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Discussion in 'Goose Hunting Forum' started by Dr Duk, Jan 15, 2021.
Anybody scale back the numbers as the season progresses?
Nope. I’ll change decoys and go with more shells, especially in snow.
Yes, we scale it back right now unless we want to pull birds from a feed, or the temps really drop and we throw out 10 dozen + sleeper shells.
We typically set 8-12 dozen, but sometimes more, mid - late season. This time of the season, We may now do 6-9 dozen spaced out in family groups and 2-3’s again.
I hunt pretty small spreads most all of the time now. However, years ago when I lived beside a National Wildlife Refuge that was famous for goose hunting and had many private clubs bordering it and some public hunting fields, I killed 11 geese in the last week of a 90 day season in a public field with 2 Big Foot's. There was a 2 goose limit at that time and the birds were very decoy and call shy. I killed most of them with no calling.
The clubs had huge decoy spreads and guys hunting the private fields would try to put out as many decoys as possible in the late season to pull in birds.
We had to stop hunting at 3 pm everyday and the geese would fly out of the refuge right after shooting time ended. We would scout when the birds came out of the refuge to see what fields they were hitting in the evenings. I was watching a public field that got hunted daily, there was a pair of geese in it. The first big group of birds that came out of the refuge locked wings and dropped right in on those 2 geese. The next morning I got to that field really early to claim it. I set out 2 Big Foot decoys, 1 feeder and 1 sentry. The geese flew out of the refuge that morning, cleared the trees, and sucked right to those two full bodies. I did the same thing every day that last week of season. My 2 goose spread worked really well.
Later it gets, the bigger we go. Sometimes pulling 3,4,5 trailers out at once. Sleeper shells are a must in December. Less calling more flagging seems to yield more positive results though. I have noticed throughout the year for the most part birds on the ground are VERY quiet.
Every situation is diffrent , depends on how hard the birds in your area have been hunted , how educated they are ... I can tell ya one thing I ran small spreads under 18 usually less than 10 ... didn't make any changes to the decoy spreads for the late season heavy hunted birds... Once I switch to running DSDs ... Prior to the switch , the late season birds would land out of shoot range or not come in at all .. No matter what we did ... Late season birds have seen many decoys and spreads and have educated themselves to them , they see less DSDs than all other brands due mostly to higher cost ... Different realistic poses , as well as a decoy that looks exactly like a honker , not pretty close .... Details matter for smart geese , not just your spread and decoys but all aspects of hunting them changes for smart birds .. Hide better and call like what your hearing from them , ask .. answer .. if they're quite .. Don't call as much just clucks and moans ..don't get fancy ... And really use the flag to draw their attention when they're quiet ... Quiet birds are no fun IMO .. Usually have their minds made up .. If your on the X match what you see .. I've always said there has to be a first group , so I never worried about running hundreds of decoys , still worked groups in the hundreds with a small realistic decoy spread and a hell of a great hide ... Hunted the X and Ran Traffic ...if the geese were around we smoked em either way ... Sure miss the good ol days ... Haven't hunted honks in a few yrs and miss it more than ever , Specks and Snows are a huge numbers game and you need the X when your gonna set out 3500 fb decoys ... Fun , but nothing like chasing the heavies ...
I wonder how 2 decoys work running traffic?
Like a fart in church.
Every scenario is different, but generally, when dry field hunting , I don't think it helps to scale down. Its still about location, set up and calling. I might spread them out a bit, with lots of separation between family groups....but if you are hunting ice, nothing like breaking a hole, and setting a few floaters with a few BF's, or sleepers on the edge.
Geese are pairing up locally so smaller is better in our scenario. Field setup up last week was 3 dozen total. 12 Avian X, 18 Real geese silos and 6 magnum shells, well spread out in groups of two to five max. Calling and flagging to get their attention and then a lot less of both. 13 geese for four guys on a sunny day with no wind to speak of. Everywhere is different. Not much pressure on these birds.
Pulled a goose by a river with 3 shells and 5 ducks set well downwind. I'd set the geese for confidence. What do I know.