Too much of a good thing │ When to pull the spinner?
October 23rd, 2015 |
When to use a spinning wing decoy│ Be more effective on late season ducks
There is absolutely no doubt that motion or spinning wing decoys have revolutionized the way we chase waterfowl. If you have hunted waterfowl long enough, then you may recall the day leading up to the introduction of these fine hunting accessories, and what it was like the very first time you utilized a spinning wing decoy. For many, these decoys became an absolute necessity that we wouldn’t go duck hunting without.
Since the introduction of the spinning wing decoy, many waterfowl have fallen victim to its charm and realism, providing many happy and successful trips afield for countless waterfowl hunters across country. While we never hit the water without at least one, if not an arsenal of spinning wing decoys, sometimes too much of a good thing can prove to be hindrance rather helping, especially when trying to fool late season waterfowl.
Later in the waterfowl season, ducks and geese become extremely wary, as anyone who has hunted waterfowl can tell you. Towards the tail end of the season, these birds of seen it all and heard it all. When situations like these happen, you sometimes have to cut loose of the tactics and methods that have proven effective during the previous weeks and not be afraid to go against the grain. With the popularity of spinning wing decoys growing, more waterfowl are exposed to these decoys during the course of the waterfowl season, and there is no doubt that they can be as effective on the last day of the duck season as they were on the first. However, by the end of the waterfowl season, many of the ducks that you are hunting, especially if you are hunting public ground, will be associating a loud “BOOM!” with sight of those spinning wing decoys.
As waterfowl hunters, we tend to be competitive by nature and when hunting public areas you do not want to be outmatched by the group next to you. So it may seem difficult to hit the marsh without a spinning wing decoy during the latter part of the season, especially when your neighbors are covered up with them, but if you give this method a try you just might be surprised.
During the late season, we tend to follow some very simple guidelines when making a decision on using a spinning wing decoy or not. First, if we are knowingly hunting high pressured birds on or close to a public area, we will usually start out without a spinning wing decoy and see how the birds work. If you are on the “X” most likely will not matter. If we are not getting the birds to work, then we may use the spinner but pull it back into the brush, only using it for the flash to get the birds attention. If it is cloudy, we will not use a spinner. During the late season, waterfowl really key in on motion, you can tell that they are really trying to spot danger before committing. We have found using a spinner on cloudy days can sometimes blow your cover. All that being said, there are still some situation in which you may want to utilize a spinner during the late season. Here are a few considerations. If a front has just pushed through, we will most likely always start out using a spinner. There is a good chance that there may be new ducks in the area, and a spinner can be very effective with new ducks trying to locate feeding or loafing areas. If it’s a bright sunny day during the late season, we will always start out with the spinner. That is not to say that we will not end up pulling it later, but we will always start out with using it.
Don’t get too caught up in routine when you are in the marsh. Sometimes, we focus too much on what has worked in the past that we are seldom willing to try something different even if it’s just moving the decoys areas or pulling the spinner.