Mix spread of decoys.

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Mix spread of decoys.

Postby zachh72 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:21 pm

Hey everybody, I need help to decide what to put in my decoy spread. :help: I have around 24 mallard decoys and i don't know what else to put in the spread. I was thinkin teal, pintail, gadwall, but I don't know like i said I am new to this and I have nobody to teach me. I am 17 and i am the only advid duck hunter in my family. So i am really new to this I went out hutning last year. I live in Moab Utah and i am pretty much the only duck hunter in this town. It is not a big thing down here. But i absolutely love it. I will mainly be hunting ponds I think the biggest one I have hunted was 200 yard in lenght and about 100 yards wide. And the rest are maybe 50 yards in width and 100 in length (maybe0 I have a few buddies that i got into duck hunting they all will be going with me this year. But i was wondering what other types of ducks i should add to my spread. And would a jerk line be good to add? Or should I buy a Mojo? The ducks down here do not get pressured very much except when I hunt them and when some guys drive the Colorado River and jump shoot them. That's pretty much it. But the ducks are here. So any advise will help thanks! :grooving:
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby JuniorPre 360 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:48 pm

Good to see some new hunters that will do some good. Here in Utah, you'll see pretty much any kind of duck. My spread consists of teal, widgeon, gadwall, shovler, pintail, greenwing teal, and mabe a few othere I might be forgetting. I have had a ton of luck with teal. I believe they are magic. Something I have done is bought 4 puddler packs from Cabelas to give me 8 decoys of 3 different species. I would suggest you find out what you see most in your area. If you run into pintail, I know the white on the decoys can be seen from far away. Same for the shovlers. A jerk string will be a great addition. A mojo could work as well. You might want to look into some sleeper and butt up deeks for confidence. Hope this post helps.
Oh, this site helped me a lot this past season...http://www.takeem.com/
A BAD DAY AT THE MARSH BEATS A GOOD DAY AT WORK.
killwoodies101 wrote:your a dudshe bag! You dont own the river your dont own any property around it.. Its just as mush mine and any other tom **** and harry's as it is yours !! get a life share what is yours or stop hunting
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby zachh72 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:16 pm

JuniorPre 360 wrote:Good to see some new hunters that will do some good. Here in Utah, you'll see pretty much any kind of duck. My spread consists of teal, widgeon, gadwall, shovler, pintail, greenwing teal, and mabe a few othere I might be forgetting. I have had a ton of luck with teal. I believe they are magic. Something I have done is bought 4 puddler packs from Cabelas to give me 8 decoys of 3 different species. I would suggest you find out what you see most in your area. If you run into pintail, I know the white on the decoys can be seen from far away. Same for the shovlers. A jerk string will be a great addition. A mojo could work as well. You might want to look into some sleeper and butt up deeks for confidence. Hope this post helps.
Oh, this site helped me a lot this past season...http://www.takeem.com/

Thanks alot! This website looks amazing full of advise and tactics. Yeah i am kinda doing this as a learn as you go process but last year i just wasn't getting them to decoy very well. I only limited out like one time but hey.. I am new to this and I have nobody to teach me. Thanks for the advise I have been seeing a lot of teal around. So i might get like 4-6 then buy some butt up decoys and maybe some shovelers. I don't have a ton of money but i will be adding to the spread thanks a lot!
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby Greenhead-2 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 9:24 pm

Don't go crazy buying decoys. Your mallards should do you fine for the most part they all hang together. But the white does stand out like was mentioned. A jerk string is always a great addition and mojos are a great attractant also, if not over used. The problem, especially up north, everybody got'em and the birds get educated quick. Buy the puddler pack or try painting 6 or so of your mallards to teal or pintail. Hunt the Colorado. I have had good luck and alot of fun the few times I have hunted it.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby zachh72 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:42 pm

Greenhead-2 wrote:Don't go crazy buying decoys. Your mallards should do you fine for the most part they all hang together. But the white does stand out like was mentioned. A jerk string is always a great addition and mojos are a great attractant also, if not over used. The problem, especially up north, everybody got'em and the birds get educated quick. Buy the puddler pack or try painting 6 or so of your mallards to teal or pintail. Hunt the Colorado. I have had good luck and alot of fun the few times I have hunted it.

I am planning on buying on buying just 6 teal decoys and 2 butt up decoys to add to the spread. I have never hunted the Colorado, but i have hunted the ponds next to it. I see a lot of geese on the islands out on the Colorado. This year i might set up on one of the islands with duck and geese decoys. I hot a boat this year so I can get out there. But I am not gonna put my 3 year old black lab in that water... Too scared of loosing her.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby Greenhead-2 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:24 am

Just watch where you put the dog in, but they are pretty good swimmers though. Now if you had a Chesapeake you'd have no worries, they are born with 100hp Johnson in their tails and turn into mermaids when they submerge their legs. You know, they sip cherry slurppies in january while coasting off niagera fallls? God actually used two chessies to part the waters for Moses. The lab guys paid big money to have the printing press leave that little fact out.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby JuniorPre 360 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:55 am

My brother's Chesapeake actually sunk when it was about a year and a half old when he went after a duck in a very slow flowing river. My brother had to jump in and swim to it to get him above water before it drowned.
A BAD DAY AT THE MARSH BEATS A GOOD DAY AT WORK.
killwoodies101 wrote:your a dudshe bag! You dont own the river your dont own any property around it.. Its just as mush mine and any other tom **** and harry's as it is yours !! get a life share what is yours or stop hunting
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby zachh72 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 1:49 pm

JuniorPre 360 wrote:My brother's Chesapeake actually sunk when it was about a year and a half old when he went after a duck in a very slow flowing river. My brother had to jump in and swim to it to get him above water before it drowned.

I couldn't imagine loosing my best friend. She is my first dog I have ever trained. She is my best friend and favorite hunting partner, She is a bigger lab She probably wighs around 90 pounds I can't even find a dog vest that will fit her. But if i was put in that situation I would also jump in and save my dog no matter what. And this is what i am afraid of. Lot's of people die around here and I have heard stories where people loose there dogs. The Colorado is a pretty big river..
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby Locked&Loaded » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:55 pm

zachh72 wrote:
JuniorPre 360 wrote:My brother's Chesapeake actually sunk when it was about a year and a half old when he went after a duck in a very slow flowing river. My brother had to jump in and swim to it to get him above water before it drowned.

I couldn't imagine loosing my best friend. She is my first dog I have ever trained. She is my best friend and favorite hunting partner, She is a bigger lab She probably wighs around 90 pounds I can't even find a dog vest that will fit her. But if i was put in that situation I would also jump in and save my dog no matter what. And this is what i am afraid of. Lot's of people die around here and I have heard stories where people loose there dogs. The Colorado is a pretty big river..


I hunt the rivers quite a bit in the late season and one of the most dangerous scenarios for your pup is current and ice. Your lab will be fine in the river and if she is well conditioned the current won't be a problem for her, but keep her out of it when there is ice and any potential for her to get pulled underneath the ice.

As for the decoy spread, I think mallards are the staple of decoys and are usually sufficient if set-up properly, but as the others have stated a few deeks with white can make them visible from a long distance. I have about 6 or 8 drake shovelor decoys mixed in with my mallard and teal deeks. Good luck! :thumbsup:
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby zachh72 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:07 pm

Locked&Loaded wrote:
zachh72 wrote:
JuniorPre 360 wrote:My brother's Chesapeake actually sunk when it was about a year and a half old when he went after a duck in a very slow flowing river. My brother had to jump in and swim to it to get him above water before it drowned.

I couldn't imagine loosing my best friend. She is my first dog I have ever trained. She is my best friend and favorite hunting partner, She is a bigger lab She probably wighs around 90 pounds I can't even find a dog vest that will fit her. But if i was put in that situation I would also jump in and save my dog no matter what. And this is what i am afraid of. Lot's of people die around here and I have heard stories where people loose there dogs. The Colorado is a pretty big river..


I hunt the rivers quite a bit in the late season and one of the most dangerous scenarios for your pup is current and ice. Your lab will be fine in the river and if she is well conditioned the current won't be a problem for her, but keep her out of it when there is ice and any potential for her to get pulled underneath the ice.

As for the decoy spread, I think mallards are the staple of decoys and are usually sufficient if set-up properly, but as the others have stated a few deeks with white can make them visible from a long distance. I have about 6 or 8 drake shovelor decoys mixed in with my mallard and teal deeks. Good luck! :thumbsup:

Maybe I will let her get in the river this year i just don't wanna loose her. If all of you guys think she will be okay on the mighty Colorado I will take your advise.. And thanks for all the advise. Looking forward to a great waterfowl year! And wish you guys the best!
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby meekhunter7 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:29 pm

I don't want to disagree with any one. But there is no point in risking your best friend to retrieve some ducks. If there is any doubt i would just play it on the safe side and find a different way. Or a different spot to hunt.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby Greenhead-2 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:17 pm

Just use common sense buddy. I guess I shouldn't talk up a dog to be funny when a new guy is trying to learn. A simple rule of thumb I use in determining if the water is to fast. If its tough to keep your balance, its to fast. If you can't keep your boot still in one place from shore, the water is pushing you foot, its probably to fast. Now if down stream in shallows out and slows down you'll be fine. I have watched my dogs try to swim up stream many times and can't, they just kinda sit in place. I have also watched the current send them down stream, but knew they could easily get out. You need to really have an obedient dog on a river. If you can't call your dog off a bird as he is headed full boar at it, stay off the river. But please never try to save your dog. She is a much better swimmer than you. If she's in trouble, its very doubtful you can do much.

Work at moving water slow to learn your limits.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby JuniorPre 360 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:26 am

Greenhead-2 wrote:Just use common sense buddy. I guess I shouldn't talk up a dog to be funny when a new guy is trying to learn. A simple rule of thumb I use in determining if the water is to fast. If its tough to keep your balance, its to fast. If you can't keep your boot still in one place from shore, the water is pushing you foot, its probably to fast. Now if down stream in shallows out and slows down you'll be fine. I have watched my dogs try to swim up stream many times and can't, they just kinda sit in place. I have also watched the current send them down stream, but knew they could easily get out. You need to really have an obedient dog on a river. If you can't call your dog off a bird as he is headed full boar at it, stay off the river. But please never try to save your dog. She is a much better swimmer than you. If she's in trouble, its very doubtful you can do much.

Work at moving water slow to learn your limits.


I'd say this is great advice but I don't think it would be followed. I've talked to hunters that consider their dog their own kid. I honestly don't hunt with a dog because I don't want to deal with it dying. That is the ONLY reason. Someone said "You will question the loyalty of your friends but never the loyalty of your dog." I would bet most hunters would risk their own lives trying to save their dogs in the heat of the moment. I'd say if you don't feel comfortable with your dog in the river, you know better than us. You shouldn't try and save your dog, but you probably will as did my brother.
A BAD DAY AT THE MARSH BEATS A GOOD DAY AT WORK.
killwoodies101 wrote:your a dudshe bag! You dont own the river your dont own any property around it.. Its just as mush mine and any other tom **** and harry's as it is yours !! get a life share what is yours or stop hunting
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby Locked&Loaded » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:13 pm

Man I cannot imagine hunting without a dog. One of my favorite aspects of hunting is working my dog and watching her do her thing. A good dog is absolutely invaluable in retrieving downed birds. I hunt a stretch of river that is way too deep to wade and most of the birds I shoot either land on the other side or in the middle of the river. My pup makes quick work of those birds and loves every minute of it. Be smart and don't put your pup in dangerous situations, but get her out there and let her do what labs are bred to do -- hunt!
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby one8sevenn » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:27 pm

Here is my 2 cents - Get a 4 pack of geese and if you still feel inclined to buy more I hear black and white decoys work the best (Pintails, Canvasback, bluebill). I have an addiction and I want one of every duck in my spread, but that is just me. Good luck buddy
Last edited by one8sevenn on Thu Sep 06, 2012 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby slcduckkilla » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:06 pm

@one8seven Great comment and advice I was given the same tip a few years back on throwing a few floating geese in the spread. Works awesome.... The birds can see them from a long way away. I would also add a motion decoy of some sort....
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby cootlover » Wed Sep 05, 2012 8:46 pm

By some shoveler decoys they stick out big time
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby cbroche10 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:41 am

About a half a dozen Pin Tails are fine. Blue bills are a good bet as well. You need some white in your spread but not too much. Remember motion is important so give yourself some ripple on the water. Kick boards and Jerk strings work well for this. If you are hunting a field, use about a half a dozen goose dekes. Ducks like some white in your spread. But there are a lot of things you can do to enhance your spread without buying a lit of dekes. I will not go to the marsh with out a jerk cord set up. We actually favor them over the spinning wings. We set them up with about 5 ducks to make them really visible but not too visible. Duck butts are a great addition as well. There are a lot of great guys on this site so keep askin questions and try new things. Good luck to you bud.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby wanapasaki » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:10 pm

If I were you, this is exactly what I'd do, especially if your on a budget. Go buy a 12 pack of storm front flambeau decoys for 29.99. Then buy a half dozen sleepers mallards, and buy a green head gear puddler pack for about $40. A jerk chord works great on non flight days, but heavy flight days I will use the mojo to catch more attention. Don't be afraid to extend your spread wide and far. Cover some water, and make your deeks more easier to see. I also made a blind of pvc for cheap. Duck hunting isnt that expensive unless you want it to be.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby Locked&Loaded » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:41 pm

wanapasaki wrote:Duck hunting isnt that expensive unless you want it to be.


Man I wish this was true.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby cbroche10 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:00 pm

I use chicken wire with Bull rush zip tied to it. That makes a great roll blind. Use fir stripping for stakes to put it int he mud. Cost is the time to chop some bull rush and the chicken wire. A bundle of fir stipping is not much and it is available at Home Depot or lowes. Make yourself a duck board with the left over so you have something to stand on in the marsh. Easy to do, Portable, and cheap.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby manzquad » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:37 pm

I've been doing a long time and have never heard of a "duck board". I have something in mind, but do you care to elaborate. Pictures are great too. going to google it.
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby WildFowl2479 » Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:46 pm

Not the only duck hunter in the town!!! Does you want to get together an kill some???
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Re: Mix spread of decoys.

Postby one8sevenn » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:51 am

My 2 cents. Add Divers.

Black and White will kill you ducks day and night.

Convert 4 of your biggest duck decoys to Canvasback drakes and place them on the outskirts of your spread. The White can be seen for a ways off and will bring ducks closer to investigate.

My early season spread consists of (converted hot buy mallards) Canvasbacks, redheads, and Scaup(Black & White). I bought some teal and converted them to black and white buffleheads. I also have 6 shovelers that I place close to the blind. I have a dozen geese I throw out when geese are in the area. I don't call, I only pull the jerk cord to add movement.

It's really up to you. With every other person throwing out the same dozen of hot buy mallards it is good to change it up. As for teal decoys, they will land in the mallards even if you have teal out there. So it adds different sizes, but that is all.

If you decide to get spoonies, then separate them from the main flock. Spoonies are pretty aggressive ducks when it comes to feeding, but the different shape and the white can help.

Pintails are a great option as fair as white, but I wouldn't hide them in the mallards. Put them on the edges to increase the visibility of the white.

Coots are a great option that some people use, I would suggest getting a couple widgeon dekes to mix in with the coots, because I see an occasional widgeon hanging out with the blackness.

Everyone will have a different opinion, but what you should do is glass some ducks out on the water and match what they are doing. There are times when you can set out only 6 decoys and kill more birds, than setting out 3-4 dozen. Match the Hatch.

Good Luck hunting.
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