Changing Up Your Decoy Spread

Mallards, gadwalls, wigeons, pintails and teal all fly great distances for winter migration and do you know what they all have in common? They all get shot at and see more of the same looking decoy spreads along the way. Making them more and more wary of decoys as the season goes on.

I’m not going to give ducks credit for being smart animals and having the capability of telling the differences between a real duck and a fake duck. They have a brain the size of a pea. But I will give them credit for being able to recognize the same old decoy spreads time after time and coming to realize or having some sort of instinctual trigger kick in making them say hey every time I fly into a spread like that one I get shot. If they weren’t able to detect danger waterfowl would have went extinct a long time ago.

Most duck hunters have an all mallard spread and who can blame them. Everyone loves shooting limits and mallards and they are the most dominant species of duck in North America. But how often do you just see mallards sitting in a field or on a pond. Not very and I am willing to bet that there is another species of duck sitting in there with them. So why not have more than one species in your decoy spread. It will help lure in other species of ducks to fill out your limit and also set your decoy spread apart from other hunters. Especially helping out when you’re hunting high pressure hunting areas.

I am going to leave you with one more thought. Confidence decoys. They say to ducks all clear everything is safe down here. Goose decoys are a popular choice and will feed in the same area as ducks and will also give you a chance of being able to bag a goose or two if you are lucky. Herons or cranes are another popular option and are some of the wariest birds and by placing one 45 yards or more outside your spread will help instill safety in your decoy spread to other ducks. If you are hunting in an area where coots are around I recommend giving them a try. They often feed in the same areas as ducks and I guarantee you will be one of the few hunters that use them. Just place them on the side of your spread. You may get laughed at by fellow hunters when you pull out your coots, but you will have the last laugh when you are on your way home with a limit of ducks and they are still sitting in the blind wondering why ducks aren’t decoying into their spread.


Totally agree with changing up the spread. And finally getting that duck call just right is also a feeling accomplishment. Since the beginning of the production of duck decoys in 1873 by George Peterson, there have been countless variations and improvements in construction and appearance. Historically carved from wood or cork, modern duck decoys are typically made of canvas or plastic, are elaborately and very accurately painted to resemble various kinds of water fowl, and most recently have included remote control to simulate characteristics and movement habits. Lucky Duck is a great example of the Motorized Rotating Wing Drake Decoy. From the air it looks like the real thing and is a great way of getting ducks' attention from far away. The Intermittent Timer shuts off the wing movement periodically, giving the decoy a more life like action. It will attract the flock to land right along side of it. The Intermittent Timer is plug and play compatible with Edge by Expedite's Remote Control Kit. The heavy duty direct drive motor and new light weight wing design create a very quiet running system making this duck decoy a great addition to any decoy spread. Lucky Duck by Expedite is shipped complete with 6-volt rechargeable battery, battery charger, intermittent timer, adjustable stake, and 3-way switch for remote option. While it’s clear that hunters who use spinning-wing duck decoys shoot more ducks, it doesn’t mean they’ll always shoot their limit. And it isn’t entirely clear whether it actually adds ducks to the overall bag, or simply redistributes the harvest. Success with teal and wood ducks aren’t as great, but Lucky Duck Drake Decoys seem to be especially effective at drawing mallards closer, which, in turn, can help hunters determine what’s a drake and what’s a hen. A study could be taken to determine if hunters using duck decoys harvest more ducks than those who pass shoot or jump shoot; people who use boats harvest more ducks than those who hunt from land or with waders; or if blowing on a duck call is more successful than mimicking ducks with your own larynx. The use of motorized duck decoys' enhances other hunting equipment indicating the positives definitely outweigh the negatives. And remember: Always keep in mind that your decoys need to be clean and well painted, it can make the difference between success and losing the flock; always work with the wind, ducks and geese will land into the wind, so set the decoys accordingly; waterfowl find safety in numbers, so the more decoys the better, ducks and geese are attracted to movement because it’s an indication to them that the birds are real and the area is safe. Enjoy the day and good hunting.