Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Are your decoys marching soldiers? (on website)

If you have spent much time watching real ducks in real situations your either a birder or a hunter. We duck hunters are known for stopping to watch at local ponds, golf courses and in the marsh to gain some perspective on how ducks arrange themselves, how they sound, and what their behavior is like. If we are lucky we might notice a thing or two that could help us next season with our decoy spread, or with our calling.

One thing I've noticed, and tried to emulate with my decoy spreads is this...Don't make your decoys look like marching soldiers.

If you are using floaters you most likely have two attachment points for the weights on the underside of your decoys, one on the front of the keel, and one on the rear of the keel. Now most ducks will face in to the wind when their is a breeze, but not all. Just like in real life, ducks will be swimming around, turning, diving etc...If you hook all of your decoys only on the front of the keel, when the wind blows, they'll look like marching soldiers.

This is not a natural look for a flock of ducks, and could potentially scare away a group of birds trying to find a place to land. If fact a group of birds facing in to the wind with head held high is a signal that the group is going to take off at any moment. Here's what I do to add variety and give a more natural look to my decoy spread.

On every 3rd or 4th decoy in your spread attach your weight to the rear attachment point on your decoy. When the wind blows, or when a wave passes by, this will orient your decoy away from the other plastic birds. This should give a more natural look to however many decoys you might be setting. My advice, if you hunt with one or two dozen hook every 3rd bird at the rear. If you have a larger spread, say several dozen, hook them every 4th or 5th bird at the rear.

Try this tip and see for yourself if your decoy spread doesn't look more natural.

P.S. - If this tip works for you and you want to add yet another twist, drill a hole in the center of the keel on a few ducks in your spread and attach your weight. This will give the appearance of ducks swimming across the spread, again, a more natural relaxed look.

Nathan Woodard
Duck Junkies Pro Staff
Phoenix, AZ

View this article on the website.

1 comment:

Texassportsman said...

I rig my decoys like this it really works.