It’s that time of the year again to prepare your duck and goose decoys for summer storage. After a long (and hopefully successful) season of duck hunting, without a doubt your duck decoys are covered in mud and dirt, and you’ll need to wash them thoroughly before you put them away.
Cleaning your decoys can be as easy as spraying them off with a water hose, and then wiping them down with a paper towel. However, many experienced hunters caution against using soap, because it may leave an unwanted shine on the finish.
The following are some fast and easy tasks that will not only extend the life of your decoys, but will also keep them looking new and ready for the next hunting season
1. First of all, if you use decoys with flocking, you’ll need a pair of soft gloves to help remove mud or debris from the decoy without loosening the flocking.
2. Once you’ve removed a degree of mud and dirt from the flocking, the next step is to wash the decoy.
Note: Several hunters recommend a car wash because the high pressure wash cleans off some of the worst baked-on dirt from the decoys, and you can also wash a large quantity of decoys in a very short period of time.
3. After you get all the decoys clean, be sure to let each of them dry completely before you put them away (or back into the trailer).
Important: When you wash Canada goose decoys, be sure to get the white portions of the decoy as clean as possible. Because of the contrast between the black head, neck, and the white, it’s important wash the white portion thoroughly in order to get the decoys within gunning range.
4. Once your decoys have dried off completely, be sure to place them in a decoy bag and store them in a dry area.
These few simple and easy steps will add several years to the life or your decoys, and will also ensure that you and your gear will be ready when open season comes around.
Once you clean and store your decoys, the following are some additional ideas you can use in order to get them ready for future hunting excursions:
After you’ve cleaned and bagged your decoys, you’ll need to find a clean, dry place to store them. Damp decoy bags always attract mildew, and will often tear and become thread-bear over time. Also, if you have decoys with flocked heads, be sure to cover the heads with a small trash bag or a sock to avoid any damage to them.
Keep the rodents away.
Since decoys and bags can provide a nesting place for mice and other rodents, it’s essential to avoid storing your decoys in the cold, damp, areas of your home, such as the garage and basement. If you have to store decoys in the basement, be sure to hang them on the wall where they can’t be reached.
It’s essential to take good care of all your hunting gear—especially when it comes to decoys. If you follow the above guidelines, you’ll be able to get more use out of your decoys, saving you lots of money in the long run.
It may sound like a daunting task at first, but it’s always a good idea to clean and store your decoys properly so that you can use them on future hunting trips.