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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
should I buy shell,full body or silhouette decoys for goose hunting in a field?
 

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Assuming you shoot Canadas, The silouhettes will work just fine.

A few years ago, I shot Snows with a guy who did it regularly; his "decoys" were a bunch of 18"x18" white rags with a tent peg in one corner... and they worked !!!

A related example - my duck decoys are painted nothing but flat black, and they draw everything from mallards to woodies to ringnecks to coots. Mallards and woodies will just swing by for a look, but the ringnecks and coots will even sit down.
 

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I like silhouettes alot but....

I use about 3 dozen silhouettes, and ya know form a distance I would swear a flock of geese were sitting in the field. Last year I had my spread set and was calling in a nice flock of Canadas and when they got ove the decoys, the lead flared and they flew off. My only thought was that when they got over the tops of them, they lost them. Think about that...you can only see them from the side, but from straight above they disappear due to the fact that they are thin.

I learned a lesson: Always throw a half-dozen shells into a spread of silhouettes.
 

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Yep, What Mike said. Shells, full bodies, stuffers all offer the extra realism needed to pull off a good spread.
 

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my uncle uses a flag to get them from far away. he also puts garbage bags off in the corners of the field so the geese will stay away from those areas and come to our blind
 

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If starting out on a limited budget, I would get shells unless space was a premium, then silhouettes. $400 should get you 3+ dozen good quality decoys, the minimum I feel are needed to consistantly get geese. I use to guide goose hunters and have a large collection of all types. I can place a couple hundred Canada decoys if necessary. My main spreads are 3 dozen full bodies, 2-4 dozen magnum shells, 12-100 windsocks, up to 18 Goose Magnets. I plan on using sils more, I have 3 doz Outlaws and plan on adding to that.
If you are talking snows, go with pre made rags. $200 will get you 200 rags, spend the next $200 on sils like Real-Geese Econo- series. They can be had for $50/doz. Later, add more sils. The general rule is at least 200 decoys per person. I can put out nearly a couple thousand if necessary. I have a mix of rags, windsocks, shells, and silhouettes for them.
Obtaining decoys can be an expensive proposition, look for decoys in the paper and yard sales to save money. It also helps to get a buddy or two to go in with you to share costs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks everybody i think i'll go with shells, silhouettes and some full bods
 

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Mike,
about those geese flaring off the sils, the trick I've found is you need about 10 dozen sils to be effective and the set up needs to be changed a bit. Instead of putting the dekes out in a cresent, put them out in a long triangle, a hundred yards long and 30-40 yards wide is good. That way the birds will still see the dekes up ahead and not notice the decoys disappearing underneath. If you set up a shooter on each corner, you will have all bases covered for Canadas. A third person can take the point (especially for snows) but that person must be very safety conscious as there will be others down range of him.
Flags are effective, too. I give them to those that are not good callers to make them important to the decoying effort. I have several, from Randy Bartz's Land'rs to 6' square sheets attached to 2x2s. These big ones can pull geese from well over a mile away. I use kites also but there is an art to them. Some days having them at the tail of the spread is the ticket, others they need to be at the head, sometimes "landing" the decoy helps, others leave the kite in the trailer. Trial and error is the only way to learn kites. The only decoy I have not found helpful for geese are the spinning wings. The geese I chase all shy away from them. We use them from first light 'til the first geese show up for ducks. I don't think they are any more effective than a regular spread but, since the money was spent, you gotta use them.
 
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