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Location: Virginia
Joined: 10/19/2006
Posts: 5
Duck Decoys

I am looking to get some duck and goose decoys but I am fairly new to waterfowl hunting. I have been looking at decoys to purchase but I wasn't sure what to buy in terms of decoy size, material, and finish on the decoy. Needless to say affordability will play a big part in my purchase as well. Any advice would be appreciated.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
Duck Decoys

I wouldn't worry too much about the finish but I like the water keel plastic decoys in as big a size as you can afford. The water keels are lighter than the weighted keels which is a nice feature if you have to walk far with a couple of dozen on your back.

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Location: Virginia
Joined: 10/19/2006
Posts: 5
Duck Decoys

Thx for the reply. I have been looking at the 15 inch decoys but based on your advise I will try to upgrade a little.

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Location: Pennsylvania
Joined: 10/28/2003
Posts: 1647
Duck Decoys

I started out with 3 plastic mallard dekes and tied some wrenches to them with fishing line and tosed them in the eddy's behind rocks and they looked like they were swimming. Very effective for me in the small rivers.
I bought a audio tape that taught me the different calls and learned a couple easy ones and 2 cheap plastic duck calls and learned to call them in in about a weeks time of listening and practicing with the tape on the way to and from work.

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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Duck Decoys

Cabelas. They are selling the Greenhead "Hot Buys" Mallards for about $25 a dozen, 6 hens, 6 drakes. Bought a dozen a few weeks ago just to add to my collection and because they were just too good a deal to pass up. They seem every bit as good as anything else out there.

You'll need anchor line and anchors. Give your decoys have about 4 feet of line after your knots are tied and anchors attached. You can adjust the length depending on the water depth by tying the excess line around the keel. You'll need this stuff.

Actually seen newbies out duck hunting and watching their decoys float off because they had no idea that you need to anchor them Laugh

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Location: Virginia
Joined: 10/19/2006
Posts: 5
Duck Decoys

Yeah that brings me to another question. What oz. anchor do you reccomend? Does it depend on the depth/water current? I was thinking that a 4 oz. wieght would most likely do the job.

WesternHunter's picture
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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Duck Decoys

4 oz is good for regular sized decoys

6 oz or heavier for some magnum sized stuff.

Anchor type and shape is a matter of personal preference. I choose strap because it's the least expensive and I can bend them into a U shape to grip hold in the mud, rock, silt and latch onto the keel for storgae.

Length of line has to do with water depth. The anchor should lay at the bottom, so just measure from the floor to a level at your chest where you are comfortable wading. Example: I'm 6'1" tall and don't plan to go out farther that where water comes up to the bottom of my chest. Basically I'm only going to set out decoys in water from 1 feet deep to no deeper that 4 feet to 4.5 feet. Measure yourself to about the bottom of your chest, make your line that long, and that will give you a few more inches since you will sink in a few inches of mud at that depth. Now make your line 1 more foot into this line of measure and that will allow your decoys to move around a bit giving you some realism. Just remember the anchor should lay into the bottom silt and mud. If the water is less deep then adjust length by tying the slack line to the keel. Just give your self an extra foot so that they can swim and move around a bit in the current and make them appear real. There you go.

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Joined: 05/05/2006
Posts: 2368
Duck Decoys

Oh one more thing. For safety make sure when you set out decoys that you have a buddy with you who or someone on land that is competent and at leat within visual and audable range. Stuff happens.

I have a dozen horror stories I can tell ya about, but just to long to post here. Just hunt with a buddy (preferably a few) you can rely on.

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Location: Virginia
Joined: 10/19/2006
Posts: 5
Duck Decoys

Good advice. I appreciate the insight.

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