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Spread Debate

Discussion in 'Snow Goose Hunting Forum' started by ziggy4450, Feb 27, 2018.

Spread Design

  1. Defined Shape with a shooting hole

  2. Defined Shape without a shooting hole

  3. No defined shape, with a shooting hole

  4. No defined shape, no shooting hole

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. ziggy4450

    ziggy4450 New Member

    Dec 11, 2014
    There's been some differing opinions within my group on how to set our spread. Typically we set a cigar shape with a hole in front of the shooters. Some of the group feel this is very unnatural and the hole is not needed. That we'd be better off randomly setting decoys with no shape in mind and no predetermined holes. Because after all, real geese don't feed with a hole in the mass.

    The other part of the group feels that a ton of guides and other very successful outfits use the same general shape. Cigar with a hole, or basically a big oval with a hole.

    So my question is, what spread design have you found works for you. Do you set a defined shape or just throw em out there. Do you use a shooting hole or no?
  2. captaininsano050

    captaininsano050 Refuge Member

    Jan 30, 2018
    There's no way to know. You'll never get the same ducks on the same day looking at your spread twice. If you aren't shooting them consistently then try something new. They aren't the smartest and they don't always go somewhere just because real birds are there either. I'd say just throw em out but maybe leave an area not as dense for a "hole". Not 0 decoys, but fewer.

    People get caught up on holes, but when the birds are numbered in the thousands and packed in tight you don't see them having problems dropping in right next to each other.
  3. jolle

    jolle Elite Refuge Member

    Sep 29, 2001
    I won't say I have extensive experience, and usually small spread of 400-600. We've done the "cigar" which is just a 60 yard wide strip getting thinner as it goes downwind 100+ yards. We have put a shooting hole each time and sat both above and below the hole, depending on wind. Haven't had an issue getting birds where we wanted. Last two times out we used more of a V or boomerang with a thick center and arms trailing out 100+ yards getting thinner as it goes downwind. Birds also worked well in this shape up the center to the guns in the middle. It seems birds will get low at times and start lifting as they get over decoys, so I wanted to try this so that they didn't cross any decoys until they hit the guns. This worked well, although the way birds have worked on my last two hunts are far from normal for us. Lots of juvies and Ross breaking off and bombing right in, so this year seems special as others are reporting. So I can't give all credit to the shape, but it worked as designed regardless.

    Around the guns is where most of the sound is also, so that plays into it. I don't think I believe the shape is crucial, but these two shapes I'm familiar with have squared them up very well to the shooters.
  4. Alrik-MN

    Alrik-MN Senior Refuge Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Albert Lea, MN
    Cant say I have ever set 2 spreads that were the exact same. Kinda base it on the shape/outlay of the field that I'm hunting. Typically like to kinda set it so it can be hunted for a NW and a SE wind if I plan on sitting there for a few days. Hunting x's a lot of the time in the early morning its just hurry up an throw em out and a little more difficult to direct people if there is 5-8 people in the dark. Usually the people who are the pickiest are the ones getting callers and rotaries etc. ready. Those spreads tend to look quite a bit different than a spread you set during the day with just a few people and you can take your time. I tend to prefer long spreads with a lot of different spacing. Just try to make it look like geese. I think spacing is crucial to how a spread looks. Dont have every decoy 5-6 ft apart. Have some close, some, far, group here, group there, random. I tend to leave a hole for the birds to focus on as they are coming in n keep changing it if its not working. Fill it, put a couple decoys in it, change the shape of it, make a few more holes, etc. to see what works. When you think you have em figured out itll change. Typically they are going to key in on where all the commotion/noise is at the top of the spread unless its real windy then just try to get underneath them towards the downwind side. A lot of times nothing will work and an hour later birds will just start dropping in to your lap. Good luck
    GreatWhiteWanderer likes this.
  5. MTtracker89

    MTtracker89 Refuge Member

    Jan 13, 2015
    Pekin, Illinois
    Our crew has done it with and without a defined shape, but always with shooting holes. We've never noticed much of a difference between the two as long as theres a concentration of decoys around the hole for the birds to key in on. We've done figure 8's in the past with success, this year we've done a scattered spread with a concentration of birds near our pit and a tail leading to a nearby pond. We've pulled some of the far scattered pods since this pic was taken to thicken around the pit and tail.

    Drone 6.jpg Drone 8.jpg
  6. negooseman

    negooseman Elite Refuge Member

    Oct 15, 2013
    E) None of the above
  7. canpoint

    canpoint Elite Refuge Member

    Sep 9, 2002
    For what it is worth, most guides run the donut, don't have to change it they are smacking them up pretty well. I usually run an R or a slight modification of it. I tweak every day for the wind.
  8. marshmob

    marshmob Elite Refuge Member

    Jul 19, 2007
    Last weekend we set up in a good flight line along with it being where they had been feeding for 2 days. First evening we shot around 30 w/4 guns during the last hour of shooting light and we let a lot of singles and doubles go trying to get larger groups in. The next morning we were ready to stack birds up and shot 11 within just as many minutes until.....THE BIG FEED in the same section. This feed got bigger and bigger and then two more started in different areas of the section. Besides the frustration of watching thousand upon thousands upon thousands of white devils about 500 yards away, I took the chance to see how they were in the field since two feeds were on the downside of a rise and the third was lower in the section. There was only 2 things consistent between the feeds; 1. each was long going with the wind 2. parts w/in a feed the birds were packed tight. Outside of this, the feed could have small groups off the main feed or loosely feeding birds between the tighter groups. There was no distinct spacing or shape and new birds landed just about anywhere. Seeing all this I was trying to think of how can I make 900 socks (50/50 mix of rocks and deadlies) mimic a real feed. Best I can think of is take around 400 and split those making two tighter packed groups so we can move backboards for wind direction, then really space the remaining 500 between those two groups and make small groups outside of that to add size. The only shape would be making it long north to south since the winds are typically one or the other in the spring for us.
  9. CanardNoir

    CanardNoir Senior Refuge Member

    Dec 1, 2013
    Back during the 1970s-1980s and before shooting these "white crows" and/or "rats with wings" became fashionable & necessary - the best two (2) individuals that I personally ever saw and hunted with were from the Texas Coastal Bend - Pat Johnson and Grady Allen.

    Pat was a professional waterfowl guide, and Grady was simply driven to lure theses massive flocks within shotgun range. And both were users of what was then-Charlie Barry's Texas Hunting Products. Back then, Grady enabled the late-Grits Gresham make one of the early VHS tapes on hunting snows & blues.

    Moreover, what was shown to me to be a common thread, was decoy numbers. And if 500 rags worked well, a 1,000 would work even better, and 2,000 may be the Best! Add some motion with white some shells, wind-socks, flags, foam spinners, and team calling - to be assured that your lure would make the birds get down! More was always better...

    And from the air, these coastal migrators appeared to have no-real graphic scheme, i.e. separate flocks or family groupings, as they fed on the rice and soybean fields they happened to frequent. But scouting was also a key to success, because no matter where you hunt, it always helps - " be where the birds want to go."

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