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.

Tennessee Waterfowlers Are Asked for Their Opinion

Not too often do hunters get to give their input into their state’s wildlife decision making but Tennessee is asking just for that.

The first issue-TWRA is asking for your help is the 2013/2014 opening day.  Normally opening day for duck hunters is on Thanksgiving morning, which kicks off their 60-day season.  The TWRA has the option to change the opening day to November 16 which has the possibility of little or not enough water and ducks or to November 23 which is also opening day of deer rifle season.

Both dates proposed by TWRA have their conflicts.  Daryl R., Chief of TWRA’s Wildlife & Forestry Div. had this to say about the conflicts. “Considering the potential conflicts that all those options present, we would like to hear what our waterfowl hunters would prefer.”  To input your opinion, click here to take their online survey!

Their second issue they are seeking input for is the possible Sandhill hunting season.  Recently the USFWS (United States Fish & Wildlife Service) recommended a potential 60-day season on the “Ribeye-of-the-sky” Sandhill Crane.  The majority of the population typically migrates to the southeastern area of the state, so that is where the proposed Sandhill Crane zone would be restricted to.  To submit your input on the Sandhill Crane issue, send your email to TWRA.Comment@tn.gov, subject line of “Sandhill Crane”.

Both of these issues comment period will be available till August 10, 2013.  If someone you know does not have internet access, they can still submit their input by sending a letter to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Att: Waterfowl Regulations, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN, 37204.  Be sure to include your TWRA ID number if you are submitting your input on the opening day issue.

Gloves or Handwarmer

gloves-or-hwPre and post-season sales at your local sporting goods store and online offer some of the best prices and deals.  Every year I start to look for some items I just can’t live without, usually a new pair of gloves.   I have tried many different brands from the in-house brands of sporting goods stores to the rather expensive waterfowl-purpose gloves.  At the end of every season, I just can’t see myself using them again, they’re just not comfortable or there’s something I just don’t like about them.

Now don’t get me wrong, a pair of waterproof neoprene elbow length gloves is great to keep in your bag, but after recently purchasing an Avery handwarmer, I may never again buy a pair of gloves.  I purchased an Avery Outdoors Ducks Unlimited neoprene handwarmer .  This thing clips to your waders, has two Velcro pockets (elastic choke tube holders inside the right pocket), a zipper pocket on the back side with a smaller pocket inside (great for an iPhone), extra shell holders outside, belt just in case and is lined with a fleece lining.  Don’t want to forget about the waterproof seams also.

I would use two HotHand hand warmers for the inside and also have my wader pockets and jacket pockets (when my jacket is tucked into my waders) to help keep my hands warm.  Once I started using this new setup, I quit spending money on waterfowl gloves and more on other gear, like shells and beanies!

So we want to hear from you.  What is your preference, gloves or handwarmer?

Hot New Gear

1.  Hard Core Decoy’s Elite Blind Bag

Elite Blind Bad by Hard Core Decoy

Elite Blind Bag by Hard Core Decoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new product for the 2013/2014 season, the Elite Blind Bag is a large sized bag for the long-staying waterfowler.  Check out some of the really cool features:

  • High-impact, waterproof bottom
  • Full featured, spacious design
  • Padded foam sides
  • External thermos or beverage pocket on the side
  • External accessory pocket with five loop choke tube holder
  • Zippered water-proof pocket
  • External clothes strap, great for rain jacket/poncho
  • External tool Velcro pocket, great for the Hardcore Loppers
  • Non-slip shoulder strap
  • Easy grip handle
  • Easy opening/closing zippers

Take a look by clicking HERE!

 

2.  Toxic Calls New Avicide Series

Avicide Duck Call by Toxic

Avicide Duck Call by Toxic Calls.

 ”The design isn’t the only “sick” thing about Toxic Calls” -Phil

The Avicide series by Toxic Calls. When flare and flash is not a term in your vocabulary. The AVICIDE series by Toxic is what your looking for. The guys over at Toxic have taken their Meat and Potatoes calls the NBD, NBD2 and the TBH. They produced them in a Black with White letters or White with Black letters and put a killer price on them. These calls are the exact same calls as their super popular custom calls, they just removed the flare. With a sounds that have been turning birds to their death, these calls have been labeled “AVICIDE”.

Buy yours now at Wing Supply – only retailer to have this call!

 

3.  Dakota Decoy’s X-Treme Mallards

Flock Headed Mallards by Dakota Decoys

Flock Headed Mallards by Dakota Decoys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dakota Decoys throws a game-changing mix into your spread!

  • Most life like, hand painted finish
  • Drakes go through a 24 step painting process, and the hens go through a 16 step painting process
  • 6 different head styles in each dozen
  • Multiple heads come attached , and will spin a full 360 degrees
  •  Slightly over-sized, measuring 16” in length
  •  They have a weighted keel designed with the hunter in mind
  • Added cleat to the front of each keel to lengthen or shorten lines to the desired depth
  • Packaged in dozen packs with 7 drakes with 4 unique head styles, and hens with 2 head styles

 

4.  Heavy Hauler’s Raft O Ducks

Raft O Ducks by Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear

Raft O Ducks by Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether hunting divers,  puddlers, or honkers always be on the X with The Raft O’ Ducks decoy anchor system.  Watch it by clicking HERE!

  • Set it in many different formations.
  • Easy to get ready as well as taking it down 
  • 2 built in 1.5 lb H-shaped anchor/line keepers
  • 18-30″ drop lines with 4” snaps and large swivel clips
  • Drop lines are made of tangle resistant 400 lb mono filament 
  • 150 feet of heavy braided mainline rope