Most people think that the success of a waterfowl hunt lies in the ability to put their virtuoso hunting skills into an action, hoping that in this case, the results will not be long in coming. But in fact, the quality and quantity of your hunting trophies depend on the hunting equipment you use while watching mallards or ducks from the blind. The art of duck decoying can be improved by spending more time observing and hunting waterfowls: teals, canvasbacks, gadwalls, pintails, and mallards. Over time you will be able to take the right decision on how to set the spread, what adjustments to make and what corrections to do in the changing conditions. But first and foremost, to fulfill this idea you need to choose the right decoy that will make you an avid hunter and an object of envy for the others.
Which decoy to choose?
All waterfowl decoys serve the main purpose: to create the feel of reality that gives ducks the confidence to land in exactly this spread. The decoy should express the message that it is a safe place to stay. There is a wide range of decoys for hunters: shells, full-body stand-ups, inflatables, foam decoys and coot decoys, she-mobile and jake decoys. It is easy to be confused by such abundance and variety. While choosing duck hunting decoys, such factors as size, materials, quantity and types (motion decoys, with solid/water keels, sleeping or feeding duck imitations, butt - up feeders, tip-ups), should be taken into consideration.
Type of Waterfowl Decoys
Many waterfowlers use mallard decoys in their spreads as mallards are the predominant species. These ducks thought to be universal and other species successfully mingle with them. Mallard decoys can draw other waterfowls such as pintails, teals, gadwalls, redheads and other puddle ducks. Geese decoys are among the most commonly used as well. Hunters use them to improve their hunting equipment as their large size allows them to be seen from the farthest distances, ensuring better visibility of your spread. The advantages of these decoys are obvious, but if you set more specific aims, then other types of decoys will suite the best. For instance, the white spot on pintail drakes or red one on the redhead drakes will make the spread more visible and will help to capture duck’s attention. Bright colors provide good contrast in the fields, whereas dark ones on black ducks can offer better visibility in the water and light conditions. Paying attention to the surroundings in your area will help to enhance the drawing power of the species you want to pull in your spread.
What size to select?
Decoys are available in different sizes: standard, magnum, and super magnum. If you want your decoy to be visible then choose bigger representations: they are more noticeable at long distances. But If you hunt on foot then it will be not very comfortable to transport heavy gear by your own means. If you chase the ducks from the boat then super magnum decoys will not be a problem. Thus, you should weigh all the pros and cons and think over the type of waterfowl hunting decoy you are going to choose.
Today for producing decoy manufacturers use different materials. It can be wood, resin, cork, foam. Wood and cork decoys were the first to help in hunting adventures. But they are not so great in performance if to compare them to plastic and solid foam decoys. Moreover, they can be expensive and heavy. Today most of the hunters prefer resin plastic or solid foam decoys. Plastic decoys are light and comfortable in use but are vulnerable to stray shootings, whereas solid soft decoys are not affected by such items. What option to choose is up to you. But it would be wise to make analysis beforehand and examine all the factors needed to take the right decision.
Feeders, tip-ups, sleepers, motion decoys … you can choose any to your taste. But the only fact is doubtless: all of them tend to raise our chances in the struggle for the hunting trophy. Decoys turn your hunt into a captivating journey, creating the real-looking scenario and inducing waterfowls to be caught in your blind. Try them and enjoy the results.