I’m a bit of a purist in the way I shoot and don’t use many gadgets when I’m out decoying. I know many of the flappers, whirlies and gizmos work very well, it’s just not my way of decoying.
Recently, however, I was offered some kit from a gamekeeping friend’s wife after he had died. It was sad looking through his kit, but his wife needed to tidy up and make space. She was keen for me to take all of it but that didn’t sit well with me and she wouldn’t accept any money. We finally agreed that I’d make a donation to the Heart Foundation charity and that seemed to suit everybody.
In among the kit was a set of lofting poles. Years ago I used to regularly use decoys, either hung from trees or on top of poles, but I got out of the habit. With a little modification – two pieces of stiff wire and some duct tape – I have made the poles both easy to use and, as they’re made of aluminium, they’re very light.
On top of the wire I put two full-bodied decoys. All I have to do is wedge the pole next to a hedge or against a tree to get the decoys into a visible place for the approaching birds to see.
They work very well and seem to help to increase the number of birds coming to my pattern. Even if it’s only another 5%, it’s worth the little effort of putting them up and on a big day that could be quite a few birds.
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