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  • Hunting Pastures

    I've never done it, but may try it. So, please teach this old dog some new tricks. Do you want water (i.e. pond, sheet water) in it? How do you set up the decoy spread ? Flyers or not? Sounds? Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    Chuck, I have hunted pastures for a number of years. Before deciding to set up in one though, I think a guy needs to understand why the birds use them. In most cases, birds are using grass to loaf in. I have repeatedly watched geese, especially on big migration days, set down in a pasture for a couple of hours before continuing their journey north. And while those geese are resting, they are attracting additional migrators. Many of the geese that sit down in the grass will actually sleep.

    With that being said, I think it is important to try and duplicate what you see. In a cornfield, there are constantly geese buzzing the spread, moving to other parts of the field etc. As a result, a lot of movement in that setting is natural. That is not the case (normally) in a pasture. In a pasture, there is often times little movement in the way of birds flying around. Mainly because they are sleeping and not eating. So, I have found that the majority of the time, vortex's will flare the birds. It is also tougher to hid a layout blind, so whites are effective. As far as sound goes, I have always run a big feeding flock sound and this seems to work just fine for the pasture too. But it is not a bad idea to have some, "lounging or loafing" sounds. I think Josh over at Juvie Juke Box has some of those.

    -Chris

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    • Sarge
      Sarge
      Senior Member
      Sarge commented
      Editing a comment
      I was thinking along the lines of no movement, just a relaxed, resting spread.

  • #3
    Sarge,

    I agree with Wapiti, it's a loafing/resting area. He is right on with his comments. The geese will eat the grass if it's clover/rye/winter wheat mix of some kind. We have hunted pastures/grass fields a lot the last several years. I like them because its easier to stay clean, both you and your stuff. If you have water in the field I think it is a bonus and helps attract birds. I have used socks and whites and been successful. I prefer full body decoys in a pasture/grass area though because I think the fulls really "pop" in the short grass. If I do use fulls I like to find an edge and camo up to hide. They tend to focus on the decoys and not me then. Sound, well I guess it does not matter to me, as long as it is a clear track. I prefer to keep the volume lower as well. Had many a Snow slide in silent without the caller on. No flyers either.

    Qac

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    • #4
      I hunt a small man made pond in a pasture and I have noticed that you mainly decoy birds at first light and after 10 or 11 am. We have not decoyed many birds over the years when they are looking to feed or even those early morning migrators that move up river where I am. Middle of the day is good on a migration day or any time of day during a snow storm as long as there is water.

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      • #5
        Sorry to dredge up an old thread. I own some property just north of a 10k acre lake that acts as a roost. I am in a migrator flight path in the spring. Weve never tried to hunt my pond. My pond is only 1/3 of an acre and it is mowed short all the way around it. We have 17 doz fullbodies. Weve been reluctant to try it due to our low decoy numbers and smaller pond size but I figure we can set the spread out for a week and see what happens. What do you guys think?

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        • River Ratt
          River Ratt
          Senior Member
          River Ratt commented
          Editing a comment
          Yep I’d give it a go.
          Hunting over water for 20 years we do the bulk of our shooting between 10-2.
          First and last light are good.

          Even though I always had corn I was always bird watching until mid morning so don’t get frustrated.
          You could add a few floaters and maybe some ripples on the water to for some extra enticement.
          Good luck and Keep us posted on how you do
          River Ratt
          Senior Member
          Last edited by River Ratt; 02-16-2021, 10:33 PM.

      • #6
        I've got a rye cover crop on my corn this year. I'm pretty pumped to be in a green field. Plan to set it as loaf spread.

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        • #7
          I hunt one regularly in central NE. Its a pure loaf deal. I use a smaller.spread with very little motion. There is a little terrace on the NE side where we tuck a couple of layouts against and it looks level. I put a few blind door decoys on the lids and they really disappear.

          I use 12 dozen original hardcore ( old school) fullbodies with most along the edge with a few dozen actually standing in the shallow water. If I've got wind ill throw a dozen or so socks in the mix. I run some floaters, about 40 loosely scattered and some shells to look like resting birds. The set is small less than 250 decoys and often less than 200
          Sounds are low and mellow with 4-6 speakers spread along waters edge. Never finish big groups but singles pairs and small groups of less than 10 seem to be the norm. What is cool is the birds that play usually finish feet down all the way in. I hunt this in set like most guys are saying from.10-2
          As I have a sock spread about 3 miles away for first few hours and then late afternoon. Strangely last hour of light doesn't usually Produce but there are almost always some birds in the spread the next day. I expect they are birds migrating over night.

          DD

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          • #8
            Hard to beat a pond that is mowed up in my opinion. Especially in a migrator area. Good advice already given so I say go for it.

            Qac

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            • #9
              Yeah I would for sure hunt that pond!

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              • #10
                Definitely do it! DD laid it out well for setting up. We use to chase feeds every morning early, then by 10:00 each of those mornings we would be set on a small loafing pond. I know we shot more birds total by hitting two different types of spots each day. I would sure want to get some white floating on the water. Even if it's just a few. Big unknown, given a new setup, is the impact of that 10k acre water body. I have seen days a big roost within a few miles can be a big hinderance, sucking everything in; and days it helped just because it put so many birds in the area.

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                • #11
                  I dont have any snow goose floaters nor do I have an ecaller. We were going to borrow an ecaller if I dont buy one first. I had snow goose floaters years ago but sold them and never bought more. I thought about putting socks on the heads of my canada floaters. Ive got 7 days off the first week of march. Though about throwing out what I got and hunting every day.

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                • #12
                  Originally posted by thatguy View Post
                  I dont have any snow goose floaters nor do I have an ecaller. We were going to borrow an ecaller if I dont buy one first. I had snow goose floaters years ago but sold them and never bought more. I thought about putting socks on the heads of my canada floaters. Ive got 7 days off the first week of march. Though about throwing out what I got and hunting every day.
                  Hunting every day would give ya a good indication of whats happening there for sure!

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                  • #13
                    Originally posted by Geez n Quackers View Post
                    Definitely do it! DD laid it out well for setting up. We use to chase feeds every morning early, then by 10:00 each of those mornings we would be set on a small loafing pond. I know we shot more birds total by hitting two different types of spots each day. I would sure want to get some white floating on the water. Even if it's just a few. Big unknown, given a new setup, is the impact of that 10k acre water body. I have seen days a big roost within a few miles can be a big hinderance, sucking everything in; and days it helped just because it put so many birds in the area.
                    I just ordered 6 snow floaters. If this tactic shows promise Ill order more for next year.

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                    • Geez n Quackers
                      Geez n Quackers
                      Senior Member
                      Geez n Quackers commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I think even that will help. I once wrapped my Baby Mojo's in tyvek and used white duct tape to tailor fit it on. Worked. But that was dry land.

                  • #14
                    I think as long as you dont get caught up in numbers and just enjoy trying to fool em you will have a great spring.

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                    • #15
                      Thatguy what state and area are you in? You said you're off the first week of March and plan to try it for a week. This year the birds are way behind and far south due to the weather. There should be birds moving good by then due to forecasted warm front, but if you're too far north say in the Dakotas, that may quite early for this year.

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