Decoy size for early season

Discussion in 'Goose Hunting Forum' started by mazenblue, Aug 27, 2017.

  1. mazenblue

    mazenblue Refuge Member

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    Nov 15, 2015
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon
    I know that generally you set out a smaller spread for early season to go along with smaller family groups of local geese. The only issue seems to be in my scouting the groups are upwards of 50 plus, between me and my partner we have 15 dozen. What would you more seasoned guy suggest?
     
  2. Wareagle1

    Wareagle1 Senior Refuge Member

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    Oct 31, 2014
    Location:
    Tri Cities, Wa
    If your where they want to be I wouldn't go crazy on spread size. 4 to 6 dz an you should be good. If you feel like going bigger go for it, it's not gonna hurt anything, just more work.
     
  3. marshmob

    marshmob Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Kansas
    You know the story of the young bull and old bull on the hill looking down on the herd of cows? If so, think of that when deciding to throw all your decs vs just what is needed
     
  4. calstefanko

    calstefanko Senior Refuge Member

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    Jan 2, 2017
    Location:
    Davison, Mi
    If you have the field that geese are going to then just use a few doz nothing crazy, obviously the size of the geese are going to range, Id use a mix of leaders and regular size dekes
     
  5. mpkowal

    mpkowal Senior Refuge Member

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    I always try and match what I am seeing in the field,whether it be size of spread or how spread is set out,ie.family groups loosly spaced,tightly spaced,early I usually use 99% feeders.
     
  6. Honker Ace

    Honker Ace Refuge Member

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    Keep the spread size limited early on as much as possible. With my normal hunting crew we can get a couple hundred full bodies out in the field, but usually stick with around 50-60 full bodies early on, and maybe a few shells to change looks (can vary by how many shooters we have that day too) as we want to be able to throw out a variety of different looks later once the birds are pressured. That is when we will begin adding more full bodies, shells, etc...Anything we can to copy not only what we are seeing but to give that little different look than what has been shown in the past. Eventually by peak migration though it is just all the full bodies we have and being where they want to be.
     
  7. ArmChair Biologist

    ArmChair Biologist Senior Refuge Member

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    Dec 16, 2016
    Location:
    MN
    There's so many factors involved here besides early season. If the geese are using the field I'll run 1-3 dozen decoys early season. It doesn't matter if 50 geese or 400 geese are using the field, that's enough if they are comfortable in the field already and you set up where they were feeding previously. That's the easy part.

    If you're hunting traffic you're going to want to put out allot more decoys then that. It doesn't matter if it's early season. Do you have molt migrators in your early season? If you do and you're going to get a north wind you want to put all your decoys out. If I'm running traffic or there's going to be a north wind I'll put out around 200 decoys, mostly silhouettes and socks with some fullbodys furthest downwind. This is enough to pull most any traffic birds and molt migrants during the early season. 200 decoys might seem like allot for September but around here we'll put out 500-800 decoys in November/December sometimes if we're running traffic or there's a migration day.
     
  8. Honker Ace

    Honker Ace Refuge Member

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    Jul 4, 2016
    This is all very true, I was talking in general throughout the season in just ensuring you have different looks (assuming you have the means like we do here) for when birds may get stale. Here I have saw guys cover in just potato vines on a field geese were hitting, set out six decoys and shoot a limit before they knew what was going on. We have also had times ourselves where 200 full bodies on a field we put to bed the night before. Such is the nature of the beast in mid-September sometimes when the weather is warm for a few days.

    Either way, at this point just take a deep breath, find an X, set what you see in the fields, and have a good opening day shoot on fairly dumb birds - it doesn't last long.
     
  9. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Waterfowl Heaven Alberta Canada
    What is the typical flock size expected? We set out 2 - 3 times that many decoys attempting to imitate the first two three flocks on the field. So if we expect see flocks of 5 - 15 of local Canada geese coming in then 2 to 4 dozen decoys should work if we hide ourselves out of the decoys. If we want to hide in the decoys we like a ratio of 20 or so decoys per blind.

    When we chase snow geese that fly in flocks of up to 200 birds then our target set will be from 400 -600 decoys (trying to maintain a ratio of at least 100 decoys per hunter.
     
  10. mazenblue

    mazenblue Refuge Member

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    Nov 15, 2015
    Location:
    Astoria, Oregon
    The normal sized flocks we see in flight ranges from 7 to 15, we typically see 50 or more once they hit the fields though. We usually try and run on average 2 dz per hunter. In the early season we typically also hid outside the decoys.
     

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