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Thread: Setting decoys early?

  1. #1
    Member nooksack's Avatar
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    Default Setting decoys early?

    I don't see a law against it, Perhaps there should be. I think it is lazy, and rude. I know where there are some that have been out for at least two days now.

  2. #2
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    I don't have a probem with it. Put mine out this afternoon, expect them to stay for several days, as long as I am hunting every day, I don't have a problem with it. Some states it is illegal but not here. Bud

  3. #3
    Member kylemac's Avatar
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    How is that lazy -- sounds proactive to me. I can't think of any reason to restrict it within a few days of the opener.

  4. #4

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    I'm with nooksak. Wouldn't say it is lazy but I do have a problem with it. In many heavily hunted areas there are limited areas to put a spread. To put dekes out to reserve it for oneself is wrong. Same with blinds.

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    I say, quit complaining. They are one step ahead of the game. BooHoo.

  6. #6
    Member nooksack's Avatar
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    Maybe it's not rude, but whats wrong with getting up early enough to claim your spot and set your spread? Your not lazy, you just like sleeping.

    Don't expect your decoys to be in the water if you leave them over night..... first come first serve, no reservations Ha Ha!!

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    Im not gonna go out there an wrap someboyds dekes up. People set early every year on opening day, theyre excited for the season. If you cant beat 'em, join 'em...then beat 'em.

  8. #8

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    Probably wouldn't be a good idea to touch some bodys dekes. I'm guessing it would go well for the poop stain that moved them. And who is sleeping the night before anyhow. I think your just getting ready by getting them out early. Play nice.

  9. #9

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    On private land you can put your decoys out all season. But on public land it is first come, first served. You are just plain rude and inconsiderate to attempt to reserve a spot for multiple days. If you want a spot bad enough get there earlier than everyone else. If you aren't willing to head out early then come out with your decoys just before shooting time and find an unoccupied place to set your spread.

    It is a simple matter of treating others as you wish to be treated, the Golden Rule. If you want to go to your favorite spot at 5:00 AM and find that somebody left his decoys out forcing you to go to a less productive spot while you watch the guy sleep in late and mosey out an hour after sunrise, then so be it.

    What would happen if you went to the Sullivan Arena today and put a note at the front door stating that you are going to be first in line for popular concert tickets that go on sale in a week or so. Then what happens when some avid fan shows up 24 hours before the tickets go on sale and sees your note? Is that guy second in line? Does the note you left reserve you the first space in line. I don't think so.

    Just because it is something that hasn't been addressed by Fish and Game doesn't make it right. Keep abusing the system and Fish and Game will intervene and straighten things out.

  10. #10

  11. #11

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    Years back my party went and scouted the day before...a good evening finding birds using a particular area on public waters...you had to be out by a certain time and could only hunt certain days, couldn't be back on the water before 0400, and couldn't hold a spot with your decoys. Someone else was watching the same spot and set their decoys on it after dark.
    The next morning at 4 we hit the water and made it out to the spot only to find a pile of decoys set up on it with no one around. We found their decoy bags stashed in some bushes so we picked up the birds and stored them to the side. At 5 minutes till LST, the morons showed up in their white bass boat. The argument started and continued even after we offered to share the spot. Then a fool decided to pull his shotgun on us. The problem then was that we were already locked and loaded and had one huge Chessie ready to eat every one of them. I've never had to pull a gun on anyone for anything till that day or even since...but I had to and had the safety off and was ready to defend myself. The guys backed down, went to their boat with their tails tucked...but then proceeded to run up and down the river in front of us all morning to make sure we didn't get any shooting.
    This is what happens and it ruins it for everyone.

  12. #12
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Sitting at work now so I don't have to worry about this today......Some years ago I went out to Jim Lake the day before and camped out. There was one other guy out there and we talked about where we were going to hunt the next morning on opening day.

    About 2am someone comes in and starts setting up a tent and blowing up a small white dingy. They took a few hours to do it with a foot pump right next to where others were sleeping...or not sleeping as the case was.

    After the noise stopped it was an hour before shooting time and I decided to not wait any longer and started paddling out to the spot I had selected the day before. The other guy had not headed out yet in his canoe. The white dingy was motoring out to the far side of the lake towards the portage away from the grassy end. Cool I thought.

    I paddle to the grassy end and find a whole raft of decoys set up. How the #@$% did those get there? I move down the shore a ways to a less likely spot. The white dingy comes motoring from the far side of the lake and pulls into the grass amoung the decoys set out in the middle of the night. His set up prevented either myself or the other guy from getting into the spots we had planned on hunting the day before. The white dingy flared a lot of birds through the morning. Most of the birds just kept heading to Leaf Lake, but that did not prevent the guy and his son from trying to knock some down. "Its not skybusting its optimism."

    Later on I had a chance to talk to the guy in the white dingy. He said that is how its done back where he is from, everyone poaches spots and sets up days in advance of hunting and since it was not illegal I could F off if I had a problem with it. I asked him if he always showed up at 2am and inflated his dingy right next to people sleeping? He was surprised I had heard that and said that since I was awake I should have been out then anyway. I am sure his young son learned a lot that day. My appreciation for members of the armed forces lowered just a little.

  13. #13
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Although I am not as serious a duckhunter as some of you guys,but, I still get out a few times each season. Mostly jumpshooting on private land near my dads house or from my driftboat.
    I have personally left decoys out but only on private land and that is the only place I would feel safe doing so. After having lost 2 crab pots left in K-bay over the last 2 years I wonder what these people would do if their dekes just disapeared ?
    I am not advocating for others to steal them but wondering if there is anything they could do or what recourse these people would have if they couldn't find them come opening morning? I understand there are laws that don't allow you to mess with trappers gear and crab/shrimp gear in the saltwater, but are there any laws pertaining to unattended hunting gear such as decoys? I for one would hate to loose several hundred $$ worth of gear because I set it out before season and some crazy person thought they needed it more than I did. Might be something to think about if you are in the set em out early crowd.
    Just some thoughts I had.
    Chris
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

  14. #14

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    One year I did the early morning trip to find a set of unattended decoys in the spot I wanted. I went further and set up in a less productive spot. The hunter didn't show until after shooting time. Then he hunted several hours and went in for lunch. While he was gone ducks landed in his spread which was in a better spot than my spread.

    I had to compete with unattended decoys. I lost opportunities because some selfish guy thought that he could reserve a spot for a four day weekend and come and go as he pleased.

    I respect others by taking all of my gear (decoys, blind, boat, etc.) with me every hunt. You cannot predict emergencies that might drag you from the marsh. If you don't return for several days you screw the guy who wishes to hunt but has to compete with an unattended spread of decoys.

    Some might suggest that I could just sit over the other guy's decoys and hunt. That seems reasonable on the surface, but most guys don't have a clue as to how to properly place decoys. The last thing I want to do is to rearrange another person's spread.

  15. #15
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    Default Hunt their decoys

    I've been there too. Guys think that leaving decoys out on public land somehow gives them unfettered access and control. They think that building a blind on public land gives them sole rights not only to the blind, but to that spot to hunt.
    Years back I hunted a specific spot that was pretty much unhunted. I built the blind out of natural local material. Over the years I added to it, modified it, and moved it as necessary. With that said, it was not my blind and I had no ownership even though I was the only person who knew it was there.
    Several years go by without hunting the spot. I decide to go back, and the old blind is still there. A bit rag tag, and a few changes made by somebody, but it was intact. I set out to make it better, threw out decoys, and started to hunt.
    Along comes Joe Hunter and little sons. He tried lighting me up as to how he owned the whole place (remember, public land), and he built the blind. Needless to say we could not find common ground, so he moved off all of 60 yards or so and stood in some brush where he proceeded to scare off birds coming in.
    Fine I thought, 2 can play that game, so I took a walk over to them and stood there. The 2 little boys kept watching me wondering what was up. I let the guy stew a bit then looked at the boys, and started talking to them about how their daddy was messing up and setting a bad example. Boy did he get pissed. I politely said I was not leaving, and I was going to continue to talk to the boys. If he did not like it, he could start walking. He decided enough was enough and left.
    The next year I went in first A.M. and somebody had decoys laid out. Fine. I left. That night I went back, and the decoys were still there with no sign of any activity that day. I hunted their spread. The next morning I went back to an empty blind, and sat down to hunt. Lo and behold they came in after legal shooting, and expressed their dismay that I would use "their" blind (remember, I built it over 15 years before this) and their decoys. Told them I was not about to let them hold the area and other hunters hostage for the spot. If they wanted to camp in the blind and stay there 24/7 then I had no problem staying away. They took their decoys and left after I told them thanks for setting up such a nice spread.
    I am not going to shoot up guys decoys, steal them, or even move them. I will use them though if it is a spot I want to be. There is more than one way to win the war.
    And by the way, in that area people who hunt it do know I keep tabs on early or late shooters. I've got no problem taking pictures of people and gear and turning the info over to USFW. I've even parked my boat out in front of blinds and had a pleasant chat with the boys after hours when they were still in the blind. It does not take long for most of them to realize that I'm not leaving until they start picking up. The guys that want to hunt by moonlight, break the law, and screw up the birds for everybody else tend to not show back up. That works out in my favor and to the benefit of other lawful hunters.

  16. #16
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Admittedly, I'm not a waterfowl hunter, but I have a potential stupid question. Is this situation (setting out a spread early) not the same as setting up a bear bait station? Once a bear bait station is legally established on public land, that's essentially that person's "spot" and other hunters really don't have anything to say about it. To a non-duck hunter, these situations seem the same...first come, first served. Perhaps I'm completely off on this??

  17. #17
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    Default Lawful vs fair play

    Baiting regulations allow a hunter to get a permit to establish a site. Those regulations also keep other hunters from hunting over that specific bait without authorization from the permittee, and then those hunters names/license numbers have to be added to the permit.
    Other than that, a hunter can hunt the same area legally. A permit holder can not inhibit another persons right to hunt the area.
    I know of no laws that talk about setting decoys for duck hunting. Most of the guidelines are just that, and they were derived from how people wanted to be treated, and what was fair. Competition does strange things to people though, hence some of the situations mentioned. There is nothing that sets a specific area by law for spacing between waterfowl hunters.
    For me, and this is my perception, if another hunter is in a spot, regardless of decoys or blinds, I will give him absoulutely as much space as I can. I hunt because I love to do so. I don't do it to compete with others, or end up in arguments. I see no good coming from doing something that negatively impacts another hunter when he was there first, is hunting legally, and it only serves to benefit myself.

  18. #18
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbitten View Post
    Is this situation (setting out a spread early) not the same as setting up a bear bait station?
    No it is not. Bear bait stations are established through state laws. As pointed out, in AK there are no laws governing waterfowl hunter interactions such as distance from dwellings, decoy setup times, or who owns a non DNR permitted blind on state land.

    This decoy set up issue boils down to hunter morals and ethics rather than laws.

    The one interesting thing about some of the places where guys set up decoys the day before is that those spots are really poor spots to hunt most of the time and I have yet to figure out why people keep going back year after year. Granted those spots offer a lot of pass shooting, but that is not what I enjoy.

  19. #19
    Member Frostbitten's Avatar
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    Right on guys, thanks for the clarification.

  20. #20
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    I have Fish and Game's ear on this issue and I am going to recommend that on public property that deeks should not be out left unattended. Hey if you want a particular spot so bad then you should camp out. Most ethical hunters know that it is first come first serve but most of these folks have not hunted anywhere else plus they mostly are rookies thinking that you can set deeks out days or even the night before unattended to save spot is wrong this leads to confrontation. This happen last night and the same rookies that had unattended deeks shot at 0609 then again at 0615. The individuals need to learn, read and conform to the regs. Plus sky busted numerous times try to spin this.

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