Are you looking for the best duck decoys for the next waterfowl hunting season? Well, you’ve landed in the right place.
As far as duck hunting goes, there is an endless list of legal methods. You can use calls, camouflage, or shotguns. But of all methods, duck decoys are perhaps the most loved and effective. All you do is set up your duck decoy spread and wait for the waterfowls to come to you.
But for the best waterfowl hunting experience, you want a duck decoy that combines value, style, and durability. Unfortunately, not all duck decoys boast such specs. That’s why I’ve rounded up the best duck decoy spread to consider this hunting season. The list includes duck decoy spreads for beginners as well as avid hunters. Even more, there are different models for different duck species.
10 Best Duck Decoys
1. Avian-X Top Flight Wood Duck Floater Decoy
Avian-X is one company that definitely nails it when it comes to duck decoys. And this 6-pack wood duck decoy is among its best inventions.
As far as the color scheme goes, I want to commend Avian-X for the incredible detail. It’s hyper-realistic, accurate, and a beautiful representation.
Apparently, this duck decoy boasts rugged durability to last season after season. It comes in rubber molding and has non-chip paint to withstand the toughest hunts.
The beefy keel offers realistic forward-swim movement to replicate mature birds. Even more outstanding, the flock includes different postures. There are two high head drakes, two low head drakes, and two low head hens.
Avian-X wood duck decoy pretty much exceeds the size of the average wood duck. It measures 12.5 inches from breast to tail. The extra size, however, improves visibility from a distance.
It’s a bit expensive side, no doubt. But this is one duck decoy that’s realistic and endures the harshest elements. And with great attention to detail, I’ll say it’s worth every single penny. On the whole, it’s one of the best wood duck decoys on the market.
2. Dakota Decoy X-Treme Flocked Drake Head Mallards
Dakota Decoy X-Treme represents a hand-paint job at its best. With a multi-stage painting process, it takes realism to a whole new level.
Well, it’s a 12-pack duck decoy that mimics a large flock. It comprises seven drakes and five hens. But even more outstanding is that it’s extremely realistic and varied.
Each drake undergoes 24 stages of painting. The hens, on the other hand, go through a 16-step painting process. Such attention to detail adds to the realism of the flock.
Not only is it varied in terms of the paint job. It forgoes the typical one-piece design to include a 360-degree swiveling head. Even more, there are six types of heads in the pack.
Well, there’s another plus in the design of the head. Compared to other decoys, it has a much higher head profile. Hence, it looks nice on the water.
Dakota Decoy X-Treme is a bit oversized for visibility. Also, it has a weighted keel for stable forward-swim movement. Better still, the keel has a cleat that allows you to lengthen or shorten the line. Hence, you can adjust based on the depth of the water.
This duck decoy also offers consistent good looks, season after season. It combines both low and high-density polyethylene that proves tough in harsh weather conditions.
Dakota Decoy X-Treme offers a significant variation that makes it stand out. Indeed, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another duck decoy with a better appearance. Again, it offers outstanding durability. Though the initial cost is slightly higher, this duck decoy is worth it in the long run. For that, I vote it one of the best mallard decoys.
3. Avian-X Top Flight Duck Open Water Mallard Decoy
It’s not the most expensive among Avian-X duck decoys. Yet, for an affordable duck decoy, this mallard decoy is the most realistic. So much that at the time of writing, it tops the best-seller list.
The 6-pack decoy comprises high-head and low-head postures. For that, it replicates the behavior of active mallards. Notably, the pack comprises two hens and four drakes.
Like other floaters, it has a weight-forward swim keel. And with four real-life swimming postures, it has what it takes to fool the smartest birds.
The paint looks authentic with great attention to detail. Even more, it doesn’t flake to provide rugged durability. Also, the coloration and detail differ for an even more realistic display.
Avian-X open water mallard decoy scores well in all categories. It has ultra-realistic paint schemes and offers the ultimate in durability and paint adhesion. And with flawless ratings, I consider it one of the best duck decoys for the money.
4. Avery Pro-Grade Mallards-Sleeper Pack
It doesn’t offer much in terms of flock size. Nonetheless, it has all it takes to lure in mallards. The best part, it’s an affordable mallard-sleeper pack for anyone on a tight budget.
It’s a sleeper pack, hence doesn’t replicate active birds. It does, however, eliminate the need of having to wrap or unwrap decoy lines.
Though the posture is the same, it does have variation in the paint scheme. Even more, the pack comprises both the drake and head.
Well, the color scheme is authentic and long-lasting. And with ultra-realistic carvings, you can’t tell it apart from a real bird. Such specs, alongside a beefy weighted keel, make it a durable, pro-grade decoy.
This sleeper pack comes in polyethylene for durable performance. And at 12-13 inches, it’s slightly oversized for added visibility.
The thumb loop at the tail is a thoughtful addition. It’s more of a hook that allows for easy pickup and storage.
This mallard pack adds a sense of serenity to your spread. For that, it makes an excellent choice for suspicious, decoy-shy birds. Even more, you can incorporate it into your floater pack to add the final touches of realism to your spread.
5. Hard Core Brands Economy Series Mallard Floater Decoys
It doesn’t have the durability of the Hard Core Rugged Series. Still, it’s of decent quality. And as the name suggests, you get more decoys for the price.
It’s a 12-pack set comprising six hens and six drakes. Though the posture is pretty much the same, the pack has realistic feather details. Even more outstanding is the whale tail keel that offers life-like movements.
Well, Hard Core has the mission to provide durable hunting gear that doesn’t sacrifice aesthetics. So, the economy series is a gorgeous representation that’s sure to last a couple of hunting seasons. And for reassurance, it comes with a 1-year warranty.
It’s an affordable economy series, no doubt. It does, however, continue to outperform most duck decoy sets. If you’re a beginner or looking for fillers for your decoy spread, this duck decoy set will suffice.
6. Avery Over-Size Mallard Butt-Up Feeders
Apparently, duck decoys come in a variety of styles. This decoy pack, for instance, has a butt-up posture that replicates dabbling ducks.
Well, it doesn’t have electronic control, at least not like high-end electronic feeders. Instead, it relies on the wind and waves for movement.
A fixed weighted keel maintains stability, even in high currents. It combines with an accurate color scheme and carvings to provide a more realistic look.
Well, this is a pro-grade duck decoy. Hence, it’s strong and durable to last many seasons of use. Also, it’s slightly oversized to maintain higher visibility from a distance.
This butt-up feeder comes as a pair. It includes both a hen and a drake. The thumb loop, in particular, is a plus for easy pickup and storage.
The Avery over-size butt-up feeder best replicates a dabbling duck feeding in shallow waters. Well, it doesn’t come in a large pack. For that, I consider it as an excellent addition to your spread. Also, it’s a go-to choice for the best dabbling duck decoys.
7. Avian-X Top Flight Gadwall Gray Duck Decoys
As the name suggests, this duck decoy is for Gadwall or gray ducks. It has a high quality of Avian-X duck decoys. And as far as user feedback goes, it gets a thumbs-up.
The pack has six Gadwall decoys. Even more remarkable are the different postures. There are two low head hens, two low head drakes, and two high head drakes.
The decoys replicate fully plumed late-season gray ducks. It has that robust body shape and spot-on paint scheme for a more realistic look. However, it is slightly oversized for visibility purposes.
For me, this duck decoy is pretty much on the durable side. The non-chip paint, in particular, promises durable performance in the harshest elements.
Avian-X Gadwall duck decoy is a masterpiece that replicates the short and robust body of gray ducks. It’s an excellent choice for circling your spread, particularly in late-season gray duck hunts. Indeed, it has what it takes to lure in the wariest birds. On the whole, it’s the best Gadwall gray duck decoy.
8. Flambeau Outdoors Storm Front 2 Mallard Decoys
Flambeau duck decoys have always been regarded as spread fillers. But all that changes with Storm Front 2 Series. It’s a fully-fledged, feature-packed spread that offers unsurpassed realism.
It’s a floating 14-inch duck decoy that replicates the classic Canada goose posture. But even more remarkable is the patented keel design. It has four tie-off points for versatile motion. Also, it has anchor eyelets for depth adjustment.
Equally impressive is the patented UVision paint technology. It offers unsurpassed realism by reflecting the real ultra-violet signature of the bird’s feathers.
Well, there’s more to this mallard decoy than the high-definition paint scheme. It’s the work of renowned master carvers, making it a real-life representation.
The paint scheme is not only hyper-realistic but also extremely durable. It handles whatever the weather has in store to provide seasons of use. The pack includes more profiles: three semi-resting hens, two active drakes, and one semi-resting drake. Such adds to the versatility of your spread.
Storm Front 2 Series is a work of art and one of the most convincing duck decoys. For the ultimate durability, realism, and versatility, this classic floater pack has you covered.
9. Lucky Duck – Spinning Wing Decoys
Do you want to add lots of motion to your spread? Well, Lucky Duck decoy with its spinning wings has you covered. Compared to floating duck decoys, it instills more confidence in incoming birds. Even more, it attracts birds that wouldn’t have paid attention to your setup.
Well, the spinning wings are motorized. Though expensive, it proves more reliable than those powered by the breeze, especially remote control. So, it’s worth every penny, particularly for serious duck hunters.
This spinning wing duck decoy uses a completely sealed lithium-ion battery. It provides consistent power and runs in any weather. And for the record, it’s the first fully waterproof spinning wing decoy on the market.
The detailed paint scheme makes the decoy highly realistic. Even more, it uses injection-molded magnetic wings for durability. And to keep it afloat, it uses foam fill that keeps the weight to a minimum.
It’s on the expensive side. However, if you consider the quality and the package, this flyer decoy is worth it. Extras, such as gear bag, battery charger, 7.4-volt battery, HD remote kit, and 7-inch stake are a plus. I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. But for a serious hunter looking to add a new dimension to the spread, this spinner is heard to beat.
10. MOJO Outdoors Green Wing Teal Motion Duck Decoy
MOJO is another high-quality flyer duck decoy. It’s not remote capable like the Lucky Duck spinner. It does, however, have high-tech features that give it the edge.
It’s a green wing teal drake decoy. And as for the color scheme, you will be hard-pressed to tell it apart from the real bird.
This flyer decoy uses long-lasting 4 AA batteries, providing up to 16 hours of runtime. Hence, it can pretty much last a whole day’s hunt.
The durable direct-drive system and high-speed wings make it one of the best motion duck decoys. And with magnetic wings, it stays intact regardless of the weather conditions.
MOJO motion duck decoy is realistic, durable, and with super-fast wing speeds. The long-lasting battery, in particular, makes it ideal for long hunting trips. For an extremely real, battery-operated duck decoy, MOJO is sure to impress. Alongside Lucky Duck, it’s the best motion duck decoy to consider.
Best Duck Decoys: Complete Guide
Ducks come in different species, and so do duck decoys. For a greater chance of success, look for duck decoys with a similar appearance to the waterfowl species you want to hunt.
Puddle ducks, such as mallards, teal, pintails, and wigeons, demand a good set of mallard decoys. Likewise, diving ducks call for diver decoys.
However, should you hunt both duck species, I recommend an assortment of decoys in your spread. You can have a spread of mallards alongside a handful of divers.
Though not a must-have, you can add goose decoys to the mix. Often, especially when the season is open, an opportunity arises where you can bag a bonus goose. Even more, a goose decoy will instill more confidence in the flock.
Aside from the species, what style of decoy do you want? Generally, there are flyers, butt-feeders, and floaters.
Rippler mallard decoys add more life-like movement to your decoy spread. Butt-up feeders, on the other hand, replicate dabbling ducks in a feeding frenzy. They, too, add movement to the spread. Flyers add even lots of motion. And compared to floaters, they create more reassurance that the spread is a safe place to land.
Well, going with one style will work. Nonetheless, I recommend more versatility for a greater chance of success. So, should you have the money, you can incorporate butt-feeders, flyers, and floaters into the spread.
Going for a duck decoy the same size as the duck species you are hunting has always been the norm. But lately, avid waterfowl hunters have proven that bigger is better.
Apparently, a larger than standard decoy is easier to see from a great distance. Even more encouraging is that waterfowls are not wary of the slightly larger size.
Aim for a duck decoy that is as realistic as possible. It should have great attention to detail regarding the duck species it represents. The markings and shape, for instance, ought to be accurate.
As far as duck decoy hunting goes, durability is key. After all, you want a duck decoy that will last for many hunting seasons. Among other things, it should hold its own, even under the harshest weather conditions. Consider durable features, such as chip-resistant paint.
Pay close attention to the decoy construction material. Contemporary duck decoys use modern materials, such as plastic and rubber. Well, each has its strengths and weaknesses.
Plastic duck decoys, mostly polyethylene, are pretty durable. It does, however, become brittle in extremely cold temperatures.
Rubber decoys, on the other hand, offer high quality. Some even go the extra length to include an air valve. Hence, you can deflate after use for easy storage.
Foam-filled duck decoys offer excellent buoyancy and leak-free performance. It does, however, sacrifice weight and portability.
Not all waterfowl hunting is done on the water. You can as well bag yourself a couple of birds on the field. And for that, you need field decoys, predator call, and goose call. Like floaters, field decoys come in different types ranging from silhouettes, windsock to full-body decoys.
Silhouettes are fairly inexpensive. Hence, you can but more to create the illusion of a large flock. However, they are not as realistic as full-body and windsock decoys.
Windsock decoys are a bit on the expensive side. Nonetheless, you can store more in a small place.
Full-body field decoys, as the name suggests, represent the entire bird, making it more life-like. However, it’s pretty expensive and hard to store.
Weights or anchors maintain stability and keep the decoy afloat. Overall, aim for an anchor that’s heavy enough to keep the decoy stable in currents. Yet, it shouldn’t be overly heavy as to sacrifice portability. After all, you want a decoy that is light enough to carry.
Also, aim for an anchor that doesn’t tangle with other weights or lines. It gives peace of mind during use and when in storage.
Aim for a stronger, more rigid line. It should be waterproof and tangle-free. Also, it should not fray. You can choose a pre-rigged line or one with a swivel end. The latter allows for easy adjustments.
Aside from durability, aim for a line long enough for the water depth. Generally, dabbling ducks that feed in the shallows demand a short line of three feet or less. But for deeper waters, you’ll need a longer line for good movement.
It’s not a must-have. However, for the serious hunter who demands a dozen decoys or more, a decoy bag will come in handy. Look for a sizeable bag, and where possible, one with individual compartments. Also, aim for a hunting bag or mesh bag or that will drain off the water.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: How many duck decoys do I need?
Answer: You can put as many decoys as practically possible. Generally, the more decoys you use, the merrier the spread. For confined spaces, I recommend a spread of 6-36 decoys.
Question: Is duck decoy size of any importance?
Answer: Well, a duck can’t tell the difference between a small and a large decoy. Personally, I recommend a bigger decoy as it stands out better against the background.
Question: Do mallards and wood ducks get along?
Answer: Yes, they get along comfortably. After all, mallards and wood ducks crossbreed at times. Hence, you can mix both wood duck and mallard decoys.
Question: What’s the best time for waterfowl hunting?
Answer: You can hunt ducks at any time of the day. But according to avid waterfowl hunters, your chance of success increases dramatically after the first hours of dawn.
Duck decoys increase your chances of success exponentially. Even more encouraging is that there are many options on the market. You can go for basic, battery-operated, or remote-controlled duck decoys. Well, our review of the best duck decoys on the market incorporates all. Even more, it focuses on duck decoys with ultra-realistic shapes, color scheme, and movement. Now that you have the top recommendations, which duck decoy do you find the best?