Decoy Spreads for Ducks that Work!

Decoy spreads for ducks that work!  Here are 3 killer decoy spreads for ducks that will help you bag more ducks this year. Here we show you a duck decoy spread for lakes, a duck decoy spread for rivers and a duck decoy spread for ponds.  Each of these spreads will help bring ducks in close for “in your face” shooting opportunities.

Decoy Spreads for Ducks #1

Decoy Spreads for Ducks
Decoy Spreads for Ducks

 “Shore Slayer” Decoy Spread for Ducks on Lakes Summary:

  • Works on large bodies of water
  • Funnels ducks for close range shooting
  • Use natural covering of the shore
  • Utilize several dozen decoys

 

Works on large bodies of water One of the largest benefits of this duck spreads for ducks for lakes is that it works well with pretty much any large bodies of water that you will be hunting.  Really, this duck decoy spread could be used on a lake, river or even ocean.  This spread does need a good amount of space to setup so it would likely not be the best choice for a pond setup but for most other duck hunting situations it could be an effective spread.   As you setup this spread it is important to pay attention to the direction that the wind is blowing so that you can place yourself towards the upwind side of the decoys so that approaching ducks will head your direction and come into your shooting distance.  For days without much wind this may not be the best spread because it closes off the landing zone from other directions so you may want to select a different setup on those days.

 

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Funnels ducks for close range shooting With this duck decoy spread you will place a long string of duck decoys about 20-30 yards out in the water that run parallel with the shoreline.  The remaining few decoys are setup lining out from the shore with a gap in between the two groups.  The gap leaves a spot for ducks to fly through without having to fly over decoys.  Any ducks that fly through the opening will be well within effective shotgun distance.   The benefit of having the gap in between the decoys is that sometimes ducks do not always like to fly over other ducks.  By placing your decoys with this gap you get the benefit of funneling ducks while also providing the fly through escape paths.  Hopefully the combination of these benefits will allow you to bag more ducks when hunting lakes.

 

Use natural covering of the shoreline Another benefit of these decoy spreads for ducks for lakes is that the hunter will be able to use the natural vegetation of the shore to help stay concealed from the sight of approaching ducks.  As you may be aware, one of the most critical components to successfully shooting ducks is ensuring that you are out of the sight of the ducks so that they do not get scared and flare away from your decoy spread before they are within effective shotgun range.   Depending on how much vegetation there is on the shoreline you could place layout blinds on the shore and cover them up with tall grass.  You could also setup a permanent blind on the shore and have season long hunting opportunities as long as you have long term access to this land.  However, one of my most favorite ways for this style of hunting is to simply sit in the tall grass or under a tree to keep concealed.  This way I do not need to carry a layout blind or take the time and expense to build a permanent shore blind.

 

Utilize several dozen decoys To effectively setup one of these decoy spreads for ducks for lakes you will need to have a few dozen decoys.  In this example we have about 2 dozen decoys placed in the water to create the main line of decoys.  For those who have the benefit of owning more decoys you can extend the length of this decoy line.  Additionally, you could widen this decoy group with a larger decoy spread. In either situation, the more decoys you are able to add to the spread can help add to the visibility of your decoy spread to approaching ducks.   One exciting way to hunt for ducks is using duck decoy spreads for rivers.  This example duck decoy spread for rivers will show you in an easy way how to place your duck decoys so that you can funnel the ducks into close shooting distance as the ducks fly down the river.

Decoy Spreads for Ducks #2

Decoy Spreads for Ducks Rivers
Decoy Spreads for Ducks Rivers

 

“River Slash” decoy spreads for ducks on rivers spread summary:

  • “U” pointing with the wind and helps funnel ducks for close shooting opportunities
  • Use on smaller rivers, streams and other waterways where you can access both sides of the shore
  • Incorporate full body duck decoys on the shores
  • Use natural vegetation on the shore to conceal the hunters

 

“U” pointing with the wind and helps funnel ducks for close shooting opportunities With this duck decoy spread the primary consideration is to face the opening of the decoys creating a “U” with the wind.  In this example, the wind is blowing from left to right.  Since ducks want to land into the wind we have setup the duck decoy river spread so that the landing zone is to the right of the decoys.  This means that the ducks should approach the spread from right to left and head for the area labeled “Landing Zone”.

 

The great thing about this “U” is that it helps to create a funneling effect with the ducks.  What I mean is that as the ducks fly upriver they will see that there are ducks on both sides of the river and in front of them with a large open area for landing.  The hope with this spread is that the ducks see the open landing area and head in. Even if the ducks elect to not land into this river duck spread there is a good chance that you can still get pass shooting at the ducks as they fly up river.   In addition, by using this on smaller rivers and bodies of water you can ensure that ducks are within shotgun range.  For example, most shotguns have an effective killing range of about 40 yards or so for ducks.  This means that if the decoys on the other side of the river from the hunters are about 40 yards away any ducks that come within the spread should be in shotgun range.

 

Use on smaller rivers, streams and other waterways where you can access both sides of the shore For best results using one of these decoy spreads for ducks you will want to use it with smaller rivers, streams and other waterways where you can easily access both sides of the shoreline.  This is because you will need to access both sides for placing your shoreline decoys and for setting up your hunting location.   However, you can still use this duck decoy spread even if the body of water is larger.  What you would do is simply eliminate the decoys that are on the shore across from the hunters and have an opening of the “U” be out into the water about 40 yards.  This way you still create a funneling effect but you will simply not be utilizing the entire width of the river.

 

Incorporate full body duck decoys on the shores One element to this duck hunting spread that you can add to increase the level of realism is to add some full body duck decoys to the shoreline.  It is common for ducks to feed on the shorelines and even use the shorelines as a resting place.  When the approaching ducks see this it may help them feel more comfortable to come and join in the feast.   This river duck spread shows several feeding duck decoys along the shoreline and even some active duck decoys walking about.  If you have sleeping duck decoys you can also incorporate them onto the shoreline in groups of 2-5 to create the illusion that those ducks are so comfortable in this spot that they are resting.

 

Use natural vegetation on the shore to conceal the hunters Another benefit of this river duck decoy spread is that the hunter will be able to use the natural vegetation of the shore to help keep concealed from the sight of approaching ducks.  In fact, one of the most critical components to successfully shooting ducks is ensuring that you are out of the sight of the ducks so that they do not get scared and flare away from your decoy spread and leave effective shotgun range.

 

Depending on how much vegetation there is on the shoreline you could place layout blinds on the shore and cover them up with tall grass.  You could also setup a permanent blind on the shore and have season long hunting opportunities as long as you have long term access to this land.  However, one of my most favorite ways for this style of hunting is to simply sit in the tall grass or under a tree to keep concealed.  This way I do not need to carry a layout blind or take the time and expense to build a permanent shore blind.

Decoy Spreads for Ducks #3

Decoy Spreads for Ducks Spinning Wing Decoys
Decoy Spreads for Ducks Spinning Wing Decoys

 

Decoy Spread for Ducks on Ponds Decoy Spread Summary:

  • Use wind to your advantage
  • Natural concealment
  • Incorporate a spinning wing decoy for movement

 

Use Wind to Your Advantage The first thing you want to do with any duck hunting situation is determine the wind direction.  As you may know, ducks want to land into the wind so when placing your decoys you want to ensure that you have an opening in your decoy spread that allows the ducks to land into the wind.

 

In this example you can see that we have our decoys setup in somewhat of a “U” shape along the shoreline.   We have about 16 decoys so this duck decoy spread is small yet it can still be effective for funneling ducks for in your face shooting.  Simply place the decoys about 3-6 feet apart and loop them around the shoreline about 10 yards away from shore.  As the ducks approach they should head for the “landing zone” which should give you excellent direct “in your face” shooting opportunities.

 

Natural Concealment One advantage of hunting from the shoreline is that you are able to take advantage of many ways to conceal yourself from the approaching ducks.  In this example the hunter has a blind placed along the shoreline.  The hunter is actually using a layout blind along the shore but perhaps you have a permanent blind and that will work great as well.   Another method you could use to conceal yourself is to use the tall grass or cattails to stand under.  With good camouflage clothing on you should be able to find a spot within close shooting distance that still provides plenty of cover.  Consider putting on some camouflage face paint to keep any of your exposed skin from scaring off the ducks.

 

Incorporate a Spinning Wing Decoy for Movement Another way you can be successful with small duck decoy spreads is by incorporating some movement into your spread.  Some examples are spinning wing decoys or jerk strings attached to the decoys.  In this case we have a spinning wing decoy placed at the front edge of the “U” to grab the attention of the passing by ducks.  The spinning wing decoy is faced towards the rest of the spread so it looks like it is landing.   One tip to use when implementing spinning wing decoys in to your spread is to place the decoys slightly to the side of where you are sitting.  We do this for two reasons.  First, the spinning wing decoy is often where the ducks will focus their attention as they approach.  This means that if you are sitting directly behind the spinning wing decoy you are drawing the eyes of the ducks towards you and this may increase the chances of being spotted.

 

The second reason of placing the spinning wing decoy off to the side of you is because it can cut off your shooting lane.  You see if the decoy is directly in front of you it is likely that when real ducks approach it could be in your way of getting a good shot in at the ducks.  As you probably know, spinning wing decoys are typically not cheap so it is best to have it slightly off to the side so you do not risk shooting your decoy.

 

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