Diver Duck Hunting:
Consider putting the mallard decoys in the garage and tossing the diver decoy spread this weekend! I enjoy field hunting, river hunting, pond hunting but one of the most challenging hunts is big water diver duck hunting. big water hunting has to be one of the more dangerous duck hunting experiences. Considering the weather can change in a minute and having 30mph winds kick up with 2-foot rolling waves is not for the faint heart. Diver duck hunting requires some big gear and more importantly gear that can withstand the elements. However, done correctly diver duck hunting can offer such a different type of hunting compared to puddle ducks. It just may become your next duck addiction.
To explain diver duck hunting in one post would do no just for the diver hunting. Therefore I’ll focus on the diver decoy spread and decoys required to steer ducks towards your smoking barrel.
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Diver Decoy Spread Tips:
Wind and Sun direction are important
- If you can put the sun on your back it will help with making sure the larger flights of divers will be impaired when they are looking at your decoys and blind. Duck’s have great eyesight so if you can set up with the sun in the duck’s eyes, you can begin to eliminate birds flaring.
- Similar to puddle ducks putting the wind on your back is going to give you the ducks landing in your shooting direction. However, if you can’t get the wind on your back, giving yourself a crosswind will provide you with side swinging shots.
Long Line Spreads
- Using gang rigs to toss diver decoys having multiple benefits. Being able to toss decoys in a quick fashion and also being divers in closer to your blind. If you haven’t seen a gang rig before it’s similar to a jerk rig without the cable stretch and single weight. With a gang rig, you have a 3-4 lb claw weight with a line running 20-30ft with 10-15 decoys tethered to the line and a second weight attached to the opposite end. This provides a line of diver decoys similar to what you would see in a raft of birds.
- Similar to puddle ducks you want to ensure you have a landing zone in your diver decoy spread. Now diver ducks don’t always decoy and land very easily. More often than not you will have to be on high alert as you will get buzzed by what seems like fighter jets in your spread. However, creating a landing pocket will give you the optimum range for the birds to fly over and shot.
- If you scout for divers you will tend to see rafts of birds in open water. It’s not rocket science to try and mimic your spread to look similar. One issue with a giant oval of decoys is that divers tend to like flying overhead and landing just outside the birds and swimming in. Therefore having a couple long lines as a runway for the birds or a J-hook will give the birds the exact route you want them to follow in.