Duck Decoys

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TAS

Senior Member
Found an Outfitter that leases Pit Blinds and Flooded timber for self guided Duck hunts. Recommends 50-100 decoys. Any particular brands or species types you recommend. The place is in AK. Thanks
 

tucker80

Senior Member
avian x is my go to

Cheap as possible for the fillers.

I think you'd be ok with about 2 or 3 dozen, maybe a few on a jerk string and a mojo.
A mixed species spread
 
I would be reluctant on doing a day lease if you are leasing it from a guiding company. There is a reason they don’t guide hunts out of it. Having said that I run avian X decoys because I think the look the best and are durable. You can get away with game winner brand if you aren’t planning on using them 30+ days a year. 3-4 dozen will probably do the trick and make sure you have a jerk string, most under rated motion you can have IMO.
 
Found an Outfitter that leases Pit Blinds and Flooded timber for self guided Duck hunts. Recommends 50-100 decoys. Any particular brands or species types you recommend. The place is in AK. Thanks
Had some buddies do this two years ago and wanted me to go. I declined. When you get into most of these self guided blind leases, many will put you on a spot that has been hunted pretty much everyday they can get someone to pay for it. They aren't typically letting a field full of food sit for several days to build up a few birds before they lease it out. They are typically leasing out a spot with some water on it for you to hunt over. I just want you to be aware of what you are likely getting into, as kevbo mentioned above. With that being said, if there are a bunch of new birds coming in on a big front, you may kill a few. In that scenario it really won't matter what decoys you have sitting out there. I would have a few pintails, spoonies, or even divers with some white on them just for visibility. Past that, if they are primarily just for this one hunt, get 'Hotbuy"mallards or the cheapest thing you can get.

If there aren't any new birds and you are hunting a few stale birds that have been in the area for a while, as has been the norm the last two or three years, I've had more luck at times putting out a couple of spoonies or even single mallard down the field away from the blind and just covered up on the dike. If they see 50 -100 decoys in the same spot everyday and get shot at a few times, it doesn't take long for them to avoid it.

My buddies that went, killed one bird in three days. The said they watched a bunch of birds fly into this other pond every day, asked the guide the leased the self guided blind through about that spot, and he said he was saving it for a group coming in for the weekend. Translation, "A big-money guy is bringing some people to hunt this weekend and I am saving that spot for them." I'm not trying to discourage you from going, just let you know what you are getting into. I think people have this impression, as I think they did, that you just go out to Arkansas and you can hunt anywhere and kill birds. I tried to tell them like I am telling you, it isn't like that at all. I'm not saying don't go, and you will likely see more birds than you ever have before. However, I just want to have realistic expectations of what you are likely getting into.
 
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Long Cut

Senior Member
Had some buddies do this two years ago and wanted me to go. I declined. When you get into most of these self guided blind leases, many will put you on a spot that has been hunted pretty much everyday they can get someone to pay for it. They aren't typically letting a field full of food sit for several days to build up a few birds before they lease it out. They are typically leasing out a field of spot with some water out for you to hunt over. I just want you to be aware of what you are likely getting into, as kevbo mentioned above. With that being said, if there are a bunch of new birds coming in on a big front, you may kill a few. In that scenario it really won't matter what decoys you have sitting out there. I would have a few pintails, spoonies, or even divers with some white on them just for visibility. Past that, if they are primarily just for this one hunt, get 'Hotbuy"mallards or the cheapest thing you can get.

If there aren't any new birds and you are hunting a few stale birds that have been in the area for a while, as has been the norm the last two or three years, I've had more luck at times putting out a couple of spoonies or even single mallard down the field away from the blind and just covered up on the dike. If they see 50 -100 decoys in the same spot everyday and get shot at a few times, it doesn't take long for them to avoid it.

My buddies that went, killed one bird in three days. The said they watch a bunch of birds fly into this other pond every day, ask the guide about that spotted he wassailing it for a weekend hunt for group coming in for the weekend. Translation, "A big-money guy is bringing come people to hunt this weekend and I am saving that spot for them." I'm not trying to discourage you from going, just let you know what you are getting into. I think people have this impression, as I think they did, that you just go out to Arkansas and you can hunt anywhere and kill birds. It isn't like that at all.
Probably the most honest and accurate response you’ll get. My exact experiences as well.
 
Probably the most honest and accurate response you’ll get. My exact experiences as well.
And mine...sounds just like I know the "outfitter"
It isn't necessary that they are ripping you off, but I just think you need to have realistic expectations going into it, which most people who have never been out there do not. I have hunted Arkansas, private, public, guided, clubs, etc... for many years, and the best hunts will always be the ones when you get the call that the birds are there and can pack you stuff and head out then. Regardless of whether it is public or private, if you have to pick a date to go months out due to work, vacation days, whatever, you are basically buying a duck lottery ticket, with similar odds. The chance of not getting anything or a very small prize is much greater than a big prize.

A lot of these guides are paying to lease blinds. They then lease them out themselves to make money. He is going to take his clients to the spots with the most ducks because that makes the most money, and lease the others at typically a petty big discount to self guided groups. It doesn't mean you won't have an opportunity to kill ducks, but you need a big push of ducks to come through while you are there. Not necessary a bad option if you want to go out there on the real cheap, see some birds like you have never seen in Georgia, have a chance to possibly kill some ducks, and visit Mack Prairie Wings, but like anything in life you typically get what you pay for. If you are going out there to one of these self guide blinds with the expectations that you are going to kill limits(or really anything close), there is nearly a 100% chance that you are going to comeback to Georgia disappointed.
 
If there are birds there, I'd go with a smaller set with color and plenty of motion. Jerk strings and jerk-a-spreader. If the birds are used to seeing refuge sized spreads of mallard decoys on every hole near there, your's looking different and more realistic might do the trick. Put out pintails w feeder butts and teal. Throw in a small amount of mallards w feeder butts and a couple gadwalls mixed in....a few coots or spoonies wouldn't hurt either for confidence decoys. I'd also throw out 15 or 20 goose floaters away from the duck spread or other side of the pit. Throw in snows or specs if u have them too. You will be using a different puddle set than the local boys, guaranteed.
If it's a late season hunt, be sure to pair bond the decoys somewhat.
I'm saying "if the birds are there", because the flooding from all the hurricanes this year can misplace birds anywhere. If it's not flooded deep, and they don't have ice breakers, it will freeze up and you won't get a bird near you. Good luck TAS
 
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