Motion Wing Decoys
by Johnny "Dr. Duck" Everhart

"The Lord didn't create all duck hunters equal ... Wonderduck just made them that way." - Dr. Duck, 2000

If you haven't tried any of the new motion wing duck decoys yet, you probably will soon.

By the way, Dr. Duck here, and were baaack!!!! Coming to you from the Wilderness Lodge, near Blairstown, Missouri.

A little over eight years ago a Texas banker/duck hunter named Walter Soloman, experimented with duck decoys to create some kind of motion in his decoy spread. Since all species of puddle ducks are very active on water (flapping their wings, splashing around, as they play and feed) Walter thought if only he could bring a little life to his motionless decoy spread to make them look more natural.

He started with a battery powered motor on the back of the decoy that rotated a white flag. This worked very well, but since then, after quitting his banking job, he has developed the Super Wonderduck Walter the inventor/owner of the Wonderduck Company, starts with a magnum decoy, installs two electric motors to power the rotating wings with paddle wheels attached. The wings rotate 350 rpms creating lots of splashing, making the rest of your decoys look more lifelike.

Sounds too good you say? Well, the US Fish and Wildlife is taking a closer look too. The following statement from the migratory bird digest 2000-2001: "At present, Missouri has no plans to ban these decoys. However, if they are determined to be "super effective" and their use becomes widespread, then certain tradeoffs may be necessary. For example, shorter seasons and reduced bag limits may be necessary to protect against over-harvest. in addition, the issue of fair chase will likely be raised and debated. Regardless, information collected this fall will provide the basis for an informed approach to the impacts and future use of motion-wing decoys."

According to Missouri Conservation Department figures, the average duck hunter in our state hunted 10 times last season bagging 1 1/2 ducks per hunt. Also, 20-30% of the duck hunters bagged 70-80% of the total birds harvested last fall. Of course seasons and limits are determined by these harvest numbers, so if every duck hunter starts using the motion wing decoys , how much would it effect the total harvest in our flyway?

This fall all hunters using MDC wetlands will be polled regarding how many actually use this type of decoy.

This will be my second season to use the Wonderduck. Last year we set two Wonderducks among 75 regular decoys and I'll have to admit, they worked great. Not only did mallards and several other species light almost on top of the Wonderduck, well within range but I've also had Canada geese glide over my goose decoy spread to light with the Wonderduck. I have found that these decoys will double or triple your success in setting ducks on the water in your spread. I believe one Wonderduck set with 2 or 3 dozen regular decoys is all you need to greatly improve your success.

Most duck hunters own a good gun, dog, duck blind and several dozen decoys, so why not pick up a motion wing decoy to add to your spread. This sounds like an advertisement but its not ... Dr. Duck knows duck ... I just believe the Wonderduck will make your hunting success equal. Wonderducks can be purchased at such places as Herters, at about $80 each. One D-cell battery will power the decoy for up to 25 hours.

Looks like the jury will be out for a while before deciding the fate of motion wing decoys, so for now , pick one up and have some fun.

Have you heard about the mallard machine? That's another story. I've got one to try and I'll let you know next month.