5 Ways to Make Your Decoy Spread More Visible

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The Best Fakes Won't Work if Ducks Can't See Them

Adding motion to your spread and setting your blocks farther from shore are good ways to ensure that approaching birds can see your fakes. Photo © Bill Konway

Decoys are arguably some of your most important pieces of waterfowling equipment. But ducks and geese have to see them for those fakes to be effective. Here are five tips to make your decoy spread more visible.

1. Movement

Adding movement to your decoys helps a lot. The flashing appearance of spinning-wing decoys attracts attention from a long distance. For proof, just look at how easily you can see another hunter’s spinners. Plus, on calm days, ripples in the water make the spread look more realistic. Swimmers, ripple decoys, jerk cords and spinning-wing decoys deserve a place in your waterfowl arsenal.

2. Oversized Decoys

With the hype about spinning-wing and other motion decoys, the 1980s fad of using super-magnum decoys has gone by the wayside. Hey, remember those giant flip-style goose decoy/blinds? But truthfully, oversized decoys help attract attention, and given a bird’s poor depth perception looking down, they won’t flare ducks or geese.

3. Bright-White and All-Black Decoys

Diver hunters have long used bright-white drake bluebill and can dekes to attract attention (ever wonder why decoy makers give you more drakes than hens with their diver selections?) Drakes with lots of white will garner interest. But all-black decoys are often even more visible from the air. It might look silly painting a few of your blocks all black, but divers aren’t particularly wary, and you’ll be amazed how visible your Frankensteined boosters really are. If you’re afraid to paint ’em, play it safe and put out some black duck decoys in addition to the other species.

4. More Decoys

Want to increase your spread’s drawing power? Hey, just throw out an extra dozen. Or five. After all, who doesn’t love buying more decoys?

5. Set Your Decoys Farther From Shore

Hunters hide in shoreline vegetation. The reflection of this vegetation on the water actually blends in with your decoys. Plus, looking horizontally at your decoys, the blocks blend into their background. Set your dekes out a little bit farther to get some water in the background between the decoys and the shoreline. It will greatly increase a bird’s ability to see your fakes.

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