Early season ducks


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By Mitch2206 - 8/21/2012 10:56:18 AM
I have a quick decoy question for anyone out there concerning early season. I hunt in MN but this could apply a lot of places i suppose. My early season spread consists of Woodies, BWT, Mallards, and a few token geese. I would assume put the geese on there own and make sure to keep the woodies closer to the bank. As far as the Mallards and BWT should i mix those or keep them separate too?
I also have a few Redheads, Cans, scaup and goldeneye dekes but I probably wont bring those although we did see a redhead last opener so should i maybe through those in too?

Any advice would be great.

Thank you!
By Critter - 8/21/2012 5:20:58 PM
If it was me, and Im not going to speek for everyone else, the only time I would use the woodies is If there is a hole or creek that your seeing woodies swimming around on a constent bases.  For the most part, I would mix the teal and mallards together.  Teal arnt going to care where they land.  Ive even mixed my honker deeks in with the ducks and put 2 or 3 off to the side.  Looks like they landed on the outside of the spread and they are swimming in.  I would leave the woodies at home.

Ive shot a lot of woodies, but never seen them land in my ducks spread.  I dont even mess with woodie decoys.  The only time I seen them land in my deeks are when I only had honker deeks out.  But thats just my two cents!!!
By Mitch2206 - 8/21/2012 9:08:52 PM
Thanks for the input!

Any other ideas out there?
By arkansashogs18 - 8/22/2012 9:48:59 AM
If it were me, I wouldn't over think it. If the decoys are bagged separately I would probably throw them into their own groups, but if you have them all mixed in one bag I would just throw them out in whatever shape or pattern you like. You could put all the species pretty close together, but I probably would keep the geese a little further away. The wood ducks would not hurt you at all to throw out, though with them I would keep a little more separated because they don't seem to land with anything other than what they think are other wood ducks. Good luck.
By Base - 8/24/2012 10:14:30 PM
Yea, for me early season is like this,   I put on my best turkey hunting camo ,(its in good shape cause i seldom turkey hunt anymore) find a nice Oak tree over a pond or creek, get their early and point my gun at the water.  For me their really isnt much to early season. hope that helps.
By Alex Hilburn - 9/10/2012 5:26:15 PM
Always try to mimick waterfowl as you see them naturally, and you'll be golden.  You'll see those three species intertwined most of the time, except if you're in the woods, then BWT may not be very common.
By cdill - 9/12/2012 11:47:37 AM
We don't use woodies at all either, but tend to shoot a few every now and then, especially early in the season.  We mix mallards, pintails, gads, and teal throughout the season because it isn't uncommon here in Nebraska to see those species hanging out in the same areas.  We do separate the pintails out on their own, same as geese if we are using them.  Everyone else gets grouped together.  This year, with a lack of water, we are grouping everything together because the waterfowl have been forced to co-exist with each other in the limited water.
By Alex Hilburn - 9/12/2012 9:34:07 PM
cdill (9/12/2012)
the waterfowl have been forced to co-exist with each other in the limited water.


Thats how wars start...
By Zmac - 9/13/2012 1:09:30 PM
Not trying to hijack the thread but had a question regarding the topic as well...

My cousin and I are going to be hunting a new piece of the river that we normally hunt and i wanted to get some opinions. The river is on state land and opens up into a large flooding. It is pretty heavily hunted, but last year my cousin and I noticed a spot that the ducks seemed to head to and no one else was hunting. It is a little further up the river and harder to get to (but still hunt-able) which may be the reason. Anyway, the question is in terms of decoy strategy.



Should we look to put out a large amount of decoys 50 - 60 or keep the spread small 4 - 6 family style? Most of the other guys/ hunters out there do the standard 12 - 18 with a few spinners so I’m wondering if a deviation from this would help in any way? We shoot mostly mallards, wood ducks, teal and the occasional goose or two. Any help is appreciated.
By Alex Hilburn - 9/13/2012 10:22:22 PM
Just try to look natural man!  Don't worry about what other hunters are doing...worry about what the ducks are doing.  If you're seeing birds in this spot, and its where they want to be, it won't matter how many decoys you have.  But, just for good measure, keep it around a couple dozen.  Spinners are good to get ducks attention.  If they really aren't using that spot much, throw in a robo to get passing flocks to look at you. 

Just do your homework, and be where the ducks want to be.  Thats the best advice anyone can give.
By buglemin - 9/14/2012 4:35:16 PM
Early birds are dumb birds, they have not been shot at much.  I would suggest just go out and hunt, dont over think. 
By cdill - 9/17/2012 2:57:41 PM
Alex Hilburn (9/12/2012)
cdill (9/12/2012)
the waterfowl have been forced to co-exist with each other in the limited water.


Thats how wars start...


Lol.  Waterfowl Wars!  Sounds like a new hunting show.
By Alex Hilburn - 9/18/2012 7:07:59 PM
Holy crap Curtis you're right.  Dibs.  You can make it with me.