View Full Version : Early Season: Using Full Spread

05-16-2003, 03:08 PM
Just curious on some of your thoughts. We have had an early goose season in my state for the last few years. Limits are pretty easy to come by during this time of the year.

Of course it is a double-edge sword because every time they get blasted they get a little smarter if they are still living, so next time it gets a little harder to fool them.

The question I would like to pose is during the early season when the geese are not quite as educated, would you recommend not putting out the full spread and not use motion decoys. The reason that I say this is if you are forced to hunt some of the same flocks over and over they start getting pretty keen on your setup. We all try different things with different formations, etc, but I am wondering if the rest of you put out the motion decoys and pull out all the stops on early season birds or do you wait until the hunting gets tough, so you have something else to try and get them to commit. Any thoughts.

I have always gone by the motto a "bird in the hand" and hoped that we would get new birds when the hunting got tough but the last few years, I have had to hunt the same flocks for almost the whole season and I might be singing a new tune.

05-16-2003, 06:11 PM
Here in St.Louis I hunt along the Missouri river and in our early season rarely do we use more than six decoys we hole the big guns untill the regular season comes when we need it

05-17-2003, 09:14 AM
In the early season, I also use fewer decoys. Sometimes 5 or 7, depends on how it looks that day. Sometimes 11 decoys setup in 2 different family groups - 6 and 5...

05-17-2003, 12:10 PM
JMO. Do not use anything more than you have to to get the job done. Anything else is unnecessary education. In the early season we try to use close to what has been using the field. Around here that is usually 30 to 100 birds.

Goose Bandit
05-17-2003, 12:53 PM
in the early season I use just about all my decoys I leave out the motions save them for later, use a different formation just about evey time seems to work pretty good

05-17-2003, 04:30 PM
early season i use less decoys.sometimes i use different kinds of decoys.so they don't see the same thing every day.i don't show them anymore than i have to. always save something different for late season when the birds geat real smart

Nick Johnson
05-18-2003, 11:46 AM
Last year it was opening day, that morning we stuck out 60+ dekes and didnt even fire a shell (saw tons of birds, they even were landing in that field) That night we put out 16 decoys and shot 10, yeah it makes a difference in my opinion.

Big Bad Wolf
05-19-2003, 02:17 PM
I try to duplicate the size groups they are traveling in. Some years they are still flying around in their little family groups of 5-10 birds. When that is the case we usually use about 15-20 bigfoots broken into small bunches. Last year I found that because of temperature, moon phase, whatever??? They were buzzing around in groups of 20-30 birds in late August. We used about 30 -40 foots in that case. I try to make it look like one group, (of whatever size I have seen them in), plus a few extras has hit a field and set up shop. We do flag to get them coming but they are dumb as shit at this point so I usually treat them like late season ducks: let them see the decoys, get them coming, then sit down and shut up until you drop the hammer on them. Also, I have never seen a better time to use a hard come back on them after you shoot. Last year me and a buddy had a family group of 10 come right in, we dropped 5, called the other 5 back, killed 3, then called the other 2 back again and wiped out the family name. I have also found that when they commit they do it all the way, so I try not to have any decoys further away than 20- 25 yards because the usually try to sit down right in them. This is where a big spread will screw you. You go putting out 60-75 fakes in little to no wind and you can't get them all as close to you as they need to be, the geese are able to hit your far corners or get in behind you without offering a good shot.