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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm curious what spreads are working for ya'll right now field hunting geese? Any particular pattern and/or how many dekes are being used? Don't have to give up any trade secrets if you hold this information close. I've just recently gotten back into goose hunting with limited success lately.

This past weekend I scouted a field and found the X where they were landing. We set up Sunday morning with about 2 1/2 dozen dekes, set them relatively close together in groups and hid the layouts among them. The geese started flying directly for our location but would flare before presenting a shot. We adjusted the spread and separated the dekes out a bit and that gave us a few shot opportunities bringing down a pair, but no groups fully committing to the spread.

I realize other factors could be the cause such as the calling or blind locations/detection. But since we saw an improvement after an adjustment in the spread I figured I'd see what other more experienced and successful hunters were running. Thanks for any advice provided.

Edit to add: I'm hunting private land only in the Southwest corner of the state. So any tips or tricks shared won't be showing up at any of your local public land or reserve spots. I got the birds, just need some help with technique. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Like you said many factors come into play. When hunting geese your hide is the most important thing next to getting a field to hunt. When you think your blinds look good, make them look better.

If the birds are pressured over calling will hurt you more than just throwing out a cluck here and there and a moan. We utilize flagging more and more when birds are pressured. Don't flag too much where you give up your location. Hit em hard on the corners with the flag(s) and calling. When they are lined up, tone it down. When calling transitioning is key. You don't want to go from super fast and loud right to being subtle. Think of a stair case. Going from high to low, take your steps down . If you jump down the staircase you are going to fall on your face.

If I was running 2.5 dz decoys I would run a V or U pattern and put the blinds off to the side of the pocket. So you are shooting left to right or right to left. Put a bigger group of decoys on the upwind side(this will be the head of your spread). Put a couple smaller groups trailing down wind.

Having your blinds off to the side and not right in the decoys should take a little attention off you. Especially if you have more than 2 blinds with 2.5 dozen decoys.

The birds should try to work right up to the pocket or try getting to the head of your spread. Bigger the pocket(kill hole) the better especially you are dealing with big flocks in your area.

Another tip for calling is when the birds are gliding/flying over the top of the blinds I lay off the call. I also lay off when a small group touches down in the pocket and you have more following. If you get some to land let em land and hangout the birds approaching usually follow suit.

Hope this helps! Post some pics and feel free to ask more questions.
Thanks, lots of good information there. My calling is laughable at best, but I'm practicing in the truck to and from work and whenever I can get out to the garage at night, as not to upset the boss :eek:.

I'm using a $30 call from Cabela's, I think it's called a Goozilla or something like that. My buddy is a much better caller and has a call that cost $140. I'm sure like most equipment, you get what you pay for. Should I bite the bullet and invest in a better call? If so, any recommendations?

I just picked up a flag as well. Was unable to use it Sunday as we were socked in with fog and the geese were wanting to be where we were anyway. But looking forward to using it as the season continues.

Sounds like it was your blinds. I almost hate running layout blinds on pressured geese. I dont care how well they are stubbled in the geese know them very well. If I can hunt a ditch line or weed line running into a middle of a field then I set up A frames. Even field edges in A frames. I try very hard not to run layouts. Best of luck. Don't be afraid to get away from the X. If you can call good and flag and run several dozen decoys then hunt the good hide. Geese can be persuaded quite easily.
Thank you for the advice. The field we hunted Sunday is straight corn, no fence rows or ditches, and field edges would put us too close to houses or the road to legally hunt. We are going to do a quick hunt tonight in another field that has some apple trees running along it, we'll be hiding in those and running a smaller spread of dekes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Imitate what the geese are doing the day before. If the geese aren't there the day before I don't hunt. When it doubt make a big X. If you know exactly which way they are coming from the Nike swoosh works for us
I watched the flock land, but I didn't have my binos and it was tough for me to determine how exactly they were positioned in the field. After the first two flocks flared, we moved the dekes into more of a nike pattern and that did yield us better results. Thanks for the input!

Some very good advice above. A couple things I’ve noticed here in the SW part of the state in the last week -
It’s time for a bigger spread as the family groups seem to have merged now. We ran 80 decoys last Friday, a mix of shells and full bodies. No question these birds have been pressured a bunch. The layouts don’t seem to be an issue at all.
Seems quite a few birds have moved out the last couple days hopefully this cooler weather will bring new ones in.
Between the three of us that hunt, we only have about 4 dozen decoys. I'll be going to the Cablea's black card member event Sunday, and another 6-12 dekes are on my list.

Tonight we were going to try the opposite and go small as I watched a double land in the field last night followed by a flock of 8. So trying to mimic the size of those first birds arriving and hoping to pull them in close enough for some good shots. We'll see what happens, but we're definitely seeing the difference between these birds and the ones we hunted 3 weeks ago. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Appreciate all the feedback and recommendations. I'm surprised I was even able to kill a goose years ago now after getting back into it and really getting serious with it.

I've watched a ton of YouTube videos on calling, and I can do a honk and cluck, but getting into those double clucks and running them all together is where I fall short. Just going to take time on the call I'm sure. I did look at GK calls as they run an ad here on the site, but I think my next investment will be more decoys as I see that being more beneficial over a more expensive call at the moment.

And I have to admit that some better wing shooting would have yielded us a few more birds :(:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No luck last night, the only flock that came over before shooting time ended was a flock of 4. They gave us 2 circles up high and then continued toward the field we were hunting this past weekend. We just didn't have enough time last night to get setup for that field.

Looks like it's going to be mostly morning hunts now as the birds aren't getting in the air and into the fields until after shooting time has ended. We saw multiple large flocks once we were back in the driveway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Shot of cold weather tomorrow might change that up. Not sure what to think.
I certainly hope so. These fields are close to the house, one right across the street, so I'm able to get out for some quick afternoon hunts. But, obviously it's pointless if they aren't flying until after shooting time has ended.

I'll keep working on my calling and will put the recommendations to work this weekend and see what we can get done.
 
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