Spread Recommendations

Duck Hunting for puddlers like Mallards, Sprig (Pintails), Black ducks, Widgeons, Woodducks, Teal, and other ducks.

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Spread Recommendations

Postby Rich- » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:52 am

I'm going to hunt public land this year for waterfowl and need recommendations as to which decoys I should be using in my spread, not in terms of brand etc. but which species should appear in the spread.

The area I plan to hunt holds mallards, wood ducks, and black ducks. Should I just use mallard decoys or should a few wood or black duck decoys appear in the spread? How many decoys in total should I plan to bring?
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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby LiquidA45 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:40 pm

I am not sure how public hunting around where you live is, but down here if you are in one of the WDU's you need as many as you can get. There will be 6-20 groups out there all with 2-4 dozen mallards and a mojo or two. What works out here is 6 dozen+ mallards and a mixture of common birds like teal, gaddies, or pintails totaling a couple dozen. The more the better, but the most important thing is being in the part of the marsh that the ducks want to be. If you can get away with 2 dozen decoys then do it, just hardly the case around here. I know a lot of guys use black ducks for visibility, you might try and all black duck spread with half a dozen mallards. If that is something no one else runs it might bring you great success.
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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby scruggs12 » Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:27 pm

Rich- wrote:I'm going to hunt public land this year for waterfowl and need recommendations as to which decoys I should be using in my spread, not in terms of brand etc. but which species should appear in the spread.

The area I plan to hunt holds mallards, wood ducks, and black ducks. Should I just use mallard decoys or should a few wood or black duck decoys appear in the spread? How many decoys in total should I plan to bring?


The biggest thing is to be different than everyone else. If everyone is using only mallards, throw some teals, woodies, black ducks into the spread. Black ducks are notoriously weary, use more of them. As for spread size, again, be different. Try smaller spreads one time, bigger spreads the next or rearrange as you see fit. Good luck!
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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby greenster » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:41 pm

I use coots.....
"Thomas Jefferson said I had a God-given right to pursue happiness. What makes me happy is to take a mallard's head smooth off at about 20 feet.

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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby LiquidA45 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 7:09 am

greenster wrote:I use coots.....



Really wanting to repaint my hotbuys like coots and give this a try...
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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby greenster » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:02 pm

Coot's are duck magnets...Especially in the timber...Even though there are no live coots there :huh: been using the tangle free weighted keel for years. People tend to laugh at first when they see 6-10 coot decoy's and a couple mallard hens :yes: let em think im crazy.
"Thomas Jefferson said I had a God-given right to pursue happiness. What makes me happy is to take a mallard's head smooth off at about 20 feet.

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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby Rich- » Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:51 pm

Who makes the best coot decoys?
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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby LiquidA45 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:04 pm

Rich- wrote:Who makes the best coot decoys?


In my opinion they are all over priced. The big name brands want $45 for 6. Paint some yourself. If you must buy them I think GHG coots are the most realistic. Some guys dislike the greyish blue on the side but if you look at a video of coots on YouTube when the sun hits them that's exactly what they look like.
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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby cwsmith » Wed Sep 11, 2013 9:27 pm

Rich- wrote:Who makes the best coot decoys?


agree with above, the GHG oversized coots like fantastic. i have 6 that i use as confidence decoys in bigger spreads and in public marshes
13-14 Season

40 mallards
14 GWT
13 pin
10 spoony
10 buff
9 wigeon
8 rgnk
6 woodie
6 gad
5 barrow's ge
3 merg
3 ruddy
2 l scaup
1 g scaup
1 comm ge
1 can
TOTAL DUCKS = 132

77 canada
4 snow
2 speck
TOTAL GEESE = 83

TOTAL WATERFOWL = 215
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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby thomashamm2 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:44 am

a tip for public land is to do the opposite of everyone else. Use a small amount of decoys. maybe 2 dozen. Dont use as many mallards as everyone else. Use some mallards...use wood ducks...some divers is also a good idea because not many people use them. Also with your calling make it seem like a happy bunch of ducks just loafing and dont do a lot of high balls. Be content and the ducks will think that your decoys are the real ducks out of all the public land
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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby Trent_Rivers » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:24 am

This season I think I'm gonna try a wild spread. 12 coots, six shovelers, and one mallard hen and 3 drakes. Very different and natural at my nwr.


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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby JuniorPre 360 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:32 am

In my area, coots will make a huge raft in the middle of the pond and ducks will land with them all day long. Last year, I painted a couple dozen flambeau hen mallards black and made them into coots. This has been one of the best desisions I've made. During the day, the raft of coots would make their way over to me and bring all of the ducks with them. We also had almost every pair of ducks land in our decoys. This year, I'm painting another 2 dozen coots to add to my spread. I also bought 6 sleeper decoys. As soon as I can find cheap sleeper pintails, I'll add 6 of them as well. I also dropped the mojo decoy. EVERYONE around me had atleast 3 in their spreads.
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Re: Spread Recommendations

Postby BBK » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:47 am

Rich- wrote:I'm going to hunt public land this year for waterfowl and need recommendations as to which decoys I should be using in my spread, not in terms of brand etc. but which species should appear in the spread.

The area I plan to hunt holds mallards, wood ducks, and black ducks. Should I just use mallard decoys or should a few wood or black duck decoys appear in the spread? How many decoys in total should I plan to bring?


If you are alone in the area, I would suggest a couple doz mallards, a half doz blackducks mixed in, and a half doz woodies in pairs along the outside of your spread until the woodies migrate through.

When putting out woody decoys, put them where you want them to land. From my experience, in a spread of mallards with a couple woodies a decoying woody will almost ALWAYS land with the woody decoys. Not saying he wouldnt have landed if you didnt have woody decoys, but if you have them out he will land right next to them.


If you are in a populated area (lots of hunters around in eyesight) then do the opposite of what they are doing. If they are putting out 8-10doz decoys, then you put out a dozen out in the open so they can be seen. If they are putting out just a handful, you put out as many as you can fit in your boat or on your back. Also do the opposite of them with your calling, if they are hail calling and calling the hell out of the birds then you just sit over there and do some single quacks or 5 quack greeting calls when the ducks swing your way.
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