Off Season Decoy Maintenance

Everyone has a pile of decoys that need a little TLC.

Everyone has a pile of decoys that need a little TLC.

Another season has drawn to a close. By the bitter end, your equipment was looking as ragged as you felt. Now that turkey season is over, hunters have a little time to do some maintenance before the cycle starts all over in the fall. One item that always seems to need a little TLC in the off season is your decoy spread.

CLEANING: Be it caked on mud or dried pond vegetation, decoys can look pretty ragged at the end of a long season. Clean water and a good scrub brush should take off most of the grime. Be careful using soap, some have brighteners that can leave an unnatural sheen on the decoy. Diluted dish washing liquid is OK, but nothing stronger. If you have a large number or particularly dirty dekes, a power washer with a fan tip can come in handy. Be careful to only use the widest tip available and don’t get too close or you will strip the paint from your decoy.

Take advantage of free labor.  Pot-roast scrubbing a season's worth of grime from a decoy.

Take advantage of free labor. Pot-roast scrubbing a season’s worth of grime from a decoy.

CRACK AND HOLE REPAIR: Now that you have the decoys clean and shiny, go through and check each for cracks or pellet holes. Pay attention to the areas along the keel and at the seams to make sure there are no hidden cracks. A great way to check your decoy is to give it a good shake and listen for any water inside to slosh around. Grab the decoy and press down on the back with both of your thumbs to see if you can force air out. If there is water inside, locate the hole or crack and drill it out with a 1/8 inch drill bit. Next drill another hole at the base of the tail of the decoy and hang it, tail down, until it is completely drained. Use epoxy to seal any cracks. For filling the drilled holes, I prefer a hot glue gun. Don’t skimp and use the cheap sticks, they won’t last and you will be back where you started. High quality sticks can be found at most craft stores.

RIGGING: Now that the decoys are cleaned and repaired, go through and check the rigging. If you rig Texas style, check and tighten any loose crimps. J Hook weights and rubber bungee cord rigs should be checked for dry rot and cracking in the rubber cord. For traditional nylon line set ups, check your knot areas for frayed spots. Summer is a great time to get a mold and melt some lead into extra decoy weights.

PAINTING: If the paint on your decoys is faded or peeling, a paint job is just the ticket for making tired decoys look new again. Before you start, use a wire brush and light sandpaper to remove any loose paint chips. Next, use a plastic cleaner (3M makes a good one designed for automotive use) to clean and degrease the decoy. Krylon has recently introduced a new spray paint line called Fusion designed for plastics. It makes a great base coat. Details can be filled in with any outdoor flat acrylic paint in your desired color.

FLOCKING: A step up from painting is flocking. Flocking a decoy coats either the entire body or sometimes just the head with a colored powder that softens the look and reduces glare. It makes the decoy appear much more natural. Many companies produce flocking kits these days. The process is simple. Clean the decoy, apply the adhesive with a brush then apply the powder onto the wet adhesive. An empty restaurant condiment squeeze bottle works well for squirting the dry flocking powder onto the decoy.

BAG REPAIR: While you are working on your decoys, don’t forget to take a look at the bags you carry them in. Repair or replace any broken straps or buckles. Sew or patch any torn spots to prevent them from getting larger. Check for broken draw strings and replace any that need it.

Delta Waterfowl Launches Advocacy Service

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Make your point — to the people who need to hear it.

With the launch of a new online advocacy service, Delta Waterfowl members now have easy access to the decision-makers who affect the future of waterfowl and waterfowl hunting.

The new online service, called “Make Your Voice Count,” allows members and other interested hunters to better understand the issues that affect them. Users can receive action alerts, comment on legislation and evaluate administrative actions. With a few clicks of a mouse, service users can send a letter to the appropriate policymakers to let them where they stand on an issue. The service is free.

For the full article, please click HERE.

New 2013 ACTION from G&H

THE WADDLER

These new automated decoys “waddle like a duck”  and appear to be a walking and feeding duck. This realistic motion is created by a servo that is programmed to mimic feeding and waddling movement of Mallards in the field. The WADDLER is so lifelike that it creates a somewhat optical illusion whereas it is difficult to determine what decoys in the flock are not moving.  These full bodied, automated decoys can be set up on rough ground such as corn stubble and feed fields, and is also stable in strong winds.  The base is semi-waterproof and will repel light rain or wet conditions but is not meant to be submerged.

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The WADDLER is available in either HEN or DRAKE.

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Purchase includes a 6 volt rechargeable battery (much like that used on Mojo decoys) that will last approx. 25-30 hours between recharging. (No charger included)   The base includes a chord for carrying and is light for easy transport and a push button start for simple set up and continuous, programmed movement.   The battery is housed inside the base; sealed by two wing-nuts for easy access.  The WADDLER comes with a one year limited warranty.

This is a new concept in decoy realism from G&H DECOYS, a waterfowl tradition since 1934 and is still Made in America!  As with all decoys made by G&H, the WADDLER is made of high impact plastic and is guaranteed to be the best paint adhesion on the market today.

1-800-443-3269

For more info check our website (ghdecoys.com)

 

THE REVOLUTION

H200FREVThe Revolution Goose decoys move like a live goose and are available in honker, snow and speckled belly.  This motion is created by a servo that is programmed to mimic the feeding and waddling movement of geese in the field.  They are offered in either feeder or greeter head positions and can be set up on rough terrain in variable conditions including ice.  The base is semi-waterproof and will repel light rain or wet conditions but is not meant to be submerged.   These automated decoys are so lifelike that it creates a somewhat optical illusion whereas it is difficult to determine what decoys in the flock are not moving.

Purchase includes a 6 volt rechargeable battery  (much like that used on Mojo decoys that will last approx. 25-30 hours between recharging. (No charger included)  The base includes a chord for carrying and is light for easy to transport and a push button start for simple set up and continuous, programmed movement.   The battery is housed inside the base; sealed by two wing-nuts for easy access.  The REVOLUTION  comes with a one year limited warranty.

This is a new concept in decoy realism from G&H DECOYS, a waterfowl tradition since 1934 and is still Made in America!  As with all decoys made by G&H, the REVOLUTION  is made of high impact plastic and is guaranteed to be the best paint adhesion on the market today.

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1-800-443-3269

For more info check our website (ghdecoys.com)

 

THE DECEIVER

These new Automated decoys move like a real turkey and can be set up on rough terrain in variable conditions.  The motion is created by a servo that is programmed to mimic the natural movement of turkeys in the field and run near silent to not attract undo attention.  The base is semi-waterproof and will repel light rain or wet conditions.

 Available in Tom in an upright position or Hen in a feeding position.

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Purchase includes a 6 volt rechargeable battery (much like that used on Mojo decoys) that will last approx. 25-30 hours between recharging.  (No charger included)  The base includes a chord for carrying and is light for easy to transport and a push button start for simple set up and continuous, programmed movement.  The battery is housed inside the base; sealed by two wing-nuts for easy access.  The DECEIVER comes with a one year limited warranty.

This is a new concept in decoy realism from G&H DECOYS, a waterfowl tradition since 1934 and is still Made in America!  As with all decoys made by G&H, the DECEIVER is made of high impact plastic and is guaranteed to be the best paint adhesion on the market today.

1-800-443-3269

For more info check our website (ghdecoys.com)

“Creating The Perfect Storm”

kicks GOT logo large2Kick’s Industries, Inc. is a manufacturer of shotgun choke tubes that specializes in improving your shotgun patterns. Our “High Flyer” waterfowl chokes are designed to increase pattern performance while reducing muzzle jump and felt recoil. “High Flyer” chokes are manufactured from 17-4PH stainless steel and machined to precise tolerances on CNC equipment. Kick’s chokes are diagonally ported at a 135 degree angle away from the shooter, which reduce side blasts that are prevalent in ports that are 90 degrees or less. Because if it’s sharp angle, the inside forward lip grabs, stabilizes and slows the wad for faster separation of the wad and shot column. This feature combined with a parallel section where the constriction is held constant produces great patterns. “High Flyer” chokes are also available for virtually any shotgun on the market in 10, 12 and 20 gauges and are offered in Improved Cylinder, Modified, Full, and XFull. Chokes feature a black finish, are laser marked and don’t require a wrench for installation or removal. “High Flyer” chokes are designed for steel shot or any non-toxic load but will also pattern lead loads as well.

Kicks has also teamed with Federal Ammunition & the Duck Commander to offer the new Kicks “Vortex” choke tube, specifically designed to be used with Federal “Black Cloud” ammo. Kicks “Vortex” chokes are a culmination of months of engineering & pattern testing delivering dense, uniform patterns shooting “Black Cloud” ammo. “Vortex” chokes are also available in Improved Cylinder, Modified, Full & XFull constrictions as well as safe to use with any non-toxic shot. When 3 powerhouses in the waterfowl industry work together to bring you a product and Phil Robertson, the “Duck Commander” puts his signature on that product, you know it is the Real Deal! Federal “Black Cloud” ammo “Drops ducks like rain”. Kicks “Vortex” choke tubes “Create the Perfect Storm”!

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For best performance with ammunition other than Federal “Black Cloud”,you will need to use “Kicks High Flyer” chokes.

Federal “Black Cloud” ammo “Drops ducks like rain” & Kicks “Vortex” choke tubes “Create the Perfect Storm”!

You can call Kick’s at 1-800-587-2779 or check with your local dealer. You may also log on to the website @ www.kicks-ind.com

 

Steady to Shot

Submitted by: Caleb Wilds

It’s the perfect storm, a black cloud of ducks are circling into your spread and like usual that one or two ducks are coming down and landing on the water before the rest. I know what you are thinking. That’s great! They are committing! But before the rest of the ducks have the chance to cup up in front of you, your dog breaks and spooks them and they flare away. I don’t know about you but nothing is more aggravating to me than when a dog breaks and scares away the ducks.

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Steady to shot is pretty much duck dog basics 101. I don’t mean your basic commands like sit, come, lie down and stay. If your dog does not know those commands you might want to consider leaving your pup at home next hunting trip. There are only two I am really concerned about when I am taking my pup on a hunt and that is place and they do not break or some may call it steady to shot. In my opinion a dog breaking is an inexcusable offense in a duck hunting dog and if not it should be!

IMG_2498Steady to shot is a very important aspect in a hunting dog. Because you won’t have to deal with your pup leaving the blind at inappropriate times or getting to excited and running into someone when they are taking shot or running all over the place looking for a bird when you missed, instead you can just tell him or her no bird. (Side note, I am just going to use her or she from now on because my dog is a girl.) You don’t have to use a gun or a starter pistol when you’re training your dog. It’s just not practical for some people due to the location they live at. You can start in your backyard with your dog sitting next to you on a leash or a lead rope in your hand and a bumper. You tell her to stay and you throw the bumper. If she breaks you pull her back to the spot she was sitting wait a few seconds then you can command her to go get the bumper. I just use her name for the command and let go of the lead rope. When they begin to stay you can start to test them by making different noises, making sudden movements and saying different words beside for the command you use. After she is not breaking from these steps you can start introducing guns into the mix.

Your dog knowing how to place is a handy tool to have when you are on a hunt. No matter if you are in a make shift blind next to a pond or out in a layout blind in the middle of a field. You will never have to worry about your dog being out of place when she knows how to place. You can start in your house with a dog bed or you can go ahead and start out side. You can use a small platform if you want or you can do what I do and use a mat. All that matters is that they get the idea. Start about three feet away. Have her on a leash and tell her to place, then point at the mat and lead her to it. When she gets to the mat tell her to sit and then reward her with either your praise or a treat. After a couple of sessions you dog should catch on. Then you can increase the distance.

IMG_2490Once you have these two down you can combined them and when you tell her to place you can teach her not to move from that spot till you say it’s ok. Place will come in handy and you won’t have to worry about your dog being in the wrong spot in or outside the blind and you can also use it in the field when you want them to get in their dog blind. Also you will not have to worry about them making the wrong move and scaring your birds. After all that work you should have a well disciplined hunting dog and on next season’s hunting trip your buddies can brag on her and you for how well trained and behaved your dog is.

Happy Happy Happy

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Phil Robertson, founder and star of A&E’s most popular reality TV Show talks about his life’s journey.  From sex, drugs and Rock and Roll to a multimillionaire duck hunter.  Happy, Happy, Happy is a reference to Thomas Jefferson – “All men are created equal….life, liberty and the pursuit of HAPPINESS.”

As the nation starts to welcome Phil into their lives by watching Duck Dynasty, many of duck hunters know what the Duck Commander believes in but his new book is a no-hold, tell-all bio.  In his book he says, “Faith, Family and Ducks in that order..”.  There is no question to that as each show comes to an end, the family sits at a large table, bowing their heads to pray and eat their harvested ducks during the waterfowl season.

Phil talks more about what started his repentance and how it came about.  In a video interview with Lifeway Christian Store he says, “When I was 28, some guy with a Bible came in a beer joint that I was running, and he wanted to talk it over.  So I basically ran him out of the place.  My sister is the one that brought him and while he was at the back trying to get a bible study going with the old guy here- yours truly, my sister was up at the front handing out bible tracks.  So that created a little bit of a ruckus.  So I ran the guy off.   But later on I looked him back up.”  “So at 28, I finally sat down and listened for the first time in my life to the story of Jesus of Galilee…”

Phil’s great story tells us how he had a promising career in football but followed a calling from God.  Soon after, he invented a duck call that would begin an incredible journey to the life he had always dreamed of for himself and his family. With great love for his country, his family, and his maker, Phil has finally found the ingredients to the “happy life”.

Available at WingSupply.com

Jerk Line

It’s a cold, dark, quiet and calm morning before the sun starts to rise.  The weatherman said to expect a 15-20 mph South wind.  While sitting in the blind after setting out a small spread, we start to hear that infamous sound of getting “buzzed” by some Teal.  The anticipation was almost at its capacity as shooting time started.  Only to discover the birds had left and there is no wind.  Not the best start for a hunt!

I’ve been there perhaps too many times.  The birds that had been there before we arrived are now gone and there is no wind to help bring in the birds into the spread.  We start hitting our feeding and social calls and it doesn’t take long till we start seeing a couple Mallards flying directly over our spread.  Before we even raise our guns, they flare and are in another county.  At this point we are determined to make this morning successful.

Our Mojos are out there, teal and mallard, but we are in need of some water-level movement.  If any ducks fly over because they heard someone feeding and all they see is 8-9 decoys sitting still, they aren’t going to want anything to do with us.  So we take our handmade, inexpensive jerk line and strategically place it in water.  Now, we already have several decoys out and adding our jerk line to the mix adds three more.  Depending on what you found when you were scouting, adjust the number of decoys.

A jerk line can be made with just a couple decoys, string or thin rope, a bungee cord, stake or anchor and a lead spool of line.   As pictured below, you have your “anchor”, bungee cord/rope, decoy string to your decoys using snap swivels, then your spool.  I will sometimes switch out one of the three decoys with a feeder using those snap swivels.  This helps to adjust when you are having a slow morning and birds are not committing   Once you learn how to make one, the sky is the limit when it comes to making it to your preference.

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Now, giving life to your new jerk line if fairly easy.  With the anchor or stake placed in the water, string the decoys back towards your blind and begin giving them a few short-quick jerks.  This causes ripples around each decoy mimicking live moment.  These short-quick jerks are great when you see birds coming in, have just passed by or even geese that are flying a little high.  You simply want to make your spread inviting with this movement.  Have fun and happy hunting to ya!

Limit in the Morning, Gold in the Afternoon. Redemption Calls provides high quality duck and goose calls, at a price you can afford.

Redemption Calls LLC is proud to announce the newest additions to our product lineup:

The Keystone Crush Goose Call and the Fits-the-Bill Duck call.

Redemption Calls LLC strives to deliver great products, at a price hunters can afford. We do everything we can in order to get you a call at the lowest possible price possible. We spend hours perfecting our processes in order to provide the best sounding and most durable calls on the market. We take our savings and pass them on to you, so you can enjoy hunting and reap the success of these calls like we have, at a price you can afford.

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The Keystone Crush goose call is one of the most all purpose goose calls on the market today. With its wide range of tone the Keystone Crush can hit anything from deep, gravely murmurs all the way up to high pitched fast calling. This call can earn you a limit in the  morning, and get you a gold on stage in the afternoon. The call has an endless amount of choices whether it is in Acrylic, Cocobolo, Bocote, Hedge, Walnut, Goncalo Alves, or African Blackwood it sounds great!

In the field: For nearly two years, the staff at Redemption Calls has tested the Keystone Crush in the harshest terrain and landscape that the east coast has to offer. Through all this testing the Keystone Crush has proven time and time again to be one of the most reliable calls on the market. The Keystone Crush allows the hunter to go from loud calling down to subtle, finesse calling at a moments notice. This is a call made by hunters, for hunters.

The Keystone Crush has the ability to hit deep, gravely tones in the beginning of the season for those large resident birds, all the way up to fast high pitched tones for those late season migrators. The best part about it is all of this can be done without ever changing the tuning of the call.

On the stage: The Keystone Crush’s unique design not only allows it to be a versatile, all purpose hunting call, but also allows it to be one of the best sounding competition goose calls on the market today. The Keystone Crush has a large range of volume and power that make it a force to be reckoned with when you step onto the stage.

The Keystone Crush combines explosive volume and a lightening fast response with the unique ability to hit any note a judge could want. Whether you are hitting higher pitched, high volume hails, or your working down to the finesse trick notes and murmurs, this call has everything you could ever want in a comp call.  Visit the link below to hear the Keystone Crush in action.

(Link to Call sound file): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3c7OuaagZM

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The Fits-the-Bill duck call is a call that both birds and hunters can’t get enough of. This duck call’s raspy tone, with its whiny squeal makes it perfect for that soft, sexy calling that drives Mallards crazy. This call features a single reed or double reed design with a smaller back-bore so the call blows soft and easy for those close in birds. We offer this call in many different colors of acrylic, Cocobolo, Bocote, Hedge, Walnut, Goncalo Alves, or African Blackwood.

In the field: Much like our Keystone Crush Goose Call, The Fits-the-Bill duck call has heavily tested in nearly all types of climates on the east coast in the Atlantic Flyway. The staff at Redemption Calls took this call out into the field hunting and put it through a gauntlet of tests to ensure that it would hold up in any condition. Whether you are feed chuckling to some close in mallards in the middle of snow and freezing rain, or hailing  to a group of ducks out in the distance on a sunny day, this call will perform flawlessly.

We originally designed this call to be used as a hunting call, and that is evident from the moment you pick it up and start blowing it. This call is all duck. It can get loud and hail out to birds in the distance, or get low and soft to work those close in birds with finesse and pure-duck tone. We have enjoyed a ton of success using this duck call our in the field and we hope you can too. Get yours today!

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