Decoy numbers and species

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Decoy numbers and species

Postby Paul-andrew » Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:42 am

Hey guys, I posted a thread similar to this in the decoy section also, but I want to know specifically what Kansans are using. I'm buying my first decoys soon and I'm wondering how many is essential. I read of people having dozens and dozens upon dozens of decoys... And seeing how I'm just starting out in this I can't justify spending very much... Also what species are you all using?
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby Max4Holly » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:28 pm

Take What I do with a grain of salt but this year I have changed how I set my spread I usually use about 8 floating mallards usually 5 drakes and 4 hens and 4 teal floaters. I also use 6 full body geese and a dozen full body mallards on the bank w hen possible, I use my own judgement on any given day weather or not I should switch out full bodies for floaters, scratch the geese or add more floaters. I've killed most species of duck in my area with this spread but I've killed ducks over a dozen mallards with 4 of those on a jerk string. I'm still a novice when it comes to ducks but I've done quite a bit of research on spreads and tried different things. I see guys with dozens of decoys in huge horse shoe shaped spreads sit there all day and have ducks flare all day, I have found success with just throwing them out there close together depending on What the wind is doing... how many times have you seen a hundred ducks on a lake in a huge u shape for other ducks to land???
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby mudpack » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:29 pm

I have all the species of ducks (except scaup; none of those). I use them all at one time or another.

How many decoys are "essential"? Probably two or three. Less than that and they don't do much, usually. (if you are in the right spot, you don't need any....but that's another subject). More than that, and the value of each decoy decreases proportionately.
For instance, if you have one decoy out and you add one more, the value of that second decoy is about 50%. If you have 100 decoys out and you add one more, the value of that last decoy is probably less than 1%. See what I mean?
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby dukhntr » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:38 pm

I probably have about 4 dozen G&H Decoys. I usually only take a small lightweight mesh bag with a dozen and a half teal and about 6 mallards. That is my "light" bag and I use it most of the time the last 2 years....
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby EcatMagoo » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:07 pm

It really depends on your budget and how you hunt. If you have a big budget and a boat then load up on decoys using multiple species. If you have a small budget and are going to be walking in get your self a couple dozen mallards and 1/2 a dozen teal.
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby mudpack » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:12 pm

EcatMagoo wrote:It really depends on your budget and how you hunt. If you have a big budget and a boat then load up on decoys using multiple species. If you have a small budget and are going to be walking in get your self a couple dozen mallards and 1/2 a dozen teal.


Seven mallards (three drakes and four hens), and five GW teal.
Exactly.
No more, no less.

Vary from that and you will not kill a duck. Adhere to it religiously, and you'll limit out every time.
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby cyoung24 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:48 pm

8 dozen Coots and 2 dozen shovelers. Just kidding. I would start with a dozen mallards and a mojo. Maybe 2 dozen just whatever you can carry. But a mojo is a must especially since your just starting and prob not proficient at calling. No offense. I just wouldn't load up on dekes. I had 14 dozen at one point before I sold a lot of them. Some never even got wet.
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby Cajun1085 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:22 pm

I believe in quality over quantity. I put out 8-12 Dakota flocked Mallards. 4-10 Dakota fully flocked floater Geese. For other species I have GHG Pro-grade GWT, BWT, Widgeons. I will pick up some Final Flight Pintail this week (best looking out there right now IMHO). I put out species of what I am seeing. I haven't seen a teal in a month. They stay at home. This week I will add 3 black ducks and a pair of widgeons just to change it up a bit. I'm leaving the mojo at home because it to late in the season and I notice them flaring lately, but I do still hunt with my hidgeons pulsators. I have one mallard butt and one goose butt. I am not seeing a lot of birds right now but I usually come home with 3-4 off of a public river.
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby duckguy7 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:42 pm

You can decoy most puddle ducks with mallard decoys. However, I like to use a few mallards mixed with whatever species are abundant at the time. So as you can afford them I would add a few decoys of other species. I like to use some teal decoys as long as they are still around. However, this last week I had put my teal decoys away and we decoyed a bunch of green winged teal with mallard decoys.

If you are hoping to decoy divers late season it really helps to have a few diver decoys i.e. Golden eye. As you can afford non-mallards I would add 3 to 6 decoys of several different species.
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby goodkarmarising » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:41 pm

If I want to put out a big spread, I have about 4 dozen duck decoys that I can put out...with about 12 to 16 of them as mixed species and the rest mallards. Most of the time, I wind up hunting over 1 or 2 dozen decoys.
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby ducknado » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:00 pm

Since these are your first decoys, simply go with mallards as they tend to be less expensive and will attract most species of puddle ducks. I recommend water keel so that when you decide to carry them, they will be MUCH lighter. The downside to water keel is that if you are tossing them from a boat, some may not self-right once they hit the water. As for how many, a couple dozen will be enough to start with. There are, however, a lot of variables in this answer:


1) how do you transport them (in a bag on your back or in a boat). If you're carrying them 4 dozen is a lot!

2) where are you hunting (big open water such as a lake, water with standing vegetation such as a marsh, or water with lots of sand bars such as a river). big water tends to hold larger rafts of ducks, thus more decoys is probably better.

3) how are the ducks sitting naturally in that body of water? As some guys above said, a few decoys on dry ground may look more natural, but those decoys are pricey. If you aren't hunting a spot with dry ground, you don't need those decoys.


The spots I've mainly hunted this year are walk-in marshy areas with no dry ground where the ducks wanted to be. I carry in about 30 decoys with mostly mallards and a few pintail drakes to add some white for visibility. They are a mix of brands, which doesn't really matter to me.

I've killed ducks over a buddy's decoy spread where about 1/3 of the 100 or so decoys are just painted 2-liter bottles several times, so I can't say that highly realistic decoys are a necessity :)
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby quackattack1991 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:38 pm

Like Cajun, I too believe in quality over quantity. If I am hunting public land, I always take a big spread. I want to trick the birds into thinking I have the one spot that is actually real. When I do that I take 2 Doz Dakota Mallards, 1 dozen GHG Wigeons, and 1 doz GHG teal. I also take 12 full bodies to set on the bank. We have had people run up on us and tell us we were pricks for stealing all the birds and using so many decoys. Now that is a funny conversation.
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Re: Decoy numbers and species

Postby Cajun1085 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:21 pm

quackattack1991 wrote:Like Cajun, I too believe in quality over quantity. If I am hunting public land, I always take a big spread. I want to trick the birds into thinking I have the one spot that is actually real. When I do that I take 2 Doz Dakota Mallards, 1 dozen GHG Wigeons, and 1 doz GHG teal. I also take 12 full bodies to set on the bank. We have had people run up on us and tell us we were pricks for stealing all the birds and using so many decoys. Now that is a funny conversation.


I think the exact same way. I want the birds to think, that must be a great spot! As far as "stealing the birds". Those guys are idiots. If they were smart they would do the exact same thing. Public Hunting can be rough. Anything to create an edge.
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