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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at gathering up a few and wondering how many to start with and what I should end up with??
 

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I would start with a half or whole dozen. I would also add a few tip up feeders (duck butts) if you are after puddle ducks. From there you can add more of the same, different species, and confidence decoys. Not too often do I use more than a few dozen at one time.
 

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Early you need a few decoys but as the season progresses a larger spread seems to do better. Spinners are also a great decoy to have the Mojo junior is only about 60 bucks and they have them at Wal Mart.
 

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It really depends on what kind of water you will be hunting. If you are hunting small ponds or marshes (apx 1 -2 acres of h2o) then a lot of decoys won't be needed. That is all I hunt so I won't comment on big water set ups.

Also, knowing where the birds want to go helps. Fewer dekes in the right place are generaly more effective than a lot of dekes in the "not right" place. I used to hunt a 4- 5 acre farm pond and knew exactly where the birds would want to be with given wind conditions. Eight to a dozen dekes placed in a U shape or even a donut where the birds wanted to go always did the trick.
 

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I hunt mainly farm ponds and tend to go with match what you are seeing. If you are seeing flocks of 20 you should have close to that for decoys. Early in the year you can get away with a fewer decoys. The spinners are great but not needed (imho). If you are going to do any calling you might look at investing in some full body decoys to place on the bank or just off the bank to hold the ducks attention while you are calling. I generally set my decoys out to match the wind and bank I am setting up on. I find using a hole (decoys out to either side with a space in the middle) works best for most wind conditions that I get stuck with.

What you will end up with is an addiction that can not be cured. :) I try and add better decoys each year. Maybe one or two dozen ducks and geese.
 

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I would start with a dozen, but what kind you buy is important, since you want to build a good looking spread. I would get magnums with a good finish. I've been using some of my decoys for 30 years and they are a little worn and I'm thinking of getting some new ones. I've been looking at Cabela's "Real Image" magnum mallards, but I all I've saeen is pictures in a catalog. They look pretty good. I also use a spinner. Mine is a Flambeau Skyscraper, which works best in the early part of the season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input

I mainly hunt a river system, small pools, and fields. Been a pudle jumper for years.

Right now I mainly see Mallards Wigon and a few pintails, The canvasbacks will get here soon. SO should I get a few of each??
Do you refinish each year or is that necessary? Bob N thats a lot of use out of your spread!! I like quality..
 

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I hunt very small ponds and the river.The ducks don't get here until mid December. Small numbers of decoys works here.By small I mean no more then twelve decoys. If I'm hunting by myself six decoys will do the job. I place the decoys fifty to forty feet away from the blind and into the wind, about twenty feet from the shore line. You have to hide yourself real good for this to work.
 

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I shoot over from as few as 4 or 6 decoys on small ponds and rivers to as many as 300 + decoys on the great lakes and in the goose fields. I started with 6 decoys that were a Christmas present in 1952. Dad bought me 6 fiber decoys that year and I still have 5 of them.
 

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SO should I get a few of each??
I have mostly mallards with a few sprigs mixed in. The magnum size is nice and shows well but I mix a few standard size in the bunch. Most puddle ducks seem to feel comfortable with mallard decoys. The pond I hunted a lot in college would have the occasional flock of candians come in so I would throw a half dozen goose shell decoys on the shore off to the side a ways. I don't know if this helped ducks decoy better but they sure weren't bothered by them as long as they were off to the side a ways.
 

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Depends on the conditions and time of season. Late in the season in small water I've put out 1 deke and had good luck, it draws in the single and pairs, but the larger flocks ignored it.

Even in a larger pond or marsh (100+ acres) I've never put out more than 3 dozen.

Sometimes contrast also helps. Black or black and white decoys mixed in to some mallard dekes seems to have great visibility and helps pull them, in from a distance.
 

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We start with 2 - 3 doz and about a dozen geese. When the geese arrive we switch to about a dozen mallards and double the geese. We hunt open water (boat blind on shore) with a refuge behind us so we are competing with a lot of real birds.

Darn goose quota. They closed the season today.
 

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At the start of the season, when both ducks and geese are legal, I put out 2 dozen goose floaters and 2 dozen mallards. When the first split of the goose season ends, I add another dozen mallards and blacks to the spread, but no goose decoys (I just don't think the warden would understand). I also use a spinner mallard. When geese come back in, I put all my goose floaters out and go down to 18 mallards and blacks, mixed. I've noticed that I pull the ducks in much, much better when I have the goose floaters out. Either the goose floaters make the spread more visible to the ducks or it just appears more natural for geese and ducks to be near each other - or both. When I hunt the cornfields, I put out one dozen goose shells and one mallard spinner (no mallard shells or full bodies) and I can limit out on mallards and blacks. I guess I'm saying that I think that goose decoys really help to pull puddle ducks.[/img]
 

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I generally use anywhere from a half doz. in small water holes or spooky type ducks, to 12-14 doz on marsh type water with lots of competition. Big water blind I got to hunt some this year got 100 spreaders w/ five per spreader-500 decoys
 

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I started out with a dozen herters model 72 mallards. Now I am up to around 15 dozen! If you become addicted, I bet in a few years you will have many dozen.
 
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