Decoys are one of things that make duck hunting so much fun, and so much work! For most kinds of waterfowl hunting, decoys play a crucial roll in getting the birds to come where you want them. On this episode I talk about what you need to know to buy and use duck decoys.
- In one sense, decoys matter A LOT. In another sense, there is not much to them.
- For most situations in most hunts, mallard decoys are all you need to get started, and all some veterans ever use.
- To start hunting you need between 6-12 duck decoys. For small water, ponds, and streams, you can get by with half a dozen. For lakes and bigger water, 12 is your starting point. You will likely want to accumulate a few dozen for different situations and hunting areas as you progress.
- Often you will want to setup decoys in a U shape, a J shape, or a few small groups spread out. In all of these setups the goal is to create a pocket in the middle of the spread where the ducks will land.
- I recommend getting standard (small) to full (medium) sized decoys. Smaller decoys enable you to carry more of them with less weight and bulk. And they are ideal for most situations.
- Magnum (large) and battleship (x-large) decoys can be enormous, even bigger than goose decoys. They can be good if you are using small numbers or hunting somewhere that ducks are passing by a long way off and you want to increase the odds they will see your spread. But that is an experts’ game, beginners should get small or regular sized decoys.
- There are hard shell hollow decoys, hard shell foam, and soft shell. All work great.
- Hard shell foam generally costs a little more and are designed to not be sinkable if they are hit by a few stray shotgun pellets. The best advice is don’t shoot your decoys! But if it happens, these are less likely to sink.
- Decoys range drastically in price from $50 a dozen to $150+ for six fancy ones. The first set of decoys I ever used and shot ducks over were Flambeau Masters Series Mallards. They proved rugged, detailed, and cost effective.
Make sure you sign up for the Flambeau decoy giveaway. I am giving away three boxes of their decoys. Sign up once for three chances to win!
Also Flambeau was kind enough to provide a discount code for 10% off everything in their store: Use the code NEWHUNTERS21 on their website.