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What Does A Goose Process About Decoys

Discussion in 'Decoy Forum' started by Thinblueline, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Thinblueline

    Thinblueline Refuge Member

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    Being a relatively new goose hunter, I’ve gathered, for instance, traditional shell decoys are effective in the late season during extreme cold spells and/or snow covered fields, because it is common for geese to lay down in those conditions, as shell decoys present. When Canada geese see a spread of shell decoys in earlier parts of the season, when geese are not typically lying down, do they process what they’re seeing and think, hey, there’s a bunch of geese lying down in a dry field when it’s only 45 degrees, so that ain’t right, we are outta here?

    So many guys report custom decoys are so ultra realistic they are commonly more successful with a fraction of the decoys, using a mere handful to no more than 12-18 custom decoys, and shooting more geese than they did when they were using five or more times the number of decoys.

    A couple of the custom decoy brands are spectacularly realistic, but some of the other more widely produced and less expensive decoys are looking pretty darn nice too. Do Canada geese really pick up the small details that make the customs even more realistic, and become more convinced there is real geese down there, more so than when they see other quality and realism respected, albeit mass produced decoys down there?
     
  2. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator

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    Nobody knows. I've even tried waterboarding. They won't talk.
     
  3. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

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    The guys who study such things credit ducks and geese with being able to discern detail at two to three times the distance we can. So their hardware is more than capable of discriminating between good or bad decoys - or even excellent decoys vs their brethren. So the question becomes one of how well their experience has programed them to rely on that ability.
     
  4. EWUEagles

    EWUEagles Senior Refuge Member

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    I feel like you're going to get two answers. 1) DSD's are the only decoys I buy! or 2) Geese have pee sized brains and people use tires. This topic is brought up all the time and there is no right answer. It's what is right for you. I like nice decoys so that's what I use but when I need a couple extra decoys I add in silos. This weekend I ran DSDs and silo. Geese really loved it. They landed with the DSD's, why? I believe it was because that's what we put in the kill hole not because of the quality. It seems like honkers don't need the numbers that lessers do. Every time I hunt lesser with 5 dozen or less they don't even look, where honkers I have shot with using just 12 decoys.
     
  5. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator

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    EWU is right. Answers (when this comes up) are all over the board.

    The facts are, hunting success can be quantified by commonly held percentages. 50% is location. 30-40% is staying hidden, tho, of course, that goes way up if you are poorly hidden. So, that leaves 10-20% between decoys and calling.

    Now, the calling guys will argue their talent is more important. And, if they are not on the X (running traffic) that could be true. The decoy guys will claim their importance of detail, and again, that could be true. If everyone in the area is running B&W's, silos, shells, big sets, small sets, then changing up might matter. I guy with 2 doz DSD's might be more successful than a guy with 10 doz RG silos, especially if some of the birds have been exposed to shooting over those silos.

    And, yes, guys have killed birds over half-tires, for decades. They probably don't bring up the fact those tires are in the middle of a grain field.

    In most cases, decoys are for the eye of the hunter, much like camouflage patterns. I know my flocked duck decoys certainly are.
     
    JP and partyfowl like this.
  6. noweil

    noweil Elite Refuge Member

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    Not my picture. A picture someone else posted in the past. downloadfile-1.jpg
     
    Fowler267, Il. MudDuk and callinfowl like this.
  7. callinfowl

    callinfowl MEGA.

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    (LONG)

    The guys that spent tens of thousands of $$$$ feel the need to prove that the birds react 100X better over their spread. I've seen the very same birds react just as well to black and white painted plywood cutouts on the same day in the same field or the field next to it.

    Buy what you can afford, or what makes you happy and gives you the confidence that you need to be successful in the field.

    My money is going to old shells and black and white cutouts or rags/socks, why because they work and work well for me.

    The very same reason I buy used junker duck decoys these days they work just as well as the ubber realistic decoys. The only nice decoys I haven't sold are my Herter's suck ducks because they are so light for carry in hunts.

    Learn to call well so that you are better most of the other guys you encounter in the field. But most importantly learn to read birds, so you know when you should and shouldn't be calling. This is a lifetime achievement type of deal, you never stop learning. You will scare away far more birds than you will call until you figure out what works in your area.

    Some people will say birds are birds and it doesn't matter what state or area you're in.
    That is complete B.S. in fact I've hunted with guys that are flatout amazing open water callers that can bring the birds into the decoys more times than not. Then move the very same amazing caller a mile away into the marsh, and they can't call a bird to save their @ss. It's all about cadences, volume and confidence, don't be afraid to scare the birds. That is the only way you are going to learn how to get them back and what works in particular situations. Practice, Practice, Practice, year round.........then practice some more!!! The best callers I know are the most ODC people I know, I fit somewhere in between.

    Personally I think good calling is a much better tool to have in your box than good decoys.
    I've pulled birds into shotgun range thousands of times without having any decoys out at all. "Your millage may very" find your nitch and stick with it, if it's not working don't get stuck in a rut change things up until you find what works for you.

    "The best decoys in the world"
    The best decoys in the world, is finding where the birds want to be and getting into position before they get there, and finding a way not to screw up the set up or situation.

    Heck man, that is hunting...."the hunt"
    The hunt is what most of us live for, not the hunting/shooting.

    Pick what you like about what I just wrote and see where you fit in.
    And never get to the point that you think you know it all, if or when you do,
    "the hunt is over"

    Don't take any of the crap you read to seriously, because no two people will ever agree that their way is the best way. Keep hunting until you find your way and what works for you. Most importantly go have fun, that's what this is all about. I've never met one person that is hunting for the food alone. Most guys are doing it for the love of watching the birds work and react to their "set up", whether their set up is decoys or just a good hide

    Go have fun with friends and family, that is what "the hunt" is all about.

    Good luck.
    DanK:yes:tu:tu:tu
     
    yankeegray likes this.
  8. callinfowl

    callinfowl MEGA.

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    100% is location, location, location!!!!!
    Everything else is a moot point unless you're in an area with birds.
     
  9. Tuleman

    Tuleman Elite Refuge Member

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    Back in the sixties and seventies, when I first started hunting ducks and geese, the shells were deployed in the fields on cross-stakes, not just placed on the ground. These stakes got the decoys six inches or so up off the ground, giving them the illusion of a goose standing up. If you're worried about geese not liking their 'brethren' all sitting on the ground, put those decoys on stakes.
    However, from up in the air, I doubt a goose can tell if a decoy is sitting on the ground or standing on the ground.
     
    JP and callinfowl like this.
  10. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator

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    So, if you are in an area with birds, you will get your limit, every time?
     

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