Decoys - which are best?

arizona jim

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I have heard 2 schools of thought -

1) - "It doesn't matter which decoys you buy because ducks are looking for a silhouette on the water & all you have to do is get them close"

2) - " Buy the most realistic looking ones because ducks won't decoy to the cheap ones"

I like weighted keels & have been using Flambeau's. I am considering some new ones. I was looking at Carry-Lite's & G&H's. I would like to get some Shovelers, & Red heads.

Any suggestions?
 

huntducks

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AZ Jim

The way the season is going hear in SoCal I would have to say REAL ONE'S that way you could shoot them if you don't get any shooting.

If you have a decoy bearer I would have to say G&H super mags, if you carry them yourself the lighest one's.
 

VA Native

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I like the G&H decoys.  This is the first season I have hunted with them so we will see if tbey hold up.  I had the flambues, but the paint wears quickley.  I also liked the G&H because they have movable heads which makes them look a lot more realistic.  I have 3 cork decoys and hopefully in a few years I might have a dozen or so, something about them just makes them fun to hunt over.  Pretty much boat only hunting though.  Just my 2 cents.
 

THBailey

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I like the G&H Sprig decoy, I think the model is P-1.  I also like the Flambeau mallards.  Your on your own for the other species.  I am also convinced that quality colors count.  As you glass the birds in loafing areas near where you hunt to learn how to set your decoys you will notice the white really stands out.  We repaint the white every year and completely repaint every third year or so as needed.  If you have a blind so that the decoys are put out and picked up once a year go for the wieghted keels and 8 or 10 ounce leads.  If you are a mobile hunter (read that carrying your decoys around the public refuge system) then water keels and 1 or 2 ounce leads are more better.
 

Fubar

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Jim I think the G&H decoys look really good to me  but then I am not a duck. Too bad we cant get the ducks opinion. The weighted keel work best in rougher water. If you are hunting smaller ponds the water keel makes for lighter carrying.             Fubar
 

Desert Ducker

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Another thought, the off season is approaching and assembling and painting up a rig of E. Allen decoys will make the summer go by a lot faster. When you are finished, you will have some of the best looking decoys on the water.
 

Whoadog

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 Has anyone seen those new Millineum decoys in the Herters catalog?  Those look sweet but are rather expensive.  I switched to using fewer decoys on refuges so it wouldn't be too bad to buy a dozen and a half soi may do it for next year.  A friend has some teal decoys and those really suck in the teal, probably because I have never seen anyone else using them.

Brian
 

Fubar

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Desert Ducker  Welcome to Jesses Forum. Where do you like to hunt waterfowl?               Fubar
 

Desert Ducker

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Fubar...Thanks but I have been here for awhile...It seems that this morning the forum didn't recognize me anymore so I had to start over again....I hunt waterfowl from the Salton Sea, the Colorado River from Yuma north to Las Vegas, White mountain lakes in northern Arizona, and I just returned from a sea duck hunt in Alaska
 

Fubar

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Wow How was Alaska? What did you get?         Fubar
 

Desert Ducker

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It was a great trip...picked up some harlequins, ptarmigan, old squaw, red-breasted merganser, and a beautiful King Eider.
 

huntducks

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Fixing your water keel decoys, take a large wheel wieght brake off the metal clip straighten out the weight and pound into the keel, they will always right that way.

I have a set of G&H super mag pins that are 16yrs old and have had the white on them painted twice and fixed one that had a hole in the side, the only decoys that I have that have lasted longer are plast duck blow up decoys there moving in on 35yrs old and still going.
 

wildlifedesigner

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In my opinion any decoy will do as long as the color is there. I will put  some color "especially" white on mine. You will see these alot better from a distance. I have noticed with my flambeu pintail water keel they have a hard time floating upright.
 

Hortuna

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I like and use all makes and models of decoys. Its all about price and numbers. I enjoy repainting my dekes SOOOOOO if you have some you want to trash or just get rid of Give me a e-mail and i'll come pick them up.Honkers, snows,ducks I'll take them all.

Brad
Hortuna2@aol.com
 

songdog

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We normally keep those old beat up "brown" deks for early in the year when all the real ducks are pretty drab too.

Later in the year it's pretty hard to beat G&H deks.
 

Speckmisser

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I'm still catching on to CA duck hunting, and I'd agree with what Songdog said.  Early season, a big spread with lots of hens (or dull colors) works pretty well.  Later in the season, a few pairs of colorful blocks seems to pull better than the big spread. I've also found on both east and west coast that you'll see more birds (not always the ones you want to shoot) if you have a good amount of white in your spread.  

In the late season on the refuges, I'll set a max of 12 blocks, usually three mallard pairs and four or five sprig (3 drakes and 2 hens).  Then I toss out a teal for good luck.  

I think the birds are pretty much clued in by late season (3 day memory notwithstanding), and a big spread is gonna make 'em spooky.  The contradiction to this might be if you had a big spread of very realistic blocks, with a good amount of motion.  

I have always used the Flambeau water-keels.  The sprig do tend to tack back and forth and finally heel over in a big wind, but for packing them in and out of the refuges, I simply couldn't deal with weighted keels.  

Go back to nature...take a look in the closed zone, and see what the birds are sitting with.  Usually it's a bunch of birds broken into small clusters.  At least to human eyes, the most noticeable thing with birds on the water is the white.  
 

2curljohnny

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i remember as a kid hunting over milk jugs and bleach bottles painted up grey backed.this was nice cause your decoys doubled for jug fishing in the summer,but thats another story. i agree with having alot of white/color in a spread. as for makes imo it's whatever you want to spend. ducks just need to see blocks.if a duck is close enough to see the detail of a g&h sprig vs. a flambeau he ought to dead. we hunt over alot of blocks (4-10 doz.6 on jerk string) regardless the time of year. later in the year we just spread em out more in "family" units of a half dozen or so. good luck
 

songdog

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Some of the best decoying I've ever had though has been with 4-5 ducks and a motion ball or jerk string on two of them.  That's when there's no competing pressure though...
 

Bodie

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I bought three-dozen (Mallards, Pintails, Green Wing Teal) water keel Flambeau decoys at the beginning of the season.  I bough them at Guns and Gear in Sacramento because the price was right ($29.95 for the Mallards and Pintails and $39.95 for the Teal).  So far, I am disappointed with the paint rubbing off so fast.  I have only packed them out about three trips this year and I can already notice the paint rubbing off.  It seems like not only does the paint rub easily, but there is only a small base of paint on the decoy to begin with.

Would have liked to have bought the G&H, but they are a little pricey.  I guess not now if they hold up and last longer.
 

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