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Back in the day

2209 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  NESoDak
I noticed on a post below someone mentioning using tires as decoys, and it brought to mind a conversation I had recently with a youngster about how good he had it compared to his dad during hunting season.

I remember using sheets of newspaper, bleach bottles and milk jugs as snow goose decoys. A spray can of Rustoleum and the same stuff would make Canada dekes in a pinch as well. Add to those tire sections, naturally dark cans/bottles/jugs and so on and so forth, also I seem to remember a short article in "Outdoor Life" magazine about making tire decoys. The point being, I remember very well when a hunter would take a goose incidentally and take it immediately to the local small town cafe to show it off like it were a trophy buck. At least here in South Dakota local geese were unheard of and anyone who had as many as a dozen goose decoys was a hunter to be admired and envied. Popular opinion would also have it that person would have money burning a hole in his pocket and would throw his money on any wild arsed idea.

Any of you other mid-westerners remember the lean years and what you used for decoys?
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And now we worry about a speck of mud on our full body dekes flaring the flock off!!! How neat would it be to try a "throw back hunt", decoys from the thirties, an old shotgun and vintage shells.
I would love to have hunted back in the day. With the old paper stlyle shells. BB lead... cheap and effective!
I started hunting over my Dads Herters Balsa wood decoys.

My Dad hand carved his first decoys in the winter of '36 out of a used cedar telephone pole. His Dad asks-Why do you need decoys for? He was serious. He would just sit on a point and pass shoot the ducks or push pole and 1/2 hr later have his 8.

The first decoys that I bought were real expensive, like $48 a dz. I bought 2 dz Plasti-duk blow up bluebills. That is like $200 dz in todays money.

Oh to shoot a sweet 16 ga in the Winchester model 12 again for ducks. Last time for me was over 25 years ago with lead shot.
Perhaps, amidst all of the gimmicks & fuss, we've lost sight of what the older folks knew so well but never put into words - keep it simple. We've tried spinning wings, flapping wings, bigger dekes, full - body dekes, bigger shotshells, designer camo. Imagine a 2 3/4" 12 ga., solid color tan or "oatmeal" :laughing: colored canvas clothing, the homemade decoys, cheap wooden calls. Only mod thing we'd have to use is steel shot. Drive to where you hunt in an old Power Wagon - old fashioned enough? I may some day try this.
This week I plan to hunt ducks with a half dozen dekes, carhart tan jacket and a good old Olt duck call. I will use a 12 gauge Rem Model 31 and 2.75" bismuth shells. (closest thing to lead) While I don't have, nor do I know how to make wooden or cork dekes, I will limit myself to a half dozen in the spirit of the day. A half dozen "back in the day" would have been a luxoury I figure. Will post tomorrow on how well it all went.
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