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Micro/smaller Spreads

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  • #16
    I can finally report on this subject.
    I bought 10 of the DSD blues when they went on sale last year.My intent was to purchase some other brand to add some snows to the Micro spread I was building. I ended up going with the EVAC snows from WhiteRock. I know there are some here that are not fans of the decoy but for my purpose of only a dozen I could make sure all the dents are looked after to make the decoy look as real as possible and not hit by a Mack truck.

    I wanted to run this small spread of 22 FBs with my 9 floaters in a high traffic sheet water area. With the drought this spring here it was not going to happen, and it never did.

    I never felt very confident in putting out 22 FBs in a dry field to hunt snows last spring or the start of the this autumn.
    As many of you have reported the snows were bouncing all over the place trying to get enough waste grain in their crops which was frustrating to say the least this fall.

    I was very fortunate to come across a field that was swathed and then cattle were going to graze on it. I shot the field the 1st time with 400 socks. Birds decoyed quite well considering lots of frost and little to no wind.

    The birds were back in there the next day, forecast was the same very little wind and frost. I thought this would be a good time to try out my Micro Spread.
    I really did enjoy the short period of time to deploy the 22 decoys, no effort at all LOL. I still ran a ecaller but with tracks that were not a huge flocks of snows.
    The only problem I had is 8K came all at once which really sucked..

    They did not do what I wanted and I held off on shooting into the mass hoping that some of them would go somewhere else and start to come back because of the ample food. I did get some to come back in small groups.

    I ended up with 16 birds the 1st 5 flocks did it just right. I was impressed with how the geese reacted to the micro spread, I kept 2nd guessing myself the whole time I was setting up I had my sock decoys with me.

    I have gained some confidence in putting out such a small spread and when the circumstances are right I will deploy the Micro again.
    .

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    • Cornstalks
      Cornstalks
      Senior Member
      Cornstalks commented
      Editing a comment
      I wasn't entirely bought into the small FB spread last year when mo4NU suggested we try it but after terrible results on fall birds with 300 socks I agreed to try it. Seeing how you've done and the other comments I'm chomping at the bit now. Another 2 weeks to opener and heard there were a few in the vicinity already. Nice looking strap!

  • #17
    Nice to see the gray ones!

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    • #18
      Always enjoy your reports. I’m glad that smaller spread worked for you. Way easier on your back

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      • #19
        Originally posted by Hillbilly View Post
        Always enjoy your reports. I’m glad that smaller spread worked for you. Way easier on your back
        Now that I have entered the 6th decade I couldn't agree more.... Hahahaha thanks for the comment.
        .

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        • #20
          It's always hard to compare anything related to snows. They can act so different day to day, even when the only variable is that it is a different day. But glad to hear you seemingly had positive results. Looks like you went with a well camo'd layout. Were you outside the decoys? Distance?

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          • #21
            Originally posted by Geez n Quackers View Post
            It's always hard to compare anything related to snows. They can act so different day to day, even when the only variable is that it is a different day. But glad to hear you seemingly had positive results. Looks like you went with a well camo'd layout. Were you outside the decoys? Distance?
            Thanks James,
            I was outside the decoys I was setup for the wind that was supposed to have happened but never came around till 8:30. I like to setup if the fields supports it is to shoot the birds going left to right. This way they are not looking at me, The closest decoy would have been 25 yards to the right side of me. I had to be patient with the calmness that morning a few birds came in the other direction and had to let them swing around a few times to get into the proper shooting area.
            .

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            • #22
              Congrats Brobones! Location is 90% of any hunt. Hide well and no reason a small spread wouldn’t be just perfect. The birds already know they want to be there. I think we as hunters get all tangled up in over thinking the situation many times. Gotta have a million decoys to get them to work. In reality, less is more. Less to look at less to pick apart, let’s get in there and start hogging all this food up before the rest of the gang gets here. Hope to try the small spread out in a little more than a week up in North Dakota. Congrats again and thanks for sharing.

              Qac

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              • #23
                good stuff!

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                • #24
                  Originally posted by mo4NU View Post
                  good stuff!
                  It was very good stuff, the whole time I was putting out that small spread, I kept getting nagged at you have the socks put them out maybe not all of them but some of the down wind!!!. It was a constant argument going on while I was setting up. I have taken away some confidence now with this micro spread.......

                  Thanks Mo4NU
                  .

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                • #25
                  I have a little pasture pond that I would love to try this setup if I could find a better hide. I might just try it this spring, thanks

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                  • #26
                    I am pretty sure we will be trying this in the next few weeks. Need to get more down in our neck of the woods, but we are pretty confident we can hide well and Cornstalks FBs will look great in the corn field.
                    mo4NU
                    Senior Member
                    Last edited by mo4NU; 11-02-2021, 09:28 AM.

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                    • #27
                      Ok, I finally got to do some testing albeit limited to just my trips to North Dakota this fall. Also limited by some crazy weather.

                      We used mostly a "small" spread most of the time on our 2 trips. 13 dozen full bodies, most of the time those being 5 dozen FA on ring bases, 5 dozen GHG on stakes and 40 DSD's on stakes. The ground was "Firm: but not totally frozen. I did keep all three brands mostly separate but always had the DSD's in the "kill" hole. About half of the hunts, we were on the edge to in the decoys sometimes in whites and sometimes in blinds. When we did this, I added 5 dozen dive bomb socks to help break us up. The other half of the hunts we were outside of the decoys and about half of those we had an edge fence or grass line section road to hide in. Only on 1 occasion did I only put out a "micro" spread which was my 40 DSD's and I sat back out of them.

                      The overriding factor in all of these hunts in my opinion was the weather, good, bad and ugly it really seemed to be the deciding factor in our success, again, in my opinion. More so than the actual number of decoys.
                      The second factor seemed to be the hide, which can be argued as the first factor. Hiding in the decoys or on the edge of decoys in whites or in blinds was more difficult and challenging with the size of the decoy spread. I believe if you have 1 to 2 thousand decoys then you have enough "cover" to get away with being in the decoys and have some higher success. the small spread that we used just isn't enough to adequately do the job. Edges were better and we had geese decoy better in those situations. It is hard to do that on all hunts though, and we struggled in some of the bigger more open fields.

                      Hindsight is always 20/20 and looking back I should have done several things differently on many of the hunts. Can't go back in time so I have to learn from this and work on improvements for the future.

                      What I did learn was pretty interesting from my perspective. Weather is pretty "key" and can change the birds day to day but I'm not going to spend time on that one for now.

                      Decoys, the small spread works. I would say in most all cases it was not a deciding factor in our success. The birds did not really favor one brand over another. We landed birds on many occasions, had many close to landing and had lots in the 40-50 yard range. (i don't shoot at those normally). The best was always when we hid outside the decoys.

                      One other point to consider and possible one that is more important for the hunter who is starting to get a little older. Decoy deployment and picking up decoys.

                      13 dozen is not a lot of decoys for snow geese but it does take effort, in my case, I am the youngest at 54 and my uncle and friend that I hunt with are both on either side of 70. None of us are top physical specimans either. The FA decoys on ring bases were the easiest to put out and pick up as a one piece decoy. They just got thrown in the trailer and stacked up in a pile. The GHG decoys on a stake were not too bad as they have tail loops to carry. I would put the stakes out and the other two would come around and place decoys on the stake. Not having the ground totally froze made this activity reasonable. The cone system in the GHG is not as good as some others so this was an annoyance more than anything. they also were just thrown in the trailer. The DSD's were more work. I double bag these in their original plastic and then into a 12 slot covered decoy bag. This was a pain to unbag them and rebag them at the end of the hunt. Bending over doing this was not as much fun. Once we were ready to deploy them they were easy to set up, the thicker stake and improved cone system with tail loops worked well for both put out and pick up. I want to think I can figure out a way to protect these more expensive decoys but make put out and pick up easier. I may just go to a single bag system.


                      Final thoughts: The small spread / micro spread can be very effective. X fields with good hide opportunities for sure. Traffic fields with good hide opportunities for sure. In both cases I would stay back out of the decoys in a good hide. If you can't achieve a good hide then I would say put out a large spread and hide as well as possible if that is your only choice. If the weather turns to something less favorable you may have to abandon plan A and look to plan B. I wish I had done that a couple of times this past fall. Plan A had jillion birds on and in it and Plan B would have had a better hide and conditions for us. It just might not have had a jillion birds but you don't always need a jillion to be successful either.

                      I will report again this spring as it will be a different game with an ecaller .

                      Qac

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                      • Kansasgoose
                        Kansasgoose
                        Senior Member
                        Kansasgoose commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Qac- thank you for this report. sharing what you know is almost a thing of the past on the internet. Agree or not, I think its great that you put down your observations.

                        as far as your system for handling your DSD decoys, I used DSD lessor Canada decoys at one time, and used the 12 slot canvas bags with plastic single bags like you are talking about. What I would recommend is to place the plastic bag into the 12 slot bag and then leave it in there. Do not take the plastic bag AND the decoy out, just pull out the decoy. This will allow you to gain the advantage of the plastic bag in that it will not have as much friction on the decoy, but eliminate that extra step of double bagging. After the hunt, again just slide the decoy into the plastic bag that is already inside the 12 slot.

                    • #28
                      Thanks for the insights.

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                      • #29
                        thanks for the wisdom.we rrarly set more than 200 decoys and like you the hide is the key.bad dog

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                        • #30
                          That’s some pretty sound advice. Experience is the best teacher and thanks for sharing yours. Looking forward to your spring reports.

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