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Setting up decoys

Discussion in 'Snow Goose Hunting Forum' started by jdlysne, Nov 26, 2017.

  1. Geez n Quackers

    Geez n Quackers Senior Refuge Member

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    Some guys tend to prefer the "ice cream cone" with the bottom point of the cone being downwind. This can be very elongated with the downwind point being 200 yards or more. Since snows typically approach from high up, some believe this long tail coerces them to get lower farther downwind of the blinds and approach the shooting zone lower. Some say they have good success with it. Personally, I have not seen this to be the case. Snows are prone to lift or split to the sides as they approach decoys so why give them more to look at way out in front of you. I think the single biggest adjustment I have made over the years in a sock spread on a feed is to draw the decoys that are far downwind in closer and to the sides. For this reason, I have a slight preference for a flatter, crescent shape layout. I want to get them closer to me before they can get the best look at the decoys.

    Some also like a simple round donut with the hole as the kill zone. Scott Butz seems to use this on his TV show and it's hard to knock the success he has with it. But the single most important thing to me is not the shape, it's avoiding a regular spacing of the decoys. Within whatever overall shape I am setting, I like multiple very tight clusters of 50 - 300, which may reflect 2/3rd's of the decoys. The rest are scattered with as much irregularity as I can achieve.
     
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  2. ArmChair Biologist

    ArmChair Biologist Senior Refuge Member

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    Big blob...irregular spacing between decoys. Don't over think it. The weather/your hide/or your sound has more to do with success then the shape of your decoy spread for snows.
     
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  3. Geez n Quackers

    Geez n Quackers Senior Refuge Member

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    IMG_2976.JPG
    I agree. The birds don't care what the shape of the layout is. But the shape can contribute to getting the birds to come to, or land within a certain proximity to your blind. On the above semi-permanent pit setup, I use an "S" configuration. Sure isn't because the 'S has magical draw on the birds. It's just that it creates two landing pockets either side of the pit. One on land and one in the water. We can readily turn to face either direction. With birds circling and the pit right in the center leg of the 'S', we invariably get a good shot.
     
  4. jdlysne

    jdlysne New Member

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    So where do you position flyers and is there a recommended number of flyers or just seeing what the birds are interested in that particular day? What are the best flyers to use? How many callers are recommended for 800-1000 decoy spread and what positioning in the spread is best?
     
  5. Juvie Juke Box

    Juvie Juke Box Senior Refuge Member Sponsor

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    You'll find with flyers and rotary's there going to be the first thing you take down as soon as birds won't finish, or won't work. Take them down, ok put them back up. It's a game that goes back and forth. Some days they'll leaf right into the rotarys, some days they'll flare at 200 yards as soon as they figure out what they are. Thousands of birds have been shot this fall over them, but that's because there was a stellar Juvie Hatch. As far as how many, seems like on average most spreads have 2 rotarys, and a handful of flyers either leading up to the rotarys or just placed randomly throughout the spread. Some days we run 2 some days we run 6-8, some days zero. Don't underestimate the power of simply flagging snows either. Silosocks flyer still remains the best IMO, with White Rocks being 2nd.

    As far as callers go, it really comes down to how much you can afford. Whether you are buying them, or making them. Our personal belief is the more sound the better, but not just quantity of sound quality of sound. Anytime someone email's us, or calls I always say start with two 4 speaker callers and expand from there. You need sound where you want to be shooting birds, that's the most important part. After that filling in the gaps of the spread so that there is sound throughout the entire thing is going to be up to you. We think it helps, some guys probably don't. When doing so, typically if we are running 8-10 callers the callers that aren't where we are sitting wanting birds to finish or decoy the best we turn down to a volume level that is going to be at about the same volume of a real bird maybe a touch louder. The callers near us will be the loudest.
     
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  6. 10gaBBB

    10gaBBB Senior Refuge Member

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    Geez...the pit set up looks awesome and for that type of hide, with water and stubble your "S" makes perfect sense!

    For fields, as others have said, don't
    get locked into specific shapes or alphabet configurations. Watch how the birds in your immediate area are looking on the ground and try to mimic BUT BE WILLING TO CHANGE things around several times to hopefully get the birds to work your setup.

    Just my opinion but I have always liked the aerial dimension fliers give a spread. (We usually run 1500+ decoys and up to 50 fliers. ) Over the years, I have found it works best for all the SS and WR fliers being placed upwind of the hunters. 90% of the time, the socks will provide enough static movement down-wind. And the birds really key into a mass of wing- beats in the air upwind toward the leading edge. Last season however, we did use Clones as the only down-wind birds just to get flocks to line up where we wanted them. A very realistic flyer and we experienced zero mechanical problems. They just plain look great.
     
  7. ArmChair Biologist

    ArmChair Biologist Senior Refuge Member

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    Fliers and Rotory's are like the mojo dance in the fall. Here comes some geese take them down! Crap, we could have decoyed those mallards if the mojos were up...put them back up! :l
     
  8. 10gaBBB

    10gaBBB Senior Refuge Member

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    Armchair...sounds like you have had bad experiences with rotaries and flyers. Many others haven't. Don't be so quick to discount their value.
    Sure , it seems like everyone has one or two Tornado rotaries out. Effective? I agree no where near an impact as when they came out. But, if you have 8-10 out, they do still catch the birds attention. After that, its up to the realism of the spread, your quality of calling, and how well you are hid that will seal the deal.
     
  9. ArmChair Biologist

    ArmChair Biologist Senior Refuge Member

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    I haven't had bad experiences with rotary's or fliers. Don't know where you got that idea. I was agreeing with Juvie on taking them down and putting them back up constantly. Some days the birds like them...some days they don't. Juvies can't get enough of the rotary's...but juvies love everything. It's just another tool...but if you're not evaluating how the birds are reacting to them and adjusting accordingly...you're missing out on opportunity's.
     
    hyper23 likes this.
  10. Juvie Juke Box

    Juvie Juke Box Senior Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Normally when hunting mallards in Novemeber I could care less about trying to shoot honkers, but specks on the otherhand as soon as one is seen I want to take them down. Usually I am outvoted. Have shot specks with mojo's going but taking them down usually ensures you do pretty good on them. The amount of Juvie snow geese that are/have been harvested this Fall, might make them a little wiser to the rotary's on the return trip. I can't imagine this Spring will be better than this Fall, but time will tell. Like always I'm sure Arkansas is going to be unreal and then it'll be down hill from there.
     

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