Hunters kill ducks by either pass-shooting them hidden in a flyway or hunkered down in a blind with a collection of decoys floating around. For most, the most-enjoyable way to kill a limit of ducks is when they dive into a decoy spread set right in front of their shotguns. Even a poor wing-shot can usually knock off enough feathers to get one for the box when they’re hovering over the decoys. While a winning decoy arrangement is important, the range of the decoys away from the blind can be the most crucial step.
Most of the best late-season hunting in eastern North Carolina is on the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, where massive decoy spreads are critical to gain the attention to extremely large groups of ducks rafted up on the big waters. But hunters must be aware of how far their decoy spreads extend. If ducks land 60 yards away in the edge of the decoys, they are safely out of range of a hunter’s non-toxic shot.
Jonathan Oglesby of Eastern OBX Guide Service positions his decoys so all of his shooters can easily shoot ducks over the spread.
“I make sure that all of the decoys are in shootable range,” said Oglesby. “Typically, most of my decoys are a maximum distance of 35 to 40 yards away from the blind.”