“Less is more” when it comes to decoy spreads in most of the smaller waters throughout the Carolinas. 

In areas that hold a lot of ducks, bigger decoy spreads are needed, but for most hunters in the Palmetto State and the Tarheel State, duck numbers are moderate, at best, and just a few decoys are needed.

Veteran hunter Cory Holcombe of Central, S.C. will often set out four to six puddle duck decoys and a few divers out beyond his spread.

 “The divers work to funnel the ducks in towards my spread of dabblers, and setting them with an opening right in front of my blind will put the ducks right in my lap,” said Holcombe, who would rather put out fewer decoys than needed than more. “Too many decoys does not look natural to many of the ducks we are hunting. They have never seen that many birds, so a decoy spread of three dozen is just not realistic."