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Decoy setups

9/30/15 @ 11:28 AM
User since 8/8/11
Fairly new duck hunting.

Friend and I have private farm to hunt.

There is a lot of marsh and one small pond (more of a wet spot with water.) Its a long pond that runs north to south. Pond is maybe 2 acres and at most 2 feet deep with lots of vegetation. Its narrow maybe 50 yard wide.

Between the two of us we have about 4 dozen decoys, almost all mallards. Have 12 goose decoys.

There is a blind right in the middle at the narrowest part of the pond.

Where and how would you set the decoys?


BTW, any good books or website that discuss tips, calling, decoys etc...

10/1/15 @ 10:08 AM
User since 8/8/11
Was out last weekend setting up blinds etc.

Saw lots of woodies, teal and mallards.

10/1/15 @ 9:27 AM
User since 9/13/11
Musky - Duck Unlimited recently put out a good article on calling and more importantly the "mistakes" of calling. I do very little calling for ducks, if they want to land they will. I tend to call more for geese and that is simply to get them to know where my decoys are. I am always afraid to "overcall". But again...this is an area where everyone is completely different. Google "Ducks Unlimited Calling Mistakes". I like keeping species of ducks separate from each other. Are you still seeing teal in your area? I believe someone asked this already, but have you scouted and seen what species are out there? The reason I ask, there are certain spots I hunt where I only bring wood duck decoys, because I dont see any other species in that spot.

9/30/15 @ 4:39 PM
User since 8/8/11
Thanks a lot for all the help! I am really getting the itch!

DO you separate decoys by species, keeping teal separated from mallard decoys or woodies?

One last thing, when calling ducks that are coming in, do you continue to call while circling? When do you stop?

9/30/15 @ 4:19 PM
User since 12/12/08
Pretty good information and tips you've received so far, so what has been mentioned should get you well on your way.

As a couple guys pointed out, you can have the best deke set-up and the best blind set up in the world but if something is off (calling), or something is shining or reflecting the sun (ring/coffee mug/gun/etc.) none of it as a whole will matter and you'll have a tough go of it.

I hunt almost always with one other guy (and occasionally one of our kids) and what I noticed that did more benefit than anything we ever did with our deke selection or pattern was the addition of a mojo motion decoy and one feeder deke (before we got one more). C pattern is the standard....we use more of a W (or double C - imagine a C on top of another C) if we have enough time, area, and dekes out there. We always bring a few other species dekes to place a little ways away from our main spread, so holding a set pattern / design is a bit over rated for the most part. Obviously a jerk line or wobbler that can make things appear more life-like is a plus.

As far as the goose dekes, I have tried them almost within the mix and also have spread them out away from the duck deke spread and what seems to work the best is a few along the pond edge and a couple even up along the downwind bank/shore, making sure that the dekes are looking towards the duck spread. You want this to look as realistic as possible and geese will never take an eye off of anything else with a pulse in their vicinity. We rarely pack more than 6-8 geese for a duck hunt and don't always use, but do so more often than not.

Remember to leave them close enough so your shots are within shooting range. Remember to leave room for incoming ducks to land. If you are blinded and camo'd well, I'd prefer to have them committing right into my lap right at me. Some guys don't like that, that's just how I have always set up and I think that opens the vitals more where side angled shots may leave you with less opportunity and less kill zone versus cripple percentage....but to each his own. It's all about being out there and learning on the fly. Good luck guys.

9/30/15 @ 3:23 PM
User since 4/1/10

9/30/15 @ 2:41 PM
User since 1/19/02
ill come with you and show you, what the best set up would be, what time, were?

9/30/15 @ 1:33 PM
User since 9/13/11
50 yards wide is definitely not too narrow. The first thing I always consider if birds arent fully committing is your cover/blind. How hidden is your blind? Is your face exposed? Keep in mind with geese they tend to circle a lot and can pick up on movement or things that dont look right, especially when you have a bigger flock with multiple eyes in the air. Ducks usually dont waste too much time dumping in. Hope this helps?

9/30/15 @ 12:57 PM
User since 8/8/11
thanks guys!

Last year we had the 'c' figure right in front of the blind. With a west wind at our back. It seemed like we lots of lookers but very few set in. So I am wondering could the pond be to narrow for our setup?

9/30/15 @ 12:01 PM
User since 9/13/11
Musky - you are probably going to get different responses but that is the beauty of duck/goose hunting as there is no "right" answer. The best I could tell you is to experiment. Personally - I would keep the goose decoys separate from the mallard decoys in the water. The beauty of many goose decoys is they are big and can be seen from far away (use all 12), so I would try to put those in a spot close to you that can be seen from a far distance away (not hugging cattails). As far as those mallard decoys go, I wouldn't put out more than a dozen at this point. I dont know what you have seen in your area, but I havent seen huge flocks of mallards yet. What I try to do is copy what Im seeing in the area for those certain groups of species. Could you shoot to both ends of your pond from your blind?

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