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Thread: Other people's decoys in the field

  1. #1

    Default Other people's decoys in the field

    Ok, here's the question. If others have left their decoys in the field, is it bad form to use them if the owner isn't around? I have no problem using an unoccupied blind (and will happily leave if the original builders show up) but I'm curious about the etiquette for decoys. I certainly don't want to anger other hunters when we're all out there to have a good time, but if I take good care of (and re-conceal) their decoys, it saves me from having to haul out a bunch of my own. Is there any sort of unwritten rule or expectation on this? I figure some of the waterfowling veterans on here would know...

  2. #2
    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    Not a veteran. But u can put mine out. Just put em back. Especially before big tides like we have right now.

    Holy cow high water.

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    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    The beer stash is take one, leave one.

    Strictly enforced.

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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    If I had decoys stashed I wouldn't mind if somebody used them if they put them back when they were done. If I walked up on the pond I had them stashed at and found somebody hunting over them I would hope they would scootch over and give me some room in the blind...they are my decoys after all...
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    Many of us have our decoys out in the field. IF you have requested permission to use them and they have said yes. Why not. If they are not yours and you have no permission to use them. Then do the right thing and walk away. Thatís about as common courtesy as it gets. If I went out and some of my decoys were spread around some guys boat and blind...would kind of go against every type of hunting etiquette I could imagine. I would hope he would understand when I start bagging them up...hence bring your own or leave your own out there.

    The group of guys I hunt with have never had an issue with this rule of thumb. We all share what is out there and ALWAYS let the others know prior to heading out so there are no surprises. Numbers are discussed and locations are discussed. We are extremely balanced in our approach to hunting waterfowl and will share knowledge, experience, decoys and even boats with each other and others who show the same kind of courtesy..cross us and youíll only do it once....
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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    If the decoys are not your and you don't have permission to use them then don't use them. I would be hot if I got out to where I hunt and someone was using my decoys.
    Is it opening day of duck season yet
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  7. #7

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    Good grief no. Next thing you know decoys are getting shot up and sinking they get put away all wrong etc. The last thing I would want to deal with 10 minutes before shooting time is a tangled mess in the dark. Haul your own out there.

  8. #8

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    Well, it sounds like the majority agrees: "Don't touch other peoples decoys in the field." While I can respect that, I'm personally more in duckslayer's camp: if I leave them in the field, I wouldn't have a problem with others using them, as long as they 1. take care of them and 2. make room for me in the blind if I show up. It's kind of a complicated situation. When people store their private property on public land for weeks, months (and sometimes years) at a time, do they have that right? It kind of goes against the "leave no trace" ethos (though I certainly don't begrudge people who leave their decoys out for the season). If multiple hunters are using the same pond throughout the season, does that mean there should be a 1/2 dozen different decoy stashes out there? Obviously, I'm not going to piss off a hunter by using his stuff, but I'm not sure he/she has the right to complain if they use public lands for personal storage. As for me, I'll be hiking my decoys in and out, or else leaving a note with the decoys letting other hunters know they can use them.

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    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    Sounds like your on the right track then. Enjoy

    As far as leaving the decoys on public land. Many as stated they do this. They also have the knowledge of knowing if they dont pick them up at the end of the season..more than likely they will return to a pile of ashes. AK F&G patrols these areas in the winter months and will burn it all if left behind. Not sure this falls into the "leave no trace" as you stated. I would think that is more isloated toward trash etc. Interpretation is key..If I saw you picking up my decoys and calling them trash and you were removing them from the field. I would have a long educated conversation with you in regards to workable decoys verses decoys that cant float. I would think you would pick up on that pretty quick..kidding aside, there are not many that share your same view. Ultimantly it all comes down to respect, ethics and your own moral compass.

    In regards to Duckslayer56, he's a great guy. That being said, I assure you words woudl be exchanged as he entered your blind..

    Have a great season and hope to see you on the marsh
    Hugh


    Quote Originally Posted by BearMountain View Post
    Well, it sounds like the majority agrees: "Don't touch other peoples decoys in the field." While I can respect that, I'm personally more in duckslayer's camp: if I leave them in the field, I wouldn't have a problem with others using them, as long as they 1. take care of them and 2. make room for me in the blind if I show up. It's kind of a complicated situation. When people store their private property on public land for weeks, months (and sometimes years) at a time, do they have that right? It kind of goes against the "leave no trace" ethos (though I certainly don't begrudge people who leave their decoys out for the season). If multiple hunters are using the same pond throughout the season, does that mean there should be a 1/2 dozen different decoy stashes out there? Obviously, I'm not going to piss off a hunter by using his stuff, but I'm not sure he/she has the right to complain if they use public lands for personal storage. As for me, I'll be hiking my decoys in and out, or else leaving a note with the decoys letting other hunters know they can use them.
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    This is something I have never herd of before this forum and after 30years of chasing ducks have never seen. This seems like a complete lack of common courtesy if it is a public hunting area with any competition for spots. Private property and shared permission would be different, but just seems to me really poor taste.
    I grew up hunting a busy marsh, and this would absolutely cause problems.

    Is there anything in the regs about public land and staking claim before a hunt? just seems off to me, no worries my spread comes home after each hunt.

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    Leaving decoys in a bag is one thing. If I show up in a location I've planned to hunt, and find a bag of decoys left, I'll make a decision at that time whether to go ahead and hunt or not. Leaving decoys on public land does not "lay claim" to that spot. Keep in mind that those areas are normally areas I've hunted for years, even if off and on, which means that there is a good chance I either established the blind, or have kept it up over the years. That said, I have no more claim to that blind than any other person does, so first come, first served.
    Laying out decoys and leaving them is another. I've scouted both pre-season and during season and found decoys already spread. If possible, I'll assess whether or not the hunter that put them there will be there, or has been there hunting. If active, I'll do what I can to give them their space. More than one time I've found decoys spread and the hunters never returned (immediately) to hunt that spread. It's pretty frustrating for me to try to do the right thing and not hunt that spot, then find that whoever laid out the decoys never showed back up for that days shoot.
    I've watched decoys lay out all season and never happened to catch anybody hunting over them. In fact one year I watched them freeze into place. That was in a location that I did not want to hunt, but was interesting that whoever it was left their gear out and never picked it up. No idea what the winter ice did to those decoys. I wonder at what point it all changes from somebody's property to garbage?
    I do what I can to avoid conflicts in the first place. Normally I have lots of options and no need/desire to "horn in" on another group. It's pretty rare that I don't move on to "greener grass" and just leave it alone.
    ARR

  12. #12
    Member skybust's Avatar
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    What I was speeding of was my decoys in a bag and stashed in the bushes. Not in a hunting spot or spread out. Decoys at a hunting spot does not make that your spot
    Is it opening day of duck season yet
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    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skybust View Post
    What I was speeding of was my decoys in a bag and stashed in the bushes. Not in a hunting spot or spread out. Decoys at a hunting spot does not make that your spot
    This is exactly what I'm saying. It's public property so you can't claim a spot by leaving decoys out. When I did stash mine it I always picked them up and stashed them in the bag, and always out of the way. But never did I expect that to be my claimed spot. If somebody beats me to the spot it's theirs fair and square. I might ask them if they mind if I hunt with them, or I'd just move on down to the next spot. I don't see a problem in setting your decoys out the night before as long as you are camped on the spot, and out by your decoys the time everybody else starts showing up.

    Other guys want to hunt the good spots too, and laying a bunch of decoys out in those spots so you can claim the spot all season isn't being a very good gentleman. Get up early and claim the spot fair and square. It really sucks when somebody beats you to the spot you want to hunt, but having that spot locked up by some guy who leaves his decoys out all season is very frustrating, and that's where decoy sinkings or theft is going to happen. No need for that kind of drama over a few ducks.
    Some people call it sky busting... I call it optimism
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    Interpretation?? Left in the field for using at exact spot for hunting, left in the water, or stashed in a different location from where you are hunting?

    i believe the comment was the latter.

    good views on all though. As Skybusting mentions.. We are referring to the last point.
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    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    This is getting so heavy. I'm going hunting.

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    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    That really helped!! Only saw one duck. Never had a chance with him. But I turned a flock of geese hard over with my call and a flag. Win!!
    No decoys and another party shooting early cost me my shot.

    This time......

  17. #17
    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    If my deeks are out there bagged or in the water,
    trust me when I say I'm not far and there's a good chance I'm probably watching you.

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    If the decoys are placed at the beginning of season and every time you go no one is there hunting over them that's sort of a grey area to me. If they were clearly placed there that day or earlier in the morning that's another story. I'll never take someones stuff out of a bag and set them because to thats plain wrong. maybe it's to be expected in some places but I wouldn't do it, nor would I leave my stuff out, being called into work or for an emergency is leaving in a hurry is one thing, leaving your stuff to "claim" a spot is another. We never use more than a dozen or so decoys anyway so its fast to set up and tear down for us.

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