dekes? Who made them? Their reputation as being decent, good or otherwise junk?

Thanks
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby canderso » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:07 pm

Just did a quick google search on "bluebill decoy made in italy" and found some photos of old Sportplast decoys. I had the boy run out to the boat and sure enough, I missed the Sportplast castle stamp on the bottom side. I only saw the Made in Italy and wondered if that was the case.

Hope they hunt. Kind of nice being able to put some old, free decoys back to use.
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby Deuce N Ducks » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:26 pm

They are "carry lites" made by sportplast...marketed under carry-lite in the USA
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby canderso » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:53 pm

Thanks Deuce. Oh, by the way, I live in NJ but I was born and raised in PA. I have travelled all over and have landed back in NJ for the second time in my life. Between Bluebill, Broadbill an Scaup. . . I choose Bluebill. But then I don't consider myself a self respecting waterfowler from NJ. I am merely transplanted here for a time. :biggrin:
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby jerseydutch » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:07 pm

canderso wrote:Thanks Deuce. Oh, by the way, I live in NJ but I was born and raised in PA. I have travelled all over and have landed back in NJ for the second time in my life. Between Bluebill, Broadbill an Scaup. . . I choose Bluebill. But then I don't consider myself a self respecting waterfowler from NJ. I am merely transplanted here for a time. :biggrin:


Well you will get all mixed up if you're next transplant lands you south of us. I was talking to some guys from down there before and they kept saying 'blackhead' and shooting blackheads with the redheads and cans. The whole time I am thinking in my head *** is a black head.

Do guys in long island call them broadbills too or is the cutoff through he middle of the raritan :yes:

Those decoys will hunt. At least next time they get shot you wont worry about it since they are free!
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby papageno » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:07 pm

Fowlgal - your decoys look great - I especially like the last group of boldly painted blackheads (or whatever you want to call 'em). They have great character.

Like Dutch says, those decoys will hunt just the way they are. Unfortunately, ducks don't appreciate art - you're just trying to trigger an instinct.
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby FOWLGAL » Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:49 am

Thanks I enjoy painting them - I touched up the cans somemore, I didn't like the heads.
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby canderso » Tue May 29, 2012 2:15 pm

after much sitting around and handling the various family business, I finally decided to finish up a bunch of the dekes. I repaired 7 of the slightly damaged ones. I had to throw out a couple that were beyond being salvaged. All told, 20 drake bluebills, scaup, broadbills are done. The pic shows the first 13 complete. I have 9 hens to work up. I just have to find the right color brown that I am looking for.

Image

Hope everyone is well and enjoying the beginning of summer. It won't be long now. Better start getting all of your prep work done before the big day sneaks up on you!
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby Slack Tide » Thu May 31, 2012 10:31 am

Hit them with a scotch pad to get the flakes and dust off. One coat of primer, one coat of HIGH TEMP for wood stoves (there is NO blacker) then blow out the sides with flat white and done. The are BOLD......

oh, and as for some being "beyond salvage" drill a hole in the bottom and get the "great stuff" out....
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby pvn6616 » Thu May 31, 2012 6:51 pm

Your decs look real good, the birds will flock into that rig, all birds, you just have to be patient, the lesser species will be attracted to your rig of bluebills. Goldeneye, cans, redheads, all will be attracted - it's just a matter of putting your time in. I have been gunning over 40 years and have shot damned near every species, but in all this time I have never shot AT a redhead. My buddys growing up have killed a few, but they have eluded me. I haven't been shooting for divers for a long time , but they will stool into a rig of bluebills without hesitation. It's all a matter of putting your time in and being in the right place at the right time. It is what hunting is all about!!! Have fun and don't stop!! Go get em
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby Deuce N Ducks » Thu May 31, 2012 7:20 pm

oh, and as for some being "beyond salvage" drill a hole in the bottom and get the "great stuff" out....



don't drill a hole in the bottom....


Drill a 3/8" hole on the back of the head(where the head meets the "shoulder") then FILL ER up!


GE's Buffies & OS tend to stool into their "own kind" You'll get some fly byes and passing shots...If you're targeting GE's & OS's get those species in your spread for decoying birds
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby Slack Tide » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:54 am

Correct-o
I forgot about that. I think I did it right in the hiney hole area, not the actual bottom
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Re: Decoys need painting, what should I paint them to look like?

Postby canderso » Sun Jun 03, 2012 9:48 am

Thanks for the advice on the foam. I had given some thought to whether it would be worthwhile to try something like that.

I had some decent luck last year with OS and Buffleheads. Last year being the first time I targeted divers. I am still new to the whole duck hunting thing. And trying to teach my 11 y.o. son along the way. I keep my fingers crossed and hope everything goes well. I have never filled a limit of any bird, but I have found birds everytime I have gone out. Trying to keep logs with valuable information on location, weather, people along, successes, laughable failures, dog work, tides, etc.

It has certainly been a fun adventure.

Pete, good to here back from you. The engine is painted now! Now I can get serious about duck hunting! :biggrin:

Last year I painted up about 9 OS drakes and had some good luck decoying in birds. They were all flybys but well within shooting range. Buffleheads seemed to like coming in as well. I didn't see a single bluebill all season. I did run into one massive flock of Scoters early on. I believe that was during the early split.

I decided to repaint a couple of other dekes to look like a hen OS. I think I did 3-4 of them for next season.

Image

All told, we will have quite a spread for next season. Now to find a couple of new spots to hit up. As we look for the bluebills, canvasbacks and redheads.
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