Decoy Diversity

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Decoy Diversity

Postby w1!dbill » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:09 pm

Right now I've got two dozen mallard dekes, along with a couple of "duck butts" as I like to call the feeder dekes. Now that I'm back in a "game on" situation with duck hunting, I'm looking to diversify. I know I'll probably start a ruckus here, but what kinds and what numbers of dekes would make up the "dream" spread for a typical foot soldier hunting public areas in northern Utah? From the reading I've done so far, I'm sure I'll have to pick up a coule of sawbill decoys :smile:
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Postby honer » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:35 pm

i am going to try an new spread for the opener. it may be that i'm lazy, or it may be out of necessity as i'm a foot soldier, but i am going with:

16 teal of which 8 will be greenwings 3 of them drakes and 5 hens. 8 will be bluewings 3 of them drakes 5 hens. then there will be 4 mallards 3 will be hens and 1 drake (spinner) for motion.

20 total decoys and because most are teal they take up almost no room at the bottom of the decoy bag and weigh hardly anything (except for the spinner.) we will have to see how it turns out. the good news is that we are hunting a spot that won't have very many other spreads around so i don't have to compete to much. public ground near delta, but you have to go through a private gate to get there. i am tempted to throw in a 1/2 dozen goose floaters, but it kind of seems to be counter productive with the whole minimalist approach. who knows, i may see tons of birds and get none in the blocks, but i might limit out by 7:30 am with every bird i see slashing down. i guess i will keep my fingers crossed for the later but the reality of the matter is that it will be somewhere in the middle of the two senarios. if anyone has any critiques for my spread i am all ears. or if anyone sees pros or cons to the spread let me know.
Last edited by honer on Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby UtahSprig » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:37 pm

I'd have to hunt over it before I could critic it :thumbsup: :laughing:

Sounds good to me, are you seeing many teal in that area?
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Postby honer » Wed Sep 28, 2005 3:48 pm

tyler, you are welcome to hunt over my spread anytime. it's that carp character you associate with that i'd have to think long and hard about. :laughing:
we do see quite a few teal down there and some mallards mixed in so i think the spread matches what the birds will see naturally in the area.
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Postby Bret » Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:47 pm

I think that what you have is a good place to start. honestly latly many many hunters have gone to bigger and bigger spreads. I used to hunt 150-200 blocks on some of the bigger ponds I hunt. I could outnumber everyone almost..... but now every decoy spread looks to be up in numbers to me. I think you are just as well walking off in to the places boats can not get with a much smaller spread. Though I have access to a boat and hunt out of it often I find more and more I am walking in to someplace no one is willing to walk to to get into birds. Often I am hunting 15 decoys or less in those situations but am in the right spot. I think some way to make motion on the water is nessesary or at least helpful as well esspecially on calm days. It is sometimes hard to kick that big strong Arky right leg in the water in the places we hunt, but even here sometimes that still works. God knows I use it at times. Try a jerk cord or one of the other alternatives.
as far as species I like to have wigeon, shoveler, pintails, and teal at my disposal I think gads and a few coots would be usefull as well. I like to mix some in family groups with my mallards. I really like teal for the size difference I can not say for sure if it helps but I think it does. If you like to hunt divers..... well that is another story.....
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Postby firebird » Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:46 am

Try to immitate what your scouting shows you! I will throw out lots of Gadwalls now that there are a couple good models to choose from. I also swear by coots and seagulls, mostly for visibility reasons. I also use floater goose dekes for the same reason. Mostly match the number and species to the area you are hunting. I love to put out every decoy I own, and do it just often enough to realize how much work it requires! Most the time a couple dozen gadwall with a few other species sprinkled in is my most effective spread.
There is no help for this kind of insanity. I'm just a duck hunter, and should not be held accountable for all my actions between October 1st and freeze-up. Gordon MacQuarrie
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Postby w1!dbill » Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:30 pm

I'm definitely thinking of throwing some floating Canada geese into the spread. Would four of them really do much good, or would I just be wasting time and space in the decoy bag?
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Postby green head2 » Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:07 pm

I like small spreads I throw out 4 to 6 floaters all the time And get geese coming in just set them out away from your ducks But still within shooting range Most times I hunt I rarley have more than 16 decoys out usually 8 plus the floaters But If I hunted up north I guess you would mabey need more to be seen and compete with everybody else I would think you would still be fine I have called in cripples with no goose dekes at all they just wanted a buddy
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Postby w1!dbill » Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:31 pm

Sometimes the minimalistic approach is best. One of the best goose hunts I ever had was over only 4 full body decoys. I had 3 dozen shells with me, but never got the chance to put them out. As soon as I got the full bodies set up (I got there kinda late), the geese were locking up on me. It was pretty cool since there were guys in sight of me who had huge spreads out and every goose was locking on me. I don't think it was the spot, it was just timing. I should've taken a picture of exactly how those decoys were placed...I've never been able to duplicate that feat.
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Postby w1!dbill » Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:26 pm

Just bought 4 magnum goose floaters at Sportsman's Warehouse. I guess I'll have to take the Long Honker with me on Saturday :cool:
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Postby honer » Thu Sep 29, 2005 11:28 pm

hey bill, what did you give for the floaters?
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Postby w1!dbill » Fri Sep 30, 2005 8:17 am

I'd rather not say, but I will :laughing:

They're the G&H Magnums with the flocked heads. They were $99 for four, but I had a $10 coupon.

I'm one of those guys who used to always wait until I thought I got the best deal on something. Normally, as soon as I'd buy something, it'd go on sale for even less the next day. I'm not rich by any means, but now when I want something bad enough, I buy it.

I did spend some time pricing decoys on line and the warehouse's prices were competitive.
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