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Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ?

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Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ?
I have a question regarding 2 cork decoys that I have. I'd like to hunt these decoys; however, they have no keel attached to the bottom. I'm not so much worried about self righting but I have limited experience with cork decoys.

Will these need a keel attached to float correctly, or were these carved as mantle pieces only ?

Thanks so much for any input ?

Fred



Fred McIntire

Indiana Waterfowler
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
It depends, they could be decorative, very nice by the way, but why put a line attachment on it?
Or they could have been made for usually still waters so they would move better in a breeze.
They look like theyll float fine the way they are. Here..., on the coast we put keels on them and sometimes a counter weight. They take much more punishment, so the keel makes the decoy, and attachment stronger, they track better in tide or wind instead of skittering around, and will right better.
Try them out under your conditions, the worse that can happen is you take them out.
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
With the decoy line attachment I would guess them not to be mantel pieces.

Given how wide they are too along with the species I would say they were working decoys for the marsh where they would have protection from wind and waves like open water.

If you plan to use them in rough water then a keel might be good to add,
Float test them and see how they ride as they are and go from there.




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
If you need a little weight, pour lead onto the bottom of a greased pop or beer can bottom. Perfect dome you can epoxy to bottom of the decoy, if you don't want to keel them. Nice decoys!
____________________________________________________________
FOX ISLAND CHESAPEAKE KENNELS

"I would rather shoot one twenty-four-ounce bluebill than six tons of elephant."

John O. Cartier in, Getting The Most Out Of Modern Waterfowling






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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
Good evening,

I appreciate all the input. I?m going to hunt them tomorrow and see how they do. I did buy a piece of 1?x2? oak while at Lowe?s today just in case I need to put a keel on them.

I appreciate the compliments. They are very nice decoys. I?m sure someone would probably keep them as mantle pieces but I have no ducks flying through the house. I hunted Goose Pond with a buddy the other day. It was amazing to watch the ducks lock up to land and then hit the afterburners and flare out at the last moment. Our plastic decoys were bobbing like a fishing bobber. We think that they picked up on that when they got closer and they weren?t buying it. I have 4 older L L Bean cork Black Ducks, and a cork Golden Eye that I?m going to use in addition to these 2 cork decoys. I?m thinking of just running the cork decoys tomorrow. The spread will be much smaller but I?m thinking they may like the cork decoys better than 2 or 3 dozen plastic mallards. We shall see....

Thanks,

Fred

Fred McIntire

Indiana Waterfowler
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
I think your smaller all form spread makes sense this late in the season. Especially if you are hunting small marshes. Good luck!



Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
Fred~


Gorgeous decoy!


Sea trials are the way to go. You can temporarily attach a keel with our without lead ballast with a pair of heavy rubber bands or decoy line. I'm guessing you will want some ballast if you hunt in any kind of a chop.


Got a photo of the other one?


All the best,


SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
 I'm with Steve, if you shoot small water [water holes, etc] your fine without a keel. I always use keels as I shoot creeks, ponds and bays. Can get 3-4' waves. Prefer weighted keels.
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
If you are in becalmed water, or have a slight wind, no worries-The strap will allow your line and weight plento of motion. HOWEVER, DO NOT use if there is a lot of wind or chop. Question, is the leather strap attached using a screw?
If so, there may be an imminent problem with water getting into the voids in the cork, which will eventually waterlog the deke. Were I you, I would remove the strap and screw after using once, allow time for the deke to dry, THEN use some filler to plug the space previously occupied by the screw. SEAL THE BOTTOM, using spar or GAC 700 or urethane varnish. Use a few coats.
Then try a wood keel, perhaps 1" wide by 8or more inches long, by about 1 1/2" deep. You can use a 3/4" forstner bit to drill two holes in the keel, slightly ahead of the center, fill with lead, then, using gorilla or some other glue, attach keel, AFTER putting keel on with a sturdy rubber band and finding the point at which the decoy will self right. High head w1ll do so easier. Set a weight on the keel while glue is curing. Once cured make sure you paint the keel, including the hole drilled to attach line. Paint also, the area where you filled the screw hole. Hope this helps.
If season your way is almost over, hunt it. Nice looking stool!Wink
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
Fred, I enlarged the underside image, and am noting what appears to be visible cork on the lower edge. If this is what I am seeing, you may wand to make sure you REPAINT the botto, again. If the decoy was not sealed prior to painting, those little pinholes at the bottom are going to give you the heebie jeebies baecause they offer voids where water can wick!!!
It may be best, upon that observation, to put in the time on sealing the decoy.
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
Very good Black Duck Decoys indeed. The maker did a fine job.

Some good advice already given.


I would be concerned about the anchor line tie attachment. If the screw is bedded in a dowel for the head, you are OK, if not it may pull out.

IMO they are gunning decoys made to sit indoors, but can be made to gun over.

Plenty of self riders have anchor attachments.

If the screw is only bedded in the cork, it is a shelf rider, and a small keel can be applied to make it work.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
They?ll float just fine. Those were carved by Derek Bendell who used to post a lot here. They were made for small water and walk-ins. Since GP has no current, I wouldn?t worry about the line attachment unless you?re swinging them around your head :)
------------------------------------------------
"When you're hunting, you have to be ethical. You have to come to terms with the impact you have on other creatures, but I'm afraid we're seeing a new generation of hunters who are disconnected from tradition. Half the time, they don't even know what they're shooting. They're so obsessed with the latest gun, the latest camo pattern, and they think you're some kind of sissy if you don't get your limit."
Grayson Chesser
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
Nice decoys ? If you are going to gun over them I would add an Al McCormick style keel to keep them strong for rough handling.

Joe
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
Based on what I see on the bottom and the way the line attachment is screwed in using them as is for any period of time in the water is going to cause moisture issues with your cork unless the are made from Willey Cork (which has been out of business for some time now). The new decoy cork does not repel water and the screw will end up acting as the draw for water up and into the body of your decoy, this repair will be more involved then sealing the bottom and attaching a keel if you intend to gun over them.

They are very nice looking decoy and I would gun them if mine but only after making sure they are water tight. Hope this helps and if for some reason you don't have suitable stock for a set of keels let me know I will throw some in the mail for you. If you decide to go that route
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
Just curious, how did the decoys fare in use? Hope you had a great hunt.

Bob
________________________________________

My life has two seasons, duck season and carving season
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Re: Cork Decoy Keel or No Keel ? In reply to
Bomber wrote:
Based on what I see on the bottom and the way the line attachment is screwed in using them as is for any period of time in the water is going to cause moisture issues with your cork unless the are made from Willey Cork (which has been out of business for some time now). The new decoy cork does not repel water and the screw will end up acting as the draw for water up and into the body of your decoy, this repair will be more involved then sealing the bottom and attaching a keel if you intend to gun over them.

They are very nice looking decoy and I would gun them if mine but only after making sure they are water tight. Hope this helps and if for some reason you don't have suitable stock for a set of keels let me know I will throw some in the mail for you. If you decide to go that route


Very generous offer and a well stated response1