In under 3 months I will be hunting again. I had better get ready, are you getting ready? I have been puttering in my basement checking out my decoys and trying to locate my ‘missing’ decoys. A few well placed calls to my friends who have decoys on loan and the inventory is complete. I find myself dreaming too much, wishing fall were here.
If wondering what type of decoys to get and how many to acquire a helpful article can be found here How many decoys do you need? .
The economy in the western provinces of Canada are down in the dumps. With oil & natural gas prices at low levels many families are feeling the financial crunch. Discretionary spending is a luxury that many cannot afford at this time. But there is a silver lining. Many retailers are not moving stock and there are sales to be found.
I was able to get some premium Canada floater at a good price last month. I caught a good sale at Cabelas. It bolstered our floating decoys up to a healthy number, we are all good for field Canadas, floater Canadas, field ducks, and floater duck decoys. I have had discussion with Lyle and Matt in regards to what we need. We will keep our eyes out for more snow socks (you can never have too many of these) and Speck decoys. I was able to purchase some White Rock Speck decoys from Basspro shops at a decent price. I picked up 2 dozen, I am wanting to pick up another 3 dozen before the fall. That would put our headed Speck headed socks, headless socks and shells over 120. Last fall we shot many more Specks than unusual and I attribute some of that to the number of Speck decoys we put into our snow goose spread.
Here are a few tips to dealing with the costs of building your decoy inventory:
- Team up with others. If you have 3 people who are committed you can get enough gear to have some success.
- Learn how to use less decoys. Smaller decoy spreads won’t always doom you to failure. Read articles on smaller decoy spreads. D.U. and Wildfowl magazine have articles on the topic.
- Purchase decent decoys. The most expensive decoys aren’t always the best. The cheapest ones are usually the ones that are in a dumpster at the end of a season. I like windsock decoys, they are easy to setup, light, don’t take up lots of space, and work great. White Rock Decoys make a great line of windsocks.
- Make a commitment to scout more this fall. I would rather have 36 decoys on a field that the birds are feeding on than 120 decoys hoping birds will come to you. Good hunts involve lots of windshield time and adequate decoy placement.
- Beg/Borrow/Steal. Dont be stealing my gear but most veteran hunters have some decoys laying around collecting dust that you may be able to use. My Canada decoys collect dust once the main body of specks and snows hit the prairies. It’s not that there isn’t good Canada goose hunting to be had, I am just not targeting them as much.
Keep you eyes open for deals or good used gear for good prices. Good luck!