Best Pintail Decoys

For many waterfowl hunters, the Northern Pintail is a prised duck that everyone wants to get that bull Pintail. However, they can be few and far between when it comes to hunting them. In certain Flyways, they can be more abundant than Mallards when they make a push. However, in other Flyways, they may never be seen. Nonetheless, with the recent liberal limits across multiple flyways, the Northern Pintail is closer to your reach more so now than before. As a result, it’s time to grab the best set of pintail decoys and hit the fields and marshes.

Top Related Article – Best Duck Decoys & Best Motion Decoys 


Avian-X Top Flight – Best Pintail Decoys – pintail decoys

Quantity – 4 drakes / 2 Hens
Head Positions – Two
Cost – $$$

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 help 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.

Design & Carving –

When it comes to finding a set of pintail decoys that are lifelike and realistic. The Avian-X Pintail decoys have an incredible paint and carving compared to any other decoy. You’ll notice fine detail to the features and tail of the pintail carving.

As for the paint, it almost seems like each one is hand painted when you look at the attention to detail. Additionally, the paint is a non-chipping and non-fading configuration that allows the pintail decoys to be very durable. As a result, when they hit each other or bounce around on a pond, they will keep their same detailed finish.

Construction –

The Avian-X pintail decoys are made of a soft advanced rubberized molding material. This allows the decoys to not crack or chip if they bang into each other. I’ve found the material to be more forgiving than the hard plastics when it comes to chips and paint.

The keel construction of the decoy is weighted to offer movement and a natural swimming action when the current or wind is moving. Plus the keels have easy to snap holes for Texas rigs to attach too. The overall size of the pintail decoys are oversized and measure 17 inches from breast to tail. Therefore, the decoys offer a highly visible presence for flying Pintails.

Conclusion –

When it comes to finding the best pintail decoys, you more than likely don’t need a ton of them. Therefore, I lean towards getting the best decoys available. The Avian-X Pintails are the best you can get when it comes to durability, color, and presentation.

Avery Greenhead Gear – Best Pintail Decoys – pintail decoys

Quantity – 4 drakes / 2 Hens
Head Positions – Three
Cost – $$

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.

Design & Carving –

For Avery Outdoors there are a few different series of decoys for every type of budget. The Pro-Grade series is the top of the line when it comes to Avery. As a result, the decoys have some of the best detail and attention to the feature carving and paint. The finish of the paint is made to withstand UV rays and normal hunting conditions.

The Pintail decoys from Avery are a bit more detailed as they offer multiple body positions to offer a more realistic presentation. The unique body positions range from feeders to different head positions, therefore, helping create some diversity in your spread.

Construction –

The Avery Pintail decoys are constructed of high-grade plastic making them very durable. Molded as a single piece the keel is a 60/40 Dura-Keel. Which gives the decoys plenty of life like motion when the water and wind on our your side. The keels have decoy rig holes making it easy to tie or clip just about any type of rig you prefer.

Conclusion –

Overall, the Avery Pro-Grades are very comparable to the Avian-X Pintail Decoys. However, they are a little cheaper and may fit into your budget a little easier. They offer plenty of realism and excellent paint schemes when it comes to a Pintail.


Duck Commander Foam-Filled – Best Pintail Decoys – pintail decoys

Quantity – 4 drakes / 2 Hens
Head Positions – Two
Cost – $$

You’d have to be born under a rock to have not heard of Duck Commander. Most people outside of the duck hunting community just assume this is just a Reality TV Show. However, before Duck Dynasty the foundation of Duck Commander was formed making duck calls back in the early 1970’s. Born in West Monroe, Louisiana Duck Commander was founded by Phil Robertson. It wasn’t an easy start filled with huge paychecks either. Phil was actually a school teacher and decided he needed to turn his passion for the outdoors and duck hunting into a living.

In 1972, he quit his job and started making Duck calls, about $8,000 dollars worth the first year. Not much but that same year he received a patent on his call and set out store to store, city to city trying to sell his duck calls. Many stores turned him down, however, with his persistence and unique duck calls. Phil was able to begin turning his passion into a real livelihood.

Phil has been able to turn his small company into a multi-million dollar company with the help of his sons and family. They’ve been able to expand into other products, TV, and even hunting videos. Some of the early hunting videos, “Duckmen” are still some of the best action packed duck hunting videos.

Design & Carving –

At first glance I was as surprised as you are that Duck Commander offered decoys, considering they make duck calls. However, after further inspection why not? They are lifelong hunters and have very good connections in the waterfowl industry. Plus if they can offer pintail decoys for a great price, they are a sure contender in the decoy industry. Well, that’s exactly what they have done, with their Pintail Decoys. The ultra-detailed carvings offer a natural and detailed presentation of pintail ducks sitting on the water. The paint is a perfect depiction of the Pintail duck. However, I will say they aren’t as detailed as the Avian-X decoy. Although, for the price point you really can’t complain how great these decoys look.

Construction –

Duck Commander offers these decoys with one of the best construction elements that are quickly being used on a lot of duck decoys, foam-filled. The Pintail decoys are foam filled making them essentially indestructible. Therefore, if you have that one hunting buddy that decides to pepper a decoy. These will keep on floating and never sink. This is very common in diver duck decoys, however, it’s quickly becoming the staple for puddle ducks as well.

These decoys are not constructed to be oversize. Therefore, if you’re looking for a set that is easy to pack for a hike-in situation these Pintail Decoys are going to be your number one choice. Even though they are smaller they lack nothing that the larger decoys offer. With a weighted keel, it still offers plenty of movement and it also allows for Texas Style Decoy Rigs to be attached as well.

Conclusion –

Overall, I would say these decoys are the best for an economical addition to any decoy spread. Plus if you hunt a lot of small waters where carrying in bags is a common occurrence, the Duck Commander decoys will be the best choice.

Higdon Outdoors – Best Pintail Decoys – pintail decoys

Quantity – 4 drakes / 2 Hens
Head Positions – Three
Cost – $$

Higdon Outdoors is located in Paducah, Kentucky and John Higdon is the owner and operator. They are one of the leading decoy manufactures in the industry producing just about every species of duck and goose decoy huntable. They even offer their very own line of motion decoys as well. Higdon has been around for quite a while and has their very own Higdon Outdoors TV, that runs on numerous outdoor channels. They have even become the Ducks Unlimted corporate partner helping contribute numerous sales dollars to conservation projects throughout North America.

Design & Carving –

When it comes to Higdon they don’t take any shortcuts for design and carving style. The Pintail decoys offered are highly detailed carvings of an ultra-realistic image of the Northern Pintail. From the detail, in the head feathers to the flight wings, the decoy is shaped to be the actual size of a Pintail duck.

The coloration is spot on as well for a fully plummed pintail duck. From the bright white streak along the back of the head to the jet black sprigtail. Higdon uses only the best paint so that it can withstand the elements of waterfowl hunting.

Construction –

Similar to Duck Commander Pintail decoys, the Higdon pintail is foam filled making it unsinkable. Plus the foam adds a little weight to them making them much easier to toss long distances when setting up a spread.

As for the keel, it’s a natural weight keel that provides plenty of life-like movement. Therefore, if you’re trying to increase your spread this fall with more decoys and have a chance at bagging a Pintail the Higdon decoys are very affordable and are built tough.

Conclusion –

I personally would try the Higdon decoys if you’re looking to add 6 to 12 decoys to your spread. They offer a natural presentation at a very affordable price. Plus a portion of all sales go to wetland conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimted. What’s better than buying decoys and donating to conservation at the same time.

Tanglefree Flight Flocked – Best Pintail Decoys – pintail decoys

Quantity – 4 drakes / 2 Hens
Head Positions – Three
Cost – $$$

Tanglefree has been around since 1972, well the name has been around since then. Jack and Dan Kiernan created the Tanglefree Decoy lines that were knot-less and would forever change the waterfowl industry. However, that was the only product they offered. Fast forward to the late 2000’s and Cory Fosket, Staci Castagnetto and their parents wanted to start a family business together. At the time they all were working separate career paths. The parents owned a construction company, however, they wanted to start a company as one family.

At the time a plastics company that made furniture, garden tools, and small plastic decoys were using the same CPA as Cory’s parent’s construction company. They set up a meeting and as soon as the found out that they wanted to start a family business, wheels started turning. The plastic company sold the decoy division to the family. Two months after that Jack and Dan Kiernan had wanted to sell their Tanglefree Company and the brand was started by Cory, Staci and the rest of the family.

The interesting part about the business was that Cory didn’t have years of hunting experience like so many other guys have started with. Instead, Cory worked with a sense of family ownership and pride. He wanted to create a brand the family business could be proud of.

Design & Carving –

Sometimes when it comes to decoying shy or pressured Pintails you need the best of the best. Well, look no further than the flight flocked series from Tanglefree. Originally carved by the best, Michael Braun, the Tanglefree Pintail decoys are extremely detailed. Michael paid close attention to each feather and created a highly detailed Pintail duck decoy.

You can have the best carving in the world, but if it’s not matched with the best paint it’s useless. Well, Tanglefree didn’t cheap out with paint. The ultra-realistic paint scheme has the fine detail to the color choices and feather details. Plus unlike any other Pintail decoys on this list, the Tanglefree have fully-flocked heads. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about glare or reflections coming off their heads. These decoys can sure draw in birds with the detail and construction.

Construction –

It’s hard to find a more durable Pintail decoy than the Tanglefree Pintail. Tanglefree is known for creating some of the toughest decoys on the market. With a broad and experienced set of staff members, Tanglefree listens and takes into account what their field teams are saying and asking for in a set of decoys. This is why you’ll see that the decoys are constructed of highly durable plastic to prevent any chips, cracks, or fading.

The keels on Tanglefree decoys are also much more durable than other brands. They are a little larger and heavier which for starters makes them easier to toss, and it makes the slightest of wind or water movement bring these decoys to life. Additionally, the keel weight hole are very durable and you won’t have to worry about any snaps or rings pulling through.

Conclusion –

Tanglefree Pintail decoys are the best on the market, however, the price can be quite expensive. Although, if you sign up for their email list, Tanglefree offers numerous sales throughout the season making their decoys quite affordable. It’s not uncommon to find a 25-40% off sale going on.

Northern Pintail Feature Report –

The Pintail is a duck that has a wide expansion of where they reside, Europe, Asia, and North America are places Pintails call home. They are a migratory bird that does fly south for wintering and has a very long migratory range. Surprisingly the Pintail doesn’t have any subspecies considering their broad range of habitat. The Northern Pintail has become an index for how duck populations are doing. Typically, bag limits have been 1-2 ducks per day across many flyways. As the population has dropped since the 1970’s due to a lot of habitats being lost to agriculture farming in Canada. Hence, why Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl have increased their outreach and conservation efforts to the Canadian waterfowl wetlands and Prairie Pothole Regions.

Habitat –

Pintails have had some hard times when it comes to numbers over recent years. In North America, the Northern Pintail tends to habit U.S. and Canada Prairie grounds for nesting and breeding. However, Canada has seen a lot of their prairies transition into farmlands. As a result, many nesting Pintail’s nests are destroyed due to normal farming operations. The population of Pintails has stayed the same for many years, whereas other breeds have started to grow.

The population decline and limited growth are due primarily to lost habitat, farming operations, and predators. Over the past years, band reports show a steady rate of survival. Therefore, Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl have shifted their efforts to Pintail habitat and breeding to help influence growth.

Breeding –

Pintail ducks start nesting in late April to early May and it takes about 32 days for females to lay and incubate their eggs. The ducks won’t reach maturity until they are one year of age. Nests are made primarily on the ground in hidden vegetation. They often are located some distance from water. Since they have ground nests, predators can be a large reason Pintails. lose their ducklings. Which is why they tend to hide in thick prairie cover.

A female Pintail will lay about 7 – 9 eggs at the rate of one per day. One of the unique aspects of the Pintail is that if a predator destroys their first clutch of eggs they have been known to make a second clutch. However, it takes 22-24 days for the eggs to hatch, allow plenty of time for predators to destroy their nests. Although, as soon as the eggs are hatched the mother will lead the chicks to the nearest body of water to feed on the surface of the water.

Feeding –

The Northern Pintail is a dabbling duck. Therefore, it feeds on shallow water surfaces on plant food. The Pintail has a unique longer neck than the Mallard allowing it to reach depths of 12 inches deep. Pintails are also known for feeding on seeds, grain, and in fields alongside Mallards throughout the migration and wintering seasons.

Migration –

When it comes to Pintails they are the among one of the first to migrate to warmer weather in the fall. If you’re a California native, you’ll see plenty of Pintails, as nearly half the population migrates through California in North America. These birds then continue on to winter in southern California and Mexico. Whereas, Pintails that migrate through the Central Flyway, tend to winter in the Texas Panhandle and the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisana. Pintails that utilize the Mississippi Flyway tend to winter in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennesse. Overall, Pintails can over some long migration paths each season.


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