Higdon’s Ice Blaster

The morning after the season’s split can be one of the most anticipated mornings for a duck hunter. Knowing the weather has changed with lower-freezing temps, snow and ice you are just hoping the hole is not frozen over.  But just like every single time, it is frozen over solid. I don’t know about you, but one thing I really don’t care for doing is working up a sweat in 15 degree or lower weather while breaking ice!  Higdon has a 12v portable solution to fix this.

Higdon Decoys Inc., who is known for their “Battleship” Super Magnum and Alpha Series decoys, recently released their Ice Blaster.  The Ice Blaster is an underwater motor that pushes the warmer bottom water to the surface allowing the ice to effectively melt.  The Ice Blaster sits just 2 feet below the water providing great and heavy movement to your spread while also providing a landing pocket for those tired migrators.

HIG28500

Made from a Kasco marine motor, 35’ waterproof rubber power cord with alligator clips & power switch and either metal legs or an easy-to-carry square tubing metal frame.  The Ice Blaster comes available in 4 different sizes according to horsepower:

 

 

  • ¼  Horsepower – $599.99
  • ½ Horsepower – $649.99
  • ¾ Horsepower – 699.99
  • 1 Horsepower – $799.99

Great company, great 1 Year Warranty and great hardware, the Ice Blaster will be a great weapon to add to your arsenal! Duck Hunter approved!
Higdon's new logo.

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.

A Breeze might turn to a storm

Drake, the Innovators in Waterfowl Hunting recently released a whole new type of decoy.  Drake’s Breeze-Ryder™ Decoys brings a change in the way your wrap your decoy line and it’s movement in the water.

Each Breeze-Ryder™ Decoy comes with integrated Cord Wrap Cleats allowing you to wrap your decoy line without a keel providing maximum movement.  These molded Cord Wrap Cleats offer durability and strength.  Located at the front and back of the decoy, the Cord Wrap Cleats have built-in Depth Adjuster Cord Locks for quickly adapting to different water depths.Drake-Breeze

The Cord Wrap Cleats are also equipped with Anchor Points providing you with two rigging points.  There are also two other extra Anchor Tabs allowing for rigging your decoys from multiple positions, which creates variable decoy movement.  Change your tabs on different decoys to give your spread a mix in movement.

Drake didn’t forget about the times when a keel is needed, so they introduced a new type.  The Breeze-Ryder™ Twist-Lock Keel is designed for those hunting situations that require a keel.  This cylindrical (circular cylinder) shaped & sand filled keel is unique and provides a hydro-dynamic, minimizing drag & maximizing decoy motion.  Drake-Breeze2The keel attaches to the decoy with a simple twist-lock mechanism which will keep the keel securely in place.

The new Breeze-Ryder™ Mallard Magnums retail for $70 while the keel’s MSRP are $12.00/half dozen.

Life-Like Look and Rotating Motion…

One of the most anticipated part of being a duck hunter is the start of Dove season.  We get to practice our leading while shooting those fast flying and tasty birds.  In the recent years, motion Dove decoys hit the market running at a full sprint.  Most hunters would either have a wind operated decoy or a battery operated decoy along with a small bag full of “clip-on” decoys normally found clipped to a tree limb or bob-wire fence.  This season, we have a cool new product that won’t break the bank, but help bring more Dove-closer.

dff_web_page100Hunter’s Edge released their Dove Feeding Frenzy alongside their Winged Dove Decoy.  The Dove Feeding Frenzy features three of their Winged Dove Decoys, which are hand painted to not only look real, but move just like the real thing.  The Dove Feeding Frenzy rotates in a clock-wise circular bumping motion, making these decoys simulate feeding on the ground with other Doves.

The Winged Dove decoy is a single decoy that comes with a 24-inch stake allowing you to place it in a cut field or anywhere else where there is not an object for you to clip it to.  However, when you’re hunting along a fence line or bank of a pond, the Winged Dove Decoys has a high quality metal clip for fences, tree limbs, a stick on the ground, etc.

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.

 m4mhwad (4)

The WADDLER is available in either HEN or DRAKE.

M4MDWAD

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.

 h200grev

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.

pair

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)

Low Pressure Tactics for High Pressured Ducks

Submitted by: Michael Pendley

We’ve all been there. The scouting trip from the previous evening had pinpointed that perfect public land spot. The birds had poured in, the cover was thick enough to hide in and the wind was forecast to be perfect. Early the next morning you make the trek back to the spot, hopes high and spirits soaring with the promise of the high paced shooting to come. Then you see it, the tiny pinpoint beam of headlights in the distance that lets you know someone else had marked the spot as well. Or even worse, you get there and place your decoys, build your makeshift blind and hunker down to wait for shooting light only to watch someone come in and set up on top of you, ruining both your chances for a good hunt.

pond 2

Photo courtesy of B. Pendley

Or maybe you have had the spot mostly to yourself for a while now. Several good hunts have resulted and it has been a pretty spectacular season so far. But lately the ducks are shy, flaring farther and farther out and refusing to work. No amount of added decoys or pleading calls can coax the fowl into shooting range. It is clearly time to make a change.

pond ducks

Photo courtesy of B. Pendley

It’s time to make a move. Hang up the decoy bags and break out the maps. Downsizing the water you hunt and the equipment you use can be just the ticket this time of year. Follow these simple steps to get back on the ducks.

Internet scouting can work: No, I am not talking about scanning the forums for grip and grin photos of successful hunts then paylaking their spots. Instead, pull up your hunting area on Google Earth or Wikimapia.org. Can’t get good images of your spot? Pick up a good old fashioned topo map of the area. Think back to previous hunts and scouting trips in the area. What flight path did most of the birds use?  Check that area for smaller ponds and creeks away from the road. Keep an eye out for hardwood timber areas where beavers might have dammed a creek and flooded a section. Moving water can be particularly productive in the late season when standing water has locked up with ice.

Hang up the decoy bags: When you find a hot spot on small water, a half dozen decoys is more than enough spread to attract attention. To make up for the small number of decoys, run at least two of the six rigged as a jerk string. Ducks can pick up on the movement from remarkable distances as they fly over. Since you don’t need a lot of decoys, make the ones you do use the most lifelike available. As the birds make their fly overs, they will have time to check out each and every deke, make sure they pass inspection.

Leave the waders at home: I like a good pair of hip boots for small water hunting. To get away from high pressured public areas often requires one heck of a hike. Chest waders will wear you down in hurry. Most small waters are wade-able with hip or even knee boots. If you do find a deeper spot, pack your chest waders in a backpack and put them on when you get to your destination.

And keep the calls in your pocket: Well, not really, but tone your calling WAY down. High pressured birds have been hit with more highballs, feed chuckles and pleading comebacks than a contest judge in Stuttgart. Once the birds start to work, stick mainly with quiet chuckles and quacks. Throw in a drake call or two or mix things up with gadwall, pintail or wood duck calls to give the birds something they haven’t heard. When the birds are in range, take the shot. Wary birds over small water are hard to land. They might not make that extra pass either. Don’t pass a shot when you have it, you might not get another chance.

Next season, when the birds get shy and the crowds get thick, put these small water, low pressure tactics to work. The shooting might not be as hot and heavy as an open water blind with fresh birds, but it beats the heck out of sitting all day without picking up your gun.