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Banding Together for Waterfowl

3 Decoy Strategies for Ducks

If birds are starting to become wary, it might be time to mix things up a bit.
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Stand Out in a Crowd

Vandemore says, as a season progresses, ducks begin to grow accustomed to seeing the same decoy spreads along the flyway. He encourages hunters to do whatever it takes to differentiate their spreads from the folks around them.

Some of the techniques that Vandemore employs include adding full-bodied decoys along the water's edge, as well as sleepers, resters, surface feeders, headless feeders and duck butts (where appropriate).

Late-season duck spreads at Habitat Flats will often feature more Canada goose floaters than ducks.

"Mallards in particular feel safe around the big geese," says Vandemore. "And it is just another way to keep birds guessing, and staying ahead of the game.

Decoys on lake



Photo by Ronald Mcclellan

Perhaps the most important tip Vandemore has to offer is one that most hunters have heard their whole lives: clean up after yourself.

"The one thing that is most effective for me is picking up my decoys every day," says Vandemore. "Ducks will grow stale in a hurry when they see the same decoys in the same location day after day."

So don't be afraid to make some changes. In the end, Vandemore says it will only help you gain a new level confidence in being able to adapt to what the birds want to see.

After all, the ducks are the final judge. What verdict will they hand down to your decoy spread this fall?

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