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eyepatrol

Decoy color - does it matter?

16 posts in this topic

Each year I ponder whether or not I should buy some new decoys. I've got a few newer decoys that are 2-3 years old (Bigfoot Canada floaters), but the rest of my decoys (geese, mallard, bluebill) are at least 18 years old or more. Many of my decoys are starting to lose their color. Many of the bluebills have lost their white, mallard decoys are losing their color on the drakes, goose decoys are looking like a bad faded brown, etc. Even my hen mallard decoys are the old, dark brown color style with a big 'ol orange bill.

So I'm looking for opinions here. How much does color really matter on decoys? Is it more important to have the shape/silhouette along with numbers, or would it be better to have decoys with exceptional, new color? Sometimes I wonder if the difference between good color and poor color is the difference between getting those mallards in the last 50 - 75 yards or having them flare out of range.

Let's hear some thoughts on this!

Thanks!

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I have taken some armor all and put on the heads - at least last year. It seemed to help with te flash aspect. take some paint and just touch up - you do not have to be perfect.

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Most of our decoys (flambuea) are 5-10 years old. On a few of them the color has faded or is chipped/flaking. Doesn't seem to be a problem though.

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early in the day, decoy color is less important because you are hunting in low-light conditions. but, once the sun gets higher in the sky decoy color becomes an issue. I have seen guys shoot ducks over low-quality decoys as far as color is concerned, but I think that they would have experienced greater success had their decoys had realistic paint jobs. Our dekes all have pretty decent color but at some point in the future I expect that we will either paint them all up or just get new ones.

If your dekes are still in good shape despite poor coloring I would suggest a decoy painting kit (which can be purchased for a pretty reasonable price). That would give you something fun to do in the offseason as well!

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Yeah, they're getting to be in pretty tough shape though. Cracks, bb holes, etc. tongue.gif Not sure how the bb holes get there, gotta be one of my hunting partners. blush.gifgrin.gif I'd think color would be pretty important too if you have a flock that is swimming to your decoy setup. I have that happen a couple times each year.

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Early in the season I personally favor setting more decoys with less color. I set more hens over drakes and use some of the older ones. As for my outtake on the situation right or wrong is how many mallards are in full plumage and bright colors early in the season, the majority are young birds with less color. I like to match what I see and this has worked for me. Later in the year when they start migrateing down I put out all of my colorfull ones(Newest brighter colors. I alwas throw out more drakes then hens when those mature curly tails start arriveing in full plumage.

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Icehawk,

That seems like some real good advice about color versus time of year.

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IceHawk...would you happen to be related to a Gary Schreifels?

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I agree with IceHawk. Early in the season we maybe set out a dozen drake decs out of the 100 to 150 we put out(we hunt big water) We've had better luck using mainly hens and older faided decs.

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No relation to a Gordy Schreifels. Most of my relatives are from Richmond, Coldspring, and the Eden Valley area

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Dont be afraid to put out one or two confidence decoys also. we put out one or two gull dekes. also try to put out a snow goose deke off to the side. i think that the white can catch an eye, but i dont want it in my spread. have you noticed that there are alot of gulls around right now and sitting with the duck and geese. kill 'em saturday boys! grin.gif

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Just thought I'd ask.

Interesting points being made about decoys for early and late season. I never thought of it in those respects. With the condition my dekes are in, they should do real well for early season! blush.giftongue.gif

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Back in "The good 'ol days",all they used was blocks of wood painted black with white paint LIGHTLY brushed along each side for wings.That was it,black and white decoys.And they worked great ! I have used them to this day still,not much thou being they weigh a ton.I like them for blue bills on Winnie.

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I read an article in DU Magazine last year on decoys that was pretty interesting. They were making a case for large numbers. They went as far as to use 2-liter pop bottles painted black to put out more numbers cheaply.

Icehawk, are you any relation to Troy?

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He is My first cousin.If it is the same Troy he has a brother named Terry.

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Is he a cop?

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