I have all types but am currently switching my spread to all Avery Greenhead Gear decoys, IMO they are the most realistic out there and pretty affordable. For early season birds it probably doesn't make much difference but as the season goes on and the birds have been shot at a bit it helps have the realism and a variety of species. I found the wigeon really like to stay to themselves. Mix in a few diver decoys and it will really help out a spread. (depending on where you hunt)
I think most of us waterfowlers started out with the cheapo flambeau/carry-lite style decoys that are $20/dozen. As the addiction grows, you start looking for more realism, higher quality decoys that will hold up better to the abuse of waterfowling (launched into decoy bags and piled together). It's not really practical to 'baby' your decoys, unless you're using carved cork decoys that cost a fortune. The cheapos worked okay for me a couple years, and I do not regret buying them to get started, after all they're only $20+decoy line+weights. However I practically never used them the last couple years and am now going to pass them along for free to a friend who is just starting out. They definately show their wear, and all of them will need repainted before he uses them much.
I stumbled upon a deal a couple years ago when Galyan's was making the switch to Dick's Sporting Goods (back in the lower 48) and all their decoys were 50% off. So I picked up 6 dozen g&h magnum mallards, a dozen redeads, box of goose floaters, box of goose full bodies (we bought them out! If they would have had any greenhead gear I would have bought most of them too. I really like the g&h swivel heads, and their paint holds up very well. I really like the greenhead gear also and own several dozen of them as well, and they hold up excellent also. I just don't like the 'hot buy' style because there's no place to wrap the weights, so stick to the oversize model.
If you're just starting out a spread, the $20/dozen will get you by. I will probably buy a couple dozen of them myself, since I could only bring up a dozen ducks and dozen geese when I made my move up this year.
are my favorites, but some of the newer stuff is looking pretty good as well.
I also like to mix in teal, widgoen, pintail and divers.
I use the old decoys wilth little paint left on them early in the season as most of the ducks are juvenile and even most adult ducks are not in full plumage until October. Use lots of hens early on as well.
I use 2 doz Herters's millennium suc duc and 2 doz green head gear best buy Also 4 green head gear goose floaters. because you never know also as confidence. You might also try about 6 canvasback drakes. I found that they help pull in the rest. I suspect it's the color. White really stands out.
The suc ducs were spendy. If I had it to do over I woulden't. But then Green head wasen't on the market then. If your going out once and a while I'd go green head best buy. But if your into duck hunting like me I'd go green head over sized or Cabelas real-image decoys They look a bit nicer then the green heads for not much more. But don't forget the can's or some bluebill drakes.
Try looking in the cabela' waterfowl catalog there's a lot in there, to give you some ideas. But you better hurry up you only have 4 more days.
Don't go cheap, but don't pay for more than you are getting.
I hunt out of my boat blind, layout blinds, my sneakboat and at negative temps you find out what decoys hold up and which ones don't.
I lost a Higdon fullbody out of my boat going about 65 mph down the highway last year, and it hardly scratched the paint. My Green Head Gear full bodies I can tell you would never hold up to that, but I don't want to spend 150 bucks on shipping anymore so I buy whats available in AK and since sportsmens warehouse opened that is GHG and Hardcore.
I like to buy American and Flambeau's new master series Mallards are pretty good, paint holds and to tell you the truth they do just fine.
And for 22 bucks a dozen, it's cheaper to replace than to repaint.
Buy what your budget allows, it's not like you are in ARK or Miss, these duck decoys will see less action in 5 years than most decoys in the lower 48 see in one.
Yea I don't get out much, lets see I am on vacation from Sept 9 to Oct 6, and then after that I work 3-4 days a week and hunt the rest till the 16th of Dec here in AK
In the middle of Oct it's another two weeks spent in Sask and back home in SD for a week so yea I don't get out much
Decoys are like the gun you use. Preference vs price? I remember growing up in Arkansas my grandfather would take my grandmothers old bleach bottles paint them black with strategically placed white/gray and we had some decoys. Believe it or not it worked! I don't do this myself now. No matter which type or brand I buy these days I also buy a couple spray cans of clear coat/polyurthane and spray a coat on all my new decoys. I find this helps the paint last longer.