Much of our time spent duck hunting, is done at temperatures near or below freezing. At those temperatures, the plastic used in duck decoys often gets brittle. Whether it’s beating ice off decoys or throwing them in and out of a boat, the chances of them breaking or cracking is high due to the conditions. To test their durability in cold temperatures, we stuck them in a deep freeze for 24 hours, then hit them with a 2×4 piece of wood. Some decoys made it through the test just fine, while others didn’t fare so well.
Higdon Full Size Mallards
The Higdon suffered a tiny crack just below where the head comes into the body on the side it was struck. It’s barely noticeable and took a close inspection to see it. All other parts of the decoy held up.
Hard Core Standard Mallards
The Hard Core Standard Mallard took our freezer/2×4 test the worst out of the rest of our decoys. A sizable chunk broke off of the bottom and a number of large cracks ran up the side of the decoy where it was impacted.
Tanglefree Pro Series Mallards
When the Tanglefree Pro Series decoy was hit, the decoy body itself was fine, but the keel split off. It was a clean break right at the seem where the body and keel come together.
Avery Greenhead Gear Life-Size Mallards
The Avery Greenhead Gear Life-size mallard didn’t suffer any cracks, but there was an indention where it was struck. We tried working it out, but were not able to pop it back out to it’s original form.
Dakota X-Treme Dabblers
The Dakota X-Treme Dabbler was an addition to our series of tests after part 1. At the time of the start of the 90 day pond test, they did not offer a decoy that wasn’t flocked. Now that they have the Dabblers, we included them in part 2 and they will be in part 3 as well. After sitting in a freezer and being hit, the body of the decoy was fine, but the seam where the keel meets the body split. It did not come completely apart, but there is enough of a crack that sand was leaking out.
Avian X Topflight Mallards
Being the softest decoy in our test, the Avian X Topflight mallards withstood the hit from the 2×4. Don’t confuse being soft with being flimsy. Even after spending 24 hours in a freezer, you could still compress the decoy and it showed not signs of being brittle.
DOA Refuge Series Mallards
The DOA Refuge Series mallard showed no signs of wear after being hit.