Bringing Decoys to Life Attracts Waterfowl

Bringing Decoys to Life Attracts Waterfowl
Bringing Decoys to Life Attracts Waterfowl

MOUND CITY, Mo. - With little wind blowing early Saturday morning, most of the 300 decoys the hunters had put out were still and lifeless.

But there were some noticeable exceptions.

Six of the imitations were dipping and darting around on the surface of the marsh near the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, creating life-like activity on the water.

Why the stark contrast? Pan to the blind, where Brett Ware was at the controls, using a remote device to create movement in the battery-operated decoys he helped design.


"It's like those remote-control boats we used to play with when we were kids," said Ware, who runs the Ultimate Hunter Co. that sells the Swim'n Duck decoys. "I can sit in the blind and use a controller and get the decoys to go forward, backwards, left and right.


"When it's calm, it really adds movement to the decoys. And that's what attracts the ducks."

Motion decoys are nothing new. Decoys with wings that spin or tip in the wind have been around for several years. But decoys that actually swim the distance of a tether, turn and bob are something different.

John Iden, who runs a hunting guide service, first came up with the concept and brought it to Ware, who then refined it before coming up with a prototype.

The moment that prototype started swimming, it produced impressive results.


"Ducks circle and check things out before coming in," said Ware, who lives in Maryville, Mo., and is an instructor at Northwest Missouri State University. "They want to make sure everything is OK before they commit.

"With these decoys, we were amazed at how quickly they would commit. A couple of times, we would go from having no success at all with traditional decoys to getting lots of ducks to come in with our automated decoys.

"We even did tests, moving the location of the automated decoys, and the ducks would still land near where they were.


"That told us we were on the right track."

Ultimate Hunter, which is based in Maryville, put the Swim'n Duck decoys on the market in 2004. Today, it is found in major hunting outlets such as Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops and is known nationwide.

The decoys sell for about $100 apiece and are available in mallard, pintail, wood duck and widgeon models as well as Canada goose and snow goose imitations.

Ware also has designed fishing lures, which he sells under his Ambush Lures company. But at this time of the year, he concentrates on his decoys.

"I used to hunt with a jerk-cord," Ware said. "I would tie a line to three or four decoys, then jerk that cord to get my decoys to move.

"Now I have this. The goal is the same: to give the impression that there are ducks on the water, moving and stirring up the water.

"Especially on days when it's calm, these automated decoys can be deadly.''

(c) 2007, The Kansas City Star.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Berkley

Berkley's Frittside Crankbaits

World Fishing Network show host Chad LaChance had a chance to visit with legendary crankbait master David Fritts about his new Frittside crankbaits from Berkley. LaChance, host of the Fishful Thinker on WFN, also got a few cranking tips from Fritts, the former Classic and Forrest Wood Cup champion.

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance Enters Trolling-Motor Market with Ghost

Lowrance's Lucas Steward shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead what all of the fuss is about in the brand new Ghost trolling motor being brought to market by the Tulsa, Okla.-based fishing equipment manufacturer.

As KVD tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead, innovative Humminbird products and cutting-edge technology like that found in the new Mega 360 Imaging sonar are major reasons contributing to his unparalleled success.

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Lure Lock Options Includes LED Light Boxes & More

Pro angler Jonathan VanDam showcases new offerings at ICAST 2019, including the ultra-thin, big bait boxes, LED-lighted boxes and backpack-able gear lockers. With Game & Fish Editorial Director Adam Heggenstaller at ICAST 2019 in Orlando.

Trending Articles

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record. Walleye

Record-Sized Walleye Was Foul-Hooked, Agency Says

G&F Online Staff

North Dakota Game & Fish Department said the 16-9 walleye doesn't qualify for record.

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish. Records

Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

G&F Online Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the biggest pike come from Europe. Records

Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...

 A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest.

Although the art Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

A 7 pound giant taken on a jig during the pre-spawn transistion in the Midwest. Although...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

A father and daughter with their dogs on a dry ground mountain lion hunt get more than they bargain Stories

Arizona Mountain Lion Hunt Turns Into Dangerous Jaguar Encounter

Aaron Decker - November 30, 2011

A father and daughter with their dogs on a dry ground mountain lion hunt get more than they...

 Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin 30.30 Stories

Grandpa's Gun Tags Giant Buck, Ends Multi-Year Quest

Lynn Burkhead - November 21, 2017

Missouri hunter Tim Phillips is all smiles after using his late grandfather's worn Marlin...

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season. Whitetail

Oklahoma's Big Archery Bucks of 2018

Kelly Bostian

Where and how some of the state's best archery bucks were killed last season.

It was a difficult question for a young hunter to ask, and the answer didn't come any easier. Stories

Deer Camp Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Jeff Johnston - February 04, 2020

It was a difficult question for a young hunter to ask, and the answer didn't come any easier.

See More Stories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.