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Thread: Best Decoys for the Money?

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    Member Double28's Avatar
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    Talking Best Decoys for the Money?

    I'm planning to get into waterfowling and was wondering what decoys to get? How big of a spread should I get? Should I mix different varieties of decoys? Maybe two dozen mallards, half dozen woodies and a few pintail? What brand am I going to get the best cost to usage ratio out of? Shower me with knowledge!
    That fish was on that fly, faster than Oprah on a sweet roll! Tim Hebbard
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    It's hard to say what's the best for the money. Some brands hold up better than others, and some look more realistic than others. G&H decoys will probably hold paint better than most other decoys but they lack a little of the realism that say Green Head Gear has. Green Head Gear has had some paint issues, I have been fortunate enough to have had many of their decoys without any problems. I run all GHG duck decoys and like them. You can get a dozen of their HotBuy mallards for $30, pretty dang cheap and a decent decoy.
    I like to run a mix of decoys. I run up to 4 doz mallards with some pintails, widgeon, and teal depending on where I'm hunting and what is around.
    I alway have some geese in the mix too, IMO, the best duck decoys you can have are goose floaters.
    Also, don't overlook a Mojo duck.

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    Member Ty S's Avatar
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    If I were just getting started Id buy 2 doz hot buy mallards and a baby mojo. That would be under $100 total.

    Just remember that once you start you wont stop buying!

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    Hmm... where to start, I could go on for hours. For number of decoys, a lot depends on the body of water you're hunting and the hunting pressure in the area. If you going to be hunting some potholes out west or some smaller ponds without much pressure, a smaller spread (two or so dozen) and a mojo will be more than suffice. If youre going to be hunting the platte or a public waters with quite a bit of pressure, a bigger, more realistic spread may be needed. Mojos and large goose floaters/standers are great attractors for high traveling mallards and also add variety to your spread. Quick note, if youre going after geese, do not use any mojos within your spread, geese have become very shy of mojos. Ducks will literally try to land on top of them. I am not a big fan of mixing in lesser duck decoys (wigeon, woodies, etc.), even tho is does add variety. My opinion is if the ducks are in close enough to tell the difference in specie, they should be having steel thrown at them.

    In terms of brands and hardiness of decoys, cant go wrong with Bigfoots for geese. Such a good tough decoy, Ive ran over some in the field, ice chunks nailing them in the river, etc and they still look great, relatively cheap too. Flocked heads on any goose decoy make them look ten x's better. I also have some Green Head Gear goose decoys, paint has chipped and faided some, not impressed. As for mallard decoys, hot buys are cheap and pretty hardy, I bought six dozen last year on sale for 19.99 a dozen, wish I'd bought more. Only draw back is they dont ride in strong current very well. Detail on duck decoys isnt as important as for geese, quantity over quality for ducks in my opinion. I could go on, but just my $.02...

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    Member Alex T.'s Avatar
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    It's just easier if ya don't get into the sport. For a duck spread using duck decoys,IMO,it's all about where ya plan on doing your most hunting in regards to which species to use and numbers. Of course,your main/majority of duck floaters will be mallards in pretty much every duck hunting situation. Mixing various duck species works well IMO and the ducks seem to key on the decoys that are of their type. I hunted the Missouri River in Tekamah for about 15 years and only seen a handful of Pintails in all of those years. Went to the basins the first year and seen more Pintails in one morning than I've ever seen on the river. On the river we would get into quite a few divers but see very few in the basins. On the river we'd get a few widgeons each year but they are thick in the basins. On the river,you'd see lots of variety mixed with each other but in the basins it seems that most species stick to their own for the most part. In other words,where you are gonna mainly hunt,would dictate what species to buy IMO. A spinning wing decoy is almost a must if you're gonna compete on public ground and a good tool for most hunting situations. As far as which brand of decoy to buy,pick what ya like. Like John said, G/H are probably the most durable,but GHG and others look alot better. I used Flambeaus for years on the river and shot more ducks over those than the G/H(very heavy if ya gotta haul them in;I sold all mine cause of that) or GHG that I've used since. I think if I used every duck floater I have right now,I have 5-6dz.;I don't think I've ever put them all out in the basins though. When I hunted the river,I had about 10-12dz. and only put all of them out a few times each season.Right now,I'd say get a duck call and a good instructional video and learn how to call correctly over the summer and pick up decoys as you go. Lastly,IMO,unless you like painting decoys,I'd buy brand new and use them til you feel they need new paint and then sell them and buy new again. You can usually get at least half of what ya spent selling used decoys and losing a little money over a few seasons is worth new decoys instead of the time to paint/fix the old ones. Anything else?

    Alex
    They have cometh

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    Thanks all!!
    That fish was on that fly, faster than Oprah on a sweet roll! Tim Hebbard
    I'm not part of a redneck agenda. Green Day

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