Best Small Goose Decoy Spread

Small Goose Decoy Spread

Looking for the best small goose decoy spread?  This example of a small goose decoy spread shows you how to be successful in goose hunting with as few as 12-18 decoys.  Let’s take a look at a few reasons how this small goose decoy spread can be effective.

Here is an example of a small goose decoy spread you can try:

Small Goose Decoy Spread

Small Goose Decoy Spread Summary:

  • Incorporate small pods of decoys
  • Spread your decoys out
  • Use your best decoys
  • Hunt from the side
  • Scout for success


Incorporate Small Pods of Decoys

As you can see from the diagram, we have placed the decoys in several small pods.  Try placing the pods with about 3-6 decoys in each to imitate small family groups of geese feeding in the field. Each pod can consist mostly feeding geese with a few actives or sentrys mixed in.  The example shows 12 total decoys so we have made 3 groups of 4 decoys.  Simply adjust the amount of pods you make based on how many decoys you have.  For example, if you have 18 decoys in your spread you may end up with 4-5 pods.


Spread Your Decoys Out

When hunting with a smaller number of decoys you may want to spread your decoy pods out to try and make your decoy spread look bigger.  The family groups can be about 10-15 yards or so apart.  By doing this you benefit by creating a large landing zone in the middle of all of decoys.  However, this also creates openings in between each of the pods creating several places for the approaching geese to land.


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Use Your Best Decoys

If you are hunting with a small number of decoys my recommendation is to bring out the best looking decoys you have.  Of course if you only have a small amount of decoys just use what you have and don’t overthink it.  However, if you have more decoys I would suggest that you pick out the best looking ones of the group.  You may have a mix of full body, shell decoys and even some other decoys such as silhouettes but this is the time to use what you consider your best looking decoys.  Also, if you have any oversize decoy styles these can be a good choice for small goose decoy spreads.


Hunt From the Side

When hunting with a small decoy spread there aren’t excess decoys to place around your blinds.  You see when you have a lot of decoys you can place several decoys all around the blinds to help conceal the blinds from the sight of approaching geese.  However, with a limited amount of decoys, such as 12 – 18, you will not have this luxury to assist in blind concealment.


This is why my recommendation when hunting with a small decoy spread is to try hunting from the side of your decoys. Look for any areas of the field you are hunting that may have more natural covering such as tall grass or an area where some of the crops were not as clear cut as others.  Then place your blind within that location and set the decoys out in front of you.  You will need to adjust the opening of your decoy spread to accommodate wind direction.  In the example here the wind is blowing left to right so we have the opening of the spread facing to the right since geese land into the wind.


Another nice benefit of hunting from outside of your decoy group is that the direct sight of the approaching geese will be shifted away from you and will be more directed at the decoys in the field.  This is because the geese will focus most of their attention directly in front of and immediately next to where they plan to land.  Of course you will still want to ensure that your blind is covered up well by weaving some of the crops or tall grass on your blind but this strategy can help reduce the chances of being spotted by approaching geese.


Scout for Success

With a smaller goose decoy spread it is important to spend some time scouting for the location that geese are actively feeding.  Scouting is important in any goose hunting situation but with a fewer amount of decoys you will not have quite as much attention grabbing power as you would have with several dozen decoys.  If you do spend some time scouting and you are able to find where the geese are at you should be successful using a small decoy spread.  Check out my detailed article on how to scout for geese.


Final Thoughts

Not every hunter has the luxury of having several hundred goose decoys so there are many times when a small decoy spread may be needed.  Hunters just getting into the sport may only have a few decoys to begin with as they work to build their spread and that is when having an effective small goose decoy spread to use can be beneficial.  In addition, there are times when the amount of decoys you are able to bring with is limited such as the distance you have to carry your decoys to your hunting spot.  Regardless of the reason of using a smaller decoy spread, with the recommendations in this article you should be able to have success hunting geese.


Get the DecoyPro Goose App

Tap your phone device here for the app: