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french_lake_kid

"U" shape

16 posts in this topic

I know geese & other birds land into the wind. The most common shape I hear to put field dekes in is a "U". Do you put the "U" with the wind blowing into it. Or with the wind blowing to the closed side? And where do the hunters go. I know this is a dumb ? but I'm just tryn to do it right. I'm guessing it with the wind blowing against the closed side, with the hunters in the bend, but not positive. Thanx again smirk.gif

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Wind blowing to the closed side, so the birds...when landing into the wind...fly into the middle of the "U" from the open end. Set your blind up along one of the sides, so the birds come in right in front of you, either left-to-right or right-to-left...depending on the side you are on.

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Jarrod made a good point set the blind off to the side a the spread a have the birds cross out in front of you. dont set the blinds where the birds are looking. you could aslo try using an "X" pattern, it also works real well when the wind is calm or switching directions.

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My best set-up has been "U" but there is many other options.

Sometimes it doesn't matter how you shape your spread but it's about groups and numbers.

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I usually use the U as well but for early goose season a lot of the time I will try to set my dekes up into smaller family groups like you will see the sitting in the fields at this time of year. I still try to keep a center area for the geese to land into though.

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the U can be good, but don't get so stuck in your ways that you don't adapt to the birds and do something unorthodox now and then.

when dealing with pressured birds especially, anything you can do to NOT look like every other spread in the county is going to help your cause

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The U shape is a good starting point for decoy spreads, but do different variations. For example I like to empty out the corners or curves to the U and set the downwind side of the U about 20 yards back of the sides leaving the corners open and then piling alot of decoys into the head of the U. Set blinds in the head of the U and the birds will either come right into the pocket of the corners or right down the middle.

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A "U" horizontal to you can sometimes put the birds on the outside of your range if the don't land "in the pocket" and settle on the outer stem.

Try a "J" or fish-hook pattern. Take the dekes you knock off the outside stem of the "U" to make the "J" and stick them on the hook end so you've got a little more "weight" at hook.

On smaller sloughs don't be afraid to put decoys to "block" birds and force them to your blind. One slough I hunt we want to keep the birds out of a corner so we set up about 50-100 yards to the side and fill the corner with decoys, kind of like a "D". The birds key on our position as the landing area.

I think if you compare the letters you start to see how the ducks TEND to react.

Greenhead in the corner pocket!

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How wide is your patterns usually?

10 yrds, 20 yrds?

is a wider opening better?

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Muleshack,

I have been studing my decoy spread for years and never have it done to a tee. But yes, wider is always better but it depends on how many decoys you have. In this case you can never have enogh decoys. When goose hunting in the field and duck hunting with robo decoys I think the robo duck even when turned off can spook the geese. So if your doing both be very cautious of when and where you have your robo becuase it can do more damage to your spread than help it.

Also I prefer a semi-V to almost a U shape for my spread and flank all the hunters at the furthest point of the decoys and put only one flagger or caller at the tip or up wind of the decoys. That way there focus point is in the "crotch" of the decoys and they are better ambushed for all the hunters. Too if they flair least some one can maybe get a chance as they swing out and away.

My decoys include the following: 4-5 dozen full body, 3-4 dozen silloettes, and 3-4 dozen goose shells. If I'm duck hunting at the same time I put 2 dozen HG shelled mallards and 2 robos ducks. At some point it becomes over-kill so go with your gut and less is more but make sure to make seperate family groups for early goose season.

I hope this helps.

mr

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Apologies MuleShack, I was on the water, not the field.

Regardless, give the birds plenty of room to move, they don't call it a 'spread' for nuthin'! Good luck!

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Thanx alot smile.gif

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the J hook is awsome run the line with your bill decoys put your mallards in the hook to stop the birds and your geese about 20 yards up wind of your mallards in a cross wind mojos in the corner hand place each decoy it makes a huge differance if they stay outside of the decoys move the geese back to make a block that is bigger put your blind halfway down the line

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we use a U set up. We have a few low spots so our hunters are pretty well hidden from the geese. I like to sit into the decoys with my back to the wind. I love to see geese setting straight into me. We have to hunt a very high point as the lower better spot holds water and we can't hunt that until after the early season. All of my goose hunting is done in fields or pastures. we don't have a lot of room for the geese to land but at our elevated location, even if they come in a take a look, they are usually pretty low. The hardest part for us is trying to determine whether to take them when they look, or give them a chance to circle and land. Usually we let them circle and land, but if they decide to go to the water instead of land, we are screwed and every flock that comes in after goes to where the live ones are, we have had decoys set up in sight of geese that are on the pond and there has been nothing we can do about it, but, thats hunting. WE never use a lot of decoys, but the ones we use are quality. We put them in little family groups with enough area for them to land.

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Success is not due to the shape you start with. Ducks always come when you go out in your spread to change something. We take turns because its like clock work. I am kidding slightly. I am a modified J hook believer, with a small pod of geese holding the bottom of the J and then I fill in the top with geese. The middle I leave the mallards. I find that either species likes to see mixed company. I like to hunt bigger water and I pick a spot where the wind is not straight to my back, I like the birds to cup in and almost go parallel to the shore. That way with a big group, everyone gets some shooting.

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We use more of a w patten. We also set them up in pods of family goups -- say 3-6 in a small group but loosely form a W.

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