jbordi, Welcome to Jesses! I'm sure you'll find a lot of info here and lots of great people.
As for the Robo-duck I don't know how much it works or not. Down here in San Diego I would say they don't really do much. Maybe up north where the populations are a little bigger they tend to work better. As for myself, I'm of the opinion that good calling and the right decoy spread makes all the difference in the world.
Foulshot, thanks for the welcoming. I, like you, prefer a good decoy spread and calling for duck hunting. However, I have seen the robo in action, and it does work! I believe it has a negative affect on waterfowl hunting. How was the hunting last year down there? I hunted san luis refuge in los banos, did o.k. alot of green winged teal.
I have this aversion to sucking mosquitoes up my nostrils so I tend to lay low during the early part of the season, although I will make an exception for opening day.
On opening day you don't need no moto and by December it's effect has either worn off or the birds suceptible to its sucking power are sitting in somebody's freezer. My December experience is that a good spread of dekes can out pull a moto. That being said though I have noticed a steep decline in the number of mallards in my bag over the last 4 years, which may indicate that the moto duck has been seriously impacting the mallard population during the early part of the season.
I'd have no problem if they got rid of the things.
jbordi, welcome to the forum. You'll find lots of great folk here. I hunt all the local refuges here in LB. Moto Duck does work. I've seen it in action. Haven't really decided either way on this issue. At this point, I prefer trying th old fashioned way. I still consider myself a rookie after three years of waterfowling. I'm slowly learning the ways. My calling has improved, but I think I still need some education on decoy patterns.
No matter how someone tries to sugarcoat or justify them, there is no doubt that they have had an adverse affect particularly on Central valley local mallards. Hopefully this will be the last year of DFG's "study".
My experiences with them are similar to Jay's......very effective early on to zero effect later in the year.
Mallard populations in the valley are way down and probably due to the use of these decoys. Younger mallards are especially "Robo-Duck stupid" and all mallards in the early part of the season. I actually think that, if they have a split season, these things will work too good for the beginning of the later season as well and mallard populations will even take a greater hit. Let's go back to calling talent and regular decoys again. It worked in the past and will continue to work. You just have to work at your technique instead of just showing up and turning something on to attract ducks. In last couple of years I have heard more rotten duck callers in the marsh than ever before and, guess what, they were all using mechanical decoys. Just goes to prove, you don't need technique or talent to hunt over one of those things and kill more birds that you didn't work for.
Regarding the motoduck, I'm neutral, especially since I shelled out $130 on one two years ago. It's just one more darn thing to lug into the field, and I didn't have birds hovering over the blind simply on the strength of the moto. Now I'm kind of sorry I bought the thing. I think the compromise CDFG reached (banning their use until December 1st) is equitable for all.