Tourism Bureau offers hunter duck/goose decoy tips | Sports & Recreation
WILLIAMSON COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Williamson County Tourism Bureau has some tips for decoy placement to attract ducks and geese as they migrate through the area
The following tips come from the Tourism Bureau:
You have to have a plan for the water wherever the hunt is to take place, whether open water or ponds.
A basic set up in a pond situation consists of two bunches of decoys, separated by about 20-30 yards.
Set them up with the wind quartering over either shoulder. Try to avoid directly away or sideways and never with the wind toward the hunter’s position.
Unless the wind is going away from you, the result will be that you will spend most of the time pass shooting. The theory is that birds will land in the gap between the decoy sets.
Mallards are notorious for landing at the edges of a set. Preparation for hunting them involves two sets of decoys.
You effectively are establishing three landing areas. The idea is to position birds for the shot rather than giving them a landing area. Hunters need to know exactly where the ducks are going to land.
Good hunters like to use a duck and/or goose spread in the majority of places. Set up on a bank, just slightly above the blind. Run about 30-50 goose decoys in a kind of rectangle shape. Begin just to the side of the shooting position about 15 yards and then run them four or five deep out about 40 yards. If the honkers decoy to the edge they are still in good range.
Begin decoy placement where they come up to within ten yards of the bank. Place the ducks heavy right up to 10-15 yards from your blind. Then tail them off out to 60-70 yards from the bank. Make the spread thinner until it is just a single line. The result is an L or the old “Diver Hook” with a heavy concentration right in the pocket.
Mallards tend to want to approach the back of goose decoys. This set-up is not natural but it works well for both mallards and geese. It is not anything you would see in a marsh, but then you are setting up for a position to shoot. If you are not in an open water situation, you do not need the goose decoys.
Early in the season, run an even number of hens and drake decoys. Late in the season run 80 percent hens 20 percent drakes. The hens lead the migration and the big drakes are the last to migrate.
Planning to hunt geese in an open field? Keep the majority of decoys behind you. Most open field goose hunting comes early in the season. The hunter sits on the downwind end of the spread. The spread is a shallow wide horseshoe. Place four or five sentry goose decoys downwind of your position. It simulates geese that have just landed and are walking their way into the flock.
All of these spreads demand a large number of decoys and some maintenance on them. A tip for waterfowlers is to use a little soap and water and some Armor All instead of repainting and buying new decoys each year. They will be a little shiny at first but after a couple of outings they are perfect.
A free color hunting guide brochure, information regarding motel accommodations and points of interest contact Williamson County Tourism Bureau, 1602 Sioux Drive, Marion, Illinois 62959, or by calling 1-800-GEESE-99.
Information is also available online at Visitsi.com, the Williamson County Tourism Bureau website.
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