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Cleaning Your Decoys with Dr. Duck

by Dennis Loosier

Making Your Decoys Last Longer

Waterfowl hunting isn’t always pretty.  Depending on your location, and which feathered creatures you are after, you may end up in some pretty sticky situations.  Goose hunters often find themselves in muddy farm fields.  Loading up a trailer full of dekes after a long day and a super early start doesn’t leave much time for cleaning.  Duck hunters might be waist-deep in a swamp with strange combinations of algae and vegetation coating hunters, blinds, dogs, and decoys. There are endless other ways that waterfowlers and their equipment end up looking and smelling foul after a long season afield.

To maximize the longevity of anything, especially hunting gear, frequent care needs to be taken.  If there are long breaks in between your hunting seasons, or from year to year, cleaning decoys should be on your agenda.  Dirt and grime that are left on annually will accumulate, muting the colors and inviting mold and mildew to grow in storage areas.  Find an outdoor area where you can lay out your decoys and wash them thoroughly.  There is no special “decoy degreaser”, just simple car washing soap from Walmart or an automotive store will suffice.  Lather up a rag and scrub each decoy until it’s back to its original state.  Then, hose off your spread with clean water and let them dry.  Storing them dry and clean will add years to their appearance.

Every gear-related purchase that a hunter makes is an investment into a sport that they love.  With a little post-season work, these can be long-term investments!