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#45206 - 12/08/05 09:11 PM Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night
Guy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 25745
Loc: Lake X
New to the forum, my 1st post, my gut tells me it will be a controversial one.

Is it just me, or is anyone else out there tired of duck hunters leaving their decoys out over night to reserve a hunting spot on PUBLIC LAND? Wouldnít Texas be better off with a law against this? Many states have already passed states wide laws on this, and serious, well managed Texas public hunting spots in Texas have done the same, and for good reasons.

I have seen where hunters have left their decoys out all week reserving their spot, and without a law against it, why not, many hunters obviously ask? I have gotten to spots with decoys there and passed over it thinking someone would show up, and they never did. A couple of weeks ago, a bud and I went out early morning, looked at a spot, no flashing lights, looked opened, so we tracked there unloaded our stuff, just to look up after throwing out a few decoys only to see other decoys everywhere. We said the heck with it, we are setting our decoys out anyway. After all, we have seen many hunters leaving there decoys there all week, how are we to know someone would show up? We flashed off 3 hunting groups that morning, before the last group that came strolling in 15 minutes before legal shoot claiming that was their spot, thatís their decoys. Is that right? Our law says it is. The little research I have done says Iím legal to set my decoys out in my favorite spot all season on public land that does not state otherwise, which is the case in most places. Not right in my book. What do you think about this matter?

Guy


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#45207 - 12/08/05 09:35 PM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: Guy]
fowlplayr Offline
Shenanigans Scorecard keeper

Registered: 08/03/05
Posts: 4261
Loc: Athens/Prosper, TX
I have never heard of anyone doing this, especially in what sounds like a high pressure area. I definitely agree with you that it's not morally right to do something like that. I guess there IS a turd in every sandbox.

As for them pulling up 15 mins. before legal shooting and claiming that is "THEIR" spot....I would probably tell them that's too bad and that they can pick up their dekes and go somewhere else, and advise them not to be so lazy as to leave their decoys out overnight just so they can sleep in a few extra minutes.

Don't worry, sooner or later they'll pull up and their decoys will be gone. I would imagine the only reason they haven't been taken so far is because the majority of us hunters are responsible and respectable enough not to do this, but eventually, one of their own kind stroll along. Bad thing is, they probably won't even leave a Thank You note for the free decoys.


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#45208 - 12/08/05 10:10 PM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: Guy]
ndhunter Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 09/03/05
Posts: 3310
Loc: Dallas, TX
I agree, there should be a law against it. Unfortunately in TX there is no state wide law prohibiting the practice unless you consider it littering. Some of the Texas WMA's have adopted regulations prohibiting the practice because of the number of conflicts that have arisen, I am not aware of any Corps of Engineer lands that prohibit the practice.

Welcome to the forum green horn guy, you will probably get a lot of feedback on this one.


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#45209 - 12/09/05 01:46 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: ndhunter]
wal1809 Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 10864
Loc: Texas
He is right. When they loose $200.00 bucks in decoys you won't have to worry about it.

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#45210 - 12/09/05 07:36 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: wal1809]
sig1921 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/12/05
Posts: 1928
Loc: Soon to be OK
IMO, they are free game if no one shows up to claim them. .....I got zzbutler interested in duck hunting last year, and lo' and behold one morning at a public spot there were a dozen dekes, bag, and chair already there covered in ice from the previous night. When no one showed up by 10am to claim them, he became proud owner of his first dozen dekes and a bag to carry them out, and i took the chair.


One of the WMA i hunted in OK, had a rule that you could not leave out decoys or put decoys in at night for a morning hunt. If you did, they were free game.

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#45211 - 12/09/05 08:35 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: sig1921]
Skybuster05 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 1195
Loc: League City TX
I actually had the same thing happen to me, with the exception that when the guy got there we just paired up and hunted the same spot. I understand it does'nt allways work out that way but sometimes it does. Oh and yes I had my eyes set on gathering some extra decoys. haha


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#45212 - 12/09/05 08:54 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: Guy]
bownut Offline
Tracker

Registered: 09/07/04
Posts: 557
Loc: plano tx
It's not right to expect your public spot to be held just because you leave your decoys out over night. I don't have a problem hunting over somebody's spread. but to pick there decoys up and claim them makes you a common theif. 90% of the time they left their stuff out to claim the spot, but there is that other 10%. example. Last year when we had that cold weather around thanksgiving my partner fell in. we hunted the rest of the morning. around 10 a.m. when he turned blue and started slurring his words it was time to go. we didn't realize what shape he was in till we got him in the boat. We took of for the ramp and truck and left all our stuff out there. I went back the next day to pick up. If I were to arrive and my stuff was gone or somebody was picking it there might have been a six foot hole dug. food for thought when your picking up somebody's decoys.
mike


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#45213 - 12/09/05 09:36 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: Guy]
txwinghunter Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 01/20/05
Posts: 42
Loc: Fort Worth,TX
Guy, I completely agree with you on this!! Last year a cousin and I pulled in to this cove and we never flashed off. we continued to this high grass area right at the waters edge and stopped the boat. We get out and spotlight arounf to double check things. Everything looked ok as we were throwing our deeks. After all this work and getting the boat pulled into the grass, we're just about to pull the blind over and here comes this idiot blowing in with his airboat and his clients (damn guides). We flash him repeatedly and he continues to run in our path. He gets right on our deeks and just runs them over (purposefully) and fantails us with water. He dropped of his clients about a 50 yds directly behind us and tore ass out again down shore. As he is walking up the shore we ask what his problem was. He asked us the same, we get into this argument as to why he just acted like a total ass. He said we are a bunch f-ing idiots to not see his deeks in the water. When we asked where they were, he started mouthing even more. So we spot where he dropped his clients and there they were, sitting in some small grass. We told him this was public land and its first to position,first to hunt. He seen it differently. He told us he was out at 2 that morning putting out deeks. He had just went back home to eat breakfast (yeah right) It looked like they had been "left" during the week. Well he was not going to pick up and it started to get heated so we turned a cheek and picked up. That "guide" told us the birds weren't going to even come where we were anyway. So why in the hell is he only a 50 yds behind us then. Go figure. Sorry for the long post, but thought I would just share a little.



Edited by txwinghunter (12/09/05 09:56 AM)
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#45214 - 12/09/05 09:41 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: bownut]
Luke SkyBlaster Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 17
Loc: Cypress, Texas
Total Total BS! Do what I do. Take the decoys, find the tallest tree and start chunking. Makes a great holiday picture. Nice tall pine tree with decoy ornaments hanging, that will get you in the holiday spirit. Leaving decoys out on public land marking territory is just plain lazyness and these people need to learn a lesson. Also the best time to duck hunt is usally right at shooting time. Why would you want to come in just 15 minutes before. I wish there could be some laws added for duck hunters hunting public lands.

1. No leaving decoys out over night!
2. Try to be in your hunting spot atleast 30 minutes before shooting time! I remeber 2 years ago hunting and some dick heads in an air boat came flying in 10 minutes before shooting time and went through the guys decoys down from me and I heard him yelling and screaming and actually shot at them. I personally think air boats on small lakes scares all the ducks away. Why would a duck want to stay there when these load noise makers come flying through every morning.
3. You must be atleast 200 yards from the hunters around you. This one really pisses me off! Last year no joke we had guys hunting 80yards from us. And they came in just 15minutes before shooting time. At one time I had a mallard drake come in that I couldn't shoot at because they were dead on my sights. People hunting close happened many of times to us on public lands. Where I hunt you can only come in by boat and everytime we have to sit there and flag people away trying to hunt close to us. Takes the fun out of hunting.
4. No shooting at ducks 100yards away. Opening day the people just down from me must have been on there first hunt. It didn't matter how far away the ducks were, they were shooting at them.

Maybe they need to teach this stuff in the hunter education coarse.


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#45215 - 12/09/05 09:42 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: bownut]
Skybuster05 Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 1195
Loc: League City TX
Never thought of it that way, In my situation it worked out fine but I will definatley think about it next time. Maybe pull them up and leave on the ramp?


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#45216 - 12/09/05 09:45 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: Guy]
1187 supermag Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 10/17/05
Posts: 1895
Loc: Arlington, Tx
I don't think it's right to do this on public land. Heck even if it was I would be leary to leave my expensive equipment out for the taken. However, I've heard of people hiding their dekes in the bushes, etc. several yards away from the area they intended to hunt just to make the haul in a little easier. That to me is a little bit better of an idea.

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#45217 - 12/09/05 09:50 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: Guy]
Guy Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 25745
Loc: Lake X
The one situation I describe above started out very confrontational, I told the guy to pick-up his decoys and take them somewhere else, this is public property, and he canít reserve his spot by leaving his decoys out over night. He refused to leave, said he has been leaving decoys out over night in that spot for 20 years and hunting guides do it all the time too, I said didnít give a flying $%@!, I told him if I see his decoys out again Iím taking them. Then my buddy cooled me down and said letís just all have a good hunt, so that is what we did. 11:00am, they pick-up their decoys and left, and I was just daring them to leave them there. This was the day after Thanksgiving, and guarantee you their intention was to leave them out over the whole holiday, reserving that spot. Another time, same area, about 2 weeks before, we walked in and saw decoys out and we passed up that spot and set-up about 300 yards away. This was a Friday afternoon hunt. These guys did show up, and after their hunt, they left their decoys there again. We were done hunting too and walked back with them and we asked them if they were worried about someone taking their decoys, and they said nope, they have been out there all week.

My point is that this is not right, and I sure wish Texas would pass a state wide law to ban this behavior like some other states have done. Taking their decoys is not the solution, Game Wardens writing tickets is. I was hoping this post would plant a seed that would grow into a law to ban this behavior.

Guy



Edited by Guy (12/09/05 09:53 AM)

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#45218 - 12/09/05 09:59 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: Guy]
Luke SkyBlaster Offline
Light Foot

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 17
Loc: Cypress, Texas
Who would you write on something like this to get a law passed? I can garranty you some day it would save a life and would be worth putting it as a law.


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#45219 - 12/09/05 10:19 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: sig1921]
3ShotRock Offline
Tracker

Registered: 10/03/05
Posts: 655
Loc: San Antonio TX
Sig1921,

Can I get my chair back, please!!

I agree if you leave them out you ar asking for trouble, I have never had this happen yet but when it does I don't think it's going to be pretty. We do need a law!!



Edited by ThreeShotRock (12/09/05 10:20 AM)
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#45220 - 12/09/05 10:23 AM Re: Hunting Etiquette - Decoys Left Out Over Night [Re: Guy]
JohnWester Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 1598
I called Austin this morning to find out the laws reguarding this topic. Since I've never bought the $48.00 permit I was going in somewhat blind. The Law Enforcement individual I spoke with this morning was very helpful and interested herself as to the exact laws and regulations governing decoys left out overnight. Well come to find out the MAP BOOK that is handed out to you when you purchase the permit, states on the Map Page the laws that pertain to the area you are hunting. If it doesn't state, mention, describle in detail about decoys being left out on the body of land your hunting "IT IS PERFECTLY LEGAL". As far as Corp. Lake are concerned you'll have to check with them to find out what there particular laws state. I think all Game Wardens will tell you "DUCKHUNTERS ARE THE MOST EXTREME HUNTERS THERE ARE" Up at 3:00 am, 19 degrees, sleet/snow, 25-30 MPH winds etc to do what most would consider insane. And some of these hunters would just assume kick your butt as to listen to you. I mentioned to the Warden this could and does pose a possible threat and is an incident waiting to happen. The Warden I spoke with this morning said that TPW is now working on the Laws and Regulations for next year and is going to bring this to the forefront for discussion for a possible change in the future. Hopefully the laws will change in the furture and put this monster to rest.



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