Thursday, January 6, 2011

Freshwater Readiness: Mallard Minions

My recent efforts to expand my puddle ducking arsenal...

You can't take the sea out of this duck hunter, but you can add some freshwater to the mix and that's exactly what I've been up to for the upcoming 2011 duck season.  I would like the readership to know in advance that every purchase in this post came through Cabelas, which has been a wonderful company to deal with and also has a store in Scarborough, Maine.  The post is link heavy so that you may reference the items that I have purchased or am considering.

I've been very interested in building an arsenal to allow for more duck hunting possibilities, especially when the weather does not cooperate with the sea ducking schedule.  So with some research, smart shopping, and a pretty Mrs. Claus, I've started my preparation against the puddle duck.  So here's how I got the ball rolling...

After a few seasons hunting with my buddy the Rabid Outdoorsman in central Maine, I opted to steal a few tricks out of his hunting bag.  First and foremost, I decided that a MOJO motorized decoy was the ticket.  Not only did we draw in reluctant ducks with it two years ago, I witnessed a neighboring group utilize two motorized decoys while ours was useless with a lost wing.  The ducks seemed magnetized to the spread and at this point, I would have one or two or twelve.

The 2009 set up in central Maine

So I tell my wife I want one for Christmas, but notice the Baby MOJO drake/hen combo on sale at Cabelas for $99.99.  After some research, this move seemed to outweigh buying just one regular MOJO.  When we got around to putting the order in, the sale price had dropped to $79.99 which realistically floored me.  They were on backorder, but still came before Christmas.  They can be bought right now at Cabelas for $118.99 but I'd wait for them to go on sale.  I didn't stop there after Christmas as I discovered the replacement parts kits on sale for $10.09.  I'm not even going to wait for a disaster, I intend to be ready from the start.

Baby MOJO Twin Pack
There exists a multitude of available decoy sets for mallards and I went with a brand which I've used before.  I purchased the Greenhead Gear Life-Size Series Mallards that came with 4 upright drakes, 4 how head drakes, and 4 hens.  They currently are offered in the Cabelas Bargain Cave for $55.99 and seem to have a good quality about them like the two dozen bufflehead sets I own.  I do intend on getting some feeder sets and right now I'm patiently waiting for the mallard surface feeder set also by GHG.

Mallard Surface Feeder Set by GHG

I also discovered while putting out and retrieving Rabid's mallard sets that he had some GHG Keel Grabber Decoy Weights with Stretchee Cords.  I opted for the 7.5 ounce version as I will use these on tidal waters as well.  My only testament to the effectiveness of these is that Rabid has used these for three years now and loves them.  For me, they were a breeze to use.

The purchase that I felt was the most impressive deal actually were the decoy bags in Cabelas Bargain Cave.  The mesh decoy bag was listed for $4.99 and currently at $8.99.  I'm usually skeptical about this type of purchase, but figured it might be a good move.  I liked the first one so much, that another one found is in transit.

Finally with some tarred nylon decoy cord, I feel somewhat prepared to enhance my puddle duck skills in my general area and adjoin the established spread that my duck hunting partner already utilizes.  There is no question that on the first day of duck hunting next year, there will be an abundance of material to share.  The overall cost of this set up ran me just under $200.

Thanks for reading,

The Downeast Duck Hunter


  1. Sounds like some good deals. Cabela's will sneak a good deal in on you if you are not careful. My Dad and I just picked up a couple of Mojo Dove belts that are designed to carry your Mojo dove decoy. It was only $20 in the bargin cave, but the real bargin was that the Mojo doves is included. They usually run about $40 bucks!! Good luck!

  2. Attention duck hunters! Do not attempt to purchase any avian related paraphernalia from Cabelas for at least 6-8 months. Apparently some crazy waterfowler bought them out of all of their puddle duck related gear. Reports indicate they have placed an emergency call to their retailers in high hopes of restocking before the opening of next years opener!

  3. Trey, I checked out your deal... if doves were something of interest here, that's the way to go...

    Rabid, did you notice my extra wing kit??? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure... as for Cabelas, I'm loving my MPGA rate!!!


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