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Author Topic: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?  (Read 1056 times)

Offline bobcat

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Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« on: December 10, 2017, 04:34:52 PM »
I'm just getting back into duck hunting, after about 20 years. The decoys available now I'm not familiar with, and want to pick up a dozen or two to mix in with my old decoys. Just wondering what the favorites are now? I'd rather not buy the most expensive, would prefer something in the middle. Just looking at Sportsman's Warehouse online I see wide range of prices.

Per dozen, it looks like this:

Avian X-  $160
Higdon-  $120
Tanglefree- $47
Final Approach- $60

So, unless I can get some good advice from experienced duck hunters, I'll probably go with the Final Approach decoys for $60/dozen. The cheapest decoys, the Tanglefree brand, have quite a few poor reviews on the SW site. I do want decoys that will last more than one season. Has anyone used the Final Approach decoys? Or what about the higher priced brands, are they really worth the extra money? Or any others that I didn't list that I should consider?

Offline Relish the Journey

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 05:00:30 PM »
We use the avian x decoys.  There tough, paint last well and there lighter than most decoys if your packing them far.  Great looking as well. 

Offline bobcat

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2017, 05:30:32 PM »
Thanks. I really like the looks of the Avian x decoys, it's just the price I didn't like. But if they hold up better than others it's probably worth it. Plus like you said, if they're lighter that's a definite advantage for us since we're hunting public land and often will need to pack them in a long ways.

Offline lokidog

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2017, 05:39:52 PM »
The ones in front of me....   :chuckle:

I saw these the other day, they look interesting, a little spendy IMO though.

https://www.amazon.com/FUD-Mallard-Revolutionary-Realistic-Foldable/dp/B06ZYZXYL8/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1512956322&sr=8-4&keywords=fud+decoy
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 07:07:34 PM by lokidog »

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2017, 07:25:49 PM »
Take a gander at the Dakota Decoys X-Treme Fully Flocked Mallards, they look great, $89 for 6,  flocking has held up very well. They have great movement in water with current. This is the second year of hunting these every weekend and have had no complaints. Shot a lot of ducks over them. IMO is worth it to pay a bit more for some flocked decoys, they look 90 times better than cheap plastic decoys and take care of them and they will last awhile. Flocked decoys will always pull a lot more birds as well.

Offline bobcat

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2017, 07:36:08 PM »
Thanks, so let me ask this. What would pull more birds in- 2 dozen high quality, flocked decoys, or 6 dozen, cheap plastic decoys? Just not sure how many of the good ones I can afford. Another question, are there any issues with mixing really nice decoys with mediocre to poor decoys? Or in other words, is it better to use nothing but flocked decoys?

Offline lokidog

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2017, 07:39:50 PM »
If you are driving by at 20+ miles an hour, are you going to notice detailed feather pattern or an outline with basic colors?  I think these ultra painted decoys are pretty, but much more than needed.

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2017, 07:40:30 PM »
Thanks, so let me ask this. What would pull more birds in- 2 dozen high quality, flocked decoys, or 6 dozen, cheap plastic decoys? Just not sure how many of the good ones I can afford. Another question, are there any issues with mixing really nice decoys with mediocre to poor decoys? Or in other words, is it better to use nothing but flocked decoys?

This is exactly what I do. Put my couple dozen nice decoys closest to the kill hole or on the jerk string, then scatter the rest of the more mediocre ones on the edge of the spread, amongst any weeds/cattails, and away from where the birds will be landing. Good way to maximize your bucks. Invest in a flappy duck and jerk cord and your spread will start to look really nice really quick.

Offline bobcat

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2017, 08:26:00 PM »
https://www.rogerssportinggoods.com/decoys/duck-decoys/floating-ducks-decoys/lucky-duck-deception-series-6-pack-mallards.html

Check these out ^^^^^^^

I like how packabke those are. A couple dozen would be nice to have especially for those long walks and even more so if you are also carrying a layout blind.

Offline eastsidemallard74

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2017, 08:34:12 PM »
I just bought a dozen off the tangle free full flocked migration decoys. Their nice, and foam filled. I like them compared to the all plastic "cheaper" decoy

Offline h2ofowlr

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2017, 08:38:20 PM »
Find where the birds want to be, add movement to spread and the most important is get concealed.  You can shoot birds over $25 a dozen decoys.  The Avian X look good, but they are marketed to the hunter, not the duck.  I have some and the birds decoy no different to those vs the hot buys.
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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2017, 08:59:27 PM »
https://www.rogerssportinggoods.com/decoys/duck-decoys/floating-ducks-decoys/lucky-duck-deception-series-6-pack-mallards.html

Check these out ^^^^^^^

I like how packabke those are. A couple dozen would be nice to have especially for those long walks and even more so if you are also carrying a layout blind.

They look great when it is 60+ degrees outside. Maybe they've change plastic, but when I bought some similar in the 90's, they didn't work so well. The inflatable rubber ones I have from the 50's are better, but they are heavier.

Offline Stein

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2017, 12:11:55 PM »
I upgraded both my floaters and field with a dozen each of the Avian-X.  So far, they have been great to hunt with.

When I am only taking in a dozen of one or the other or both, they go with me.  The rare times I need (or want to carry) more, I have some cheapies that I fill out the spread with.  It seems the best of both worlds.

I would buy the best you can justify and afford and take care of them.  That said, I can't say with 100% certainty that it matters but in my mind when you aren't exactly where they want to be it may help just a bit.

Offline bobcat

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2017, 12:21:03 PM »
Being where the ducks want to be isn't usually an option for me. I can only hunt the few spots that I have access to (public land). So I guess what I'm wanting to do is to make the ducks want to be where I am, wherever that may be. I know it's not ideal but I guess that's why I'm hoping to get more, and better, decoys.

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2017, 12:24:12 PM »
Thanks, so let me ask this. What would pull more birds in- 2 dozen high quality, flocked decoys, or 6 dozen, cheap plastic decoys? Just not sure how many of the good ones I can afford. Another question, are there any issues with mixing really nice decoys with mediocre to poor decoys? Or in other words, is it better to use nothing but flocked decoys?

This is exactly what I do. Put my couple dozen nice decoys closest to the kill hole or on the jerk string, then scatter the rest of the more mediocre ones on the edge of the spread, amongst any weeds/cattails, and away from where the birds will be landing. Good way to maximize your bucks. Invest in a flappy duck and jerk cord and your spread will start to look really nice really quick.
What kind of hunting are you going to do? Is your partner bringing any decoys?

I like the profile mix of older new, different brands to change things up. If it were me I'd probably just get a dozen or 2 hot buys and mix as appropriate.

If your where the birds want to be what you use won't matter as much.

If you can get some white with titanium oxide in it it shows different UV reflectivity and touch up the white with it on the older decoys. 2c

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Offline Stein

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2017, 12:25:01 PM »
I'm in the same boat, I manage to get on the X maybe 1-2 times a year through blind luck and the rest of the time is scratching it out on public.

You can use the eBay gift cards at Cabelas and it takes some of the sting away.  If you manage to couple that with a coupon or a sale (or both), you can really save some money.

The paint, plastic and overall construction are night and day between Avian X and the cheap ones.  The only problem is that I now have to carry 12 slot decoy bags instead of throwing banging them all around in a big bag like I do with the cheap ones.

I don't have any experience with the other ones, to me the Avian seemed to be the best quality of the ones I could check out in person at the store.

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2017, 12:26:15 PM »
The 3 components are presentation, location, and concealment. If you don't have a great location then you need to do as much as you can in the other 2.

Knowing how to call, what to say, and when to say it is of utter importance.

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2017, 07:00:20 PM »
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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2017, 06:27:04 AM »
I just bought a dozen off the tangle free full flocked migration decoys. Their nice, and foam filled. I like them compared to the all plastic "cheaper" decoy
I am on my third or fourth season with these and I like them.  They are foam filled and therefore heavy, so I wouldn't use them for walk-in hunts.  But they look good, ride the water very well and as a bonus will still float if fragged with shot when you are swatting a cripple.  Various places have them on sale right now.  Maybe Wing Supply or Rogers?

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2017, 08:31:19 AM »

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2017, 10:17:49 PM »
If you want middle ground, get decoys with the flocked drake heads and painted body's and hens. I think you can tell the difference at 40 yards and moving. But you defiantly don't need the best.

And if you are on the x it doesn't matter what decoys you have, the problem is in western Washington the x is always on private land you don't have permission. So to be able to look at visually appealing decoys helps!

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2017, 10:19:03 PM »
Look at Rodgers sporting goods. And After Christmas - febuary is going to be the cheapest prices of the year. Plan ahead for next year

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2017, 09:44:01 AM »
Look at Rodgers sporting goods. And After Christmas - febuary is going to be the cheapest prices of the year. Plan ahead for next year
Yep this^^^
Hunt with what you got and hit the after season sale... I've also found some awesome ammo deals as well.

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Re: Duck Decoys - What are your favorites?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2017, 09:52:08 AM »
Thanks for the tip on Rogers. I'll definitely wait for the sales. I can't afford to buy the ones I'd really like to buy. But I do want some decent looking decoys.

Between my hunting partner and I we've got probably close to 6 dozen but we've only been using the best 3 dozen of those. These are all 30+ year old decoys, I believe, and some are missing quite a bit of paint.

We also need to pick up some new goose decoys when/if they go on sale.

 

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