I like to mix blacks with mallards. I rarely place any more than 3 dozen decoys at a time. I like the put them in groups of 8-10 birds to the left and right of my blind and then put a couple of singles in front. the small flocks seem to be attracted to the singles and easily come in range. I also like to put 4 Canada geese in the pond away from the ducks as confidence boosters.
We have a 5 duck per day limit with 10 in possession (freezer)at any given time. The geese are 2 per day and 5 in possession. It doesn't take long to get your bag limit. My brother and I take a couple of rookies along so we can stretch the hunt time a little. The extra hands don't hurt for dragging the decoys around either. :smile:
that's a bunch of dekes. i pack mine in so i like to keep it light. 20 Mallards and 4 Pintail (two drakes/hens) just for something a little different.
odd thing today as i was out though. i was setting up on a point with the wind blowing across it to create a widward and a leeward side. i set up most of the dekes on the sheltered leeward side with just a couple set up straight off the point. birds flew by that set up for a couple of hours without so much as a second look. out of desperation i moved about 10 of the mallards out of the sheltered side and into the wind. immediately (literally before i could get back to the blind) birds started dropping in like paratroopers. Mallards and Wigeons all over the place. my only fault was not setting them out far enough off of the point. the birds were landing on the far side of the dekes making for some fairly long shots. oh well, live and learn.
Understanding wind currents and thermals in hilly, broken terrain can often be incredibly frustrating. I've found that collecting and storing milkweed seed pods during the late summer has made me a better hunter in the bluff country that I hunt. These little feather like seed dispersers will float on the lightest of air currents and will show you what the wind is not only doing right at you're location but more importantly down range. I like to use the off season to float them...