John Rice

pick up decoy tools

Pulling in dozens of floating decoys after a hunt is a task burdensome enough to make you forget all about the easy incomers you dispatched at dawn. But you can make quick work of the chore with these two tricks.

With a handsaw, a band saw, or a small handheld rotary cutting tool, cut a 1/2-inch angled slot 1 inch deep into each edge of your duck-boat paddle’s blade. Slant the slots about 45 degrees away from the handle. File down the rough edges. The slots won’t greatly affect your stroke, and you’ll be able to reach out from the boat and snag decoy lines from much farther away.

Tie 30 feet of decoy line to a 6- or 8-ounce lead sinker. Twist a half-dozen screws into the sinker at odd angles until they protrude by 1/2 inch. To use, toss the weight beyond your setup and retrieve.