Have you ever wondered if you can mix different kinds of goose decoys? Honestly, I wondered the same thing so I tried mixing different types of decoys and found the results to be quite interesting. With my experiments I have tried mixing different styles of decoys such as full body decoys with shell decoys and I have tried mixing various brands of decoys.
Here is an example of a mixed decoy spread that I used with success:
What is Mixing Different Kinds of Goose Decoys?
- Different styles of decoys such as full body decoys with shell decoys
- Different brands of decoys
Different Styles of Decoys
One way that I have tested mixing different types of decoys was mixing different styles of decoys. For example, there are some people who say you should only put an entire spread of full body decoys together and not have any shell decoys with them. Those people also say that if you only have a few full body decoys and a majority of shell decoys to only put out the shell decoys. The thought is that the geese could tell the difference between the two styles of decoys and think it looks unnatural.
However, from the testing that I have done I have not found it to be an issue to mix various styles of decoys. For example, I own full body decoys, silhouette decoys and windsock decoys and have had plenty of success hunting geese over a spread that was comprised of mixing all of these styles of decoys.
In fact, I will actually use these different styles of decoys strategically throughout my decoy spread. For the times that I have great looking full body decoys with I will typically put those at the edge of the landing zone. The reason for this is that these are some of the most realistic decoys so these are the decoys that the geese will be looking at as they get ready to land. Behind those full body decoys I will put out my shell decoys to help fill out the spread. This strategy has worked well for me on multiple goose hunting occasions.
Different Brands of Decoys
Another thing that I have experimented with to see how birds would react is mixing various brands of decoys. Again, there are people of the opinion that you should only put decoys out in your spread that are all from the same decoy company. Once again, from the testing that I have done with this I have found there to be absolutely no impact on how geese react to my spread if all decoys are of one brand compared to the times when I have mixed brands.
If you are like me you probably have a few other buddies that you like to hunt with and not always do you have the exact same brands of decoys as these friends. On one particular goose hunting trip I had one specific brand of shell goose decoys and my friend had a different brand. However, we wanted to have a larger spread that day so we both brought our shell decoys with even though they were different brands.
We placed our decoys in a “U” shape and had both brands mixed in all various parts of the spread. Some of our decoys were on steaks to elevate them off the ground and some we placed on top of the dirt. What was the result? Well it was a quick afternoon hunt but the one pair of geese that we did see came right into the landing zone of our spread with no issue and we were able to successfully shoot both of the geese.
Although there are some goose hunters who prefer to hunt with only decoy brand and the same style of decoy, from my experience it does not negatively impact your goose hunting success if you mix different kinds of decoys. When I first got started goose hunting I bought a mixed group of decoy types and brands from a person on Craigslist because that is what I could afford at the time. This mixture of goose decoy body styles as well as mixed brands worked just fine for me to get started with goose hunting.
As time goes on and you are able to buy all the same brand and style of decoys I would say that is certainly fine. However, as you get started or if you want to have a larger spread when your friends come hunting with you there is no reason that you should not be able to mix up your decoy types. Personally, I think that mixing up the styles and brands can help make your decoy spread less uniform because not all geese in nature are the exact same size. When you incorporate different styles of decoys for your spread I feel that this can mimic the variations you will see in nature and hopefully help you bag plenty of geese.
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