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Hi everyone. I am just getting started into duck hunting and was wondering how many decoys I need? I heard for geese it seems like the more the better but is it the same for ducks? I bought 14 floaters (6 rester, 6 active, 2 duck butts, and 2 no head feeders) I also am waiting on my 2 dozen full bodies to get here (12 active and 12 feeders). How many more should I get?
 

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Well I'd say you're off to a good start with the decoys there. For the early season I think you have plenty, maybe grab a pack of wood duck decoys too. I think it depends on where you are hunting. I mean if you're hunting a small creek and seeing groups of a 6 - 12 birds come in, then I don't think you need tons of decoys. If you're hunting a big river or open water you may need some more. A lot of it will be trial and error. I don't hunt ducks in fields very often, so I can't really help ya there. Good Luck!
 

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A lot depends on the time of year, the location, other hunters and hunting pressure and many other factors. You have to kind of learn by trial and error. I have hunted small creeks with 2 or 3 decoys and I have hunted lakes and rives with as many as 10 dozen decoys or more. It is best to try to hunt with someone who has hunted waterfowl before (at least in the area you are hunting to see what works for them)thats all part of the challenge to find the birds and fool them into your decoy spread... Good l;uck!
 

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Like already stated it is a trial and error situation. I hunt geese more then ducks but they are very similar when using decoys.
In the particular areas where I hunt smaller set-ups seem to work better then massive ones.
While placement of the decoys is important, its more important that they don’t see you.
I agree that you should try and hook up with someone locally to teach you the ropes for your area.
Sounds like you are off to a good start with the decoys you already have and the ones you are ordering. Experience will help you tweak your sets to suit conditions.
Good Luck
 

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Definetly need more info on what kinda water you're hunting.
But no matter where you're hunting just make sure to use an odd number of decoys.
 

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I always used more decoys ducks and geese on larger bodies of water i. e. lakes and less on smaller bodies of water. I had good luck using one or two decoys for woodies in marshy wooded areas with one tied to a string loop so I could pull it and make some waves.

I had an effective set up for geese on a river using only six decoys two floaters and 2 standing decoys. The geese would leave the fields mid morning and fly the river looking for a place to land and my sand bar location was very attractive to the smaller flocks.
 

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Goosehunter said:
Definetly need more info on what kinda water you're hunting.
But no matter where you're hunting just make sure to use an odd number of decoys.
Ducks can count too???! Tell me it isn't so! Can all fowl count?
 

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Puddle ducks can count better than Divers or geese!
 

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I've always loved BIG SPREADS.. but early season it isnt' needed. Most days a half dozen mallards and likewise woodies is all that is needed. Field hunting is a different story. I LOVE field hunting ducks when we can find them. The best way to field hunt ducks is find what I like to call a "Cloud of ducks". Basically, i've yet to figure out how all the ducks know, but in the evenings generally in the last 20 minutes of shooting light, ducks all congregate at the same exact field in the same spot and circle and circle and circle the field, then dump into the field for 10 or less mintues feed like crazy then leave. If you find this, it can be the most intense 10 minutes of shooting in your life for ducks. For this, we'll put out BIG duck/goose spread and put wind activated spinning wing ducks. We've found that when there isn't any movement in the decoys, the ducks just keep on circling. When dem' spinning wing decoys are a buzzin, it [censored] the ducks RIGHT into the decoy spread and let the duck massacre begin!!! (oh and by cluod of ducks, i'm talking hundreds of ducks!!!)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks for the tips. i should have been more clear on what i'll be hunting. I plan on hunting small creeks and ponds. Also will be hunting fields with the full bodies.
 

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I wouldnt limit yourself to a set amount of decoys. Maybe check out one of your spots from a distance one day with binos and try to see how many birds are milling around. I once realized late one winter that one of my small spots in the backwaters of a creek was holding wayyy more ducks than i previously thought, I had been setting 6-8 mallards. One day after just setting up, about 100 mallards and 20 black ducks poured into the spot (we let em leave, wasnt trying to educate 115 of them). I would try to scout the spots and view from afar if you can, you may find out mallards make up a very small portion of the numbers and species of birds in your spots right now.
 

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match what you see, same as hunting geese. little trick i learned was if theres 40 ducks on the water when you scout them, and theyre coming in groups of 5-10, then set up what you see minus 5-10 dekes. the ducks think the group is already there and they are the last group in. Theres days when ive had 5 doz mallards out in a big spread, and then 10 yards away id put a half doz woodie dekes next to a log. The woodies wouldnt come into the mallard spread but theyd drop in 5 ft from the tiny woody spread. If youre hunting big water dont be afraid to throw a few goose floaters in your bag, they are much more visible to the ducks in early light than tiny teal and woodie decoys.
 
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