I have 2 dozen regular sized mallard decoys with dark green heads. I was given 6 magnum mallard decoys with lighter green heads.
Is it going to work to mix these in a spread?
If so, how should I mix them?
I doubt you would have any trouble mixing them. I have used new, freshly painted dekes mixed in with old faded ones without problem. Also, if you look at the live ducks, often times clear up until mid-season or later you can often spot drakes in their eclipse. I have seen drakes that you have to look closely to really tell that they are not hens.
I would imagine that the later in the season, the more of an impact the faded ones might have, if any at all.
If you don't want to mix them, I'd be happy to take some off your hands for you. :wink: Otherwise, use them and enjoy the shooting.
You will be fine with mixing them in with your old ones. even in later in the year you still will be ok wilth the fadded ones in your spread. i hunt with some decoys that are older then im and with some that are newer and still kill ducks with them mixed in. so you will be just fine. good luck hunting this year.
Think everyone has pretty much covered it already. I wouldn't worry too much, just set them up and hunt over them. I have found that the mallards will tend to land near my magnums more so than the regular blocks so I place them in the pocket I want the birds to head towards.
Not trying to be a smart a but I spose you could just paint them to match if it bugs ya. Otherwise, I'm sure they'll be alright. In fact, they may help early season when things aren't bright and bold colorwise yet. 8)
I wouldn't think you'd have to set them right by your landing zone..... I guess it wouldn't hurt but if ducks land by your magnums, and you spread your mags through the spread.... what happens then? I always set ducks with brighter colored ducks on the outside, other drab colored ducks on the inside for filler and then a few teal in the landing zone..... but thats just me. :wink: You might drop a coot or two in the landing area too.... but the color on your dekes isn't going to throw anything off, regardless of where you put them in your spread. Anyone ever tried just painting a mag or two just a flat black for attractions sake :?:
I used to paint all my decoys dark dark brown or black. Did just fine with them that way for years. The airboaters use silos that are all black and they do fine as well. I did learn that once the birds were inside 35-40 yards they would usually pick a realistically colored decoy over a black one so I started using both, with the colored decoys in close and I noticed that I could get the birds in up close and personal. The dark decoys are a lot more visible than a regular decoy. Couple of years ago we were hunting Utah Lake and I had to leave early. I could see the black silos from a long way out, but the regular blocks were only visible from about 300-400 yards away. Ever notice how birds on a rest area all look black from a distance?
I like to place the key decoys in the sweet spot. If going for mallards I'll use the mags, but if we are in an area that sees other ducks most frequently I'll sprinkle the landing zones with decoys of the target species. I will place one or two magnum pintail drakes on the outer edge of the blocks as all that white is very visible as well. We do provide several open spots for the birds, and we set up to minimalize birds landing short of the decoys out on the edge of effective range.
Decoys are a lot of the fun for me, I love working with the sunlight, wind and decoys to get the birds to commit to the chosen area. Doesn't always work, but it's a ton of fun trying to get them to work where you want them to.
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