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Jimmy from Cottage Grove

new goose hunter here. decoy problem

28 posts in this topic

I am a new goose hunter I have tried it a few times this week in a local bean field. I have 12 of them huge goose shells, and aprox 30 life sized shells. I set them up in a u pattern facing the wind. I seen about 10 flocks, and called them all in. They would cup there wings and float towards my deeks, and about fifty yards out they would flare and leave. I thought that they might have seen me. Then I went to get the truck about half mile away. I watched another flock come into my deeks from the car and they did the same thing. Any ideas? Do they get scared of the oversized shells?

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I use Mags and Super Mags all the time with no trouble. Are they old or new decoys? Sounds like you might have a problem with glare comeing off the decoy or the geese are decoy shy. Loosen up your spead a little, 2- 4 feet between each decoy might help. Plus each day is a little different sometimes it works and sometimes it's a bust, play around with your set up. Before you known it you'll have them landing in your lap.

Good Luck.

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Thanks. They are pretty new decoys. Do you use any other decoys mixed in like those big foots? Do you set up in a u pattern? Do you have to call them all the way to the ground?

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One thing we do is walk around our dekes and make sure nothing is glaring. Also we do a lot of work with the cover up. We now have layout blinds so that isn't a big deal any more, we just blend them into the field real well. But i agree with what was said is to open up your spread. You will be amazed how this will help pull in the birds. But also some birds will be decoy shy but these birds wont flare, they will just swing around and land somewhere else in the field.

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I use 4 doz. foots with the mags and super mags. I don't really have a pattern, I'm left handed so I want the birds to land on my right side so I leave a bigger opening on my right side. I don't call a lot but I flag almost all the time. The birds will tell you what they want. If I get a flare off in the first couple flocks I'll get up and change the spread around. Pressure is a big part of it. If you have birds in a field that haven't been hunted in a couple days it's easier to decoy them, but if they have been hunted a few days in a row it's tougher to get them to decoy if they even stay around to hunt them a secound day. Your mags are a good decoy add some full bodies next year get a good lay-out blind, mud it and brush it really well, keep the wind to your back, put your decoys on the X and your ready.

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If you think glare is a problem, toss some flour baby powder, telc, etc, on the deeks the night before. When you put your deeks out the next day, wipe the powder offf with your glove. This will spread the powder, taking away the glare. Make sure you wipe it well enough so there aren't any white patches. If you have your deek in the back of a open pu truck, you don't have to do anything. The left over powder can't be seen and takes away the glare. hope this helps

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We had to sand down all the bills on our new carry-lite goose shells last year to get rid of the glare. Any time that sun is shining you have to take extra care to make sure everything is natural looking.

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I had a similar experience earlier this year while hunting geese that I know for a fact had not been hunted before us.(Watched them sit in a field that allowed no hunting until they moved into a field I could hunt) These birds should not have been decoy shy at all. The first 2 flocks that tried making it into the decoys skirted us at about 75 yards. Something just wasn't quite right. My buddy pulled out his flag after seeing the geese skirt us, and the next flock of about 50 geese tried landing in the dekes!! He flagged them until they were within shooting range and I barely called. The next flock also tried to land in the dekes as well and we had a 3 man limit!

What I am trying to say is that it will be a different situation every day spent hunting waterfowl. Heck, things even change from flock to flock. As stated, If geese start to flare, change something sooner than later. It may be something as simple as flagging, it may be as involved as completely readjusting your spread or brushing in your blinds better. Keep an eye on the decoy glare on sunny days. I have had better luck decoying on windy, overcast days as this does not play into things as much. If you try everything and can't get the geese to make it all the way to your decoys, It may be an option to move downwind of your spread to intercept them before they flare. Just be aware that it will be more difficult to hide without any decoys to break up your outline. Also, it is typically more difficult to decoy geese in a bean field than a corn field. This is simply because it is more difficult to hide in a bean field where there is less leftover crop to break up your outline.

Keep after the geese! Once you have your first flock trying to land in your decoys and it starts raining geese in your spread, you will be hooked for life.

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Jimmy, for many years I was having the same problem as you are. One thing is yes take a rag and wipe off any dew and dirty your decoys. Second spread your decoys furthur apart than you 8-10 feet apart. Geese bunch up before they take off and when they are on the feed or in there "comfort zone" they spread out allot. So don't be afraid to seperate them and then walk out about 200 yards and view them if you can.

I have been going to N. D. for the past 6 years just for field hunting and was struggling with this problem and just finally broke down agains my own judgement and moved them far apart. Another thing is don't get caught up do the exact "U" or "X" shape. Yes you need to make landing zone but the biggest key is movement, a flag is priceless and when soon as they commit quit flagging. Try is next time and you will see a difference.

meat-run wink.gif

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Jimmy, for many years I was having the same problem as you are. One thing is yes take a rag and wipe off any dew and dirty your decoys. Second spread your decoys furthur apart than 8-10 feet. Geese bunch up before they take off and when they are on the feed or in there "comfort zone" they spread out allot. So don't be afraid to seperate them and then walk out about 200 yards and view them if you can.

I have been going to N. D. for the past 6 years just for field hunting and was struggling with this problem and just finally broke down agains my own judgement and moved them furthur apart. Another thing is don't get caught up doing the exact "U" or "X" shape. Yes you need to make a landing zone but the biggest key is movement, a flag is priceless and when soon as they commit quit flagging. Try this next time and you will see a difference. Owe one more tip, start investing in full body decoys one at a time need to and with the motion stakes that allow the decoy to move in the wind. Sorry I'm on a roll hear but I have purchased insurance decoys, they are snows or blues. They are the extreme of all geese and if you have them in your spread that too should increase your odds even if your not in the a snow goose fly zone.

meat-run wink.gif

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Thanks alot guys!! What is the x pattern?

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some guys put there decoys in the shape of an "X". I never have but mine are more of a straight line or half moon shape.

-mr

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There is a lot of talk and debate about the best decoy pattern. I have had better success by trying to copy what the geese are doing in that field. When you go out scouting, throw your binoculars in with you. When you find a field and get permission to hunt it, watch the geese that are already there and see what shape or formation they are sitting in and attempt to copy it the next morning when you set up your decoys.

I feel that it is more important to be "on the X" than anything. By this I mean be set up exactly where the geese were the night before. A tip I use to do this is mark your mileage from one edge of the field until you are even with where the geese are. Repeat this process from the other direction. (do once on a east/West road, and once on a North/South road) When you get there in the morning, start at the corner where the roads intersect and drive until you are the same distance from the edge of the field one way as the geese were, then drive into the field (if you have permission from the landowner) the distance the geese were in the field the other way. Once there, I like to get out with a flashlight and actually look for droppings, feathers, scratchings and footprints to make sure I am right where the geese were. 9 times out of 10, this is where they will want to return in the morning.

Hopefully that wasn't too confusing and helps someone out!

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No not at all.Thanks. Actually that makes sense. One day I was out, and they took off on me fifty yards out, they landed in a spot similar to where they were a couple days before. The only reason I didn't set up there is I didn't want to get too close to the main road. Aprox 60 yards off the road.

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This may be a long shot but I have never had very good luck in a bean field. Picked corn fields always seem to be a much better choice, at least down here in SEMN. Sometimes the geese will fly in see the type of field and just say no.

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Thanks Guys, I will let you know how the next hunt goes next week. I have a weekend filled with fall turkey action ahead of me.

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Good Luck!

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picture002te2.jpg

Shot this 18 pound hen in the first five minutes of my hunt!!

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Hey Guys, I'm pretty new to Goose Hunting too. The last few years we have hunted with Guides out of Rochester, but have opted to buy our own decoys and laydowns this year to get the full experience and satisfaction of doing it ourself. I have permission to hunt about a 1/2 dozen corn fields in our area, I should have mentioned we are hunting Carlton County, just outside of Cloquet. So far early October was pretty good, but at this point all the locals seem to have moved on. I have seen a few snows and specks, which would leave me to think that I should be on some sort of flyway, but the Canada's seem to have dried up. I assumed that we would see some migrators, as the area that we hunt is the only agricultural strip, however I don't see any action here either. I also drive to the Cities via I-35 3 to 4 days a week and have noticed that the flocks and field sitters seem to be far and few between. So.. Whats up?? Have the migrators already passed us by? Maybe they don't fly my way? I've also tried to hunt fields in the Rock Creek/Rush City area, but I'm not seeing anything there either. Any comments or suggestions would really be appreciated. Thanks.

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I hunt right here in the cities. I see at least 100 birds everytime I am out. I just can't get them to land in my decoys!! ha ha.

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Finally got them to rain into my decoys. I think they were seeing me. Moved into a nice location along the fence line. Hide in the pine trees and this is the result!!

picture016ud4.jpg

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Ok, Now I'm envious. Looks like I'm going to have to venture further south. By the way, you might want to invest in laydown blinds. They work pretty slick, not to mention it's a major rush when the Geese just about land on your head while your looking out your little screen. I had that happen twice so far.

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yeah I know how that feels. Last year my first hunt with my boss, we layed in sheets in the snow. I thought they were going to land on us!! I am waiting for those blinds to go on clearence then I am going to pick up two. I had about ten come in tonight in that flock. I seen about 200 far off in the distance and a mile high. I am hunting in an eastern suburb of st paul. I can here the freeway traffic from my blind!!

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Got off work a little early got to the field at about 3. Got all the decoys set up in about 20 minutes. Sat down. I heard geese and couldn't see them. I look over the trees comes two geese. They didn't even circle they just blasted right in. Boom Boom. Two more geese in the pot. I am actually starting to get the hang of this. I am hooked!!!

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Congratulations and welcome to the world of waterfowl addicts!!!!

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