I will never forget the first time I went duck hunting. We arrived at the pond in the cold pre-dawn hours to put out what seemed like a hundred of duck decoys. We arranged and rearranged these decoys until we were satisfied that we had our spread of decoys out in the perfect arrangement. This was all done in the predawn hours. It was very cold and skim ice was on the water. Duck hunting is not for the faint hearted. You reall have to love hunting to want to do this. But if you place your decoy spread correctly, you will be rewarded with some of the best hunting memories of your life.
What always amazes me about waterfowl hunting is how the birds respond to a spread of decoys and to the calling. I have seen ducks fly right into a spread of decoys and swim around in them like they were real birds.
There are many different kinds of decoys on the market that are available to duck hunters. Duck decoys come in a variety of species. I am going to focus in on mallard decoys in this article because mallards have a wide range and are available to hunters all over the United States and Canada.
There are also many different companies that make great duck decoys. Remember one thing about decoys, you get what you pay for, that means that you might not be saving any money by purchasing cheap duck decoys that were on sale because ducks are very educated as to cheap decoys anymore. I have seen it become increasingly more difficult to fool them as time goes on.
Here are a few examples of my favorite kinds of decoys:
- Robo Duck: Every spread of decoys needs at least one Robo duck decoy. This is a decoy that sits on a pole and looks like a duck that is about to land. What separates this decoy from other decoys other than the fact that it sits above the water is the fact that it has "wings" that rotate. The rotating wings give the appearance of "flapping." they are actually known as flashing wing decoys.
Floating duck decoys:
- Full duck decoys: Every company that makes decoys manufactures it's own spin on the floating full body duck decoy. The floating decoy looks like a duck and has a thick cord that is tied to the decoy on one end and has a weight on the other end. The decoy are buoyant and will bob around in the wind and look natural. If your spread is arranged correctly, it will attract birds.
- Feeding duck decoy: The feeding duck decoy imitates a duck that is feeding. The decoy is also known as a "duck butt" because it is nothing more than the duck's back side, or a feeding duck. This is an essential part of any spead. The simple fact of the matter is that if ducks see other ducks feeding, they gain confidence and are more likely to join the flock.
Standing duck decoys:
- Standing duck decoys are meant to be on the shore of the pond, river or out in the field. There are several different kinds of standing decoys. There is the feeder which has it's head down in a feeding position, the full-bodied decoy which is just a duck standing around, and there is also the sentry, which is a duck that looks alert.
Every waterfowl hunter needs a good selection of decoys, whether he hunts ducks, geese,or both. I have given you the basics of the essential types of duck decoys. If you are thinking about getting into waterfowling, I would advise you to do your homework first and determine what decoys work best for the water or fields you are targetting. Go to a local duck club and meet some people. Then after you are sure you know what the waterfowl want, then it is time to go out and have some fum buying your duck decoys.