Good Quality Shell Decoys

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Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby luie b » Tue May 29, 2012 9:28 am

I bought a dozen tanglefree shells last season because I needed cheap decoys quick and like anything cheap they were pretty crappy quality. The plastic chipped in a couple places, and the paint wore off terribly for only having one season hunted them. So I'm looking to replace these with high quality shells that I can hunt over for years and depend on. I've looked at brands like GHG and G&H but I don't know the reputation of these. Do you guys know any brands of decoys that are known for durability but not necessarily the best looks?
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby tornadochaser » Tue May 29, 2012 11:03 am

G & H, Bigfoot, or Dakota.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby luie b » Tue May 29, 2012 11:35 am

tornadochaser wrote:G & H, Bigfoot, or Dakota.

How are the G&H's? I notice they're made in Oklahoma, not China like most others which I really like. But I notice there's not as much detail as the other decoys. How tough are they? At certain points in the season I hunt every day no matter the weather and I get into the field and get out of the field usually in a hurry so my decoys aren't necessarily getting cared for like they always should.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby atr04screw » Tue May 29, 2012 4:09 pm

luie b wrote:
tornadochaser wrote:G & H, Bigfoot, or Dakota.

How are the G&H's? I notice they're made in Oklahoma, not China like most others which I really like. But I notice there's not as much detail as the other decoys. How tough are they? At certain points in the season I hunt every day no matter the weather and I get into the field and get out of the field usually in a hurry so my decoys aren't necessarily getting cared for like they always should.

I know an older guy who used to waterfowl hunt, but he doesn't any more, so he gave me all of his decoys, which consisted of about 1 dozen duck(don't know what brand) and 2 g&h goose shells. The ducks decoys were dry rotted and most fell to pieces when I picked them up. They had lots of dirt on them, but once I cleaned them up, they looked almost brand new. I don't know their exact age, but I think they are over 20 years old and have spent most of that time outside. IMO, G&Hs don't look the best as far as detail and anatomy, but they seem to be very durable.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby bobalong » Tue May 29, 2012 9:05 pm

Have a look at the Hidgons
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby Rick Hall » Wed May 30, 2012 5:42 am

I can't speak to the newer G&H shells, in part because my 20+ year old ones are still in great shape I've had no reason to think about replacing them.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby dakotashooter2 » Wed May 30, 2012 8:18 am

I have some G&H shells that are over 20 years old. The only weak point on them is the hole for the head connection (ball and socket). The ones I have, had a reinforcement ring in the shell around the hole but that area eventually got brittle and broke. I'm not sure if they still use the same system or not. They may not have the detail but geese were flying over my FBs and landig in my shells 60 yards away last fall.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby Rick Hall » Wed May 30, 2012 8:48 am

dakotashooter2 wrote:The ones I have, had a reinforcement ring in the shell around the hole but that area eventually got brittle and broke. I'm not sure if they still use the same system or not.


That's how my circa late '70s G&H shells were made, but by the mid '80s(?), they'd dropped the hard plastic ring and were using a a more flexible polymer for the shells that required no reinforcing and none of mine have cracked. The weakest link in that second generation was the split ball on the neck end that goes in the shell socket. The head polymer was still brittle enough that the ball halves could always withstand being stepped on in the dark, which too often happened to mine when new crews were helping put them together most every morning. Other than those broken under that abuse, however, those old heads are still fine after all these years.

Couldn't put a date on it, but there is now a different head (and stake) design that may be more bullet proof.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby tornadochaser » Wed May 30, 2012 9:02 am

luie b wrote:
tornadochaser wrote:G & H, Bigfoot, or Dakota.

How are the G&H's? I notice they're made in Oklahoma, not China like most others which I really like. But I notice there's not as much detail as the other decoys. How tough are they? At certain points in the season I hunt every day no matter the weather and I get into the field and get out of the field usually in a hurry so my decoys aren't necessarily getting cared for like they always should.



Not the best in the "looks good to humans" department, but they are durable and geese die over them. I don't use my G & H much any more though because the ones I have are the super mags and its too much work hauling them around. Now the shells I use are 3 dozen Higdons mostly with some paint flaking GHG sleepers for variety. Buddy has 6 dozen bigfoot and dakota sleepers, both seem durable and I wouldn't have a problem buying and using those brands.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby artsmag10 » Wed May 30, 2012 10:12 am

The older Flambeaus work well, too, if you can pick them up at a yard sale.

Avoid the SportPlastic/Carrylites: paint will flake like crazy.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby noweil » Wed May 30, 2012 10:05 pm

My experience with G&H has been good, but like others who posted here they are 20+ years old. I have mags and super mags. For smaller shells I have the old flambeaus that are older than the G&H's. I never bought sleeper shells. We have been turning the feeder heads around on out old flambeaus for over 20 years. Still works. I saw old flambeaus for sale without stakes for $40.00 a dozen just at the end of last season. So they are still out there.

Shells are really easy to repaint. You could just touch up what you have. Tire decoys are really durable, but heavy to carry.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby dsm16428 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:24 am

bobalong wrote:Have a look at the Hidgons


This. I had 9 dozen Higdon standard and oversized field shells that I hunted over with a few other guys for about 6 years, that when I sold them (wish I hadn't btw), looked almost brand new. We did not baby them either! The guys that bought them all love them and have killed birds over them the last 2 seasons. When I owned them, around 2,000 birds hit the ground in them so I can attest to the fact that they'll finish birds. :thumbsup:
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby Fowlersduckhunter » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:28 am

GHG and dakotas
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby Mallyard » Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:48 pm

I vote dakotas!
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby redsled600 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 12:48 am

ghg ffd shells
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby spoonysmaker » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:24 am

Anybody use the 30" super magnums as blind covers? Seems like it might work. Thinking about giving it a try this season.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby tornadochaser » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:47 am

spoonysmaker wrote:Anybody use the 30" super magnums as blind covers? Seems like it might work. Thinking about giving it a try this season.


We used to use any where from 9-36 of those big suckers; before layout blinds we would just lay in the field and use one of the big shells to cover up.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby spoonysmaker » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:56 am

tornadochaser wrote:
spoonysmaker wrote:Anybody use the 30" super magnums as blind covers? Seems like it might work. Thinking about giving it a try this season.


We used to use any where from 9-36 of those big suckers; before layout blinds we would just lay in the field and use one of the big shells to cover up.


For $99 a half dozen its worth giving it a try. If its to much of a hassell atleast i got 6 more decoys :biggrin:
Im gonna try to think of an idea to keep the shell elevated about a foot or so over the top of the blind so you can have good visability.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby Huntfish12 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:23 pm

ghg os shells.... got 4 or 5 doz and absolutly love em! Check ebay, thats where i got all mine
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby noweil » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:05 pm

spoonysmaker wrote:Anybody use the 30" super magnums as blind covers? Seems like it might work. Thinking about giving it a try this season.


I'm thinking the 30" decoys are just mags. I was pretty sure my super mags are like 42" long. Like was mentioned above we used to hide under before layout blinds.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby spoonysmaker » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:37 pm

noweil wrote:
spoonysmaker wrote:Anybody use the 30" super magnums as blind covers? Seems like it might work. Thinking about giving it a try this season.


I'm thinking the 30" decoys are just mags. I was pretty sure my super mags are like 42" long. Like was mentioned above we used to hide under before layout blinds.


Sorry your rite these are only magnums.
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby mojo coot » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:24 am

Big foot they are great same quality as the other Bigfoot
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby mayhem96 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 10:25 am

GHG Shells hands down...if you want to add that much more realism....go FFD or go home :grooving:
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Re: Good Quality Shell Decoys

Postby Natural Camo Face Paint » Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:29 pm

I think G&H has a strong warranty behind thiers I have hunted with friends for 3 years behind them and Big Foot so thats my 2 cents. :beer:
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