Spead diagrams / instructions
Was wondering if there are any referances out thre that have drawings of how to lay out your decoys.
Please let me know
Ducks ulimited magazine always has different decoy patterns in it. Pretty much any waterfowl instructional book would have them. Me personnally I dont follow any set pattern for puddle ducks the big thing for me is setting myself up so the birds are flying into the wind where my blind is. I also always leave an open landing area in my decoys for the birds to land where I want them to be. I never go by a particular pattern I just set them up for what looks good for the environment im hunting in. It may be a different story when your hunting in areas that pull in thousands of birds so you need a really big decoy spread and a specific patterns to draw thier attention, but for the most part in early season here in alaska I use at the most 8-10 decoys all hens and later on during the migration I will use 2 dozen or so and mix drakes in. Just never really needed to use specific patterns and it seems to work well for me. Sea duck hunting might be a different story but I dont get to do that very often.
Go to Creamers in the spring, you wont see a V, U, J-Hook, 7, I, or anyother setup that we hunters try to duplicate.
The purpose of decoy placement is to attempt to funnel them for shooting. I grew up in SD hunting geese and now hunt geese from AK to Texas and the number one key to me is hunting the "X".
You can have the best decoys, a great spread, great calling, great blind placement and concealmeant and if your in the wrong field nothing else matters. Scouting is the key, if their not using your field it won't matter much how you place your dekes.
Originally Posted by MCAT
What he said!
Another thing, kinda mentioned in the first reply, is that you need to set the decoys to look natural for the area you're hunting. If you're hunting correctly, you're doing some scouting before you just set up on some water or in a field. What did the birds look like when you saw them while scouting? I hope you're not hunting a field or marsh if you haven't seen birds there, so try to make your spread look like the birds you saw. Also, use your decoys and the wind to position the birds when they're coming in.
Also keep in mind what time of year it is. Early in the year, you can get away with smaller groups with a lower drake to hen ratio. Most birds, this far north and early in the season, still haven't plumed out. That being said, some of your drakes can look like hens. Put a lot of hens out and it'll look more natural. Also, they're usually still in small family groups early in the season before they have actively started pursuing mates. If you have the desire to put out more than 8-10 decoys as stated, have them in small family groups of 6-10 in stead of one great mass of decoys.
Decoys aren't going to magically put the birds in front of you because you put them out the way a magazine or some instructional book tells you to. Don't get me wrong, a lot of the information in books and magazines is very helpful, but don't just look at the diagram, make sure you read the caption because it'll probably tell you the weather and what time of year they're hunting as well as what type of environment they're in. You don't want to look at a diagram for hunting big water for divers and use it to hunt woodies in a swamp. I think most will agree that decoys are just another tool in a duck hunters arsenal, that when used correctly, in conjuction with many other tools and factors, can greatly increase the odds of killing birds.
There are several books /magazines out there showing set up diagrams.I like decoys and how to use them by WADE BOURNE.Any diagram is just an example of how someone else ideas are.Take those ideas and make them work for you.Remember your best option for success is location then your activities ie decoy placement /calling and your hide will all come into play.As others have said we can do with a lot smaller spreads as long as they look natural.