Larger decoys or more decoys?

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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Elvis Kiwi » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:58 pm

we try to put similar number of lifesized o/and slightly larger decoys in the place where birds have been seen and try to set them in similar manner to how the birds have been seen....
add in lots of ripples and some half ok calling and it seems to work.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby John Singer » Fri May 15, 2020 5:28 am

I do think that one of the reasons that oversize/magnum decoys were popular were that they more visible from a distance than smaller decoys. Now that we have mojo or spinning wing decoys to get the attention of distance flocks, their utility is negated.

Once the spinner gets the attention of the ducks, they are more attracted to numbers than decoy size.

For walk-in hunts, I find it better to carry in more smaller decoys and a portable spinner (Mojo Dove) than to carry in larger decoys and no spinner.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby BusterAZ » Mon Jun 22, 2020 12:19 pm

Just read the whole thread. Interesting multi-year discussion. If we’re talking field hunting for geese, then larger oversized dekes have been winning the battle over life size, more modern full size. In my area, guys using the old super mag shells mixed with some full bodies around the blind still seem to draw more birds on competitive refuge tracks. Using this same logic, I believe it is the overall footprint of the decoy spread that plays a major role. How big does the overall spread look? Doesn’t matter the specific size of each one so much. That being said, if your hunting a little slough or pocket than it might be more of an issue of location. Aren’t most floating dekes being sold slightly oversized? If I could only hunt a dozen floaters, then it would be 4 teal hens, 4 drake mallard, and 4 coots all being slightly oversized.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:21 am

When Big Foot made their first, and only for some years, run of specklebelly decoys, I was among those who ponied up the until then unheard of sum of $36 per in the hope of enjoying their full-bodied "advantage" over the standard sized G&H shells that were our areas' "gold standard" for specks. (The commercial camp I went to work for in '85 had some magnum Flambeau? shells in its junk bin and even two giant fiberglass one-man speck blinds out back. So the magnum and super magnum shell craze had already come and gone through our relatively high pressure part of speck country.) Turned out that no matter how badly we wanted that investment to pay out, the birds were appreciably less inclined to finish over the BFs, presumably because their larger size made it easier for suspicious geese to see that they were manikins in spite of their full-bodies.

By similar token, I've had occasion to watch more than a few specks push off even a single state-of-decoy-art (or nearly so) DSD full-body they'd apparently found suspicious, only to fly toward well-hidden guns. From which has grown the belief that some birds (not just specks and even ducks) do become quite decoy shy, and the harder I can make it for them to confirm suspicion the better.

Being one who uses decoys as a finishing tool and depends much more on calling for attraction, I'm inclined to minimalist "spreads," unless the inability to hide my hunters well dictates need for distraction. Which isn't to say that I don't also believe that spreads big enough to differentiate themselves from most area rigs can help allay wary birds' suspicions - and appeal to their greed.

Anyway, no more magnums for this guy. Different strokes...
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby BusterAZ » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:04 pm

Rick Hall wrote:When Big Foot made their first, and only for some years, run of specklebelly decoys, I was among those who ponied up the until then unheard of sum of $36 per in the hope of enjoying their full-bodied "advantage" over the standard sized G&H shells that were our areas' "gold standard" for specks. (The commercial camp I went to work for in '85 had some magnum Flambeau? shells in its junk bin and even two giant fiberglass one-man speck blinds out back. So the magnum and super magnum shell craze had already come and gone through our relatively high pressure part of speck country.) Turned out that no matter how badly we wanted that investment to pay out, the birds were appreciably less inclined to finish over the BFs, presumably because their larger size made it easier for suspicious geese to see that they were manikins in spite of their full-bodies.

By similar token, I've had occasion to watch more than a few specks push off even a single state-of-decoy-art (or nearly so) DSD full-body they'd apparently found suspicious, only to fly toward well-hidden guns. From which has grown the belief that some birds (not just specks and even ducks) do become quite decoy shy, and the harder I can make it for them to confirm suspicion the better.

Being one who uses decoys as a finishing tool and depends much more on calling for attraction, I'm inclined to minimalist "spreads," unless the inability to hide my hunters well dictates need for distraction. Which isn't to say that I don't also believe that spreads big enough to differentiate themselves from most area rigs can help allay wary birds' suspicions - and appeal to their greed.

Anyway, no more magnums for this guy. Different strokes...


Interesting insight on the specks! Thanks. I don’t see too many specks in my neck of the woods. Just lesser and greater Canada’s.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:03 am

My early attempts at working specks were utter and near complete failures when accompanied by a repainted version of the dozen standard G&H shell, two (or three?) dozen one-piece Carrylite shell and seven dozen homemade Masonite silhouette spread that was my Mid Ohio Valley Canada standard - until I whittled them down to just the G&Hs that were the most realistic of the lot. So I've been inclined from the onset to believe Gulf Coast specks tend to give decoys more study than the Canadas I've known, but I've also seen a few stuffers out-finish junk-yard spreads under intense pressure of Maryland's Eastern Shore.

In any event, specks have just been what's made their decoy suspicions most evident in situations where other possible factors could be eliminated.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby koosj1 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 1:30 pm

Wow find it so cool that this has kind of come back to life. We are just starting to see me and more specks in our now so that is some viable information.

Last year, I had an interesting experience. We were hunting a sandy island in the Mississippi and had floating and field goose decoys with us. We had shells and full bodies spread out over the island with floaters flanking each side of this narrow island. We couldn’t get birds to really come towards our spread so we decreased the distance between the field decoys. Suddenly, the birds seemed to notice us more and worked our spread. I think the decreased distance between decoys help the visibility from a distance.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Thu Jul 16, 2020 4:39 pm

Might could be. Or made them look more like the real deal.
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:11 pm

Well, after a couple of really bad seasons here in E. Idaho and health issues on top of that I'm just getting really excited about the coming hunts ahead of us. Finally got off my duff again and have taken on some rather long planned projects. I've been thinking about putting more movement in my spread, and how to do it as natural looking as possible.
I've always liked to tinker with my decoys, fully flocked full body ducks and floaters, making the wire stands for floaters to use in the field, and the latest work was accomplished just today. I have taken two Lucky Duck goose Flappers (The first original models they built...I think) and mounted them about 9 ft high on jointed 1/2" emt conduit. Bent up a bit of 1/2" tube I already had to lower the last foot of angle on the flapper tube to one flying along instead of the steep angle of Lucky Ds landing attitude, and repositioned the batteries (Two 6V) on the ground under the decoy. I jettisoned the 12V battery because I didn't like the flapping speed as designed by Lucky Duck, and the two 6Volts slowed the wing beat exactly right! (One 6V will run the decoy).
I no longer hold up to pounding pipe in the ground with a post pounder thru the ice/frost to make holes for MOJOs or poles for mounted goose flappers, so to that end I bought a skil Rotary hammer Drill and a 20 inch hammer bit.
But the biggest project by far has all the major work done on it now, with brushing and painting the only things left to do (I'm half finished even with that). The mechanical testing is done, all but for testing at low temps.
I have duplicated what you see here ON THE GROUND in this video at minute 1:30-1:50. as close as may be humanly possible.
The eye is drawn to the birds in the air, but theirs is drawn to the dance on the ground. I hope they are as impressed with the one I provide as they are with the real one here.....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysAMXWCVOkA
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:53 am

Hope it works for you, but if nothing else, it will have at least blessed you with something birdy to do and anticipation...
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Sun Aug 02, 2020 9:43 am

Rick Hall wrote:Hope it works for you, but if nothing else, it will have at least blessed you with something birdy to do and anticipation...


Yeah Rick, You hit the nail on the head. It has been a nice little time chewer.
I have every confidence in the wing flappers as I made one with a pull string years ago and it was quite effective, but then came the dog, and pull strings in field hunting with a dog is a no go!
001.jpg
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby Fsbirdhouse » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:59 pm

I guess I don't know how to post a home video of how the goose flapper looks.
It loads on Waterfowlers of Idaho on FB just fine, but can't get it posted here?
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Re: Larger decoys or more decoys?

Postby dhmarsh » Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:33 am

I would usually opt for more decoys, but by more I mean better.

One of the things that people don't use often enough IMO is confidence decoys. Sometimes adding something like a gull or a heron or a pair of geese to your spread can be the difference between fooling smart birds or not fooling them. Lately I have been using hooded mergansers when I do water hunts as confidence decoys. Not many companies make them any more (Quack Decoys out of Rhode Island does some beauties) but adding 3 or 4 to a spread does a lot of things for you. One, they have a lots of dark/white contrast and they really pop out and can be seen from afar. Two, they are a wary type of duck and signal to other birds that all is well. Three, they are small birds and don't take up a lot of space in a decoy bag. Four, they are found in almost all water scenarios, big water or small ponds, fresh or salt.

Whatever decoys you are using, consider adding some confidence decoys to your spread in addition to the main species you hope to be able to hunt.
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