Wow, maybe one of the best threads to date on this forum. So on the topic of leaving decoys out all year long. Obviously a heated debate....good points on both side. 1) No it would not be right to convert someone's camping site 2) Should a hunter be allowed to stake permanent claim to a location by leaving decoys out all season?
I have been fortunate to hunt in all flyways, Canada and Mexico. Comparing camping........a highly transient activity to converting public property to private is vastly opposite. I once had a party move in on one of my whitetail areas in IN. It was state property that required blinds-stands be removed at season close, all must be clearly marked with owners name and phone. If you were caught in someone's blind you could be cited for trespass. My close friend and hunting partner a Conservation Officer in IN. While in disagreement with the code- mentioned there are several trees in the areas.......just put my tree-stand in the next tree over, if the other party showed they would have to leave as I was the first one to the spot. Refusal to leave by the opposing party could result in the issuance of a citation of the later party.
I like many, understand that ducks can be fickle.........a perfect spread set up, but the ducks or geese want to work behind me. Or they are all dropping in 200 yards away. The wise hunter will watch 2-3 groups follow the same pattern and decide a move is in order.........ie remain highly mobile for best success. Those who are students of fowling can spend 1 hour glassing an area to determine the best way or area to hunt. Imagine your homework patterning ducks, put a plan together for the hunt. Show up the next AM at the X to find someone didn't beat you to that spot on that day- they did however claim that spot by leaving their gear out for the season to somehow stake ownership.........poor sportsmanship! A blind is one thing but to leave your gear out is all together another violation of ethics. Compounded by the pressure this party places on the birds by shuttling in 8-10 hunters to fill out limits. Sad development and abuse of the resource.
The second point to be made- locals vs city folk. I know it, and lived it for half of my life. Lived on a 1500 acre lake that had a public access site. Hunted and fished there for 25 years- as a local we were always on alert and offended by city folk coming in from out of town to hunt/fish OUR lake. I believe we are dealing with the same mentality here............the people leaving decoys out are locals- who are we to infringe upon THEIR lake?
My thought, build a blind if you like but understand it may be hunted by others. Leave your decoys out, ok I will respect your decoys but nothing is stopping me from putting my spread 75 yards down wind as I was the first one there. I will respect you and your equipment.....please do the same.