Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

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Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Tim Terrell » Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:01 pm

Those of you hunting your own property, hunt-club owners and commercial operators...
Do you set out a monster spread of floater decoys and leave them out there for the season... or do you set and pick-up 3-4-5 dz decoys each day you hunt there? I think the pros of leaving them out there are obvious labor-wise, but do leaving decoys out simply educate the birds to your favorite duck-hole? What say ye?
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby jaysweet3 » Sat Dec 12, 2020 9:22 pm

We hunt an area that use to be a very productive waterfowl hunting locale. Unfortunately, the hunting has been on a decline for the past 15-20 years. To the point that it’s piss poor.

I’m in a club that is in an area that contains a number of lakes. Some are miles across others not as big. Ours is a medium size, a mile and a half east to west roughly half a mile north to south. Most of the lakes have hunting on them. Our club leaves decoys out all season, we do just as poorly as the public lakes that pick up everyday.

I don’t see much of a difference one way or the other. Even when it was still decent, the club was just as productive as the public lakes that you didn’t dare leave anything out.
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Rick Hall » Sun Dec 13, 2020 4:56 am

I like my chances of tripping localized ducks into a standing spread with the call a whole lot better than managing the same with localized geese. So I leave out anything more than a handful of duck decoys but pick goose decoys up daily when at all practical.
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Rat Creek » Sun Dec 13, 2020 1:41 pm

For many years, we left our decoys out purely for convenience. :hammer:

Last year, we decide to try picking up each day as the past few years have not been very good, and it seemed we did a little better, but it is always hard to tell with so many variables (wind, weather, competition, etc). :huh: This year, we are again picking them up and we are having a pretty good season (other than today :oops: ).

The key for us picking up is we have made it as easy as possible. Step one is putting a board across two trees near each of our three blinds with nails for hanging D rings. We also standardized on Texas Rigs. So, it is just clipping them on the D ring and hanging them up. No bags, no wrapping lines, etc. :thumbsup:

Initially we tried the spreaders that have four decoys on a wire frame thinking we would be picking up and putting out four decoys at a time. It worked better in theory though as the frames are more like hanger wire and somewhat fragile, and things still got tangled up. :fingerpt: Oh well. Lesson learned.

An added benefit of the pick-up is when the ice season begins. It is so much easier to open up a hole if you are not dealing with decoys frozen into the ice. :yes:

Though I sure miss just showing up and loading the gun. :crying:
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby cluckmeister » Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:43 am

Pick them up everyday! Half the fun of duck hunting is freezing your fingers off and then warming them up after a days hunt in freezing weather :lol3: Seriously I would pick them up each day if only to keep the sun from fading them
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Rick Hall » Mon Dec 14, 2020 4:49 am

Might want to check out those new-fangled hand-warmer thingies.
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Rat Creek » Mon Dec 14, 2020 9:43 am

Rick Hall wrote:Might want to check out those new-fangled hand-warmer thingies.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

As I have buttery soft, callus-free, office hands, I am a big proponent of hand warmers, but they only provide a quicker warm-up after freezing your digits. :crying:
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Dep6 » Mon Dec 14, 2020 11:35 am

For someone who is starting to fight the "Arthur" in his hands, I am a wimp, I usually put chest warmers in my pockets, I like the bigger ones, we sowwy!!
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Rat Creek » Mon Dec 14, 2020 12:14 pm

I grabbed the jumbo pack of hand warmers just the other day and was surprised they were the oversized version. I am not sorry about the mistake. :yes:
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby likesbigspreads » Mon Dec 14, 2020 2:18 pm

If you are hunting an area that birds sit and rest, I would say pick up every single time. I hunt wide open water and we see traffic ducks, most do not give us a second look after the first few days they arrive so we leave out. I do not think picking up every day would help our odds out there at all.
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby sask-hunter » Tue Dec 15, 2020 9:23 pm

any chance of someone stealing some if u leave them decoys out?
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Rat Creek » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:00 am

sask-hunter wrote:any chance of someone stealing some if u leave them decoys out?


There is definitely a chance and by us gathering the decoys on D Rings and hanging them on a board behind the blind, we have made it even easier. If they came in on an ATV, they could be loaded up and gone in no time. :sad:

However in our case, we are very remote. We take two private farm roads to get to the spot where we keep ATVs and the Duckcart. From there, it is ATV only for another half mile. So, it would take a committed thief and with game cameras, they would need to have a covid virtue mask on to avoid identification. In almost twenty years, we have never had anything stolen. :thumbsup:

So far, so good.

And if I was going to be a thief, I would not be stealing decoys. I would steal water pumps. Between our club and the two on either side, if you timed it right, you could haul out one three-inch pump, two four-inch pumps and one six-inch trailer pump. :eek:
Last edited by Rat Creek on Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby HNTFSH » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:24 am

Rat Creek wrote:Between our club and the two on either side, if you timed it right, you could haul out one three-inch pump, two four-inch pumps and one six-inch trailer pump. :eek:


Good Lord!! :hammer: :lol3: :lol3:
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Rat Creek » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:29 am

HNTFSH wrote:
Rat Creek wrote:Between our club and the two on either side, if you timed it right, you could haul out one three-inch pump, two four-inch pumps and one six-inch trailer pump. :eek:


Good Lord!! :hammer: :lol3: :lol3:

:lol3: :lol3: :lol3:
Oh yeah. During dry years like this one, those pumps run 24/7 for the 2-3 days prior to the opener, and then again every couple of weeks as the woods soak up the water. :crying:

Heck, a truly committed thief could simply go into all the clubs that border the river and start their own used trash pump business. Granted, there is a decent change of getting shot, but on our club, we would probably miss. :oops:
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby HNTFSH » Wed Dec 16, 2020 9:15 am

Rat Creek wrote:
HNTFSH wrote:
Rat Creek wrote:Between our club and the two on either side, if you timed it right, you could haul out one three-inch pump, two four-inch pumps and one six-inch trailer pump. :eek:


Good Lord!! :hammer: :lol3: :lol3:

:lol3: :lol3: :lol3:
Oh yeah. During dry years like this one, those pumps run 24/7 for the 2-3 days prior to the opener, and then again every couple of weeks as the woods soak up the water. :crying:

Heck, a truly committed thief could simply go into all the clubs that border the river and start their own used trash pump business. Granted, there is a decent change of getting shot, but on our club, we would probably miss. :oops:


:lol3: Miss! :lol3:

Biggest challenge I had with a single 2" trash pump was cold weather and the primer water freezing in the pump. I would have to put the damned thing IN MY TRUCK and run the heater as the ice slowly melted and of course, found it's way out into the backseat. Often took hours.

I could have drained and re-primed every time but that seemed onerous, especially when freezing temps were a "maybe".

Definitely have a love/hate relationship with trash pumps. :rolleyes:
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Rat Creek » Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:53 am

HNTFSH wrote:Definitely have a love/hate relationship with trash pumps. :rolleyes:
:hammer:

Yesterday, I made the 70 minute drive to the club, took the duckcart to the pump location for the express purpose of draining the pump as cold weather has arrive. We split the pump housing on this pump two years ago and I did not want to do that again. :crying:

This is what it looked like when I pulled the top hose. Thankfully, water trickled out of the pump housing when I pulled the plug, and I think there is sufficient airspace in it to prevent yet another cracked pump.

I share the love/hate relationship, but it is more hate than love. :yes:
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby HNTFSH » Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:06 pm

Rat Creek wrote:
HNTFSH wrote:Definitely have a love/hate relationship with trash pumps. :rolleyes:
:hammer:

Yesterday, I made the 70 minute drive to the club, took the duckcart to the pump location for the express purpose of draining the pump as cold weather has arrive. We split the pump housing on this pump two years ago and I did not want to do that again. :crying:

This is what it looked like when I pulled the top hose. Thankfully, water trickled out of the pump housing when I pulled the plug, and I think there is sufficient airspace in it to prevent yet another cracked pump.

I share the love/hate relationship, but it is more hate than love. :yes:


:lol3: :lol3: That makes my head hurt. :crying: I think I bought 4 maybe 5 over the time I hunted it. At least two were cracked pump housings. :fingerhead: The things we do for a few ducks is pretty dumb.... :rolleyes:
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby Rat Creek » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:34 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Yep. If we amortize all of the costs (land, equipment, fuel, guns, shells, clothing, cigars, donuts and Casey's pizza), including always losing the raffles at the DU, the duck meat is probably costing us about $1,200 per pound during a good year. :beer: And worth every penny. :lol3:
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Re: Pick 'Em Up or Leave 'Em Out?

Postby jaysweet3 » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:52 pm

Rat Creek wrote::lol: :lol: :lol:

Yep. If we amortize all of the costs (land, equipment, fuel, guns, shells, clothing, cigars, donuts and Casey's pizza), including always losing the raffles at the DU, the duck meat is probably costing us about $1,200 per pound during a good year. :beer: And worth every penny. :lol3:
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