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Decoys: Blacks for Mallard hens?

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  • Decoys: Blacks for Mallard hens?

    I am (or will be this fall) a novice duck hunter. I started to get the inkling for waterfowling a few years ago after I spent some time mentoring a kid who was duck-crazy and needed an adult to take him. We had fun and I learned quite a bit. Anyway, I bought some dekes on clearance--a dozen Mallards, a few Green Teal, and a dozen Black Ducks.

    Yes, I know...no Black ducks in Alaska, but looking at the decoys, other than the little curly-cue feathers on their rumps the Black decoys look awfully similar to the Mallards. Can I use them? or am I just wasting my time?

    I plan on picking up a pair of Pintails and/or Shovelers and a few Widgeon for some variety.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  • #2
    I would for sure use em. They will look more legit then a bunch full plume greenheads.

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    • #3
      Set those puppies out. Historically, people have had great luck painting gallon jugs black and attaching a weighted line. The black ducks will be much higher producing dekes than any with a greenhead, especially in the early season when everything is "brown" anyway. Marketers will tell you only full plumage, magnum decoys will produce birds but if you ask people on here that actually kill ducks, these are not a prerequisite for success. Enjoy the hunt!
      Go Big Red!

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      • #4
        At the very worst, the blacks might look like scoters. Ducks are pretty stupid at this end of the flyway though, so you shouldn't have much problem. You oughta think about sneaking up this way around mid-September if you want some ducks. By the second week of the season there will be more hunters than ducks around the metroplex.
        Passing up shots on mergansers since 1992.

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        • #5
          I use them. They are very poorly painted cheap flambous from a garage sale. They are really dark when compared to a hen decoy or a real hen. Do they work? I have no idea since I don't talk duck very well. I have enough hens these days that I don't toss out the whole dozen now. Since they have green/yellow bills they look like young drakes more than hens. I keep them in a batchelor group of four to five birds till mid september then toss in a full plumage greenhead or two.

          Due to population dynamics right now I would go for wigeon decoys. Specifically one of the harverster packs that have the feeding poses in it. Feeding wigeon pull in other birds due to the obvious food source clues. They don't mess around with the food and the other birds know it.

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          • #6
            you throw any brown decoy out and you will kill birds
            I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
            but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

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            • #7
              Thanks guys!

              Good to hear I didn't waste a whole $24.99 ;D

              ...and few Widgeon it is!
              If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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              • #8
                By the time the ducks notice any color difference there should be a load of steel on their way. You'll be better served adding some small teal decoys in a separate group vs. adding more medium/large species to your current spread. Plus, teal decoys don't take up much space so you get the added benefit of lots of ducks on the water without adding a bunch of bulk to your pack. And buy a duck whistle call like this for the early season teal: http://www.cabelas.com/product/Hunti...3Bcat104311080

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                • #9
                  Thanks Birdstrike...already got a teal whistle
                  If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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                  • #10
                    They will work perfect. Don't worry to much on how drakes to hens you have. Sept birds are brown not in full color yet.
                    Living the Alaskan Dream
                    Gary Keller
                    Anchorage, AK

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