Teach me decoys, please.

Discussion in 'Waterfowl Hunting' started by jdrake19, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. jdrake19

    jdrake19 Well-Known Member

    I'm not a know-it-all about duck hunting. I started when I was about 7 and I'm 27 now. Since I started hunting I haven't thought too much about decoys. Always used 2-4 dozen of standard mallard decoys in 2 groups with a space in the middle for the ducks to land. This is what my father did and now its what I do now.

    This question might be situational and I am betting it is, but is there a certain technique to decoy placement?

    Should you spread them out? Group them tight? Use a little, use a lot? Timber vs fields? I have always heard people talk about spread size changing from early to late season, but does it really matter? I usually don't have any trouble killing my ducks but those days that the low groups and even singles dont even seem to know I exist with my ~3 dozen decoys sure makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong. I have no problem adding more decoys and even less problem subtracting lol. Sometimes I think the decoys dont even matter as much as being where the birds want to be on that day.

    This should be pretty basic stuff for duck hunters. I just never really gave it much thought. I'm up for outside the box ideas.

    Spinner decoy discussion need not apply. :up:
  2. greenhead smackdown

    greenhead smackdown Well-Known Member

    Personally, i dont field hunt much anymore. When timber hunting i usually use b/t 3-4 dozen decoys. I will put a wad of maybe 20 decoys in the hole, and then scatter the rest of them out into the woods and few more random places in the hole. There is no real scheme to using decoys in the woods, especially if you are only hunting a break in the trees, instead of a big hole.

  3. jdrake19

    jdrake19 Well-Known Member

    Yeah I've never had much issues in the timber, mostly fields is where I get frustrated and wonder if there really is a strategy to decoy placement.

    Maybe I'm just thinking too hard about it. :head:
  4. factory909

    factory909 Well-Known Member

    ive always been told to set them up so the ducks have a spot to land into the wind....but at 4 in the morning we usually just toss them out :)
  5. keeb

    keeb Well-Known Member

    Yep. You can always watch the ducks and if they land somewhere you don't want them to, then move the decoys. We do it all the time.
  6. theplayer

    theplayer Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I think less is more. I normally use less than 1 1/2 dozen. Only time I use more if I think it may be a mirgration day. It really depends on where you are hunting and how hard the wind is blowing. If the birds seem decoy shy I put out less and make sure I have motion in the ones I have out (jerk, mallard machine, shakers, something to make the water move). If the wind is blowing you can put out more because the wind helps move them. With all the pressure put on the ducks motion is the key because they are looking at the decoys to see if they are real. You know they can tell because how many times do you see them land with a few real ducks and pass up a spread. If they think the spread is real you don't even have to call. When you are trying to kill something it gets smart. Skybusting over a spread only makes them smarter.
  7. My theory is, the more you put out the better in fields! But you better have motion :up:, that is why i like to hunt windy days in the fields. Place em out and throw 1/2 dz mojos and its on like donkey kong! Oh yea, I forgot you said something about spinners :head: :shrug: :whistle:
  8. shotgun wg

    shotgun wg Well-Known Member

    I am no expert either but a friend told me late season in fields if they ain't working on big spreads use only 4 or 5 deeks and call very little quacking mainly and it worked like a charm most of the time didn't call at all kinda like still huntin ducks lol