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BirdWhisperer

New decoys

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BirdWhisperer

I know there was a thread on this last year...but I'm plannin on selling my old mallard dec's and buying all new ones for '08. Right now I have a dozen old ones from a rummage sale and a dozen flambeau's i got for christmas, they work prett well for early season but as the ducks get smarter and more wary, they stop coming in. Any suggestions? I looked at a few places and i don't wanna spend a ton on decoys either-kinda thinking about Hot Buys...any suggestions would be great.

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HUNTFISH69

Go with the GHG hot buy 2's, i think that's what they're called, but they are 40 or 50 bucks a dozen. We have about 4 dozen of those plus a bunch of other assorted ones, but GHG decoys have always been good at least for us. Very durable paint, just my $.02

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delta hunter

I would also recommend GHG, but the one thing that I would really recommend is the slotted decoys bags if you buy GHG decoys. For the most part the paint is durable but it does wear out. These decoy bags will help them last that much longer rather then your typical decoy bags!!

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dukhnt

But as much as those slotted decoy bags cost, you could just buy another dozen. IMO

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surewood

I would suggest G and H. I know there not cheap about 80.00 a dozen but I have a dozen from eight years ago that still look great, almost like new. Plus I'm very hard on decoys and I spend more days a year on the water than most hunters. I will be saving in the long run now. Instead of buying new ones every few years.

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eyehead

I would go with G&H also. The swivel heads are very niiiice grin.gif but if you cant shell out the clams the best buys are good for the money.

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Bushwacker

I would definitely say go with G&H. I love those mallard decoys. I have a dozen GHG Hotbuys, GHG Lifesize, Flambeau Mallards, and a couple other dozen, but I alway take the G&H first. Love those things.

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Seabass77

I would also go with american made G & H.

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Sartell Angler

half of our mallard spread and diver rig is G&H and I would like to get to the point where all of our water spread is G&H...they're like the Bigfoot of duck dekes in that they are realistic yet durable. The rest of our duck spread is Flambeaus and Carry Lites and although they provide good fillers once they wear out we will replace 'em with G&H.

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smg04

i would worry more about your set up, decoy placement, and concealment than worry about getting new deeks, half the hype of needing "realistic" looking decoys is just marketing ploys that decoy companys use to keep you buying new decoys, most of the decoys we use are chipping paint or have little or no paint left at all, at least a doz of them are basicaly black plastic ducks, also as the season wears on try mixing up your calling and call less, as the ducks make there way down the flyway they hear the same hen mallard kaydence everytime they fly over a group of hunters and they wise up to that pretty quick,

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BirdWhisperer

Thanks for all the input guys. I would have to agree with you, smg04, I'm pretty green in the whole waterfowl thing-just started about 2 years ago. Late season we usually do call less, sometimes nothing at all, along with changing the spread. I'm still not sure what the ducks want or look for in a spread from early to late season, though.

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hanson

I like both G&H and GHG Mallard dekes, actually prefer the GHGs. If you are buying GHGs, I woud avoid the "Hot Buys" and but the regular "Life Size Series" Mallards. Most of the bad paint, chipping paint comments I've heard about GHG are with their "Hot Buy" decoys. Our GHG Life Size Mallards are into year 4 or 5 of use now and they still look great, we also use the slotted Avery decoy bags but thats more because I'm a super organizational freak.

As for when to call and how much to call, that will only come with field experience. You have to work real birds and see how they react. Don't be afraid to screw up, its the only way to learn.

A good story about the "right" amount of calling happened this fall. We had a lone drake mallard coming into the dekes. He was hot, cupped up, and it sure looked like it would be an easy shot. No one in our group has called at all to this bird. All of a sudden, he flared and took off across the slough. That was it, he had his mind made up that something was wrong and he was gone. As he was flying aways, I hit my call with a 5 note hail call and that duck slammed the brakes on. I've never seen a duck do a 180 in flight but he completely spun around and came back with wings cupped right down into the decoys. Just a matter of the right call at the right time.

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smg04

one tip i can give ya about calling would be only call at wings and tails, if the ducks are coming at ya dont call except maybe some soft feed chuckels, but as a rule i try only to call as the ducks are on the edge of the spread circling or look like there starting to work there way out,and dont underestamate the 3note lonely hen call, its a quick call

QUACK....Quack quack, . . . .ive found that late in the season the ducks have heard the same 5note greeting call and long hail calls from every tom, dick, and harry in the flyway, try being a lil different, also a 6in1 whistle will do wonders to make widgon,teal,and pintail peeps

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BoxMN

I can't give any calling hints, I stink \:\) But for dekes, G&H are the best IMO. We have/had Herters, Flambeau, GHG, off-brand, homemade foam/burlap, homemade wood, and odds and ends. And the G&H look good riding the water, are durable, easy to wrap, and just plain look like ducks on the water. I think we have about 7 or 8 dozen at least now. I don't like the magnums, though we have about another 3 dozen of those. The GHG just sort of lose paint and chip, and we treat them just like the G&H, in bags.

I think the Herters ride the water possibly the best as long as there is some wind. We have 7200 but doing it again I would get the smaller ones if I got Herters.

One other thing, if you hunt from a boat (i.e. diver hunting especially) those Drake bigmouth decoy bags are AWESOME! A bit spendy, but worth it. Otherwise Flambeau has a nice decoy bag with good shoulder straps and its not mesh sides, just mesh bottom, so dekes don't get caught when you slide them in.

As someone else mentioned, I would say for duck hunting, get less amount but higher quality, and build as you go. Heck all ofour early cheap Flambeau dekes have long since cracked and are worthless. The Herters and G&H are still in the spread. If you can make setting your spread easier and more efficient (i.e. better bags, good head-lights, good waders, etc.) you will have a more enjoyable hunt. Then you can focus on birds.

Have fun! Duckin' is the best!

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HUNTFISH69

I agree about the Flambeau decoys, it personally think that they suck, because they chip really easy and if you look at the heads on the drake mallards they tend to look more blueish thean anything. G&H are really good but you pay for them.

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eyehead

 Originally Posted By: smg04
i would worry more about your set up, decoy placement, and concealment than worry about getting new deeks, half the hype of needing "realistic" looking decoys is just marketing ploys that decoy companys use to keep you buying new decoys, most of the decoys we use are chipping paint or have little or no paint left at all, at least a doz of them are basicaly black plastic ducks, also as the season wears on try mixing up your calling and call less, as the ducks make there way down the flyway they hear the same hen mallard kaydence everytime they fly over a group of hunters and they wise up to that pretty quick,

While calling, concealment, and all that good stuff are probably more important. It sure doesnt hurt anything to have the most realistic dekes you can get. When your hunting alot of pressured local birds like most of us have the last few years. I think its pretty important to have all your ducks in a row so to speak. Northern birds on the other hand, I think a guy could use rocks as dekes and still get into em grin.gif Just a thought. Good luck with the purchase.

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koonie

Another vote for G&H dekes. Had mine for 10 years and they still look real.

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doughnut03

I have 2 dozen of the "Great Buy" dekes and the "Puddler Pack" to mix it up a little, and so far I haven't had a problem. I'm by no means "light" on them (I've only used them maybe a dozen times, but I've dragged them, thrown them, banged them around, etc.) and they seem to hold up just fine. While you can go buy a half dozen dekes for $100+, you just can't beat the value. Worst case, you have them for fillers when you get some higher end dekes.

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Mlaker3

Once you have used dekes 100+ times you begin to see the value of G&H. They are still my front line dekes I want incoming ducks to see first. $100 for a dozen magnum is a good price for a decade of use. Think long time value. GHG are better than they used to be but haven't seen the test of time yet. Shy away from low end deals unless you have nothing to start with. If you are updateing and want value buy quality. Once you are in your 40's, 50's and up having thrown away low end sporting goods or left them on the shelf at home because they just don't measure up anymore you realize a lot of your "good buys' were mistakes.

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RiverRunner

Some good advice in this forum. I would stay away from the cheaper decoys. I have a mixture of Carrylites and GHG. I also have a few G&H, they seem to hold up the best, but are pertty pricey. The one thing I definatly wouldn't skimp on is decoy bags, I've went through so many cheap ones $10 to $20 dollars its ridiculous. By 1 or 2 $40 dollar bags and you'll have them quite a while.

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Eric Wolf

I prefer Greenhead Gear decoys over all others. You cant beat the realism and they are durable. I've used the same 2 dozen Hot Buys for the past 3 years, and they are only showing a little wear, and I don't baby my duck floaters...

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brittman

G&H. American made, durable ... no hype, blah, blah, blah

just simply the best decoy made.

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grousehunter

G&H.... or Aero FullCurls as long as not planning on carrying them in anywhere.

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mallardcurl

Herter's burlap model 72 are the best in my opinion. These decoy's are expensive and heavy. These are not the decoy's for walk-in trips but when hunting with a boat they are great. They will give movement on nearly windless days when the plastic decoys will not move. I have had mine for 12 years and don't think I will ever have to buy more. These decoys will last you a very long time.

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GAP

I would go with the green head gear. that's all my buddies and I own and i woulndt trade them for any other decoy. We've had our's since they came out and there still looking good.

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