4 Goose Hunting Decoy Spread Tips: How to Set Goose Decoy Spreads

Here are 4 goose hunting decoy spread tips that I want to share with you as you look to improve your goose  hunting success.  These tips will help you understand how to set your goose decoy spreads to hopefully achieve goose hunting success, assuming the geese cooperate.

 

Goose Decoy Spread Tips for Distance Between Decoys:

Goose Hunting Decoy Spread Tips: How to Set Goose Decoy Spreads
Goose Hunting Decoy Spread Tips: How to Set Goose Decoy Spreads

 

Goose Hunting Decoy Spread Tips: How to Set Goose Decoy Spreads:

  • Work With What Decoys You Have or can Afford to Start
  • Ensure you Leave Enough Space for Geese to Land
  • Using the Wind to Your Advantage
  • Replicate What Geese Are Doing in Your Area

 

Work With What Decoys You Have Or Can Afford to Start

The first thing that beginning goose hunters and goose hunters who are struggling for success often blame is their decoys.   They think that since they have used decoys or were not able to spend hundreds, if not thousands, on the most expensive decoys that that is the reason they are unable to bag geese.  Although I do agree that expensive decoys are great and can be incredibly realistic, the decoys are usually not the biggest problem the hunter is having.

 

In a previous article I wrote that you can read by tapping here, I discussed some goose hunting tips for beginners which you may find useful to read after you read this article.  To summarize, I believe that the main reasons for a lack of success are not the decoys but rather not being in the right location, not being concealed well enough, and not using wind to your favor.

 

Ensure You Leave Enough Space for Geese to Land

Providing the geese clear openings to land can be greatly beneficial in having geese land into your goose decoy spread.  Sometimes goose hunters bunch all of their decoys in a very close grouping which really does not leave space for geese to approach.

 

When decoys are too close together you may notice that geese never commit to landing into your decoy spread or that they have to land on the far edges of your spread and end up being out of range.  Neither of these are situations that you want to have happen to you so be sure you leave some space.

 

My recommendation is to leave about 6-9 feet in between your decoys and then also leave a clearly defined opening somewhere in your spread where there are no decoys (please see the goose decoy spread diagram above for an example).  Leaving the 6-9 feet in between decoys should be a big enough space that if geese decide to land further into your spread they should still have room.  Then by leaving a larger, more defined, opening in your spread you will be providing the ducks a clear spot that they can comfortably land.

 

Of course this is just some general guidance.  Sometimes you may want to place several small groups of decoys closely together to make it look like family groupings.  However, from one group to the next you should then leave some spacing.  Use some best judgment as you place your decoys and as you stand back and look at your spread to observe if you have left at least one clearly defined opening for geese to land.

 

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Using the Wind to Your Advantage

Another goose hunting decoy tip is that you will want to be sure you use wind to your advantage.  Geese land into the wind.  What I mean is that if the wind is blowing to the east the geese will land facing the east.  The best way to describe this is to look at the diagram included in this post.  As you can see the wind direction arrow is pointing to the left.  That means that the geese will want to land to the right, which is into the wind.

 

Once you grasp this key concept it can help you identify how you want to place your decoys.  In addition, you will also be able more accurately predict where the geese will want to land which will allow you to position yourself in a close distance to their landing zone.

 

Replicate What Geese Are Doing In Your Area

Finally, you will want to replicate what the geese are doing in your area as you place your decoys.  As you drive around and scout for places to hunt you should also be paying attention to what geese are doing when you do find them.

 

Are they separated into several groups?  Are they all resting along the shoreline?  Are they all feeding?  These are all questions you should yourself as you look at the real geese in nature.  As you set your decoy spread try and replicate what you saw geese doing earlier and it will help create a more natural appearance.

 

Remember that geese behavior will change with the seasons.  The way that they are resting on ponds and fields at the beginning of the season can greatly vary compared to when it is later season and the migration is in full swing.  The learning here is that you should replicate what they are doing at the time of your hunt rather than what they were doing 2 months ago.

 

Final Thoughts: Goose Hunting Decoy Spread Tips: How to Set Goose Decoy Spreads

As you can see there are several quick goose hunting decoy tips that you can use in order to effectively set your decoys for better chances when goose hunting.  I believe the biggest learning here is that you always need to pay attention to how the geese are reacting to your spread on each day.  If you happen to notice that geese are flying off before coming close you may need to space out your decoys and provide a better landing option or you may need to conceal yourself better.  On another trip you may notice that the same exact spread worked perfect.  I encourage you to keep using trial and error as you work to improve your goose hunting skills.

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4 thoughts on “4 Goose Hunting Decoy Spread Tips: How to Set Goose Decoy Spreads

  1. Chad

    In your opinion what is best for field hunting geese.
    About 1′ corn stubble or disked up corn stubble.

    1. Scott Post author

      Hello Chad, great question! I actually have another blog post that has exactly what you are looking for, check it out by clicking here.

  2. Damien

    I have to disagree a little on the decoy spacing. While in fact you do need a space for geese to land to much spacing can sometimes present an unnatural look. Just my two cents.

    1. Scott Post author

      Good point Damien. I agree that I would not put them all 8 or 9 feet apart. Some groups can be close and some could be farther. One thing I like to do is look at what the geese are doing in the fields and try to replicate what I am seeing. If they are spread out I try and do the same thing when I come back. Other times they are more grouped up and again I try to make a similar spread. Thanks for your feedback Damien.

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