Hello, I am new to duck hunting infact last year was my first year. I was just wondering what would be the best setup for both ducks and geese. I have heard that if the ducks see the geese decoys they tend to shy away from them but i have also heard that if the geese decoys are about 25 yards away from the duck decoys then it will be a good spread for both duck and geese. what ways would you recommend to set up a spread of decoys for both duck and geese.
I WOULDNT MIX MY DECOYS TOGETHER. I WOULD HAVE MY GOOSE DECS. ATLEAST 20 YDS AWAY FROM MY DUCK DECOYS AND I HAVENT HAD A PROBLEM WITH DUCKS FLARING ON MY SPREAD. HOPEFULLY THIS HELPS.
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I generally keep them somewhat seperate but at times I will put a doz or so pintail decoys along the outside of my snow goose spread, when hunting a pond of course. The reason I do this is from watching the birds in a closed zone or on non-shoot days on a refuge. In many cases the ducks are right there with the geese. They are opportunists and would much rather get an easy meal of what the geese have left floating in the pond or sturred up from the bottom. I've never had ducks flare from my goose decoys.
Live to hunt, hunt to live.
we've had some good success, with the ducks not flairing at least, by setting our goose dekes on the opposite side of the dyke from our ducks if we have water on both sides. i bet if you flew over wister on a shoot day you'd see a whole bunch of similar spreads. the ducks would be in a "J" shape and then about 25 yards away would be a small bunch of white, snow dekes. we try to look different from everybody but it doesnt really matter if you're in a blind that the ducks or geese want to sit in.
You can sort of mix them up. Even when bunched up, geese have those little family groups that keep a small distance from each other and from ducks. I had set up I used with my coffin blind last year in a pasture. I had a couple doz sillos behind me with a nice lanmding zone for the geese. in front of me was the only pond (10 yds across) for a long ways. I had the duck dekes in there. Three different trips, every single duck tried landing in the space I set up for the geese, ignoring the duck floaters. The fourth time out I just left the duck dekes at home. Same thing happened. Not only did they land in that open area, they landed in between the sillos, walked around them, quacked, and then took off. If ducks are flaring off goose dekes, its because of glare or maybe they are just decoy shy. At least where I hunt, geese dekes are most always a plus.
If you plan on hunting mostly ducks, concentrate on getting duck dekes. Or vice versa if geese are your quarry. But more geese than ducks I is better, especially if everyone else around you has mostly duck dekes and just a few goose ones. There is/was a guy at Mendota that used almost all goose dekes and never seemed to be short on ducks at the end of the day, with his usual goose haul.
Judge Gideon J. Tucker, wrote in a 1866 ruling that "No man's life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session."
Honestly, when field hunting geese at Lower Klamath or Tule Lake refuges, we don't even put out any duck decoys and the ducks set up and drop right in. A couple of quacks and they circle and set right up. Goose decoys tend to be fantastic confidence decoys for ducks. Success is even better when we place a couple of full body duck decoys or duck sylos between family groups of goose decoys. Where we place them doesn't seem to make even a small bit of difference. This is based on many years of experience.
Still get the shakes when the Honkers turn into the wind and drop their feet or when a little forked horn buck walks up my trail. I take kids hunting every opportunity I get. "What?? Haven't heard an Elk bugle in the woods??" Man, you haven't lived yet!!