SoCalHunt Gear Review – Avery Green Head Gear Pro Series Decoys

I’m going to actually call this a preliminary gear review, as I haven’t had an opportunity to use these under hunting conditions…yet. Obviously the season hasn’t started yet, but after breaking them out of the box I was so impressed with these lifelike decoys I couldn’t wait to post a review.

After last season I decided to retire some of my old worn out decoys, some of which were over 30 years old, and get a few of the new Green Head Gear (GHG) decoys by Avery. I bought a dozen of the GHG Pro Grade teal, a dozen GHG Pro Grade Widgeon and a dozen of the GHG Pro Grade mallard resters. These decoys are sold in sets of six and with each set of the teal and the widgeon there is 1 high head drake, 2 rester drakes, 1 surface feeder drake, 1 rester hen, and 1 surface feeder hen. The mallards, also sold in sets of six, being the “resters” came with 3 rester drakes, 1 rester hen, 1 sleeper drake and 1 sleeper hen.

One of the great things about these decoys is, as you’ve already read above, the fact that they are posed in different positions. No longer do you have a pond full of decoys with every decoy looking exactly like the next and all posed with their heads high as if the whole flock is on alert. Avery also touts what they call their 60/40 keel, which is supposed to make these decoys float in a more realistic manner on the water. The detail on these decoys is amazing and the color so realistic that it appears they will jump up and fly away if you get too close to them.

I took a couple of the teal and widgeon out to San Jacinto Wildlife Area on the last volunteer workday just to see what they looked like under actual field conditions. I tossed them out into one of the ponds and they just seemed to come to life. (Click on the below pictures for a full sized view).

So, there you have it…so far. I am just so impressed with how these decoys look that I can’t help but think the ducks will treat them as real. Of course, time will tell and I’ll have to post a follow-up gear review on them after a few hunts when we see how the ducks actually respond to them.

A couple of tips for anyone considering these decoys or, for that matter, for any decoys new or old. Over the years I’ve gone away form that thick, heavy black or green decoy cord. You have to remember that the birds are seeing your decoys from the air and looking down into a pond I would imagine a coil or two of thick black cord floating around or just under each decoy has an unnatural look. For a while I used monofilament fishing line, however, under certain conditions you can get some shine off of the mono, especially if the pond is shallow and some of the mono floats to the surface. I have recently gone to 15-pound test spectra fishing line. This stuff is green and is about the diameter of 2-pound test mono. It is just about as invisible as any decoy line you could get. The only word of caution, well, actually two words of caution, is that spectra can cut, so if you have a dog going back and forth through your decoys to retrieve birds it might not be a good choice and it is extremely hard to manage if you happen to get a tangle in one of the lines while putting them out at o-dark-30. It is almost impossible to see what the problem is in the dark. It would probably be smart to carry a spool of it in your blind bag to replace any lines that you might tangle in the dark and have to replace (a little later in the day when you can see what you’re doing).

A second tip, which will help your decoys last longer, is to give them a couple of light coats of Krylon 1311 clear matt finish spray paint (or similar clear matt finish). This will, in effect, “lock on” the painted finish of your decoys and help keep them looking new even after banging around in a decoy bag all season. Just be sure you use a matt finish, as you don’t want bright shiny gloss surface on decoys.

Good luck to all in the coming season.

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