October 18, 2018
By Drew Palmer
A wise goose hunter once said, “decoys are only a persuasive tool, there is no substitute for being where they want to be.” Even big spreads built into the thousands can only persuade a duck or a goose to go so far off a flight line. But you do need decoys to kill birds, and with the help of top manufactures, hunters are finishing pressured fowl with smaller spreads and building giant rigs full of motion and realism. With a little luck, it will put more birds on the pile and more smiles on our faces.
Avian-X AXP/AXF Sleepers
Every honker hunter knows that creating an ultra-realistic spread means replicating multiple poses. The AXP and AXF shells are the final detail. Spot on realism, they are one piece and stackable, slightly oversized at 23”x12”x 8”.
$130-$160 (12-pk) | avian-x.com
Avian-X Topflight Mallards
Break out the big bag—Avian-X has added oversized mallards and black ducks that are 30 percent larger for better visibility. Models come in either foam-filled or standard packs, and feature their highly-popular paint schemes.
$90-$100 | avian-x.com
So realistic you ‘ll have to stop that ground-swatting cousin Gus from opening fire. Based on Dave Smith’s originals, the Giants are updated to a one-piece design, new motion system and a realistic thin tail, wing tips and cast legs. Comes in Upright, Feeder, Rester and Sleeper with eight poses.
$360 (4-pk) | davesmithdecoys.com
More dainty than the DSD Giant, this full-body is a one-piece decoy with a new/stronger motion system. Also, this year’s version has a band across the belly to secure it to the base systems instead of the old leg hook.
$450 (6-pk) | davesmithdecoys.com
Dakota XSP Mallard
A walk-in hunter’s dream, the Packable Mallards are made of a soft/durable plastic. The decoys are collapsible/lightweight for long hauls and come with 3 drakes and 3 hens.
$65 (6-pk) | dakotadecoy.com
Dakota Lesser Canada Floaters
Constructed with a new MEVA plastic that holds paint and feather detail exceptionally well, the one-piece floaters are terrific for big-water hunters who set large spreads. The flocked heads come in three different positions.
$180 (6-pk) | dakotadecoy.com
GHG Pro Grade XD Mallard
Outfitters are sold on the durability of the soft/pliable body with the best paint to ever hit a GHG floater. The incredible carvings led to life-like postures GHG has been known to produce for 20 years.
$75-$150 | averyoutdoors.com
GHG One Piece Lesser
Slightly oversized, the GHG Lesser features the RealMotion II cone system and the Permaloc stud head, which screws the head to the body so it never detaches unless you want it to.
$140-$280 | averyoutdoors.com
Bigfoot Sleeper Shells
Complement that spread of Bigfoot full-bodies with these sleeper shells. They’re just the ticket for hunting over snow and ice. Stackable, the one-piece design is as tough as the originals, so no need to baby these.
$180-$200 (6-pk) | bigfootdecoys.com
LSP Webfoot Pro-Series II Mallards
Non-reflective surfaces, new artwork, 12 different poses and a 30 percent increase in size make these flats the finest in the field. Seven drakes and five hens per pack.
$129 (12-pk) | realgeesedecoys.com
Mojo Elite Series
Terry Denmon has made his livelihood on innovation, and more birds have died over MOJOs than anything else. His next generation of spinning-wing decoys are definitely “Elite.” The motor is now in a solid housing to reduce wobble and magnetic wings are a snap to install. The new spinners come in mallards, pintails, gadwall, wood ducks, and teal.
$80-$170 | mojooutdoors.com
Lucky Duck HDi
Guide-worthy, the HDi is foam-filled and completely waterproof. An upgraded version of the popular HD, the molded magnetic wings have no screws to lose, and a long-lasting battery (complete with a smart charger), remote and gear bag are included.
$199 | luckyduck.com
Lucky Duck Super Goose Flapper
Your flag man is out of a job thanks to the Super Goose Flapper, which mimics geese stretching their wings as they land. Made of EVA plastic, it comes with a remote, stand, lithium-ion battery, and gear bag.
$319 | luckyduck.com
Fowl Foolers Brant
Brant bomb the decoys more willingly than a flock of shovelers. Buy a few dozen of these burlap and hand-painted dekes and get addicted. Wooden keels stand up to the salty and brackish waters you will find these birds in.
$175-$222 (6-pk) | fowlfoolers.com
Fowl Foolers Divers
Burlap wrapped with wooden keels, these floaters are as indestructible as decoys get. They feature a life-size body and hand-painted schemes on the burlap exterior, creating a feathered texture look.
$285-$378 (12-pk) | fowlfoolers.com
Tanglefree Flight Series Mallards
Four new body postures have been added to the Flight Series lineup. The 12-pack mixes it up for more realism with 2 high upright drakes, 2 upright drakes, 2 rester drakes, 2 skimmer drakes, 2 relaxed hens, 1 high upright hen and 1 hen skimmer.
$160-$190 | tanglefree.com
Tanglefree Canada Floater
One-piece decoys make life much easier, and this 4-pack includes 2 relaxed uprights and 2 swimming uprights with weighted keels. The molds are built tough, so you never have to worry about losing heads and the life-like body postures and paint schemes are phenomenal.
$100 | tanglefree.com
Dive Bomb V2 Canada
If you run traffic for big honkers or lessers you need numbers, and the V2s are a great option to build a big spread without the bulky price tag of full-bodies. Each silhouette is 4mm thick and tough as nails. Detailed images do not scratch, chip, peel or fade.
$85 (12-pk) | divebombindustries.com
Dive Bomb M1 Mallards
If you are a walk-in hunter or have the desire to build a mega field spread that fits in your truck bed, the M1 Mallards will get it done. One of the best paint schemes we have seen on a silhouette, the 12-packs include 3 drake feeders, 3 drake uprights, 3 hen feeders and 3 hen uprights. Silhouettes can create movement as birds circle, and can make the difference on some days.
$65 | divebombindustries.com
Rig’em Right Texas Rig
Rig ‘Em always gets it right. If you’re sick of making your own lead weights and stringing decoys, Rig’em Right makes a damn durable Texas Rig (RR has sold over 250,000 of its original weights in the last decade). Pre-rigged by the dozen, you will never have to untangle decoy lines again.
$30-$37 | rigemright.com
Lifetime Jerk Rig
When it comes to jerk rigs, knots and tangles are the enemy. The Lifetime Decoys jerk rig is made indestructible and fool-proof. Ninety feet of coated steel cable and six swivel drops every six feet will have you making waves and fooling wary ducks.
$70 | lifetimedecoys.com