Larger decoys or more decoys?

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Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby koosj1 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 7:42 am

Hey y'all
I am going to a walk in area here soon and will be pulling a jet sled in. I am wondering if you would take more decoys (like 2 dozen, in this case they are hot buys) or if you would take a dozen larger decoys ( in this case they are big foot b2 mallards 18 inches in length). If i can ill take a some canadas for confidence decoys, but that may be more conducive to taking the smelling decoys.

Let me know what you think,
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby NW Birdhunter » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:05 pm

If I had to walk in I would definitely take the smaller decoys, unless I was hunting big water. If I hunt out of my boat or the Big Columbia river, I would definitely take larger decoys and goose decoys also. :thumbsup:
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby koosj1 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:21 pm

So let me summarize. Big water, throw big dekes. Small water, throw more dekes.
That doesn't seem to be a bad idea.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby mudpack » Wed Sep 27, 2017 6:46 am

From a quarter-mile away, the size of the individual decoys will not be evident to a duck. On the other hand, the number of decoys will.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby ScaupHunter » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:47 pm

Ducks find other life size ducks out of miles upon miles of land and water. Size is not relevant to ducks seeing your decoys. Numbers, bright colors where they belong on the deeks, movement, and having the deeks where the ducks want to be are what matters.

Oversize decoys were created to get the birds to lock up and commit further out from the spread.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Theduckguru » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:09 pm

Larger decoys are employed to allow waterfowl to see the decoys from farther distances. I’ll take big / tall decoys over more smaller decoys any day. For carry in, I like quality light weight over size foam decoys without keels, but you are not going to find decoys like that at chain stores.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby sibley » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:59 pm

it dose not matter size or amount it is location and realism of spread.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:05 pm

If I was counting on decoys, rather than calling, for attraction, I'd much rather have more than bigger.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby mudpack » Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:05 am

Theduckguru wrote:Larger decoys are employed to allow waterfowl to see the decoys from farther distances.

If a duck is too far away to see life-sized decoys, he probably isn't interested in your area anyway.
If he IS interested in your area, he'll be coming closer shortly...to where he CAN see the decoys.

Duck won't come to your decoys unless they were already interested in the spot/area already...and that means they are, or will be shortly, close.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Theduckguru » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:09 pm

mudpack wrote:
Theduckguru wrote:Larger decoys are employed to allow waterfowl to see the decoys from farther distances.

If a duck is too far away to see life-sized decoys, he probably isn't interested in your area anyway.
If he IS interested in your area, he'll be coming closer shortly...to where he CAN see the decoys.

Duck won't come to your decoys unless they were already interested in the spot/area already...and that means they are, or will be shortly, close.


The only area I want the ducks to be interested measures 90 ft x 90 ft. The area they are interested in may be miles x miles. If one believes numbers are better, get a bunch of teal decoys and paint them up like mallards. You can haul a ton of those.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby dakotashooter2 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:15 pm

I believe there are times when numbers will out produce size and vice versa.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby mudpack » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:10 am

Theduckguru wrote: If one believes numbers are better, get a bunch of teal decoys and paint them up like mallards. You can haul a ton of those.

I got a bunch of mallard decoys, painted just like mallards. I haul a ton of those.

You present a valid argument, guru. Weaknesses in positions on this subject can be demonstrated by taking the argument to the extreme, which you have done.
Allow me the same privilege.
How about you use one decoy the size of a bathtub. That's about the same volume (carrying capability) as 3-4 dozen life-sized mallard decoys. How effective do you think that one (huge) decoy would be? As effective as three dozen regular mallard decoys? As effective as seven dozen teal-sized mallard decoys?

When you see an area/spot that is drawing ducks, how do you know the ducks like it?
Is it because the ducks there are the size of turkeys? Or is it because you see a LOT OF THEM?
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby 5 stand » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:33 pm

:lol3: :yes:
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby koosj1 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:14 pm

This is all very interesting. You have given more a lot to think about at least.

I recently have been hunting the Mississippi so I feel that larger decoys are more relevant in that scenario, because you have the ability to pull migrators from across the river if your calling is right and the birds can see your decoys. We were hunting the river a week ago and the birds were way over on the illinois side, (we were in iowa) but once they saw the goose flag and some calling we were able to turn them our direction...

To the fella talking about the huge decoys. I was also hunting with a guy who has made a blind trailer for hunting snow geese fields and the trailer is actually outfitted to look like an 8 foot snow goose.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby firepolock » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:01 am

koosj1 wrote:This is all very interesting. You have given more a lot to think about at least.

I recently have been hunting the Mississippi so I feel that larger decoys are more relevant in that scenario, because you have the ability to pull migrators from across the river if your calling is right and the birds can see your decoys. We were hunting the river a week ago and the birds were way over on the illinois side, (we were in iowa) but once they saw the goose flag and some calling we were able to turn them our direction...

To the fella talking about the huge decoys. I was also hunting with a guy who has made a blind trailer for hunting snow geese fields and the trailer is actually outfitted to look like an 8 foot snow goose.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby E-9 GB » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:20 pm

I been hunting on the bay of Green Bay for 25 years. I have found that the guy with the most decoys wins. In the bay off of the bigger bay I hunt, I have 2 groups to compete with, both are north of me and closer to the bigger waters were most of the birds are coming from. We all hunt the same side of the bay. I will set out 10 to 14+ dozen decoys. The other guys will set out about 2 or 3 dozen w/ mojo's (I don't). I have better action all the time. And they even shoot mergansers. We get every thing from woodies to sea ducks.
Every six months my wife will ask how many decoys I have (40 dz) and shakes her head. Then I ask how many pieces of jewelry she has? Works every time.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby RustyGunz1960 » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:03 pm

An interesting debate that's been going on as long as I've been hunting. The amusing part is how many conflicting opinions are being stated as fact. :biggrin:
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby NCGWP » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:44 pm

Does anyone know, from either a biology or physics perspective, how much more visible a regular mallard decoy (14 inches on Flambeau's website) vs a magnum (18 inches long) really is at a distance?
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby walnuts4x4 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:22 pm

NCGWP wrote:Does anyone know, from either a biology or physics perspective, how much more visible a regular mallard decoy (14 inches on Flambeau's website) vs a magnum (18 inches long) really is at a distance?
I'd say 4"..... Lol
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:30 am

NCGWP wrote:Does anyone know, from either a biology or physics perspective, how much more visible a regular mallard decoy (14 inches on Flambeau's website) vs a magnum (18 inches long) really is at a distance?


The big bird brains who study such things say ducks can discern detail at two to three times the distance we can. So if they're too far away to see even teal decoys, they're probably not apt to be influenced by any sized decoy in numbers you can transport afoot.

In the "way back when..." Sports Afield was one of "the big three," they ran an article on employing down-sized decoys claiming
that doing so threw off the bird's sense of perspective and influenced them to come closer. Generated a record number of letters to the editor, and the magazine never did reveal if it was a spoof.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby hero » Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:12 pm

Six of either decoy and a jerk rig. Hide well.

I leave the goose floaters, confidence decoys, and the mojo at the house.
Where I hunt, most groups throw 2-3 dozen. Seems to work for me, without the mojo, and smaller spreads.

I did get beat to a spot Tuesday Morning. They already had 75+ goose floaters out. It was impressive.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Jeepx4127 » Sat May 12, 2018 11:40 am

Rick Hall wrote:
NCGWP wrote:Does anyone know, from either a biology or physics perspective, how much more visible a regular mallard decoy (14 inches on Flambeau's website) vs a magnum (18 inches long) really is at a distance?


The big bird brains who study such things say ducks can discern detail at two to three times the distance we can. So if they're too far away to see even teal decoys, they're probably not apt to be influenced by any sized decoy in numbers you can transport afoot.

In the "way back when..." Sports Afield was one of "the big three," they ran an article on employing down-sized decoys claiming
that doing so threw off the bird's sense of perspective and influenced them to come closer. Generated a record number of letters to the editor, and the magazine never did reveal if it was a spoof.




“Way back when” we used a dozen water keel decoys and a couple dozen plastic coke bottles painted white and black.

Myself. I like oversized decoys.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Sat May 12, 2018 4:48 pm

I sold a couple of dozen G&H 747 shell decoys to a friend of mine several years ago.
He attached black pipe insulation around the base of those decoys to make floaters out of them.
I cannot say how many he already had to begin with, but he and his son have phenomenal success with them on a large reservoir close by. I'm sure the wild Canadas can see those half way across the Reservoir.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby NW Birdhunter » Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:06 am

Fsbirdhouse wrote:I sold a couple of dozen G&H 747 shell decoys to a friend of mine several years ago.
He attached black pipe insulation around the base of those decoys to make floaters out of them.
I cannot say how many he already had to begin with, but he and his son have phenomenal success with them on a large reservoir close by. I'm sure the wild Canadas can see those half way across the Reservoir.


No doubt. Those giant super magnum G and H shells are deadly especially in the snow! :thumbsup:
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby GreenBay Backyard Bands » Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:54 am

E-9 GB wrote:I been hunting on the bay of Green Bay for 25 years. I have found that the guy with the most decoys wins. In the bay off of the bigger bay I hunt, I have 2 groups to compete with, both are north of me and closer to the bigger waters were most of the birds are coming from. We all hunt the same side of the bay. I will set out 10 to 14+ dozen decoys. The other guys will set out about 2 or 3 dozen w/ mojo's (I don't). I have better action all the time. And they even shoot mergansers. We get every thing from woodies to sea ducks.
Every six months my wife will ask how many decoys I have (40 dz) and shakes her head. Then I ask how many pieces of jewelry she has? Works every time.



I like the information E-9 GB. I'm on the east side of the bay near Volks landing. I just bought some standard size bufflehead decoys (12" long) for late season next year. I was starting to think I NEEDED to buy the huge 'battleship' sized decoys instead. But I think I'll just buy a couple more dozen of these standard sized buffleheads. Might even drop that jewelry line on my wife too!
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