WILDFOWL's Best Duck Decoys for 2013

WILDFOWL's Best Duck Decoys for 2013

A pile of dad's old decoys still sit in the corner of my den. Among them are some classic all-cork Herter's mallards and a few Carry-Lite black ducks. Their role is primarily decorative, but once a season I dig them out, rig them with Tanglefree line (admittedly an odd pairing with vintage decoys), and shoot ducks over dad's blocks. It's great fun, but it's also a reminder of how far production waterfowl decoys have come.

When the old man bought his first decoys, they were essentially the best a working man could afford. And yet, compared to the decoys of today, they appear rather cartoonish. These days there's no excuse for hunting over unrealistic decoys. The trends are two-fold: Flocked and extremely detailed at the upper price points, and smaller, affordable blocks that achieve a great deal of realism in their own right. I can't help but wonder what my father would've thought if he encountered any of the fine fakes featured here.

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