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I hunt mainly potholes and smaller swamps. I was wondering if you guys think spreads should be set out differently according to early and late season? Sould decoy spreads be set up different pertaining to local ducks and migrants? I have 48 GHG mallards, which is what I mainly shoot,but I don't use all of them all the time. I generally set more up as the season gets later. Should I place them differently as well?
call 'em in and kill 'em all
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I think you are on the right track setting up larger spreads as the season progresses. I think to best emulate natural conditions, you should break you larger spreads into a few smaller clusters (say, a dozen or two birds per cluster). In terms of the layout, I presume that I'd maintain the same idea of creating landing zones in or between your clusters of birds that will put them in a good position with reference to your position and the wind, etc, etc. I'l be interested to hear what others have to say as well.
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Basicaly go with bigger spreads later in season on the smaller waters I hunt on the other side of the state. The thing we've found with a larger spread is watch the birds. If they aren't responding to it don't be afraid to go out and bag a bunch or even most of them. Often that changes their response and turns a frustrating day into at least a decent one. Wish I could claim a pattern to this but can't. Somedays they want lots of friends on others they don't and have no idea why.
First it rained, then it blew, then it frizz, then it snew --- from an oldtimers gunning boat ~~ He understood what it's about!
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Early Ill use 2-5 decoys. Later Ill use about a dozen and implement the ever deadly jerk chord. I try ta keep my decoys about the same in numbers as my working groups of dux. I hunt small impoundments and timber. Ive got some Featherlight inflatables for runnin and gunnin
Ill put out 2 groups...one group larger than the other with a kill zone in the middle...somewhat of a V or J pattern
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"You get what you put in, and people get what they deserve" Hank Jr. and Kid Rock
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:withstupid: Normally later in the season less is better.
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My understanding is that ducks are flocked up early in the season, and later in the season are found in small groups. So use big flocks early, and small flocks late.
I haven't tried it the other way, but I know that this season those with smaller decoy spreads around us have had trouble getting birds to come in, while we haven't.
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Of course "matching the hatch" is one of the keys to setting a spread......here in NE the late season gunning is BEST using a minimal set.....for example, last January I would set out three blacks and a pair of mallards.....maybe with a pair of Buffies out aways.....and that is the set that brings in the birds!!! Large sets don't have the same appeal.
On the other hand.....for field geese, I use larger sets as the season progresses.....but there are many times when a set of four will bring in the Canadas better than a large set-up. probably becayuse everyone else has a large spread.
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