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  1. #11
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    I used to hunt a pocket on the river. I would simply take my boat into it and smash as much ice as possible and blow it out into the current. Then put out my decoys in that pocket with bricks holding them in place. I killed unreal amounts of birds over this setup. It looks rough but I assure you a large sum of birds died at extremely close ranges.

    Some states ducks like to be with the geese (PA FOR EXAMPLE) . Other states ducks dont want anything to do with the geese.(Up-state NY for example)

    I hunted ducks over goose decoys 90% of the time with 6-12 ducks mixed in.

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    Sure do miss laying a whooping on those late season birds while everyone else was in the house sitting next to the woodburner....
    Last edited by mallardsx2; 03-07-2018 at 07:54 AM.

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  4. #12
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    Sweet Gatortrax! It sure is fun running around in a surface drive! Almost as fun as pounding late season duckies on the river!
    My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives.

  5. #13
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    There is no better/safer engine for running in ICY water. Its easy to do my own maintenance on the engine too. Which saves a ton of money in the long run. I took out a loan back in 2009 to buy my GTR-35 Which I would never do again, but it was worth it because a lot of guys in the northeast didn't have them and it separated me from a lot of the hunters. In NY we would get further into shallower water with huge spreads of decoys 20 dozen ducks 4 dozen goose floaters and dominate the area with numbers. I miss it but it was REALLY hard to find guys willing to put in the hard work to hunt like that.

    Now everyone has a mudmotor in New York and the hunting is just Meh.

    Back to duck spreads for rivers:

    Always hunt the backside slackwater of bends in the river to keep your decoys from getting washed down.
    Always hunt out of a layout blind when possible
    Always keep your decoys tight to the shoreline to prevent decoys from getting drug into the current.
    Always take a cinder block and tie off 3 decoys to it and put them right were you want ducks to land out in the current. This creates some nice V-Ripples and birds think that three birds have landed and are swimming in and 9/10 of the time they will try to land right next to them. Block keeps them in place...
    Numbers for Rivers are not nearly as important as location and hiding well IMHO.
    Last edited by mallardsx2; 03-07-2018 at 11:44 AM.

  6. #14
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    The post above is solid advice... I'll reiterate something that was said earlier about slack water... it's a must have! If you spend time watching ducks on rivers you'll see how and where to set your decoys. Out here it's gotta be side channels, inside of bends, back ends of islands, etc. If there's food (Russian Olives) then all the better.

    As for numbers of decoys, man that depends... for us more is better on main river channel sets. Small side channels? A half-dozen works just fine. It seems like on the main channel trafficking birds are much more apt to swing into a large spread. One of the spots I hunt a lot is a loafing area for birds returning from dry land all night feeds and they are definitely looking for company when they come back to water. When I started setting three dozen dekes in the slackwater around an island on an inside bend we couldn't keep the birds off of us.

    Like I said, it's all situational though... watching your local birds is by far your best best for where to set up.

 

 
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