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GREAT dekes QTY vs Quality


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I almost hijacked another thread but decided to toss it out here instead. Would you rather have a dozen great dekes (like Mutha's) or something similar or would you rather have 3 dozen decent blocks? Also, would your choice change for divers VS puddlers VS geese. For me, tons of whatever for divers would choose fewer but nicer for puddlers. Geese I think "the spot" is prolly top priority but flocked heads sure are purty.

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I'm actually considering running a test this year of quality vs. quantity in North Dakota. I'm solo hunting with my dog 90 percent of the time, and when you have to lug out a gun, ammo, calls, swamp seat (for me and the pooch), decoys and a spinner -- all while in waders and crotch-deep muck -- there comes a point when something has to give. Last year, I experimented with throwing out the spinner and a half dozen (yes, 6) decoys during water hunts. From what I gathered -- and this rang especially true as the season waned and pressure increased -- the smaller spread seemed to work more consistently than any "mega" spread I've ever used. More important than any decoy, however, was scouting and assuring I was, indeed, in the place the birds wanted to be.

I actually have a theory that decoying and hunters are coming full circle. While there still are places for big spreads (i.e. diver rigs, traffic situations, field hunting, etc.) in many situations, less is more.

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WOW thanks for VERY kind words.

Using different positions and flocking seems to be helping.. I went from litterally boat loads to a 12 slot bag thats not full.

The selling point for me has been the dock spread.

Hunting from in front of the cabin is NOT on the X where we are and its nice in the morning to watch the couple guys on the lake race each other over to the ""spots" while I place my 5-9 decoys out...

The ringers and goldeneyes come straight in no swinging to the rollovers/preeners set up on the water adjacent to the few easy to set up sleepers and crude standing full body blackducks on the dock...

Im actually pretty rough with my decoys, the ongoing R&D abuse does take a toll..Dragging the flocked blocks down the shore and tossing them in a sack has proven ya might want to take care of quality a little better but being able to drastically reduce the number of needed is a nice compensation...

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I'll head to head test anybody with 12 perfect diver dekes to my 150 black and whites. The 150 will out draw hands down guaranteed.

Sounds good! I got a small slough in Nodak about a half mile into a field we can meet at for the competition. Walk-in only. You bring your 150, I'll bring six of Mutha's masterpieces. Shotgun start an hour before sunrise. I wager I'm limited out before you've regained consciousness after passing out from exhaustion.

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I'll head to head test anybody with 12 perfect diver dekes to my 150 black and whites. The 150 will out draw hands down guaranteed.

Time and a place for each situation but you can hit big water with both and do equally as well.

Sometimes quality rules out quanity and sometimes its the other way around.

Perosnally I would take quality over quanity.

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I'll head to head test anybody with 12 perfect diver dekes to my 150 black and whites. The 150 will out draw hands down guaranteed.

Sounds good! I got a small slough in Nodak about a half mile into a field we can meet at for the competition. Walk-in only. You bring your 150, I'll bring six of Mutha's masterpieces. Shotgun start an hour before sunrise. I wager I'm limited out before you've regained consciousness after passing out from exhaustion.

I'll just bring a spinner and set it downwind from ya.

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My point is that on divers and to some degree on Mallards. Quantity with store bought quality beats extremely detailed quality without quantity.

Mutha's craftsmenship and artistic ability are impressive to say the least. I would just hate to see some poor guy waste a lot of time on ultra-detail and set out 9 diver dekes with the idea that they would out produce a good mega-refuge spread of 120+.

I think maybe 1 dozen high quality, high visibilty dekes can out produce 30-48 dirty-crummy dekes with all things equal but that is as far as I would go unless I saw it with my own two eyes.

I am not saying that giant spreads are always the way to go as logistics and other factors can dictate what should be used. With all things equal and in most situations the Mega-refuge spread beats the tiny detail spread. On puddlers the spinner trumps all the majority of the time.

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I'll just bring a spinner and set it downwind from ya.

So you're saying that it isn't all about numbers, eh? I rest my case.

I am saying it is %100 about numbers in the case of divers all things equal. I know guys that load canoes full to the brim and push through rice with large quantities because they work.

I said 12 divers to 150 divers.

If you want to spend time on details and poses with diver decoys go ahead.

Mallards and Geese quality can make a difference particularly on late season geese. I still think quantity trumps extreme quality most of the time on these as well.

What could anybody from ND know about decoying tough birds anyway? All you need in that state is a spinner and a lawn chair to take a limit. laughlaughwink

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"What could anybody from ND know about decoying tough birds anyway? All you need in that state is a spinner and a lawn chair to take a limit. "

You found out my tactic!!! wink 3 G&H dekes texas-rigged, swamp chair, and a robo.... the redheads even come into them. Dumbest redheads I ever have seen are in NoDak, and i am talking about ducks only smile That is why I love ND, I don't have to break my back with dekes.

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What could anybody from ND know about decoying tough birds anyway? All you need in that state is a spinner and a lawn chair to take a limit. laughlaughwink

Being a born and raised 'Sotan, I cut my teeth gunning "tough birds" in the land of 10,000 hunting regulations. So don't you worry your little self: I know enough about decoying to be successful on a more than regular basis wink

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I am saying it is %100 about numbers in the case of divers all things equal. I know guys that load canoes full to the brim and push through rice with large quantities because they work.

I said 12 divers to 150 divers.

Well, I'm saying you're generalizing. I can guarantee you, at least in the areas I hunt, it is in no way 100 percent about numbers, even with divers. But like I said, be my guest hauling your 150 divers out to some slough if you're so adamant about it. If you don't have a coronary by the time you get out there and set up, I'm positive you'll shoot birds. On the other hand, if you lug out a half dozen decent decoys and know how to call, you'll probably do just as well and not break your back in the process.

I'll give it to you that there might be times when big spreads are the norm. Heck, gunning over hundreds of white-and-blacks is a tried-and-true big-water method all across the continent. But to say that numbers trump quality 100 percent of the time is, at the very least, disingenuous, and maybe a bit naive, too.

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All things equal it is about the numbers on divers. I didn't say it was easy but it is time better spent than working on poses and details with small numbers.

I'd hate to see someone read this and put out 12 super detailed bluebill decoys on a lake or large slough thinking he was going to do well.

You will do almost as well with a smaller number of decoys in a NO DAK slough because you are going to shoot a limit anyways. All things equal a big spread would kill out quicker.

Most folks here in MN don't shoot divers on long walk in sloughs. If they do they are still better off draging a large otter sled full of 60 decoys 1/2 mile than throwing out 12 manicured decoys. I know because I have done it and seen the results.

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Our typical MN diver hunt is 2-4 dozen G&H if using the puddlers, or a boatload if using the 16' alumacraft. If we know the birds want in in our spot, then 13 or 19 divers will do (always got to use an odd number, or they won't land wink )

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If you are diver hunting, use numbers. As long as the deks arent in the worst shape possible, they will do fine. I put out maybe 3-4dozen on the river at a time and it works perfect. These deks are ringnecks, bluebills, cans, etc.. that have been passed down for 3 generations, and never painted. I still kill limits when the time and place is right. As for mallards, use quality. Puddle ducks arent nearly as "dumb" as divers and most times will be very hard to decoy. I use greenhead gear full size decoys EVERY trip on the river. Late season, i will only use 6-10 decoys and no spinner. Early season, i use anywhere from 2-3dozen greenheead gear decoys and maybe 2 spinners.

Like others have said, mutha has a very good decoy. From my experiences, greenhead gear decoys in the right situation will work better.

All divers you see were shot with my older decoys, and the few pictures of our limits were shot with greenhead gear decoys.

Don't get me wrong, a goose decoy is still the best duck decoy!!!

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Don't get me wrong, a goose decoy is still the best duck decoy

Maybe the smartest thing said so far...

This has been interesting. I guess my take is that we'd prolly all learn a lot if we tagged along with another crew a time or two each year because clearly there are more than a couple ways to skin a duck. Too bad duckin isn't more social like fishing but we all gotta keep our own "X's" secret... Not being a [email protected] either about that - it's the truth. FWIW RumRiverRatvand I hooked up for a day last year combined we had 14 dozen divers, 4 spinners, and a couple dozen geese. The wind was wrong and the decoys outnumbered the ducks 150-ish to one!!! LOL

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We ought to start a sticky about decoy statagies.

There are some guys who hunt divers that I have learned a lot from as they can get divers to land in a certain spot in their spread as opposed to the modified pass shooting that most spreads end up with. I also remember learning from an old timers spread down on the Mississippi years ago and seeing how he used the decoys, wind, sun and blind to set those ducks up to work him perfect.

There is a whole lot more to decoys than wind at your back and a blob on both sides.

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