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Decoy Spread for spooky birds #6034660 11/17/15 04:16 PM
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pdt818 Offline OP
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Ran into a situation on our last hunt where we had a lot of birds committing from far off only to flare at the last second before in range. We were well concealed in kayaks and used a lot of the natural vegetation to throw on top of the boats. Seemed as if the decoys had them leery. Tried mixing it up throughout the hunt, but same results. Any advice on decoy spread formation for spooky birds?

Little info as to where we were hunting:
100 yd x 50-60 yd body of water
Wind behind us from the north
Hunted with the landing zone right in front of us
Decoys out in a C formation at first, then moved majority directly in front to hopefully have them land just a tad farther out
No mojos, only a jerk string
Roughly 3 dozen dekes in the spread (tried taking some off the water later as well to reduce footprint)

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6034669 11/17/15 04:19 PM
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8pointdrop Offline
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Were y'all calling and are you sure they weren't seeing y'all?

Much more common for over calling or them seeing you to flare birds.

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6034680 11/17/15 04:27 PM
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So if it's your body of water and not public I would suggest not hunting a morning/ afternoon whatever and see what birds are on the water, where and how many. Set your decoys up according to what you see regardless of what "pattern" you had in mind.

I've had the problem on public a lot where the birds work the spread several circles, then land 150 yds. away (always seems to be gadwalls). What I've noticed is the birds do what they do for a reason and generally if the first couple groups do it, that's what you're going to get. So the other option instead of moving dekes around is to see the flight path the birds are taking, and then put yourself under that flight path. Shot a lot of ducks that way when it gets tougher

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: 8pointdrop] #6034691 11/17/15 04:29 PM
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garrett Offline
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Originally Posted By: 8pointdrop
Were y'all calling and are you sure they weren't seeing y'all?

Much more common for over calling or them seeing you to flare birds.


this was my first thought also


Attention rickym, this is not a troll post, just a good hearted fun type of post
Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: garrett] #6034968 11/17/15 06:45 PM
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If the wind was moving the decoys, chances are that's not the problem. How far did you set up from the decoys? Did the birds eventually land somewhere close?

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6034982 11/17/15 06:52 PM
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When do you run the jerk rig? A lot of people will be jerking the entire time, which is wrong. If the birds can see the spread, I never jerk. I make sure to jerk when they look away from me. The purpose is to just show ripples in the water, not show the moving of decoys. Also, if it is windy, I don't use a jerk rig when waves are present.

I don't know if this is what you were doing, but was just wondering. And again, this is just how I have always hunted.

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: garrett] #6035000 11/17/15 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted By: garrett
Originally Posted By: 8pointdrop
Were y'all calling and are you sure they weren't seeing y'all?

Much more common for over calling or them seeing you to flare birds.


this was my first thought also

bet they're seeing a piece of kayak or your hand or something dumb you wouldn't think they can see.

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6035008 11/17/15 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted By: Jerron
Wind behind us from the north
Hunted with the landing zone right in front of us


There's your problem. Any movement with birds coming right at you will flare them.

Set up where the birds are pitching right to left if y'all shoot right handed or vice-versa for left. I NEVER set up in direct line of sight for the birds to decoy unless there's ZERO other options.


Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6035059 11/17/15 07:31 PM
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess I left out some key info. The water we were hunting was public. All boats were 100% covered with burlap as well as the native tall grass from around us. We used almost 0 calling. Just a whistle from time to time (most of the birds in the area are teal, pintail and widgeon so no need for a mallard style call). Thinking back however, my hands were not covered on me nor anyone else, but didn't think it was a problem. May have to revisit that. Jerk string was used sparingly as the wind picked up later in the day to allow enough movement in the spread. Eventually we picked it up entirely. We were having a ton of birds fly over where we were at, so I am fairly confident in this particular location. Only thing I did notice was that when the cloud cover disappeared and transitioned into bluebird conditions, that they hung out over the east side of the property.

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6035127 11/17/15 07:59 PM
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I'm betting they saw you

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6035140 11/17/15 08:03 PM
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Ditch the kayaks.

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6035157 11/17/15 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: Jerron
Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess I left out some key info. The water we were hunting was public. All boats were 100% covered with burlap as well as the native tall grass from around us. We used almost 0 calling. Just a whistle from time to time (most of the birds in the area are teal, pintail and widgeon so no need for a mallard style call). Thinking back however, my hands were not covered on me nor anyone else, but didn't think it was a problem. May have to revisit that. Jerk string was used sparingly as the wind picked up later in the day to allow enough movement in the spread. Eventually we picked it up entirely. We were having a ton of birds fly over where we were at, so I am fairly confident in this particular location. Only thing I did notice was that when the cloud cover disappeared and transitioned into bluebird conditions, that they hung out over the east side of the property.


On a good note, they were probably quality ducks.

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: Gdogg] #6035202 11/17/15 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted By: Gdogg
On a good note, they were probably quality ducks.

Haha, yea you're probably right.

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6035254 11/17/15 08:53 PM
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worthless


Originally Posted by Sneaky
I believe in science and I’m an insufferable dickhead
Originally Posted by beaversnipe
Actually, BBC is pretty damn good

"You Cannot Simultaneously Be Politically Correct And Intellectually Honest!"
Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6035343 11/17/15 09:24 PM
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Wish I had some man. Don't really pull the camera out while in the field. Just when we get back home.

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: Ramball36] #6035358 11/17/15 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted By: Ramball36
I'm betting they saw you

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6035765 11/18/15 12:45 AM
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since the question seems answered a slight diversion, why can you stand in the middle of your decoys reaching in your pockets for more shells with a dog jumping around and shoot ducks trying to decoy, but when you're in a camo'd up kayak they see your fingers sticking out of your coat sleeve and bolt confused2

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: Esh and Hattie] #6035858 11/18/15 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted By: Esh and Hattie
since the question seems answered a slight diversion, why can you stand in the middle of your decoys reaching in your pockets for more shells with a dog jumping around and shoot ducks trying to decoy, but when you're in a camo'd up kayak they see your fingers sticking out of your coat sleeve and bolt confused2


Or when you are picking up decoys. It never fails.

Re: Decoy Spread for spooky birds [Re: pdt818] #6039063 11/19/15 07:19 PM
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I would tend to agree that it isn't the spread but it is your concealment. There something unnatural that they are shying away from. Sometimes if you walk out 50 yards and take a look you migth see that you don't look so concealed. Especially when viewed from an elevated position.

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