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Discussion in 'Decoy Forum' started by Clayton, Apr 13, 2018.
Agreed, endless variables place to place and day by day.
I believe that on tight water with no other hunters near the ultra realistic decoys do pay off after it's been hunted a while but I still use a few bright decoys off to one side for added visibility with the most detailed decoys in the kill hole. The open water I hunt is a saltwater bay that is 3 miles wide and 7 miles long with flocks of 3 birds to 5,000+ so I need maximum visibility. It's not uncommon for us to land flocks of 200-300 birds using 24 dark decoys during the migration. If I'm on a small marsh with other hunters in sight I mainly use bright decoys so mine are spotted first and again have a few realistic decoys in the kill hole.
While I want realistic decoys within reason and more of more resters, feeders, no heads etc. I hunt a rotation club where every group puts out a spread. Our spreads range from the 1970s that want their decoys back, to one maybe should be Smithsonian exhibit to several that are top notch. When ducks get here in reasonable numbers, every blind will kill ducks and the blinds with crap decoys will out produce most realistic blinds and this is in December/January when ducks have been shot out for months.
I've been duck hunting since the early 1960's, and have come to the conclusion that decoys do not "attract" ducks (so much for the "visibility factor"). They simply lend assurance to the duck that would be coming into that spot/area anyway.
Facts that support my theory: ducks are flying over live ducks and decoy spreads every couple of seconds as they move up and down the river, over the marshes, or down the shore lines of large lakes or ocean bays. They don't pitch in at every group of ducks/decoys they encounter. In large public areas, a duck flying at 40 yards up can probably see several dozen decoy spreads and/or groups of live ducks at any one time. They don't visit every one just because they can see them. They land with the one that is in the spot they wanted to be in the first place....whether there are decoys, or live birds, or nothing, there.
Ducks can probably see any decoy a lot further than you or I can see them. (for sure further than I can see them) To a duck, they are ALL highly visible.
Do we really believe that ducks come from half a mile away to our decoys spreads just because they can see them??
It's very easy to anthropomorphize ducks and geese, and we'd be in error when we do.
So true. And it's for that reason that we can't accurately assess the effectiveness of bleach bottles vs. Avian-X on any particular day. A good day over 2 liter pop bottles means little if you didn't have a rig of ProGrades right beside the bottles to compare with..... Without controlled conditions, it's just anecdotal evidence. Which is no evidence at all.
Be in a good spot, stay hidden, use whatever decoys you have, and enjoy the day.
I'm one who currently depends much more on calling for attraction and decoys to as finishing tools, but I believe you're discounting the attraction potential of decoys on mighty flimsy evidence. Sure, birds fly over birds all the time for all kinds of reasons. They'd never get anywhere if they stopped with every bunch they saw. But do you really believe that the presence of other birds or decoys suggesting the presence of feed and/or security isn't high on the list of things prompting a stop when they're looking for a new spot?
My calling is so understated as to be practically nonexistent. Single quacks and a little feed chuckle, if any.
My blind mates think it's great.
I count on others to do the honors for attraction at distance. Always seem to have a master or two in the blind. (At least compared to me)
I'm one who depends on being in the exact spot where I saw a decent number of birds on the water within the last 18 hours, for attraction. Then, using calling and decoys as my finishing tools.
Yes, high on the list if they were already conditioned to coming to that spot anyway.
If it was high on the list for prompting a stop everywhere the see a group of birds/decoys, they'd never make it anywhere near your/my spread.
New birds, that just that minute arrived in your county on a 400 yard high migration flight are probably a different story....but how many of those do we get in a season, one? Two? Three?
If we could "pull" birds anywhere we place our decoys, there'd be no need to scout, would there?
In an area like ours, where every inch of private land is leased and public land crowded, there is no point at all for most folks to scout, aside from finding holes other public land hunters are unwilling to work hard enough to access. And I've no doubt, whatsoever, that the attraction of decoys and decoying gadgets is what gets the great majority of birds shot here.
Isn't there literally a thing people do called running traffic. Where they set up where the geese haven't been but use decoys and calling to bring in birds?