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Old 10-31-2011, 08:25 AM   #1
Bluewing Teal
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Default Burlap Decoys

I was just curious to see what experiences or perceptions hunters had of Burlap decoys. I know Herters and Fowl Foolers have manufactured them in the past, but I have never actually used them. I guy I used to work with raved about them and cork decoys. Your thoughts?
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:38 PM   #2
Bluewing Teal
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Default Re: Burlap Decoys

I make and sell burlapped foamers, so my views are biased. But...

For every hunter, every budget, and every hunting situation, there is a decoy available. You should weigh the pros and cons of each. Some are more expensive, but made in the U.S.A. Some hold paint better than others, but maybe they are heavier than most. There are cheap decoys, but you'll more than likely be painting them quite a bit. And on, and on, and on.

Burlapped foamers are appealing on many levels. They are a nice middle ground between all alike, out of the box, standard plastic decoys, and high end, hand carved cork or wood decoys. While you may not be able to change the dimensions of the decoy, or it's physical traits, most custom decoy makers (foamers) will allow you to choose your own hen to drake ratio, head positions, keel set-ups, etc. You won't find that coming out of China! It's nice to have a few sleepers, and a few dekes looking in random directions, rather than all 12 straight ahead, same pose.

Plastic decoys are notorious for loosing paint. Plastic is an oil-based product. Even after production, very minute amounts of oils remain, making it difficult for paint to adhere properly. Burlapped foamers tend to hold their paint well. And if you use slotted bags (I recommend) for storage and transportation, you'll get years of use without repainting or even touching up.

Shoot a plastic decoy. We all know what happens. They're a pain to fix, if it's even fixable at all. Foamers will not sink. Just for fun one day, I took a blue bill that I made and I shot it. Three times, at a measured 20 yards, with 3 1/2 inch 2 shot. I hammered it!! It was in need of some cosmetic repairs and paint touch up, but it floated just as well as any decoy that hadn't been shot. I used to take it with me to shows as a demo. People were generally quite impressed with it.

With foamers, you have a certain amount of flexability in changing species. Changing mallards into pintails, or buffleheads into harleys is relatively easy. You'll need some new heads. But the bodies are there, ready for new paint schemes. That's not always so easy with plastics, and keep the species profile.

With minimal care, foamers will last a lifetime, if not more. Go ahead and pass those Chinavery dekes on to your grandkids. You'll probably get kicked in the shins!!

And, while not cheap to purchase or make on your own, burlapping and painting your own decoys is a great way to sort of keep the duck hunting spirit going through the warm weather. It's been said before, and it's 100% true that it's a great feeling to shoot birds over decoys that you made yourself!!

I hope this was helpful. If not, ask away. I'll try to help however I can.
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