When you’re hunting, any way of bringing your target species closer to you and to your shot is valuable. Using a spread of duck decoys (usually 12-24) can help passing duck feel the area is safe.
Choosing a decoy
When choosing a decoy, it’s best to use decoys that match the species you’re targeting. If you are hunting a range of species, a spread with mixed species can work well. Drakes can attract ducks from farther away due to their brighter colors, but a mix of genders will promote realism in your decoy spread. The most common decoys are designed to imitate Mallard and Pintail ducks.
Types of decoys
After choosing the species and gender, there are a few types of duck decoys to be aware of.
- Motorized decoys are a type of motion decoy use a battery-powered motor to keep the decoy in motion throughout the day. These movements attract passing waterfowl and can usually be seen from a greater distance if they are positioned up high. The movement typically imitates a duck landing or taking off.
- Floater decoys are designed to float realistically in the water. If you are stationed near a marsh, lake, or stream, employing a floating decoy is a great way of keeping your decoys in motion without having to worry about battery, as the water and wind naturally keep your decoys moving and attracting duck.
- Shell decoys are made to resemble waterfowl sitting on land or sleeping. They typically have wide bottoms to keep them stable through windy conditions and are often made from a hardy plastic. These decoys signal to passing waterfowl the area is safe.
- Windsock decoys are made from fabric so they can catch and be animated by the wind. This style prioritizes keeping the decoy in motion, and provides a very lightweight option that is easy to transport.