The best duck decoys will work in your favor with minimal effort, instilling confidence in the ducks that the area you are trying to lure them to is a safe, habitable, and enjoyable environment for them.
Decoys are also meant to reduce the hunter’s need to overcall in order to lure ducks by giving the feel of a natural environment.
When implementing duck decoys into your hunting strategy, plan to assemble a collection of them – potentially up to a dozen or more, and practice setting them up in a realistic fashion.
The more natural your decoy setup, the better it will work, leading to more fowl.
Here, we’ll look at three of the best duck decoys on the market.
This is my review about 3 duck decoys in the market, it will help you find the best for hunting. Check out it:
This is one of the most effective duck decoys on the market because it simulates the ducks in feeding position.
This makes it harder to detect as phony and gives the impression of the area being a suitable feeding environment.
Ducks traverse environments seeking safe and popular feeding grounds, and by portraying that image you will greatly increase your odds of bringing them in.
Some great insight on Greenhead decoys can be found here:
Realistically colored and designed, and built to last for a long time.
Great appearance in the water, enough to fool the uncanny hunter who hasn’t seen them before
But there are a couple down points:
I’ve heard about leakage issues. While this is likely a rare defect or result of misuse, be careful to follow installation instructions.
Butt-up feeders don’t resemble the full duck and must be used alongside other types of decoys.
Overall, these are a great addition to your decoy collection and help complete a well-rounded decoy scene.
The Mojo Outdoors decoy is a master of its intended purpose: luring in fast-moving fowl.
This is the best spinning wing duck decoy on the market. The wings spin incredibly fast and will catch the attention of nearly any ducks moving through your hunting area.
Mallards, teal, gadwall, pintails, and other ducks are attracted to the ‘strobe effect’ created by the wings and are likely to have the interest piqued enough to check out the situation. Here are the best things about this duck decoy:
Single speed and simple operation are If you encounter and issues, replacement wings are readily available online and at outdoors retailers.
There are a couple of improvements that could be made for future models, such:
Making the wings easier to screw off. After a long day in the blind, the last thing I want to deal with is prepping for storage, and this decoy can take a few minutes.
The wings are built with thumb screws instead of magnets. While this makes it more durable, it also (at least to me) appears to make it slightly less realistic and modern.
Mojo has another strong offering here with the Mallard Decoy.
This is another great addition to your arsenal of action-depicting decoys because it gives the appearance of a curious duck coming in to peruse a new feeding ground or piece of terrain.
When spread, this decoy is about 20 inches wide, starkly resembling a green head. Because it looks as though it is landing on water, if you set it up to your left, other birds will want to land in front of it and thus will be coming down right in front of you.
Here are the things I like best about this decoy:
Batteries last for several hours, so there is no need to replace them in the middle of a day hunt. They claim 16 hours, and I have no reason to argue with that.
The battery can be charged in your truck with disassembling the product.
The wings on this baby are a magnet, so no screwing and unscrewing are
On the downside:
Magnets can come unattached, especially during high wind. Be sure you have aligned the wings correctly onto the magnetic part to minimize the chance of this happening
Don’t use it in salt water as it will rust the product after time. Just something to be aware of if you plan to be a long-term duck hunter.
My favorite product here is the MOJO Outdoors Baby Mojo. I’ve never had a decoy so effective at drawing in birds to land right in front of it. While all three of these are different and are a great addition to your hunting setup, this one is the best buy. I recommend having a couple of them set up with one closer to you and the other further away. Throw a couple of Greenhead Pro-Grades in the water along with some generic duck decoys on top of the water, and you’ll have a great setup. Here is my guide about how to set up duck decoys, read carefully before you do it.
Using the best duck decoys has greatly improved my hunts. I’m able to lure in more birds and be more specific about where they are coming down (hopefully right in my line of sight!) and the results have been incredible. If you found this article helpful, please share on social media, and let’s get a conversation going in the comments.
Now that you have put together a collection of duck decoys, the obvious question comes up: How to set up duck decoys spread.
This is where the artist in you gets to come out, as you develop a strategy to create a spread which optimizes both the surroundings and your collection.
Here in this article we will look at the basics for how to set up your decoy spread, what to look out for, and I’ll re-emphasize the importance of patience.
These are the basic introductory steps:
1.Identify your surroundings.
If you’re hunting in a swamp or shallow water basin, keep everything as versatile and mobile as you can. Don’t make it hard to break down and pack out. Keep your ducks clean and shiny to maximize realism. If you are setting up a permanent spread, try to create a scene. Place your decoys where you have seen ducks congregating in the past, and don’t just focus on one area. Get the whole spread as thorough as you can using a couple hundred decoys, if possible.
2.For non-permanent spreads, use light-weight anchors.
In swamps and shallow backwater, you won’t need more than 6oz anchors. Or, use over-the-head anchors or neck ring anchors. For larger bodies of water, upsize to 12-16oz neck rings or over-the-heads.
3.Make your mallards a prominent attention-grabber.
Mallards are the universal duck, found in many locations and known to socialize with other species. Thus, having your mallard decoys spread around isn’t going to intimidate approaching ducks (in fact, it should help draw them in). When planning how to set up a duck decoy spread, start here.
4.Then, place pintails and black ducks.
The white tails and all-black bodies add another touch of realism to your display. Place them in highly visible areas, preferably around the perimeter of the spread with one or two in the center. These are the two primary decoys you should employ in addition to the mallards. Unless you already own other decoy species, don’t worry about obtaining them because you’ll get the added attention-grabbing out of pintails and black ducks.
5.For permanent spreads with high visibility, use standard size decoys.
They are easier to pack in and set up. Because the ducks will see the spread as they approach, there is no need to use larger decoys. Save these for low-visibility spreads. While you’ll want to have some ducks in clusters, be sure to spread ducks out throughout the available area so that approaching fowl will be enticed no matter the direction, height, or angle they are approaching from.
6.Use the most attractive decoys to lead into the preferred landing zone.
This should be set up so that you’ll have maximum visibility from the blind or shooting spot without having to move and potentially scare the ducks.
7.Put a line of ducks on a log.
Then, float the branch out into the water (with a jerk string to pull it back in). Ducks love to lounge on floating logs, and a bit of an active touch like this can really increase the attractiveness of your spread. Leave space on either end of the setup for incoming ducks to land – try to leave enough room for a few ducks, so that the approaching fowl has plenty of space without overcrowding.
8.Use wing-spinners and butt-up feeders.
These help your spread touch on as many triggers of a duck’s senses as possible. Feeding, flying, resting, and calling (of course you still need to be a good caller!) will help make your spread irresistible.
Remember, always keep a positive attitude! No matter how good your spread is, some days the ducks just aren’t going to bite. The important thing is not to let this get you down, or to think you aren’t good enough to attract them. Even the best big league hitters have a slump now and then, and it isn’t because they aren’t working hard. Part of hunting is luck and the mood of the fowl. If you catch them on the right day, your learning how to set up a duck decoy spread will be the icing on the cake luring them into your arms.
After setting up your spread, hunker down and wait. Be patient, bring beer and lunch, and accept the fact that you’re working on their schedule, not yours. Be prepared for periods of overwhelming activity as well as periods of mind-numbing boredom (that’s what the beer is for!).
Setting up a duck decoy spread is a fun and worthwhile activity, and if it’s your first one you still have the benefit of feeling it out and seeing what works for your setup. Remember- don’t get discouraged. Do some rearranging and try slight alterations. If you enjoyed this article, please share on social media and feel free to comment! Let’s get a conversation going.
Dogs are man’s best friend, and one of the biggest reasons for that is how helpful they can be during a hunt. Personally, I have a beagle that’s been with me for four years now. There are several options to choose from, much of which is decided by individual preference. Waterfowl hunters, inland bird hunters, and more generic game hunters can all help step your hunting game up significantly. Here are the top five duck hunting breeds to have by your side in the blind.
If you hunt upland, a Brittany Springer is the best hunting breed you can have. Not only are they great swimmers and incredibly loyal, the icing on the cake is that they are also great listeners.
They are big enough that retrieving a larger duck is no problem, and agile enough that they move around an area quickly and discreetly.
Training a springer is as simple as bringing them on a few hunts and thoroughly walking them through the routine of what they need to do. This breed is particularly strong when compared to others that aren’t as agile in and around water.
Let’s start with Golden Retrievers. This breed is masterful at both force and blind retrieving, and is smart enough to perform well under pressure (in a competition, or in time-sensitive or crowd-sensitive areas). Golden retrievers are impeccable swimmers, runners, and might be the most loyal dog you’ll ever encounter. If I didn’t have my beagle, I’d have one of these. Other retrievers, such as Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, are honorary mentions here. Here is a video that goes into detail on this:
Next, let’s talk about Labrador retrievers. The distant cousin of golden retrievers, these dogs are also incredibly versatile in the field. It often seems like they prefer water over land, which is perfect for duck hunting. It’s important to begin training retrievers early in life, because they have immense amounts of energy and need the discipline to be engrained from a young age in order to be effective. But once they’re trained, you won’t find a better hunting dog than a retriever. Here are more top retrievers to consider.
Now, I don’t want to sound biased here, but Beagles have a connection with humans that is incomparable. Their scent-tracking abilities on the hunt are second to none. They are so fast and can dart around through bushes and shrubbery in a way that larger dogs can’t. I’ve never seen a duck retrieved so fast as what a Beagle will do every time. I also advise starting training when the Beagle is young. The earlier that they get the scents down, and are used to retrieving ducks, the better they will be as adult hunting dogs.
Here is one of the best duck hunting dog breeds, simply because they were bred to hunt from the beginning. With quick movements and a keen eye (and nose!) for fallen fowl, it’s no wonder Cocker Spaniels are such commonplace in hunting fields across the world. These dogs necessitate less training than other breeds that have a more difficult time paying attention. A few runs through of the routine, and Cocker Spaniels will be begging you to take them out hunting nearly day. It is more effective when using with best duck call for beginners.
Far beyond the showrooms of dog competitions are the poodles actually doing what they are best at.
These dogs are fiercely loyal, incredibly smart, and not afraid of anything.
Send your poodle into the water, across a field, through a bush- as long as it will feel valued and rewarded upon returning with the bird, the dog will outperform any other. Just remember, toy poodles and other smaller breeds aren’t going to cut it. You must have a full-size poodle and be willing to put in the training time to get it up to speed. Because they are so smart, poodles are more alert than most other top duck hunting dog breeds and therefore will pick up on smells and abstract hints that the others would miss.
Don’t believe me? Watch this video:
While there are a number of great breeds, these are the top 5 duck hunting dog breeds you can have in terms of training, memory, agility, and overall enthusiasm for hunting.
Do you use a breed that I didn’t discuss here? Share a photo and a story here in the comments and let’s get a discussion going.
I hope you found this article helpful, if so please share on social media. Hunting is such a powerful activity, and having a great dog along not only makes it more fun and efficient, it helps with conservation and with promoting the sport as a great way to bond with your best friend.
Now that we’ve covered the basics of duck calls, you should have an idea of what is the best duck call for your situation.
Duck calls emit different noises based on how they are used, and take practice to master, but are the single most effective hunting accessory for increasing your chances of bagging a duck.
I’ve used many different calls over the years, and have compiled my favorites in this list. Obviously, I’m a big fan of Duck Commander. Their products have been the most consistent and well-rounded that I’ve ever used.
Here, we’ll take a look at three of their best duck calls and their pros/cons, helping you make a decision on which one is best for you.
This is my review about 3 duck call for hunting, it will help you find the best for the money. Check out it:
This three-reed device is ideal for two groups of hunters – beginners who need multiple reeds to practice the pitch, and experienced hunters looking for multiple calls to track a mallard hen.
The system is easy to learn and tune, ideal for camping and long days out in the field. Because the call is so easy to blow, it doesn’t require much practice before actual use It’s consistency and accuracy make this call an industry standard because as it holds a tune with little maintenance.
I recommend cleaning out the spit every few hours to prevent the call from sticking and clogging. Also, be careful of blowing too hard – this can make a high-pitched squeal sound that will annoy both you and the ducks.
If you’re in the middle of some action and it starts sticking, try using different reeds because odds are that only one or two of the reeds will be sticking and the others will work just fine.
This can also happen during cold weather, so do your best to apply some body heat to the call when not in use. It works well in rain, unlike many calls. That’s the benefit of buying this call instead of a cheaper one, it has more durability and versatility.
First and foremost, this best duck call for the hunting is meant to emulate the ‘wood duck’, it is not made of wood. It’s made of durable plastic and intended to be very specific. Hence only one reed. As far as versatility, this is not the best product, but if you’re going after ”woodies”, it’s call is incredibly accurate and consistent, you can’t beat it.
Duck Commander is a reputable brand that has mastered their niche, and it shows with this call. The sound is high pitched and replicates the sounds made by the wood duck as they sit on the water.
It does not require an immense amount of air pressure to call, but you’ll want to be consistent with how hard you blow if you’re calling differently each time the woodies won’t come in.
I frequently tell people to buy this as a gift for children or new hunters, because woodies are so common that they can practice at home or a nearby lake before heading out on a hunt.
The Uncle Si is perhaps the easiest call to blow on the market.
With moderate force, this call is extremely loud and great for big lakes or wide open areas. The volume level also makes it best duck call for beginners, because it doesn’t take much practice to perfect. If you are hunting in an area where there may be other noises (from animals or otherwise), this is a great call because the ducks will be able to hear it no matter what. It’s raspy, giving it an authentic flare that will beckon to ducks anywhere in the nearby vicinity.
What makes this one of the best duck calls is that you get exactly what you pay for. A sharp call, that is easy to clean and performs well in all types of weather. You’ll be replicating the call made while the duck is sitting, attracting it in to your decoys.
Because it is a single reed duck call, it can become clogged with spit, but it’s easy to clear out and only takes a moment. If you are a collector of duck calls or have several of them on a lanyard, the Uncle Si duck call is definitely a good add-on.
Duck Commander makes their products in Louisiana, meaning they are built with American quality and standards and will ship quickly. It comes apart easily, which is good when cleaning but just be sure it is secured when you’re out in the field so as to avoid having issues.
These three Duck Commander calls are diverse, and best for different situations. I’ll break those down real quick here:
The best duck calls are the ones that you can count on to perform even in inclement weather, bringing ducks in quickly. A good call will bring them right to you. I’ve used the Triple Threat from my back porch and had ducks walking right up through the lawn.
You can learn how to use a duck call to know about it.
Don’t overuse the call, study what the ducks do and replicate it. I’d like to hear about your favorite duck calls, please post here in the comments so we can keep this discussion going! If you found this helpful, please share on social media as well. Thank you!
Using a duck call allows for a bit of artistic improvisation in your hunting game.
As a reed-based instrument, duck calls take practice to master but are one of the most effective ways to call waterfowl into your hunting area and increase your chances of a successful hunt. It should be treated like a musical instrument – experience and knowledge of how it is built and how it works will help you get the proper pitch.
By combining these tips with plenty of practice, you’ll have a solid grasp on how to use a duck call for the beginners. And you should have the best duck call for the money to use these tips.
That said, they are much more effective in situations where the sound is disturbed by factors such as the wind, cliffs, or long distances.
They will last for a long time, and are easy to clean, unlike wood calls. Finally, polycarbonate duck calls are like a cross between the two. As far as cleaning, maintenance, and learning curve, they are similar to acrylic calls, but the general noise they emit is closer to that of the wooden duck calls. A great sarcastic take on this can be found here.
An extended quack, kind of like “qqqquuuuaaaacccccckkkkkkKKKKKK!” is the sound of a sorrowful, lonely hen, and can be used to draw other ducks in for comfort. But it shouldn’t last more than a couple seconds at the most. When practicing, make each noise separately. Ducks do not link noised together, there is a noticeable pause between each one. Check out this video for examples.
When moving to a single reed duck call, you will immediately notice a difference in sound accuracy and projection. Mastering the technique of using single reed duck calls is tough. You have to blow just the right way to get audible noise and it is even more important that you hold the instrument correctly. They are tougher at impulse blows. I recommend getting set up in your location and being quiet for a few minutes before calling (which should always be done anyway) because you may attract attention on your way in. If hunting with another person, I suggest having two different instruments so that it appears there are multiple ducks in the area, I’ve had more success this way than with two people using the same call. That tends to scare ducks off.
As a lifelong duck hunter, I could go on and on about tips, but everything you need to know to get started is right here in this article. The satisfaction of bagging your first duck is unparalleled, it really helps you feel like a sustainable human being that is capable of fending for themselves. Read carefully my guide about how to use duck call. And if you can, let’s consider my article about best shooting sticks 2017.
My last piece of advice is to dress the part- wear your camo and hunting gear, and try to blend in with the environment. I hope this article has helped you if you have tips to add please share them in the comments below, and if you’ve enjoyed reading I’d appreciate a share on your social media accounts. Take care, and good luck out there!