Yes, I would say that you need decoys.....something to get the ducks attention, wether it be 6 decoys or 6 dozen. And yes you need a call, both are important tools, just like your shotgun. If someone told me that they were going duck hunting with no call and no decoys, I would stay in bed that morning.
Generally....really about 90%....decoys are the key....calling is a plus, but many times not even an issue (how many times have the ducks landed in the decoys while you were sipping coffee and munching on peanuts???)
of course there are times when a hunt is best w/out.....like walking a stream for woodies in the late afternoon.....or othere specific types of hunts and species.....but the bottom-line is to have three things.....a place they want to be, the decoys to entice them to commit and finally to be well hidden/still ....IMO! Calling when done correctly will increase your success, but is not essential. My advice is to invest in good decoys, supplement with good general equipment (camo, waders) and then worry about a call.
I have had duck drop in to my decoys without even seeing them coming or ever blowing a call, but I have never called a duck into the water without decoys, so I would have to say decoys first.
As far as calling goes, get one of the calls recommended on this site and practice. If you had a whistle and maybe one of those shaker feeder calls you could be making some basic calls that would help right away. Learn a simple quack and your set. Don't try the more complicated stuff until you get the hang of the call. Most of my calling is simple quacking and feed calling.
Rory make some good points. alot of answers to your questions are already floating around in other threads on the board.
however, since i always hated getting that response from people when i was new to a board i'll give you an idea of some dekes to look at. you'll have to decide what you want.
not sure what you are planning to hunt. i assume mallards are prominant down there as they are just about everywhere.
here is what i would recommend as a "starter kit" for a new duck hunter. obviously, every has their own different ideas, and this stuff may or may not work for you, but it should help a bit.
one dozen Green Head Gear HotBuy mallard dekes from Avery. you will need string and weights for them also.
total cost - about 30 dollars
decoy bag - if you are going to be using a cart or boat to carry stuff in. get the cheapest sack you can find to put them in. if you are going to carry them on your back, spend the money and get a good "backpack" style bag.
cost -15-30 dollars
Call - not really needed, but i would look at a Haydel "Red Leg" or the DR-85. also, Primos makes some good ones to egt started with. you will, undoubtably, being giving this call to some kid down the street within a year, so don't spend a lot of money on it.
cost - around 20 dollars.
there, that would be a good hunting set up for just about anyone. most importantly though is to take a look around and find stuff you like. see what other people in your area are using.
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