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Spread Pics & What You've Learned over the years

Discussion in 'Snow Goose Hunting Forum' started by kberggren, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. kberggren

    kberggren Senior Refuge Member

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    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Iowa but Nebraska at Heart
    With the similar post on Goose Forum and Spring Snows 30-45 days away got me thinking about how things have changed for us the last 10 years on snows. We basically started around 2005 hunting snows at our pit and have gone through the transformation of basically 5-6 different spreads!

    Our First Spread Consisted of basically 40 Fullbodies, 50 old duck decoys painted white, and 150-200 old Canada or Homemade Windsocks turned inside out and tail painted on them. Had a car CD Player and 3 speakers for an ecaller. Had 1 great hunt first season were we decoyed in 5 flocks of 1000 or more and was pleased overall with the entire first spring season!
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    Our Second Spread we added about 100-120 Fullbodies another car CD player with speakers the following spring and used only about 120 fbs for about 2 seasons would only use these. Never had any big days and would only decoy in small groups of singles to 6 in a flock. Only times big groups would look was when we would get big groups of dark geese to want to come into the spread or if it was blowing 30-40 mph and birds were flying low
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  2. kberggren

    kberggren Senior Refuge Member

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    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Iowa but Nebraska at Heart
    Our Third Spread Consisted of about started with about 400-500 sillosocks and 60 deadlys and grew over couple seasons to 850 sillosocks and 120 deadly's and about 25-30 sillosock flyers plus 100-120 FBs we had previously. The flyers we tried from 2ft off the ground to 20ft but the height never seem to make an effect except the higher they were the harder and longer it took to put out! The car CD players finally crapped out so I built an e-caller with 4 50 watt speakers run by MP3. Would finally get big groups to start working us more consistently but struggled getting them to come close enough to shooting range on a consistant basis!
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  3. kberggren

    kberggren Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Iowa but Nebraska at Heart
    Having hunted with several friends in Kansas and see how they decoy snows, lesser, and specks in the full I was determined we needed to change our spread to all FBs! I sold all my sillosocks and deadlies and used that money to buy 500 ghg TNT shells and put motion cones on them as well plus the year prior I bought 180 floaters. This was around 2010 so we had 600 FBs, 180 floaters, 30 sillosock flyers, 4 big ecaller speakers, and 4 portable FoxPro type ecallers that I also built! Best spread was to make a Diamond shape with the pit in the center of the spread! Would have kill hole open directly infront and behind the pit, spread would be 35 yds wide and 150-200 yds long and the further you got away from the pit in each direction the further the spacing got with the decoys. This spread worked really well and brought our averages up to 10-15 birds per hunt but we could leave this spread out and not have to change it! Best hunting was always last hour of the day
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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
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  4. kberggren

    kberggren Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Iowa but Nebraska at Heart
    We had pretty consistent luck with the diamond shape and 650-700 decoys. The floaters didn't get use much as they took more time and were a pain picking up and putting out compared to the fbs! I bought 450 WhiteRocks for field hunting so I could have a mobile spread for the spring of 2012! Loved how fast these were to put out and pick up and the fact they didn't take up much room! I had a friend who I field hunted snows with a lot who already had 600 Fbs snows and got a wild hair and traded 30 dz TNT shells for 65-70 dz printed whiterocks (100 with heads) and sold off the rest of my TNT shells. The Diamond Pattern still is my favorite and most consistent and I've shot just as many snows or windsocks as we did with FBs
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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
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  5. nebgoosehunter

    nebgoosehunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Panhandle
    Thanks for the pics Kevin! Cool to see all the changes you've made over the years!
     
  6. CamoHunter870

    CamoHunter870 Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    West Central Iowa
    Very nice write-up and thanks for sharing.

    Over the year's, we've also advanced in the quality/size of our decoy spread, e-callers and gadgets along with how we set our spread. I'm in an area that doesn't get many snows moving thru so we have a spread set up for migrators and one that we chase feeds with as well.

    Both spreads over the year's, we've learned to spread them out length wise and keep them fairly narrow in width along with having a nice kill hole infront of the blinds. When we are in a hurry, we tend to pile the decoys in a ball so have made a big effort in spreading them out even when in a hurry to get set up. Last year was the 1st time we put our blinds side x side and we liked the results.

    We started with mainly silosocks in our spread and over the years have added higher quality decoys like TnT' shells, Dakota/GHG fullbodies, Deadly and Whiterocks. Two or 3 bags of Deadly/Whiterocks and a seed bag of fullbodies are carried on the Ranger for feed fields.
     
  7. nebgoosehunter

    nebgoosehunter Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2013
    Location:
    Panhandle
    2008 was the first year I started decoying snows. I got a heck of a deal on about 275 northwinds from a guy I knew and just used a handheld ecaller hooked up to a speaker. I hunt in an area where we don't see a ton of snow geese (west central flyway pop.) and I hunt alone a lot so I've always favored a small mobile spread. If we see 10-20k birds in a day that's pretty good. In college I saved up to get this starter spread and had some pretty good hunts over it.
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    That first year there was a lot of expected failure but I actually had some beginners luck, including this great solo hunt.
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    I hunted that spread for two years and saved up some more and bought another 250 homeade sillosocks. I never did like them as they were pretty small and I feel like my success actually went down when using both decoys together.
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    In 2012 I sold off those decoys and started over with about 400 brand new sillosocks. Immediately birds started working better but I could tell more decoys were still needed. Finances and life just got in the way of me being able to buy more.
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    I have had some good hunts with this small spread but I realize I need more so I am finally adding to my spread again for the first time since 2012. I still want a "smaller spread" to stay mobile and because I hunt by myself a lot, but honestly I am happy getting into a couple groups of birds per hunt. I don't need to shoot 50+ birds a hunt or 15 per guy type of deal. My expectations are always low going in and I'm just happy when I see snow geese working my spread. Probably sounds lame compared to you hardcore guys but it's the truth. :) Here's to another year chasing the white devils!
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  8. kberggren

    kberggren Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Iowa but Nebraska at Heart
    Thanks For the input Guys! Here's a couple more on what I've learned!

    Decoys - find one you like and stick with it! I'm not a big fan of mixing decoys, for set and pick its much faster when everything is the same! Its hard finding the perfect decoy but I've been very pleased with whiterocks. They are fast to go out and pick up, might not be bad for inner bag but on them no wind days but those are the hardest for hunting so if anything I may skip those days or just hunt the evenings! I have 1200 whiterocks and only way I think to really make a difference is add another 750-1000 more decoys but probably won't be adding to the spread anytime soon! Its usually either just me or 2-3 guys helping and happy with this spread size! I've got friends who got spreads and just once would like to try a 2500-3000+ spread at our pond!

    Gadgets - We've tried 3-4 homemade rotaries and the up and down arm things and actually think it hurt way more than it helped! I'm interested to see what the guys who use the fly right machines say but seems more than half the time they never get used! We'll use jackkites on crappie poles and just do figure 8 if we think we need some motion which seems to help! Tried Real Wings and hate those damn things, they don't work or won't stay up no matter the wind condition!

    Sound - I've never tried lots of different sound files, basically just stuck with snows on the prairie and seems to work pretty good! Sometimes if groups don't even look i'll blare it as loud as possible and if they start to work then start turning it down back to normal volume levels!

    Field Hunting - I mostly hunt at our pit but still get out in the fields and hunt too. I use anyway from 600-1200 decoys depending on the guys and the conditions! I like to set up on top of a hill if all possible and run the spread down the hill if all possible!
    Solo Day at the pond with 500 decoys, shot 27. Ran out of shells but if had 5 guys would have been 250-300 bird day easy!
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    field hunting, shot 18 I think this day
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  9. teamoutlaw

    teamoutlaw Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Fargo, ND
    Good reads. I need to look thru my photo bucket and find some photos and contribute.
     
  10. WLDuckBuster

    WLDuckBuster Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    596
    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2005
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I have been hunting the spring season since 02' started using decoys in 06'.

    The first years were rags and goose gloves
    Now we have 1800 (whiterocks,deadly,SS)
    and about 500 full bodies.
    The set decoys is every way possible
    Donut,teardrop,square, Nike swoosh(my favorite ),snake,blob,ect.
    We have found the long skinny patterns work better for migration days
    And
    Blobs for feeding fields
     

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