Confidence decoys

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Confidence decoys

Postby gunman » Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:31 pm

Out of curiosity, what do you guys use for confidence decoys in your spread....did you notice a diffrence in the birds? also, what not to use?
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Postby JJ McGuire » Wed Aug 17, 2005 5:40 am

I often use a white duck in my spread. in the right spots I have found it to work very well.
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Postby Mr. 16 gauge » Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:14 am

I've tried a little bit of everything in my spread at one time or another: Canada goose, teal, crow, great blue heron.....can't really say they worked or not. I hunt a public area that receives a LOT of pressure, so once something becomes popular, everyone starts using it and the birds wise up rather quickly (a good example of this is the mojo ducks; when they first came out, guys who were using them were slaying ducks....then when everyone had one, they didn't seem to work as well).
The one thing that I have had repeatable success with is a string of 8 goldeneye decoys. I set them in a line off of my main "J", "C", "V", or whatever. I think they work for two reasons: 1.) they have a lot of white on them, so ducks can see them from a fair distance away and2.) they area a common bird in the area, but not too many duck hunters use goldeneyes in thier spread. I think heavily hunted birds cannot only count (I think that they won't come down if 24 or 36 decoys are present), but that if they see a bunch of teal off to the side, they get hinky!
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Postby ol' yeller » Wed Aug 17, 2005 6:51 am

I got a heron as a gift one time and used it for a season on a small river that is covered up in those birds. The only thing I think it helped decoy in were more herons. The ducks didn't seem to care that it was there, but other herons would get in fights with it.

A couple of years ago I started using bluebills at confidence decoys. We have a lot of ringnecks early in the year and then the bluebills show up the last half. No one else in the area uses bluebills so it gave our spread a little different look. It sure seemed that we had more birds than anyone else at the boat ramp although they thought we weren't killing a thing. :getdown:
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Postby Mr. 16 gauge » Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:05 am

ol' yeller;
Just out of curiousity, how many bluebills did you add to your spread, and how many regular decoys do you usually use?

...Enquiring minds want to know......... :smile:
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Postby ol' yeller » Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:20 am

16, it varies a lot on how the birds are acting, but this is what we normally do.

The first few weeks of the season we will set out 14 doz. decoys. 13 doz. are anything from mostly mallards to widgeon to pintail to teal. A doz. of those are bluebills. During the middle of the season we'll step the number down to around 4-6 doz. with a 1/2 doz. of 'bills. Then the last couple of weeks we'll step back up to the 14 doz. and the same number of 'bills as the first two weeks.

I have seen enough mallards bomb into the spread with the bluebills in it that I think they work. It may just all be in my head, but I am constantly looking for ways to make my decoy spread better and different from any other one within a couple of miles of me.
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Postby Mr. 16 gauge » Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:31 am

I have seen enough mallards bomb into the spread with the bluebills in it that I think they work. It may just all be in my head, but I am constantly looking for ways to make my decoy spread better and different from any other one within a couple of miles of me.


I agree 100%....and I think we may have just given our secret away! :oops:
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Postby ol' yeller » Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:51 am

If it's a slow day and you're into killing bluebills then that's an even better reason to put them out. I pretty much only shoot puddlers, but I LOVE watching those bills come in.

A buddy and I went out a week or so after the season closed this year and were planning on getting some video/pictures of mallards working the decoys. They never showed up, but a couple groups of bluebills kept us busy for the morning. One group would drop in, we'd get video/pictures of them, scare them up and they'd fly off across the bay. About 20 min. later another group would come in and do the same thing. We would rotate between 4 different groups of them and the provided plenty of time to film. I do have to say that bluebills are one of the dumbest ducks I have ever seen. We had each group come through at least 3 times before we decided to leave.

This video is lower quality than the original clips, but it lets you get an idea. And a few pictures shrunk down....

http://www.yellerdawg.com/video/bluebills-lo.wmv

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confidence decoys

Postby hoover » Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:02 am

i pretty much agree with the blue bill and goldeneye decoys with the exception of lake winnebago...for some unknown reason, on that lake, the goldeneyes only fly the first half hour of the day and they will not decoy to bluebill decoys....but the bluebills will decoy to the goldeneye decoys. on that lake the puddlers always land short of the spread, while the divers will land in the decoys.
20 years ago, on small marshes and mississippi backwaters, i started using a blue heron decoy as a confidence decoy with horrible results.....i could not get a duck anywhere near it. i then put that bad experiment on the shelf and went to 3 large canada honker floaters painted like swans. this is prior to the motion wing days. those swan decoys set away from the duck decoy spread really got noticed....that is the real deal for getting birds in to take a look.
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Postby ol' yeller » Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:48 am

hoover, it's amazing how birds act of different bodies of water isn't it. We have goldeneyes, redheads and buffleheads regularly decoy to bluebill decoys here. If you don't have any black and white out you will hardly ever see a diver buzz the spread.

There are no swans around here, but we do put out a few snow goose floaters every now and then. They're just Canada goose decoys painted white with a pink bill, it does seem to pull ducks in close to take a look. We also pick up a few snow geese stragglers.

Coot decoys have been really big with people for awhile. We don't use them, but we don't have large rafts of coots anyway. There is a lake nearby that may be worth hunting for ringnecks and other divers when the mallard action is slow. I may just have to repaint some mallards black that have lost their paint.
Last edited by ol' yeller on Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby wa.duckhunter » Wed Aug 17, 2005 9:52 am

That is very interesting to hear about the blue heron decoys. I've always wondered about getting one. I think what I've read has taken care of that decision.

In the past I've used goose decoys, along with an occasional jerk cord. Iwill probably continue to use the goose decoys, but this year I'm going to add some new things. Here where we hunt we get some big rafts of ducks on the river. Nine times out of ten there are seagulls circling the raft and landing close by. So, I took a couple of old decoys a month or two ago and painted them up to look like seagulls. I'm going to set them outside our spread and duplicate the rafts that are near by. I've already gotten laughed at by one of the guys I hunt with, but if it works I will have the last laugh. :laughing: I also have a new wingmagic that I bought from just4dux that I'm anxious to try.
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:37 am

Wow! I never even thought of some of the things you guys are bringing up.... :thumbsup:

Do you guys know wheather a bluebill would work for Alaska? I dont think we have any of them up here, but the mallards should recognize them (Im guessing), right? :help:
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Postby yellodog1 » Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:25 pm

A few goose decoys seem to work for us in Vermont. We always put them off to one side.
Its always fun to call in some geese if they are in the area, even if it isnt goose season.
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Postby CLUTCHfan » Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:44 am

I just picked up a couple seagull decoys for confidence decoys and yardage markers.
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Postby duckhunter25 » Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:01 pm

heres a trick. set out a dozen or so goldeneye way off to one side, set out goose decoys way of to the other side all alone, then place 6-9 decoys of the species you are trying to hunt right in front of you. This will look natural and should center them up.
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Postby PinTeal » Thu Oct 06, 2005 6:50 pm

AlaskaRedneK wrote:Wow! I never even thought of some of the things you guys are bringing up.... :thumbsup:

Do you guys know wheather a bluebill would work for Alaska? I dont think we have any of them up here, but the mallards should recognize them (Im guessing), right? :help:
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But I can tell you one thing that comes to mind as a "questionable" confidence deke for Alaska.....



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