New to the forum and waterfowling...how important is having motion in your spread? Looking at decoys for the fall and wondering how much it would improve my spread to add a fancy dancy spinning wing mallard. What are your guys' thoughts?
Motion in your spread can be helpful, but it's really not essential. The way the spread is layed out is more important for the given conditions. As far as motion goes, it's far more important that you, your dog, and those hunting with you minimize your own motion when hunting waterfowl. Keeping good cover and concealment will help you get more ducks and geese into your area. I've seen time and again where misbehaved dogs and antsy hunters have caused birds to stay away. Waterfowl have excellent vision and can spot hunters moving around for up to 3 miles away. That's one of the main reasons I don't like hunting waterfowl in the same area or in the vicinity where upland bird hunters are walking a field above.
Motion in your spread is almost a must to kill geese....notice I said almost. I use some motion decoys in my spread, I use the Avery lesser on bases, but you have to have wind for them move. There have been days and we have limited out with almost no wind and no motion in the spread. So yes it is possible to do it with out motuion but it just requires more work as in calling and flagging. I would much rather have the decoys do most the work but its just not always possible. I know some guys that use flappers or battery operated motion bases on the full bodies, I just do not cares to use those. I used to use the batter operated motion bases they are just too much of a hassle with the bartteries and the cords to have always be setting them out. I prefer the wind powered motion bases. I noticed you were refereing to a duck mojo but I thought I would throw in my two cents about motion in a goose spread. We also use a MOJO when duck hunitng and around here were ducks get pressure alot we run a couple to just to help us out and yes they do work.
I am a firm believer in having motion in your spread, but out here, it's a little tougher. You can have wind aided devices, but nothing motorized. So, no mojo ducks, or anything like that. Alot of guys will use those little line controlled tip up birds. The ones where you yank on the string, which is attacked to the decoys. Even that little bit of rippling is very effective.
At least that's how it used to be. I have not hunted the last 2 duck seasons. For geese, as Goose said, it's also great to use. We used to simply use white trash bags staked to the ground. They would flip around in the wind, and fool the snow geese really well. Also, waving some corn stalks gently can be effective.
IMO it's very important in most situations. Early season I go with the a mojo and a jerk rig. After the ducks get a little gun shy I take out the mojo's. Late in the season it's critical to have a jerk rig to get them to finish. I've been wanting to build a few of them DIY wobble decoys to try out this season.
Another note to add that FWIW geese have always been scared of my mojo. Not so much of the jerk rig. Geese will flare off a few hundred yards away at the sight of my mojo for some reason.
I've been mostly hunting wood ducks and Teal with a few ringers in the mix.
motorized decoys are completely illegal in New York and a lot of birds are killed here so I don't think they are necessary at all. That said - I have no experience with them so I have nothing to compare against either.....
I believe that motion works better early in the season but looses effectiveness as the season wears on. In the northern areas, they do better as the ducks moving down have not seen them in a dozen or so spreads already.
I have not had good luck with spinners on geese in fields, we have found flagging works better for motion for geese at a distance.
In WA, we are not allowed anything elect in our spreads. A couple of the wind powered ducks work fairly well if you have at least a 5 mph wind. As mentioned jerk cords work fairly well too.
Try to put your tree stand in a tree with plenty of background cover, keep the prevailing winds for that time of the year to your face, and take care of those pesky squeaks and creaks your stand may have developed while sitting in the shed. A good treestand lube can be made by heating petroleum jelly until it reaches a liquid form. Some hunters have reported success by including a cover scent in this mixture before applying it to their stands.