If you’re dreading the thought of untangling dozens and dozens of decoys to prep your spread this season, an ingenious invention by a Central, La., duck hunter will make the job easier and keep you from losing from your religion opening morning.

Carlo Paternostro, a heating and air-conditioner contractor servicing metro Baton Rouge, created the Decoy Buddy after years of hunting at Wax Lake Outlet, an area noted for dramatic tidal changes that would often send his spread headed for the Gulf of Mexico.

“The current would come so fast, we’d be out there and six dozen decoys would start taking off out the country,” he said with a laugh. “And if we would set up and we weren’t in the right spot, you’d have to pick up that six or eight dozen and wrap them all up, regroup, move to a new spot and go do it all over again.”

He vividly remembers watching almost 100 decoys drifting away about 15 years ago and being inspired to build a better mousetrap. 

“I thought, ‘Man, there’s got to be a better way than this,” he said.

The end result, after years of prototypes, tweaks and modifications, is a palm-sized, 8-ounce unit featuring 10 feet of No. 18 tarred nylon line that retracts with a built-in reel.

And teeth molded into the durable plastic mold dig into sand, mud, grass and muck, helping to keep decoys in place.

By pressing a release button, hunters can adjust the length of line used when placing decoys, and then they can conveniently retract the line inside the Decoy Buddy when picking them up.

An included snap swivel attaches the string to your decoy.

“When you take the Decoy Buddy out of the box, all you have to do is attach it to your decoy,” Paternostro said. “It’s ready to rock.”

If your spread is in water deeper than 10 feet, the Decoy Buddy can easily be customized by the hunter to hold up to 20 feet of string.

“But you don’t want to overfill it because then it’s really tight to pull out,” he said.

Area retailers include Bowie Outfitters, Spillway Sportsman in Brusly and Songy’s Sporting Goods in Houma.

For more information, or to place an order, call toll free 855-248-7861.To watch product demonstration videos or place an online order, visit www.decoybuddy.com