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How about shell snow decoys?

Discussion in 'Snow Goose Hunting Forum' started by waterswatter, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. Birdcrazy

    Birdcrazy Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Jul 29, 2018
    Man...lot of work, i'd just put them on the ground.
     
  2. Blackduck

    Blackduck Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    641
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Location:
    VA
    Hmm, I have a different take than most on here. Let me preface this by saying that I have only been doing this for a few years, so I'm still figuring things out. Always chasing the X, set up that night, break down after the hunt and pack up. I have 1200 socks, 120 fullbodies for the kill hole or a small set, and 48 5/8 shells on universal stakes that I got to try. I have the motion cones for the shells, but haven't installed them. I have been hauling all 48 shells in one 12 slot decoy bag, 4 to a slot. Takes the same bag and same space as 12 fullbodies, figured I would try it as an idea to haul more numbers that looked better than socks. Worked great as an experiment, but heavy as heck and it means taking heads on and off each time, which takes a ton of time. Moving forward I intend to purchase more 5/8 shells and to install motion cones in all of them, leave the heads installed and stack them belly to belly, 2 per slot. This will be 24 decoys per 12 slot bag, ready to deploy, and easier to handle than 48 in a bag. As said earlier, placed low to the ground on stakes they are nearly as good as fullbodies, but I'll haul twice as many in the same trip as I will with fullbodies. Each decoy has it's time and place, but for me the 5/8 shells on motion cones 24 per 12 slot decoy bag will be the way I will shift for using most often. Socks are great for numbers and drawing power, but on the X you can use less draw and I seem to finish more birds with fullbodies/shells. Ultimately would like to have 200-300 5/8 shells to go with my 120 fullbodies and that will be my go to spread. Socks are great when the wind is blowing, and you are running traffic or on a big feed and want numbers. So, again, every decoy has a time and a place. Figure out what type/style of hunting you will be doing and purchase accordingly.
     
    waterswatter likes this.
  3. CA Birdman

    CA Birdman Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    10,375
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    Bought 6 dozen shells and bought the motion cones as all my FBs use same stake. I don't like them compared to FBs so will sell off here over time.
     
  4. IA Backwater

    IA Backwater New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Location:
    SE Iowa
    So, do a lot of you guys that don't have the motion cones in the shells just set them on the ground??? I know that universal stake is a pain for sure.
     
  5. waterswatter

    waterswatter Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    6,241
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    Aug 11, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    I'll tell you what a pain is and that is hauling those heavy Final Approach lead-filled full bodies out and about.
     
  6. 870

    870 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    525
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2000
    Location:
    Waterfowl Heaven Alberta Canada
    We have 22 dozen of the GHG TnTs. We replaced all the GHG motion stakes with the rounded washer Higdon Alpha Wobbler metal stakes. We had to drill the hole in the decoy slightly larger to accommodate the Higdon Stakes. Much easier to deploy.

    One guys scatters the decoys , second guy goes around and picks up shell decoy,,, "stabs" the decoy and presses straight down on back on the decoy to set into the ground. We don't bother with the small cotter pins that come with the wobbler stakes. Stakes go into hard ground easily. Decoys wobble nicely and stay on in strong winds.

    One tip, don't push the stake any farther than needed to hold decoy up. Stakes buried 4 - 6" into the dirt are a real pain to pull out.

    When picking up, we flip the decoy off the stake leaving decoy on the ground collecting all the stakes first before gathering the decoys. This is the best way we have figured out to make sure we collect all the stakes. Don't think too many farmers would appreciate a metal decoy stake puncturing a tractor tire!!!

    We leave the heads on the decoy and pile them into large seed bags. Can get about 6-7 dozen per bag,,, about twice as many as our Dakota full bodies per similar size bag.
     
    KID CREOLE likes this.
  7. KID CREOLE

    KID CREOLE Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    San Pedro, Ca.
    What 870 posted, nails it
     
  8. CA Birdman

    CA Birdman Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    10,375
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2001
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    I run all avery fb and converted my shell to motion cones, so I only have 1 stake in the bucket. I bought 6 dozen shells this past off season on a great buy. I am not sold on the shells, advantage is lot lighter but probably going to sell them off or just put them on ground without stakes behind us. If I can sell, I will.
     

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