THE BOOK OF DUCK DECOYS.
| From the first hoop to the last the drop, which should be very regular, is about 4 in. each at their summits, and their span from 6 in. to 8 in. less as they follow along the pipe.|
| The Netting that covers the hoops should not reach within 4 ft. of the ground at the entrance of the pipe on either side (see cut "Entrance to a Decoy Pipe," page 37). It can be lashed to a stout wire or light iron rod running along from hoop to hoop.|
A little farther up the pipe these gaps may be decreased by the netting and rod being brought lower down, by 6 inches or so, till they finally slope down on each side to the ground when level with the last screen, and so completely close the pipe from thence to its extremity, leaving no opening whatever for a bird to escape through.
These apertures in the net of the pipe all along the front of the screens and opposite to them enable the ducks to view the antics of the dog the more plainly and give the pipe a less confined look, especially at its entrance.
The birds never attempt to escape through them, however hard pressed. The net (a diamond mesh) should be of best handspun hemp well coated with Stockholm tar, 1/8 in. thick to the first bend of the pipe from its mouth; from thence to the tail end of one-third smaller material. If too thin the ducks, when driven, will try to burst up skyward, instead of following the length of the pipe as they should do. I do not approve of wire, though more lasting, as in a strong breeze it sings a tune, and I have often failed to catch ducks for no other reason.
If a good many fowl get into a wire-covered pipe, some will damage and cut themselves against it badly, besides sending their feathers in all directions floating down the pipe, a sight not unremarked on by uncaught birds. I have even seen the body of a bird killed by wire drift into the pond and cause great mischief.
Wire is also very cumbersome to fix or handle. The mesh of the net can be 4 inches across, from the entrance of the pipe to the first bend, or large enough to just not allow a duck through it with folded wings, and then diminishing to 3 inches till the last screen is reached; from thence to the tail end 2 inches, or small enough to prevent a Teal from squeezing through.