Large numbers of live decoys are being used on private and state lands in Maryland, in violation of federal regulations, the Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday.
Live decoys are free-flying, captive-reared waterfowl that are released to attract wild birds. "Some birds, because of their rearing conditions, are reluctant to leave an area once they settle. In doing so, they attract other live waterfowl, making them easy targets for hunters," said DNR secretary Torrey C. Brown.
Waterfowl need not be wing-clipped, pinioned, tethered or enclosed in a pen to be considered live decoys. According to state and federal regulations, the question of whether flying ducks are live decoys is determined case by case.