Decoy Spreads for Mallards

decoy spreads for mallards

Here are 4 Killer Decoy spreads for mallards that will be sure to help you bag more mallards this year.   If you want to pull in those big greenheads, then you are in the right place because each of the decoy spreads for mallards are clearly illustrated so you can exactly replicate them to improve your chances for duck hunting success.  Now let’s take a look these 4 examples of decoy spreads for mallards that you can give a try on your next duck hunting trip.

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Decoy Spreads for Mallards #1

Decoy Spreads for Mallards
Decoy Spreads for Mallards

 

 “Pile Up” Decoy Spreads for Mallards:

  • “U” opening in front of blind for primary landing zone
  • 2 medium sized landing zones within decoys
  • Heavy concentration of decoys around the blind
  • Close shooting opportunities
  • Multiple landing options for approaching waterfowl

 

 

“U” Opening in Front of Blind for Primary Landing Zone

The first key point of this decoy spread for mallards is the traditional “U” opening at the front of the decoy spread.  As you may know, ducks land into the wind and in this example you can see that the wind is blowing from the left to the right.  This means that we will expect that the ducks will approach from the right to the left landing into the wind.  You can see that we have intentionally left a landing zone in front of the hunter creating a primary “U” opening that we may see a good majority of the ducks landing in.

 

2 Medium Sized Landing Zones Within Decoys

Another benefit of this decoy spread for mallards is the two additional landing zones that are created created in the outer pods of decoys.  One of these landing zones is off to the left of the hunting spot and the other is off to the right.  The nice thing about the additional landing zones is the fact that when ducks land into these zones you will have even closer shooting opportunities and the ducks will be drawn into these specific landing spots.

 

Heavy Concentration of Decoys Around Blind

When you are planning your decoy spreads for mallards you should be sure that you have your hunting spot well concealed from the sight of approaching ducks.  The first thing you will want to do is ensure that you have your blind well concealed with natural vegetation to ensure it blends in with the surroundings.

 

In addition to covering your blind with vegetation it can also be beneficial to heavily conceal your blind with a thick concentration of decoys.  In this spread you will notice that the decoys are grouped up heavily in front of the boat blind as a way to help attract the attention of ducks off of the blind so they can focus more on the decoy spread itself.

 

Close Shooting Opportunities

If you are anything like me you probably enjoy when the ducks finish right in your face.  Well with this decoy spread for mallards you can have some great “in your face” shooting opportunities.  To ensure we accomplish this it is important to plan the distance you setup decoys from your hunting spot.

 

As you may know most shotguns have an optimal shooting distance of around 40 yards.  Yes, there are some things you can do to extend this range a little bit such as extended range choke tubes and going to large shotgun shell lengths.  However, I would still recommend planning on taking the majority of your shots within 40 yards or less.

 

To ensure that you are taking close shooting opportunity shots that are high percentage you can use your furthest decoys as your distance marker.  Place the furthest decoys at about 40 yards away.  This way when ducks cross the furthest decoy you will know that they are within effective shotgun range and you can now take your shot.  As long as you have a well placed shot you should be able to drop any ducks within your line of decoys.

 

Multiple Landing Zone Options for Approaching Waterfowl

Ducks are finicky birds so they are not always going to land exactly where you want them to go.  To help combat this a strategy you can implement to hopefully get more ducks to finish into your decoy spread is leaving multiple landing zones.  Unlike the typical “U” decoy spread this spread presents 3 landing zones as well as the possibility for the ducks to land on the outer edges of the spread really making up 5 or more landing zones.  This way if the ducks get a little wary of one particular spot they are able to make adjustments and land in other spots that they feel more comfortable with.

 

Decoy Spreads for Mallards #2

Decoy Spreads for Mallards
Decoy Spreads for Mallards

 

“River Slash” decoy spreads for mallards Summary:

  • Use on smaller rivers, streams and other waterways where you can access both sides of the shore
  • Incorporate full body mallard 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

 

Use on smaller rivers, streams and other waterways where you can access both sides of the shore

For best results on this decoy spread for mallards 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 mallard decoys on the shores

One element to this example of duck decoy spreads for mallards 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 example of duck decoy spreads for mallards shows several feeding duck decoys along the shoreline and even some active duck decoys walking about.  If you have sleeping mallard 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

This third example decoy spreads for mallards allows the hunter 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.

 

“U” pointing with the wind and helps funnel ducks for close shooting opportunities

With this example of duck decoy spreads for mallards 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 example of duck decoy spreads for mallards 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.

 

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Decoy Spreads for Mallards #3

decoy spreads for mallards
decoy spreads for mallards

 

 “Shore Slayer” Decoy Spread for Mallards 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 example of duck decoy spreads for mallards 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 example of duck decoy spreads for mallards 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 example of duck decoy spreads for mallards 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.

 

Funnels ducks for close range shooting

With this 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 this example of duck decoy spreads for mallards 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 this example of duck decoy spreads for mallards 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 Mallards #4

decoy spreads for mallards
decoy spreads for mallards

 

“Wildcat” Decoy Spreads for Mallards Summary:

  • Use the wind to your advantage
  • Great to use when open field hunting ducks
  • Can work well for multiple hunters

 

Use Wind to Your Advantage

As you may know using the wind to your advantage when duck hunting can really help you bag your limits more consistently.  One common way to place your decoys on land or water is to set them up in a “U” shape.   When you set up this “U” shape the opening of the “U” should be pointing to the direction that the wind is blowing.  This is because as ducks approach your decoys they will want to land into the wind so they should land into the open area of the “U”.

 

With this “Wildcat” example of duck decoy spreads for mallards we are creating a 2 “U” setup or you could think of it more like a “W” setup.  By doing this we actually create two landing zones that the approaching ducks will have to chose from.  These options can sometimes be effective because if there is something the ducks do not like about one of the landing zones they will have another landing zone to chose from.

 

Great to Use for Open Field Hunting Ducks

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 sit  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.

 

Can Work Well For Multiple Hunters

As I mentioned earlier you actually creating somewhat of a “W” shaped setup with your decoys for this spread.  The neat thing about this setup is that at base of the “W” you will have two natural points to place your layout blinds so it is perfect for multiple hunters.  In fact, if you have more than two hunters you could keep duplicating this spread to create even more landing zones for the approaching ducks.

 

The other thing I like about this method is that it creates one shooting zone for each hunter to focus on.  Often times it can be tempting to shoot at ducks that are outside of your shooting distance, particularly when hunting a long line of hunters in a wide open decoy spread.  However, with this setup you can use these landing zones created by the decoys as your known shooting points meaning that if ducks are within your shooting zone lane they should be well within your effective shotgun range.

 

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Tap your phone device here for the decoy spreads for mallards app: