How do I need to set up my spread?

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How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby Boykinboy » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:50 pm

Rubber head post #1:
How do I need to set up my spread? In terms of numbers and species? I'll be hunting in either a canoe, my Jon boat or on foot. So In some situations space is an issue, but on foot and the canoe ill mostly be shooting woodies so I understand I don't need a ton of decoys for that. I'll be hunting in private and public swamps, the coastal marshes and possibly the santee cooper. I've at looked at some at a local store, and they want 80$ for a half dozen woodies, and a box of assorted puddlers runs the same. Is that outrageous? I'd prefer to buy local, but not if I'm losing a lot of money!
Also as far as calls go; a couple mallards, a woodie, BWT or GWT, maybe a gadwall and Canada goose? Is that under/overkill?
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby JEJA92 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:42 pm

As far a swamp hunting goes around here I would probably say you don't really need decoys most of the time. That being said I have killed wood ducks in the swamp over decoys. For the most part it's pass shooting. When it comes to open water like lakes,rivers, ect. I would say that decoys are a must. I simply wouldn't go without mine. When it comes to species always use decoys that match the species your after. For example, you wouldnt toss out a dozen canvasback in your swamp when your planing on shooting woodies. How you throw out your decoys is totally up to you, there's a number of different ways to do it and everyone has they're own way of doing it. Me personally I stick teal,gadwall, a mallard or two, and a few blue bill or maybe a canvasback for my spread. I like to put my spread in a "C", "U", or maybe even a "J" formation depending on the wind. Remember ducks land into the wind. Back to my decoys, I like to use the bluebill and one or two canvasback to put white in my spread. Me personally the white catches more birds attention. $80 is a lot of half a dozen decoys. I use GHG, some of they're decoys are pricy and some arnt. Hope this helps you and good luck.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby cutm Jack » Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:15 am

Bottom line match the hatch. In my opinion settings decoys by shapes is the dumbest thing ever! Do ducks really know what a j hook or u pattern is? I take a spotting scope and take a pic with my phone of how the ducks are sitting when I scout. The next day I replicate that down to the last coot swimming outside the hole. If it looks real the ducks will think so as well.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby Gilliganmc01 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 2:50 am

It is all about creating a pocket within your decoys that they can easily land in. Putting the ducks directly in your line of sight for a clean shot. The "C, U, and J" shapes are the most common. Using creek or river shorelines as part of you're "shape" works from time to time too. Like he mentioned, use a shape that will have an opening pointing away from the wind so they land into the opening, funneling them to you. Hope this early morning posts helps.. If your swamp hunting woodies don't stress too hard about this.. Just use a couple bunches with a opening in front of you.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby JEJA92 » Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:52 pm

cutm Jack wrote:Bottom line match the hatch. In my opinion settings decoys by shapes is the dumbest thing ever! Do ducks really know what a j hook or u pattern is? I take a spotting scope and take a pic with my phone of how the ducks are sitting when I scout. The next day I replicate that down to the last coot swimming outside the hole. If it looks real the ducks will think so as well.


It's about the pocket not the shape, you my friend are an idiot...
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby cutm Jack » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:09 am

JEJA92 wrote:
cutm Jack wrote:Bottom line match the hatch. In my opinion settings decoys by shapes is the dumbest thing ever! Do ducks really know what a j hook or u pattern is? I take a spotting scope and take a pic with my phone of how the ducks are sitting when I scout. The next day I replicate that down to the last coot swimming outside the hole. If it looks real the ducks will think so as well.


It's about the pocket not the shape, you my friend are an idiot...


Ya I'm an idiot because of hunted and guided for 20 years and know what works and doesn't work? I always have a spot for ducks to land and more often than not i'm shooting ducks at 10 yards. I was speaking specifically about stupid shapes that people try to set up. Keep using your U,X and C shapes i'm sure all the coots you shoot land right in the pocket.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby Gilliganmc01 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:54 pm

cutm Jack wrote:
JEJA92 wrote:
cutm Jack wrote:Bottom line match the hatch. In my opinion settings decoys by shapes is the dumbest thing ever! Do ducks really know what a j hook or u pattern is? I take a spotting scope and take a pic with my phone of how the ducks are sitting when I scout. The next day I replicate that down to the last coot swimming outside the hole. If it looks real the ducks will think so as well.


It's about the pocket not the shape, you my friend are an idiot...


Ya I'm an idiot because of hunted and guided for 20 years and know what works and doesn't work? I always have a spot for ducks to land and more often than not i'm shooting ducks at 10 yards. I was speaking specifically about stupid shapes that people try to set up. Keep using your U,X and C shapes i'm sure all the coots you shoot land right in the pocket.


I understood what you said cutm Jack. I agree. It is more crucial to have a natural spread then a certain shape or a huge pocket. Placement of the spread will ensure you have a pocket. Simply ensure you move the spread slightly up-wind from where your blind is.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby Gilliganmc01 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:15 pm

Boykinboy wrote:Rubber head post #1:
How do I need to set up my spread? In terms of numbers and species? I'll be hunting in either a canoe, my Jon boat or on foot. So In some situations space is an issue, but on foot and the canoe ill mostly be shooting woodies so I understand I don't need a ton of decoys for that. I'll be hunting in private and public swamps, the coastal marshes and possibly the santee cooper. I've at looked at some at a local store, and they want 80$ for a half dozen woodies, and a box of assorted puddlers runs the same. Is that outrageous? I'd prefer to buy local, but not if I'm losing a lot of money!
Also as far as calls go; a couple mallards, a woodie, BWT or GWT, maybe a gadwall and Canada goose? Is that under/overkill?



All jokes aside, many people have given you advise.. Do you know any of us? So why lean heavily on our guidance..lol.. Find a old salty duck hunter, not someone young and inexperienced. I'm talking 10 to 15 years at a minimum, if they tell you not to get started and to quit now... Then my friend you will be close. Ask a couple questions. If they are obviously experienced but don't really tell you where they hunt or how they hunt, then you might have a winner.

Beg, plead, do yard work, find something that will make them want to take you out with them. Using mostly their equipment, amd your gas money. See what it is all about.

Most duck hunters will tell you general advise, and tell you where they generally hunt, no details though.. This is why you need a pro, you need to learn duck hunting. There is no substitution for an old salty duck hunter who is sporting leather skin and uses a boat or gun older then you..

However keep the questions coming, there is a lot of many knowledgable and educated people on here. What part of the state are you hunting in?
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby Boykinboy » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:53 pm

Some really great info on here.
Everybody says that, and says "take a kid hunting" and will preach that, but when push comes to shove never want to take anybody. It's really hard to meet people that that'll take you seriously enough to invite you along! I'm out of charleston btw. I could always go with my buddies, but they ain't gonna teach me sh** except how to shoot mergies and coots. I went goose hunting with a kid this week, and he killed two seagulls for fun! :huh:
I definitely understand the value of local knowledge and hard work(waders in the water) but its a bit difficult when people just write ya off as a newbie who will never learn. Rant over.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby Gilliganmc01 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:05 am

Pm sent. It is crazy difficult to find someone with experience willing to take you out. Fortunately the regular season is a couple months away.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby JEJA92 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:06 am

Yes I agree that finding someone who will teach you a few things is great. That being said you can also teach yourself. Stay on the water and use trial and error. Watch videos, read books, magazine articals. The info is out there. Learn your area and master it. Educate yourself overall.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby LowcountryGamecock » Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:05 pm

Boykin, I got in to duck hunting by finding little wood duck holes in the national forest and hunting them before work. You can kill a lot of birds within an hour of downtown with just waders and a vehicle. Sink all the time in to scouting that you can. Lots of times folks are much more willing to do a "swap" than just take you. On that note though, never (NEVER) take anyone with you who you wouldn't want to meet at that same spot one day at 4:00AM. I still have never taken anyone with me to some of my better holes. That said I did get followed to a couple spots and they were shot out in a matter of days.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby Boykinboy » Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:36 pm

thanks yall. i picked up a decent mallard call, a whistle where i can do teal, widgeon, pintails, and mallard drake on, and a wood duck squeal. and a dozen mallard decoys. i guess im gonna go and buy a set of assorted decoys so i can add some more color to my spread, and a box of woodies( i have 2 ponds i can hunt where decoys for the wood ducks will definitely be a plus).
LCgamecock, i plan on hunting the FMNF this year as well for those woodie holes, i found one last year while stalking hogs in the swamp. What do you look for in scouting for woodies in the FMNF; food, water thats it? or just pass shootin em through the trees? thats probably what im gonna do most of, with a couple trips to the coastal marshes ACE basin area. and my buddies deer clubs have ponds and swamps were allowed to shoot woodies on. I'd never give up a fishin spot, and i got plenty of those, so you can bet your azz i wont be giving out duck hole numbers!
IF anybdoy wants to be a saint and possibly hook up for ducks, ill be more than happy to pay ALL expenses!
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby LowcountryGamecock » Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:35 am

Food, water, and ducks. A lot of the holes I've hunted I've found during turkey season, and then scouted either right before the first season or during the split to make sure birds were using them. Good luck! Even the most obvious ponds out there can hold a bird or two occasionally too. Don't overlook the obvious. Also try not to jump the birds out of your holes. They're finicky out there and might not come back.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby Boykinboy » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:17 pm

Thanks yall.
If anybody is selling decoys im interested. Particularly Woodies, shoot me a PM.
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Re: How do I need to set up my spread?

Postby Rhett3454 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:00 pm

JEJA92 wrote:Yes I agree that finding someone who will teach you a few things is great. That being said you can also teach yourself. Stay on the water and use trial and error. Watch videos, read books, magazine articals. The info is out there. Learn your area and master it. Educate yourself overall.

x2 I caught the addiction for the sport at 17, late night outdoor channel duck commander, judge if you will, but I grew up in a family that was raised to hunt every weekend, deer, quail, thunder chickens, everything but ducks. I have a passion for the outdoors and duck hunting was new and exciting. I've put in literally thousands of hours scouting in my short time in the sport, a ton of late nights studying maps, calling techniques, decoy spreads and any other information I could try and absorb on the topic. now it has developed into a full blown passion where all I do is fantasize about cupped wings and a beautiful sunrises. welcome to the addiction brother, everybody on this website will tell you its harder to get off of then heroin. :welcome:
'Merica, F**K Yeah
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