Why You Should Be Using Feeder Decoys This Season
Posted on February 22 2018
Feeder decoys are something that isn’t new to the duck hunters bag of tricks. Historians suggest that some of the first decoys used were feeder style decoys, still you don’t see them in every hunters spread. In today’s hunting world manufactures produce a number of realistic feeding decoys that come in a range of designs and postures. Here are some tips from one of our pro staffers to help you use feeder decoys to bag more birds.
1. Butts Up!
For mallards that are flying over looking through the branches into my decoys spread motion can be key in catching their attention. I really like throwing a Butts Up style feeder on a jerk rig to add some motion to the still water on the edge of a beaver pond. It really makes the decoys come alive. I first used regular decoys on a jerk rig, but the circular design of the GHG Butts Up Decoymoves water perfectly with just a little tug.
If you watch a group of mallards from a distance some are swimming some are preening some are tipping their butts up in the air. Having all of these different postures on the water gives your decoys the feel of a real flock. Be careful because placing feeders in water too deep for reel birds to feed won’t look right.
They are economical in that you can buy a pair for only 20 bucks, and they are an easy way to add some shape and dimension to your spread. If I’m throwing out 10 decoys a few of them are likely to be GHG Butt Up Feeders.
- Surface Feeders and No Head Feeders
These are a type of decoy that have become much more standardized in modern decoy spreads. I really think it’s important to get away from the cookie cutter looking spreads that most guys throw out there. Mixing feeders into your spread with other styles of decoys, you can better mimic a flock of relaxed birds that are feeding happily and naturally. Again, when you see a group of ducks on the water they are never all in the same pose. Some tend to be skimming the water’s surface and others are looking down to see whats below. Both of these decoys make a great addition to your spread and add a level of realism that wasn’t available to earlier generations of waterfowlers. However, be careful because just like your Butts Up decoys, using them in the wrong application can be unnatural and ineffective. I use GHG Surface Feeders in my spread in combinations with their other Feeding Decoys almost every time I hunt. I really believe the diverse look gives me the realism necessary to decoy some of those wary green heads.
- Power Up
There are a number of Powered Decoys on the market that displace water to imitate active birds. Flying above seeing that motion is an indication that down below the birds are active and feeding. This can be a big draw for a group of working ducks and the difference in closing the deal. Decoys like the MOJO Flyway Feeder have introduced a new way to give life to your spread. While they do a fantastic job at creating a realistic motion to your decoys the downside to these decoys is obvious. They are generally heavy compared toButts Up Feeders and not as easy to pack in. That said, if you don’t like lugging around endless heavy gear that is not easy to carry, duck hunting isn’t for you! Batteries need to be charged regularly, but so do a lot of cool gadgets in your hunting arsenal. Using something that is battery powered is something that a lot of guys won’t commit to. After all, that piece of paracord on your jerk rig never runs out of batteries when the birds are flying and the water is icing over. Overall this is a cool piece of gear, and if you have used any of MOJO’s other powered decoys it won’t be hard to put your trust into one of these.
- Match the Hatch
Always remember the most effective way to mimic the birds in your area is to scout and see what they naturally look like on the water. By watching and copying the activity of your local waterfowl you will become much more effective in the field. More often than not adding a few Feeder Decoys to your spread can add the realism you need to match the local behavior of the birds you are pursuing.