One of the fascinating things about waterfowl hunting is the versatility of hunting. One day you can be duck hunting over the ocean, another day you can be goose hunting rivers, another you could be duck hunting fields. The ability to shot nearly 50 species of waterfowl allows us, hunters, a lifetime of experiences. However, one of the easiest styles of hunting to get into is field hunting mallards. It has some similarities to hunting over water. However, the biggest difference is the use of field duck decoys and different gear.
Therefore, we have broken down the best field duck decoys and some added tips for field hunting mallards.
Best Field Duck Decoys – Review & Guide
Avian X Full Body Mallard 6PK –
Price – $$$ | Rating – 10
The best field duck decoys have to be Avian X Full Body Mallards. Being one of the originals and leaders in the full body mallard category. Avian X mallard decoys give a true lifelike presentation for field hunting mallards and geese. When it comes to carving leave it to Rick Johannsen, the champion decoy carver to give the most detailed duck. The carving is a perfect imitation of a feeding flock of mallards. If you’ve ever hunted over or seen the Avian X Floating decoys they are very similar to detail and texture.
Aside from the superior carving, you get an exceptional paint scheme as well. Not only does it look like an actual Mallard drake and hen, but the color scheme offers shades and shadows similar to an actual bird. As a result, you get a decoy that can be seen from long distances. The oversized body also helps establish a large presentation for overhead ducks. The full body decoys are oversized and really offer great depth to any field mallard spread.
When it comes to durability and strength the Avian X Full Bodies are the toughest. Molded from a rubberized material and non-chip paint, these decoys stand the test of field hunting. After multiple seasons of running the decoys, you won’t have chips or cracks like some other models. The material is very forgiving and offers great strength.
One of the best features of Avian X’s field duck decoys is the motion system that allows the duck to swing and move in the wind. This design is very similar to a Turkey decoy, which if you’ve read the history of Avian X. Turkey decoys are where it all started for Fred Zink. Nonetheless, the decoys sit on a 17-inch field stake that is durable and allows the full body mallard to swing and pivot on the stake. Aside from the movement it also makes them very easy to set up and take down. Plus storage is simple with the included slotted field bags.
If you’re looking for a decoy that will stand the time and abuse of field hunting. The Avian X full bodies should be in your budget. In the event, you need three or four dozen they can get quite expensive. Therefore, instead share the cost with your hunting buddies or plan on building your spread every year by adding six to a dozen more.
Flambeau Full Body 6-Pack Field Duck Decoy –
Price – $$$ | Rating – 9.6
From the hands of Tom Christie, Dave Van Lanen, and Rich Smoker comes the Storm Front Fully Body Mallards. With unsurpassed realistic mallard depictions and life-like positions. The Flambeau Storm Fronts are some of the best field duck decoys available. With the combination of 2 active drakes, 2 feeding drakes, 1 active hen, and 1 feeder hen, the 6 pack is an excellent choice for field hunting ducks. On top of that, the Strom Fronts are very inexpensive compared to other full-body models.
Therefore, getting such a versatile and complete set of Mallard decoys is the reason why we selected the Strom Front Decoys.
Made of a proprietary plastic polymer blend the Strom Front decoys are tough and rugged. They are designed and painted with UVision technology, giving them ultra-visibility, while still protecting them from the sun’s UV-rays that make most decoys fade and crack. Therefore, you get a very durable decoy that has the longevity to last numerous seasons. They can easily be tossed around and not chipped or scratched thanks to their paint technology. On top of that, the stands the decoys are supported on are made of heavy-duty steel round bar. This gives them a well-supported base, and also makes them quite easy to hang inside a trailer.
For an inexpensive price the Strom From decoys sure have a lot of features. The first being that the heads rotate on the decoys allowing you to tailor your spread to your liking. The decoys are fitted to the steel stands with heavy strength cord. Therefore, the decoys are fitted with 40° wind activated rotation and motion. No need to worry about the stands rusting they are powder coated. Hence, providing plenty of hunting years before they rust or break. Lastly, the ducks are shaped as an 18″ oversized full body decoy giving you the ability to dupe approach ducks from greater distances.
The Flambeau Storm Front full body decoys are the best field duck decoys for the price. With detailed carving and high-definition paint scheme, these are a top choice and will easily help to fool any ducks looking at your spread. It’s hard to find full body decoys that you can get a dozen for just about $200 dollars. Therefore, I’ve used these decoys to help start my spread and recommend these to anyone that is looking at building out a mallard spread.
Final Approach Gunners HD Field Mallard Decoys –
Price – $$$ | Rating – 9.8
When it comes to looking for the best field duck decoys FA brands is a top 5 contender. Sculpted by world-class designers and nationally acclaimed working decoy makers. FA Brands Gunner HD Field Mallards are ultra-realistic and offer some of the finest decoys when field hunting mallards. With custom high visibility paint schemes, the decoys are made to look like feeding mallards in a field. The detail and attention spent on the head angles, feather carvings, and body position allow these decoys to be one of the best field duck decoys available.
The Final Approach HD Gunner field duck decoys are made of heavy-duty durable plastic that prevents the paint from chipping or fading. Thankfully, they are built with such durability to protect their detailed paint scheme. The full body decoys use a little different system to create movement and allow them to stand up. Instead of using a single post stake like the Avian-X decoys. FA Brands uses a circular steel bottom stand that allows for heavy shock cord to attach the decoy to the stand. The stand still has a single post that allows for wind motion to occur.
The benefit of a system like this is that the decoys don’t need to stick into the ground. Therefore, if you hunt over hard surfaces or frozen ground they can be a great choice. The disadvantage is that in heavy winds they can blow over, but what decoys don’t do that in heavy winds. The heavy cord is also in orange to help mimic the legs of a mallard standing. It’s just one of the little touches that Final Approach though of.
One of the top features that the Gunner HD field duck decoys have over the rest is the flocked drake heads. The set comes with four drakes and two hens, and all four of the drakes have green flocked heads. Therefore, giving a more realistic look of a mallard. Also, decreasing the sun glare that can be seen on conventional paint schemes. We found the decoys to not lose their flocked heads when handling or hunting with them. Some less expensive and lower quality decoys have a tendency to lose their flocked look very quickly, not these. Another nice feature of the round stand over a stick system is that they can hang much easier in a trailer. Simply just secure hooks to your trailer and they can hook on the side or simply stand up on shelves.
If you’re looking for one of the best field duck decoys models than you have to consider the Final Approach Gunner Mallards. With the superior paint scheme and flocked heads, you’ll be sure to have a solid spread of mallards. They are sold in packs of six, so if you can get a dozen at a time and save on shipping it’s not a bad idea to consider. Lastly, since the decoys are oversized big body mallards, you’ll besure to attract mallards even if you don’t have large numbers. Overall, the decoys are one of the best and easiest to set out in any field set up.
Greenhead Gear Over-Size Field Duck Decoys –
Price – $$$ | Rating – 9.7
When it comes to looking for the best field duck decoys, every manufacturer has a different interpretation of a full body field decoy. For Greenhead Gear, they use a combination of a shell but the benefits of a stick to present the decoys as standing. Therefore, you get a very lightweight, easy to carry, and versatile field decoy. Having a decoy that not only creates great movement but also can stack makes for a great field decoy. If you’ve ever lugged around field decoys and full body decoys they tend to not stack or pack very easily. Therefore, the Greenhead Gear offers a lot for a field decoy.
When it comes to Greenhead Gear and Avery Outdoors, you get decoys that have a long history of research and design. As one of the leading decoy makers, these decoys are made to last in extreme conditions. Made of heavy-duty and durable plastics the decoys are designed to not chip or scratch. However, since they can stack, wear-and-tear may occur over time. This is one of the unique aspects of the field duck decoys in that you can stack and move these decoys unlike any other field decoy on this list. Therefore, if you have limited space or like to keep small these are the best field duck decoys for you.
One of the best features is the price of the decoys. Most of the full body decoys are priced like these, however, you only get six. However, with this set, you can a full dozen. Since the decoys are shells and use a lot less material they actually are much less to produce allowing you to get a dozen instead of just six. So when growing a spread and saving a few dollars are important looking at the Greenhead Gear field duck decoys is a great choice. An additional feature is that you can use these without the sticks and run them as just shells if the wind is blowing them off or if it’s late season and you need some resting looking mallards.
Overall the Greenhead Gear field decoys are one of the best field duck decoys if you’re looking for a budget-friendly field spread. However, just because their cheaper doesn’t mean they won’t be of high-quality. The decoys are designed to last numerous seasons and lure ducks in. The one thing I will say about a shell style versus a full-body decoy is that they tend to fall over in heavy winds, so be mindful of where you hunt and the conditions.
Avery Hunting Gear Elite FB Mallards-Harvester Pack –
Price – $$$ | Rating – 9.5
When it comes to decoys Avery is usually a contender. As they make just about every type of species and style of decoy. They even have various versions of a specific style, for example, the Elite Mallards are their top of the line field mallard decoys. When you combine a round stake stand and Avian-X motion sticks you get the Avery Elite Mallards. Hence, the Avery decoys sit stands that don’t need to be pushed into the ground. Plus the full body decoy rests on a center post offer wind activation motion. The combination is a great touch and has its use for many field hunts.
The Mallard pro grade decoys are made of durable plastic that is designed to prevent scratches and cracks. Upon our use, they never seemed to scratch or dull that would affect a hunt. I will say that they don’t have the vibrant paint scheme as some other models, however, they still got the job done when fooling ducks. A nice added touch is that the decoys are a solid one-piece design so nothing can fall off or break off when handling these decoys. I’ve used two piece heads on geese decoys and have had the unfortunate luck of the two separating over time.
The best feature about these Mallard decoys is that they have a solid steel stand that supports the weight of the decoys very well. Plus when you go to pick up your spread the stands stack very easily unlike some of the other models on the market that don’t allow nice stacking. The other feature on the Avery full bodies are the realistic feet. Under the belly of each decoy are two orange feet to give a more realistic presentation. It’s just one of those added features that may help to fool pressured ducks.
Overall these decoys are a great choice when it comes to field hunting mallards. They are one of the higher priced decoys on the list which is why they didn’t make the top spot for the best field duck decoys. However, they are made of great quality and design which is a great benefit.
Top Duck Decoy Manufactures –
First and foremost when starting research it’s always best to know what is available on the market. Therefore, giving the top manufacturers and a brief history of the company will help to find the best duck decoys available on the market. Of course, there are many more manufacturers. However, the list below are the top brands that provide distribution across the country and are readily available at most outdoor sporting goods stores.
Fred Zink more commonly known for Zink calls, Fred was among a group of hunters and guides and from an early age he was making his own gear. Fred went on to work with Avery and created the finisher. It was then when he was working full time for Avery that he started making Zink calls on the side. However, he quickly realized he wanted to make a family business out of his company. So he found a hole in the decoy market and started making Turkey decoys in the spring of 2010. He first went to Cabelas and they underestimated his potential sales. He ended up selling 2,500 decoys his first year.
Which helped him launch the first goose decoys under Avian-x and Cabelas took them on exclusively. The company has grown by the ten-fold since and they create a full line of duck and goose decoys of various breeds.
Avery GHG –
In 1993 Tom Matthews thought to himself that there has to be a blind that works for everyone’s boat. At the time there was nothing of that nature. So he teamed up with Allen Hughes, and Tate Wood and spent countless hours and material constructing the perfect universal blind. The three of them invested all in and quit their jobs, to focus on Avery Outdoors. They knew it would take more than one product to succeed. So they worked with custom carvers and manufactures to start one of the largest decoy companies to date. They even extend into Europe, New Zealand, and South America.
Banded Gear –
Banded gear has become a fast-growing waterfowl company thanks to a group of avid outdoorsmen and designers. They have been able to create some of the highest quality waders in the industry. They currently offer over 600 items with 19 different product categories. You can expect to see outerwear, boots, hunting bags, blinds, decoys, and even calls. One of the main reason Banded has been able to grow so quickly is with their 2015 acquisition of Avery Outdoors.
Cabela’s Northern Flight –
Cabela’s has become to be known across the nation as one of the leading outdoor brick and mortar stores. First starting as a direct-mail style company back in 1961 for hand-tied fishing flies. It had grown into such a large company that Bass Pro Shop acquired them in 2016. So it doesn’t come to a surprise that Cabela’s has been able to private label multiple products, duck decoys being one of them. Cabela’s Northern Flight entity offers, bags, blinds, and much more.
Dakota Decoys –
Located in the southeast corner of South Dakota along the Missouri River is where you’ll find Dakota Decoys. For Bill Willroth the company originated in 2007 in a very saturated decoy market. However, with a drive and experience with decoy icon ARt Ladehoff home of Big Foot Decoys. Bill was able to grow Dakota Decoys into a decoy company that is known for their quality and realistic presentation. Bill was able to launch his company with the help of Cabela’s and Scheels where hunters were able to quickly become interested in Dakota Decoys. Even though they started with a Goose decoys, Dakota Decoys has been able to build out multiple duck decoys. Currently selling 11,000+ mallard decoys a year.
Final Approach –
For Final Approach, it wasn’t just your instant company startup. It took Ron Latschow almost 8 years from when he started making his own layout blind until he founded Final Approach in 1993. In 25 years Ron has been able to grow the company into waterfowl brand known for blinds, gear, and decoys. As of today, FA offers multiple goose decoy species and duck decoys all at a very inexpensive price.
Hardcore Decoys –
Hard Core Decoys was founded in 2004 with a goal to provide duck hunters with the best duck decoys on the market. As of today the company is run by Jim Schiefelbein and with his passion for the outdoors and experience for growing successful companies. Jim and his team have been able to grow Hardcore brands after they acquired it in 2012 to a well-known waterfowl brand we know today.
Lucky Duck Decoys –
Lucky duck is one of the companies that has been growing and rebranding itself to become a leader in the waterfowl industry. With a wide array of over 80 products, they have been able to move quickly since 1995. Currently, they are headquartered in the Mississippi Flyway. They currently have numerous entities they are involved with, one being the Grind TV show.
Mojo Decoys –
Mojo Decoys is one of the unique decoy makers in the industry. They didn’t start out making floating mallards or even full body goose decoys. Instead, they chose to make a motion and spinning wing decoys. As a result, they quickly found waterfowl hunters demanded the ultra-realistic presentation that it offered. Mojo has been able to expand over the years to not only offer products for waterfowl hunters. They have been able to create motion products for dove, crow, and even owl decoys. When you think about motion decoys Mojo and Terry Denmon are your first thoughts.