We are delighted to share with you informative "news" style articles about the latest not only in Missouri duck hunting, but all news related to our wonderful sport of duck hunting. We will also publish tips for all levels of hunters as well as product reviews on the latest gear and even recipes for those of you that think you are the next Bobby Flay. In other words, we hope to have something for everyone that browses through our website.
When the Missouri duck hunting season starts, we will be posting videos and pictures on our social media pages so you can see the action we see here in Missouri. If you are a regular follower, we know it will only be a matter of time before you are standing ankle-deep in the mud right next to us waiting for the morning or afternoon duck flight. Enjoy the site and good luck bagging your limit!
Having the right decoy spread, as you know, can make all the difference. Some hunters will use the same duck hunting decoy spreads and strategy every time they go out and wonder why they have so many bad days. Variety is not only the spice of life, but also the spice of duck hunting. Change things up and offer the birds something different and you just never know what you will get. Here are a few different spreads to consider during your next duck hunting trip.
Use Unique Decoys within Your Spread
A significant amount of duck hunters will use only mallard decoys in their spreads. So, what happens when a different species of bird comes by the area? Some oddball decoys in the mix will distinguish your spread from others and possibly draw these birds right into your spread. Later in the season, this may play even more into the equation as the birds have seen the same riggings all year. Curiosity may get the better of them, which can lead to a big day for you!
Many of the decoys on the market today offer little movement. They look great, but they simply do not move like a real duck or take a lot of wind to move. The solution? Add a jerk cord and make these very realistic decoys even more appealing to live birds. The movement will attract your prey and lead them right into your spread. Some of the best duck hunters in the country use this strategy, so it is definitely worth exploring if you are struggling to make decent numbers.
Earlier, we mentioned mixing it up and creating something unique. Well, coots fit the bill. Coot decoys may not look as pretty as a fancy mallard spread, but they are effective and very realistic looking. Rig the spread with a jerk cord and then set them up in tight feeding formation. A quick jerk of the line will get the decoys moving and thrashing as though there is plenty to eat in the area. You just may be surprised at the results you see when using coot decoys.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Your Own Decoys
Again, we are sticking with the theme of being unique and making your own decoys means they will not look like anything else out there. You do not need to create an entire spread, but you can mix in your own decoys with the ones you buy. Actually, creating your unique decoys by hand (one of our points above) is even better. On the off-chance, someone else is using the same strategy; you will at least have decoys of the unique species that look different from theirs.
Smaller or Random Spreads
At the end of the season, many of the birds will pair off, meaning a large spread could look unnatural to the live birds in the area. Create smaller spreads or simply toss out your spread to random spots. If the birds are naturally avoiding bigger flocks, your smaller spreads may seem like a safe haven from the other spreads they are seeing.
Change It Up!
If your spread is not working at a particular time, do not be afraid to get out there and change it up. If you see the birds avoiding your spread or flirting with the edges of it but not going any further, they are probably on to your ruse. If you are using a larger decoy spread, thin them out. If you have a tight spread, use more space. Simply put, you just do not want your spread to look too “standard” because the birds may have figured out that they are indeed decoys.
Different Types of Decoys within a Spread
We have hammered home the points already about using handmade and a variety of species, but do not stop there. A natural flock will not appear the same throughout, so neither should your spread. Mix in a few duck butts, surface feeders, headless feeders, and sleepers. This creates a more natural appearance of a flock that has settled into the area and will help draw in more birds.
Do not be afraid to experiment when using decoys during your next Missouri duck hunting trip. The only wrong strategy is to sit idly by with a standard spread with consistently bad results. If something is not working, get out there and change it up. See what people around you are doing and create something unique that will set your spread apart from everyone else in the area. It could be the difference in eating a duck that you harvested for dinner or calling up the local Chinese restaurant and ordering it!