Field Hunting Mallards
Field Hunting Mallardsby Adam Brassfield - Pro Staff Contributor
WhenI was a kid, I hunted with old timers who did not believe in spending money ondecoys, opting instead to save three dozen 2-liter bottles and paint them blackand green. Nowadays there are so many good decoy companies with good color andshape that it is a job just picking one out that you like best. I like a decoythat is at least 17 inches long with bright backs and dark heads, especially ifI am hunting mallards. Also, the length of the anchor line should be at least 20 inches above the water level that you are hunting. This insures propermovement of the decoy in breezy winds.
Duckhunting in a field unit can be tricky, especially if your decoy placement isincorrect. Wind, sunlight and other factors come into play. Most duck huntersare in a hurry and do not take these things into consideration. Hopefully thiswill help.
WhenI hunt a field, the first thing I think about for set-up is that I want my backor left shoulder to the sun. A ducks eyesight is very keen and the last thingthat I need is to get busted on final approach because I cant see to make thecorrect judgment with my Beretta Xtreme shotgun. Once this is accomplished, mydecoy set-up is important. Again, if you process this before the hunt begins itwill reduce multiple movements, which can be a disaster. If you do not hunt fora living, you are limited to mainly weekends or a few days here and there,which is exactly why this is even more important.
Ido not believe in leaving decoys in the same pattern every day. Your decoyplacement should take into consideration both where you want ducks to land andwind direction. I have heard and read stories about aerial patterns on decoys,but I have to be honest and tell you that I have had no luck with this. Notbecause it does not work, but that I am not interested in trying to workmallards that are so high they are wearing oxygen masks. However, in a fieldunit, there is one set-up that has never failed me
if the ducks are there.Then I unleash the Beretta Xtreme!
Ilike to hunt with the wind off my left shoulder, blowing out in front of me, ifat all possible. I never want the wind in my face. This allows the ducks tosail over my head and I take a high risk of my blind or my boat being pickedoff. So, with the wind right, the decoys are placed like so: I use around fiveto seven dozen decoys in a broken J style set-up. The longest side of the Jis determined by the wind direction. What I feel this does is give me atargeted landing zone with a back stop to prevent over-flight. This normallykeeps the ducks from passing up my shooting lane. See the picture for anexample. Good luck and smoke those mallards with your Beretta!
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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.