When I was a kid, I hunted with old timers who did not believe in spending money on decoys, opting instead to save three dozen 2-liter bottles and paint them blackand green. The truth is that, as important as duck hunting tips like calling techniques are, decoy layout and quality is just as important.
Nowadays there are so many good decoy companies with good color and shape that it is a job just picking one out that you like best. I like a decoy that is at least 17 inches long with bright backs and dark heads, especially if I am hunting mallards. Also, the length of the anchor line should be at least 20 inches above the water level that you are hunting. This insures propermovement of the decoy in breezy winds.
Duck hunting in a field unit can be tricky, especially if your decoy placement is incorrect. Wind, sunlight and other factors come into play. Most duck hunters are in a hurry and do not take these things into consideration. Hopefully these duck hunting tips will help.
When I hunt a field, the first thing I think about for set-up is that I want my backor left shoulder to the sun. A duck’s eyesight is very keen and the last thingthat I need is to get busted on final approach because I can’t see to make thecorrect judgment with my Beretta Xtreme shotgun. Once this is accomplished, mydecoy set-up is important. Again, if you process this before the hunt begins itwill reduce multiple movements, which can be a disaster. If you do not hunt fora living, you are limited to mainly weekends or a few days here and there,which is exactly why this is even more important.
I do not believe in leaving decoys in the same pattern every day. Your decoyplacement should take into consideration both where you want ducks to land andwind direction. I have heard and read stories about aerial patterns on decoys,but I have to be honest and tell you that I have had no luck with this. Notbecause it does not work, but that I am not interested in trying to workmallards that are so high they are wearing oxygen masks. However, in a fieldunit, there is one set-up that has never failed me… if the ducks are there.Then I unleash the Beretta Xtreme!
I like to hunt with the wind off my left shoulder, blowing out in front of me, ifat all possible. I never want the
wind in my face.
wind in my face.
This allows the ducks tosail over my head and I take a high risk of my blind or my boat being pickedoff. So, with the wind right, the decoys are placed like so: I use around fiveto seven dozen decoys in a broken “J” style set-up. The longest side of the “J”is determined by the wind direction.
What I feel this does is give me atargeted landing zone with a back stop to prevent over-flight. This normallykeeps the ducks from passing up my shooting lane. See the picture for anexample. Good luck and smoke those mallards with your Beretta!