Decoys and Breaking Ice
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By Backwooduckslayer - 11/12/2012 11:36:29 PM
I haven't been duck hunting long but was wondering about decoy spreads in ice. We have to break Ice to hunt at a pretty good size pond and I was wondering if I need to change style of decoy spread with a lot of ice on the pond? Is it better to have a big spread or smaller spread with migrating ducks?  I'm not sure how birds react to seeing ice and if they will even land in our pocket of broken Ice. If anyone has suggestions of how to hunt in these conditions, your advice would be more than helpful.
By Alex Hilburn - 12/10/2012 10:15:04 AM
You're decoys spread should be fairly normal.  If you have some full body sleeper decoys, place them on the edge of the ice around the hole.  A big thing with ice, is that there needs to be a pretty decent amount of it broken it up.  A lot of ice can make birds a little more weary, so work to break up as much ice as you can around where you intend to hunt.

If there is a lot of ice around, though, and its been freezing for a few days and all water sources are locked up...then birds are going to keep moving out of the area to find unfrozen water.
By BDhunter - 2/7/2013 1:02:55 PM
i notice that some ponds big or small might have warm springs that keep many hole open.ducks will cram themselves into this holes.ive witness this. best advice is break hole big as u can throw floaters in it well as full bodies around the ice.
By eloveless - 2/7/2013 3:06:54 PM
In the January edition of DU it says that when you break up ice instead of spreading out your decoy group them closely together b/c in real situations they huddle together to keep warm. That is what they said. Also they said when its really cold it might be better to wait around 9-10 for ducks to move b/c they will make sure their spots thaw out before leaving so when they come back they know it won't be frozen. Again, that was in the magazine and makes sense.
By QuackHead 96 - 2/18/2013 10:16:22 AM
I figured I would chime in, seeing guys left out a lot of useful information. What I like to do instead of using floaters in the hole, is use mostly full bodies on the ice. Keep that hole open so the ducks can land in there. Maybe put a handful of floaters in the hole. Obviously the hole size will determine the size of your decoy spread. When breaking ice, most people just break the ice into chunks. About 25-30 minutes later, everything freezes back up. What you need to do is break the ice into big chunks and slide it under the ice shelf...or just spend a $1,000 and buy an Ice Eater.

Hope this helps!