Through the use of a duck decoy, you can add a whole new dimension to your duck hunting experience, providing you with more excitement and control over the situation. Duck decoys have been used for centuries. They are used as a method of attracting ducks who are migrating to come within firing range of the hunter. In the past, duck decoy spreads were made of wood. This has changed, of course, but the purpose of a duck decoy has not changed. Today, duck decoys can still be made from wood, but they are also available in materials such as plastic, foam, and cork. Today, they are also designed in such a way that they are much more indistinguishable from the real thing, both in size and appearance. By setting up a duck decoy spread, you will not have to rely as much on luck in order to get a duck within shooting range. It is a great way to lure ducks out of the air and toward the water so that you don’t have to waste bullets.
Start by looking for information about where ducks will be migrating. Not all species of duck are the same. Some fly north and south at different times of the year and at different locations than others. In most cases, ducks are less likely to be found during the beginning of each particular duck hunting season, and are much more numerous toward the end of the season. Since the migration patterns are different in every area, it is a good idea to speak with other duck hunters who have had some experience in the area in order to find out where and when you will have the most success.
When you buy a duck decoy, make sure that you are buying the right type. They come in varying degrees of quality based on their materials and appearance. It is important to take into consideration what duck species you are most likely to encounter based on time and place. A duck is less likely to be fooled by a decoy if it takes on the appearance of the wrong species. You will want to buy several decoys. Ducks travel in groups. They are unlikely to be found by themselves, so ducks will be less likely to fall for a decoy if it is by itself. This is why it is important to set up a duck decoy spread, rather than a single decoy. Visit several hunting stores before buying anything.
Location is the most important factor when you decide to set up a decoy spread. Again, it is a good idea to get this information from an experienced hunter. Obviously you will want to set the spread up near a source of water. If you choose to set up your decoy spread near a larger body of water such as a lake or a river, than you will want to set up a larger spread with more decoys. This is because ducks tend to be more numerous near large bodies of water. You will want to use fewer decoys if you set them up near a creek or a stream, as less ducks tend to accumulate around small bodies of water such as this. The decoys should be set up upwind from your hiding location. If they are downwind, they are more likely to smell you and sense that this is a trap.
Make sure that there is a “landing zone” located in your spread. This is a open ended circle about ten yards across where ducks can be expected to land. Make sure that this landing zone is close enough to your hiding spot, since ducks are unlikely to stay around very long once they realize that the other ducks are not moving or making any sound.
In order to make your spread take on a more realistic appearance, observe ducks at your local park and pay attention to how they disperse themselves when they are near a body of water. Pay attention not just to how many ducks their are, but also to how they are oriented and how close they are to one another. This will give you the edge you need when setting up a duck decoy spread.