Written By Casey Hartwell
Late season decoy spreads
Late-season duck hunting can be a challenging and rewarding experience for waterfowl hunters. As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, ducks tend to group up and become more selective in their feeding and resting areas. This can make it more difficult to entice them into range, but with the right strategies and tactics, it is still possible to have success.
One crucial aspect of late-season duck hunting is the decoy spread. This blog post will discuss critical considerations for setting up a successful late-season duck decoy spread.
First and foremost, it is essential to understand the behavior and habits of the ducks you are targeting. Different species of ducks have other preferences for feeding and resting areas, and it is essential to consider this when choosing a location and setting up your decoys. For example, mallards tend to prefer open water and flooded fields, while pintails and wigeons prefer shallow marshes and mudflats.
When it comes to the size and arrangement of the decoy spread, less is often more in the late season. As the ducks become more selective, they may be less likely to be drawn in by a large, elaborate spread.
When it comes to the size and arrangement of the decoy spread, less is often more in the late season. As the ducks become more selective, they may be less likely to be drawn in by a large, elaborate spread. Instead, try to create a more realistic and natural-looking scene that closely mimics the ducks’ natural behavior and habitat. This might mean using a smaller number of decoys or arranging them in a more tight and more cohesive group.
One effective technique for the late season is to create a “resting” or “loafing” spread, which can be particularly effective for attracting ducks looking for a place to rest and feed. This spread should be kept small, with decoys arranged in a tight, compact group. The decoys should be placed close together, with the drakes on the outside and the hens and ducks in the center. This creates the appearance of a resting flock, which can be very attractive to late-season ducks.
In addition to the traditional “resting” or “loafing” spread, a few other decoy spread configurations can be effective in the late season.
One option is the “feeder” spread, designed to mimic a group of ducks actively feeding. This spread should be kept small and arranged in a tight group, with the decoys facing inward to create the appearance of a feeding frenzy.
Another option is the “flapper” spread, which involves using a mechanical decoy or “flapper” to create the appearance of motion and activity. This can effectively draw in late-season ducks, especially if the rest of the decoy spread is kept small and natural-looking.
Paying attention to the color and condition of your decoys is also essential.
In late season, ducks may be more sensitive to the appearance of the decoys, and it is necessary to ensure they are well-maintained and realistic-looking. This means keeping them clean and free of dirt and debris, as well as replacing any damaged or faded decoys.
In conclusion, late-season duck hunting can be a challenging and rewarding experience, and the decoy spread is an important element of success. Smaller spreads will produce better results, and constant tweaking and adjustment is warranted in order to get it setup just right. Happy hunting!!