Goose floaters for ducks ????

A waterfowl discussion forum focusing on Kansas duck hunting.

Moderators: T Man, Mallyard, cluckmeister, yellowlab, dukhntr

Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby John O`Neal » Fri May 03, 2013 9:22 am

Back in September my hunting buddy Mike gave me his copy of Wildfowl magazine . He prompted me to read the article regarding the use of goose floaters exclusively for hunting ducks over water. This paradigm shift was being advocated by a couple of prominent names in the waterfowling industry. Field Hudnall (Field Proven Calls) and Sean Hammock ( Big Sean Championship calls). Both hunters claimed that switching up their water spreads to use almost all goose floaters with only a few duck decoys in the kill hole greatly increased their success under all conditions.The article had peaked my interest . As a goose hunter I had seen on many occasions how effective a goose spread could be at pulling in the ducks . Sometimes they would literally go crazy trying to get into the decoys . Those hunts were all in dry field environments and It made me wonder if those actions could be duplicated using a water set of predominantly all goose floaters . I told my buddy Mike that when the time was right we would give it a try . As the season progressed and more proven methods dominated our efforts, the idea slipped onto the back burner. Time it seems goes by at a much faster rate during the waterfowl season, and before we realized it duck season had closed and we only had a week of goose season left. The season had gotten away from us and we needed to act if we were going to test out this new concept .

THE PLAN; I had been scouting some property south of the city that we have permission on when I drove past an extremely popular but often maligned WMA. One of the marshes next to the highway was composed of strip cut corn and was teeming with waterfowl . Ducks filled the air and several hundred geese could be seen loafing between the standing strips of corn . The fact that no one was hunting that marsh didn't escape me and I immediately to put in a call to Mike. We quickly formulated a plan to implement this new idea in a duck rich environment while hunting geese at the same time.

THE HUNT; Shooting time caught us still loading our layout boats with decoys . We had a couple dozen goose floaters and a dozen field decoys we hoped to place in the shallow water. We didn't bring along any duck decoys as we wanted to gauge the draw power of of the goose decoys alone in an over water scenario. The center of the marsh was our destination. The water had swallowed out in spots and the geese could be seen standing and swimming in these areas. Using our trolling motors we could approach within about 75 yds . of the target area . We got out and pulled our boats to the spot we hoped would prove to be the X. We sat up the field decoys on stands in the shallow water and the floaters in the deeper areas approaching them. We pulled the boats well away from our spread and hid in the standing corn using marsh stools . While in the process of launching our boats the geese had been on the move . Strings of birds could be seen in every direction and their honking was music to our ears . By the time we had gotten set up the goose movement had shut off like someone threw the proverbial switch . But then there were the ducks, hundreds upon hundreds of noisy quacking splashing ,taking off, then landing again ducks . Mostly Mallards with a generous sprinkling of Pintails and Gabby's.mixed in . Ducks were everywhere swimming down the rows of corn . Getting up and flying 50 yds. only to go back down again . Incoming birds had a thousand places where they could land next to another live duck and many did, but just as many wanted to land in our goose dekes . I was more than surprised at the draw power of the goose decoys in this situation . We were competing against untold numbers of live ducks yet we had an almost constant flow of birds working us . Birds would unhesitatingly drop straight into the spread swim around for awhile take off only to be replaced by another group. The standing corn hide proved very effective at concealing us as birds would work so close you swear you could almost reach out and smack them with the gun barrel. The goose hunting side of our little experiment proved to be unremarkable as we only had three birds return to the marsh . Those three came straight into the set honking all the way. None left .

CONCLUSIONS : To Mike and I it was apparent that this method of pulling in ducks had proven itself effective. The birds we saw that day were just as drawn to the goose decoys, in this over water encounter, as I had ever witnessed them being attracted, in dry field conditions . Will this method change the mainstream method of hunting ducks over duck decoys ? I seriously doubt it . Goose decoys being much larger than their duck counterparts offer their own unique set of logistical problems . Transport and storage become prominent considerations when we are dealing with size-able numbers of goose decoys . Walk in hunters would be severely tested trying to pack many goose dekes into the marsh and of course the cost of acquiring a goose spread would certainly prove a deterrent to many. For the hunters that can overcome these obstacles it may prove itself more effective than the traditional ducks over ducks method, especially in heavily pressured WMA`s. where the birds see a slew of four dozen ,two spinner spreads. The results we saw that day made Mike and I believers . We plan to hunt using a few dozen geese decoys with just a dozen ducks placed in the kill hole . This was an easy decision for us as we don`t have to by anything and we have a couple of layout boats for transport . We had a great morning with the ducks testing this concept and anxiously wait till the new season arrives . Have a great day.
JOHN O`NEAL
John O`Neal
hunter
 
Posts: 517
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:16 pm
Location: LENEXA Ks.


Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby KSRedleg » Fri May 03, 2013 9:56 am

"Hunting" ducks when the season is closed doesn't really tell you much. You probably could have used black and white painted clorox jugs and had about the same success. When you're where the ducks want to be and they haven't been hunted for awhile, decoys don't matter much.

We've hunted with goose floaters a few times and I can't really say if they helped or hindered. Just typical WMA ducks doing what they do. Some won't land with live birds and some will land with clorox jugs. I've thought I've found the holy grail of duck decoying on several occasions over the years (Field decoys in shallow water, coot decoys, motorized swimmers, real image decoys, goose decoys, etc, etc, ) and what I've found is that they will all work and fail depending on the birds, how hard they've been hunted and weather conditions. All those things are just another tool in a well stocked tool kit. And like any tool they work well for the correct job and not so well otherwise.

Try it again in December and I think you'll have a better test of your idea.
So far this year.....
10 Blonds
20 Brunettes
6 Redheads

;)
User avatar
KSRedleg
hunter
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:38 am

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby mudpack » Fri May 03, 2013 7:00 pm

KSRedleg wrote:"Hunting" ducks when the season is closed doesn't really tell you much. You probably could have used black and white painted clorox jugs and had about the same success. When you're where the ducks want to be and they haven't been hunted for awhile, decoys don't matter much.
We've hunted with goose floaters a few times and I can't really say if they helped or hindered. Just typical WMA ducks doing what they do. Some won't land with live birds and some will land with clorox jugs. I've thought I've found the holy grail of duck decoying on several occasions over the years (Field decoys in shallow water, coot decoys, motorized swimmers, real image decoys, goose decoys, etc, etc, ) and what I've found is that they will all work and fail depending on the birds, how hard they've been hunted and weather conditions. All those things are just another tool in a well stocked tool kit. And like any tool they work well for the correct job and not so well otherwise.
Try it again in December and I think you'll have a better test of your idea.


What he said ^.
mudpack
hunter
 
Posts: 5873
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:40 am
Location: Central Kansas

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby cyoung24 » Fri May 03, 2013 7:49 pm

Although I agree with what red leg and mudpack said I have actually been doing this the past couple years on what I believe is the same WMA John is talking about. I feel using the goose dekes are effective in a couple different ways. It gives your spread a different look from the the guys set up 100yds all around you. Several of the units at this particular WMA are flooded smartweed, millet and others grasses and there is lots of clumps of grass sticking out of the water. To me these clumps would look no different than a duck decoy to ducks up in the air. So I think the goose decoys give better visibility and get you noticed better. The last thing is I feel 6 geese are as effective as 2 dozen duck decoys that said I'd rather pick up 6 decoys than 24. My best hunt last season was over all goose decoys except for the ducks on the mallard machine. It was one of those special days though so I really can't say it was just because of the geese. I am sold on the concept though, I've been down sizing my duck spread and buying more geese. In fact I just picked up a box of specks from the bargain cave at cabelas for $60, I thought it was a pretty good deal.
User avatar
cyoung24
hunter
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:37 pm
Location: Gardner, KS

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby BAMF » Fri May 03, 2013 11:29 pm

I love peeps that hunt mdc and try and make it a secret. Your from lenexa, corn off of 69. Can't wait to see a guy with a floater spread next year :beer:
BAMF
hunter
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:23 am

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby John O`Neal » Sat May 04, 2013 11:21 am

.
KSRedleg wrote:"Hunting" ducks when the season is closed doesn't really tell you much. You probably could have used black and white painted clorox jugs and had about the same success. When you're where the ducks want to be and they haven't been hunted for awhile, decoys don't matter much.


I think your review of the our little experiment is spot on in many ways and I couldn't agree with you more on several of your points. Any one of us that has done this for any length of time realizes that there exists no Holy Grail in water-fowling. One days forte, becomes the following days folly . Ducks are fickeled, and like yourself I have yet to find a magic potion that works each and every time. Mike and I certainly considered the fact that we were seeing the effects of our efforts on unpressured birds and attempted to draw our conclusions with that in mind . In the article the two hunters who advocate this method hunted real world conditions using 60 to 80 decoy spreads . They didn't profess it worked every time only that it consistently worked better than using comparable all duck spreads . We are currently languishing in that dead zone time of the year, tediously counting down the days till the adrenaline again starts to flow and the heart beats faster. I thought, what better time to post up the results of our little escapade and the exhilarating waterfowl show we witnessed . I expected a degree of scepticism. It is human nature to be gaurded when someone starts acting out of the box. One parting thought ; If you encounter a group using Clorox jugs in the marsh give them a wide birth for they are undoubtedly armed and seriously unstable . Have a great day.
JOHN O`NEAL
John O`Neal
hunter
 
Posts: 517
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:16 pm
Location: LENEXA Ks.

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby John O`Neal » Sat May 04, 2013 11:52 am

BAMF wrote:I love peeps that hunt mdc and try and make it a secret. Your from lenexa, corn off of 69. Can't wait to see a guy with a floater spread next year :beer:

Anyone that hunts here in eastern Kansas knows I was talking about Area C-South at the Marais de Cygne WMA on 69 hwy. It`s just habit not to specifically name locations on this forum . In this case, with the season closed I included enough descriptive narrative to promote identification . That was done purposefully and I am surprised you didn`t pick-up on it. I hunt MDC a lot and I will be there this fall in either A-East or C- South with a goose floater spread giving it a try. If you happen to be there come over and introduce yourself and we will give this goose floater concept a go and see how well it really works. Have a great day.
JOHN O`NEAL
John O`Neal
hunter
 
Posts: 517
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:16 pm
Location: LENEXA Ks.

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby cONG » Sat May 04, 2013 12:24 pm

I had try it and had good luck with geese spread but what about snow geese decoys, with a duck spread? Any luck there?
cONG
hunter
 
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 7:05 pm

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby mudpack » Sun May 05, 2013 6:52 am

Since the only thing I think we can all agree on is that we DON'T really know how a duck's brain works, I thing this might be an idea that's worth trying, certainly.
I tend to be skeptical, but that doesn't mean I'm right.
After all, I was skeptical of plastic ears of corn, UV-reflective decoy paint, duck attractant scent, soft silicone rubber duck calls, hats that incorporate a goose decoy, cubic steel shot, 36"-long barrel extensions, and other innovations that just seemed like passing fads at first.
mudpack
hunter
 
Posts: 5873
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:40 am
Location: Central Kansas

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby ducknado » Mon May 06, 2013 8:52 am

I have a buddy that always carries a half dozen floater goose decoys. He hunts a LOT more than I do (40+ days) at a pretty crowded public area (not mentioned in this thread :). His results are pretty good, but there are so many variables in that success: he knows the area like the back of his hand, we camo the he** out of our boats, and we usually put out a decent number of duck decoys as well.

However, he claims to have run experiments with pulling the goose decoys and noticing a drop in ducks then putting them back out and seeing more ducks pretty quickly. I don't carry any because I don't see geese at the areas I tend to hunt these days, but I would agree that they do help with visibility and as a 'changeup' from the normal spread of duck decoys bunched up against vegetation that ducks tend to shy away from later in the season.
"not all those who wander are lost"
...
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
User avatar
ducknado
hunter
 
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:11 pm
Location: KS

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby KSRedleg » Mon May 06, 2013 9:35 am

John O`Neal wrote:.
KSRedleg wrote:If you encounter a group using Clorox jugs in the marsh give them a wide birth for they are undoubtedly armed and seriously unstable .


The ole boys on Reelfoot used to used Clorox jugs painted black to add "numbers" to their spreads. I've seen plenty of those shell styrofoam mallards beings used in the past and they were about 1 step up from a clorox jug. I also remember a kit that was sold in the 1980s that would turn a 2 liter pop bottle into a decoy. Not sure how unstable any of the users of these were. :biggrin:

Part of the fun of waterfowling is trying to figure out the next trick to add to your tool kit. A new way of hiding, a new decoy, a new place. Don't take my comments as criticism, but as a hunter who has seen and tried a lot of different things over the years.

Good luck and hope it works out for you. :thumbsup:
So far this year.....
10 Blonds
20 Brunettes
6 Redheads

;)
User avatar
KSRedleg
hunter
 
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2007 11:38 am

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby mudpack » Mon May 13, 2013 6:29 am

KSRedleg wrote:Part of the fun of waterfowling is trying to figure out the next trick to add to your tool kit. A new way of hiding, a new decoy, a new place. Don't take my comments as criticism, but as a hunter who has seen and tried a lot of different things over the years.


You couldn't be more dead-on right, 'Redleg.
mudpack
hunter
 
Posts: 5873
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:40 am
Location: Central Kansas

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby John O`Neal » Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:23 pm

KSRedleg wrote;
[/quote] Part of the fun of waterfowling is trying to figure out the next trick to add to your tool kit. A new way of hiding, a new decoy, a new place. [/quote]

Your commentary is again right on point . A big part of the enjoyment I get these days from waterfowling comes from trying to come up with that new lure , or building a new piece of hunting equipment . More often than not my efforts get relegated to hanging from the workshop wall but occaisionaly I`ll stumble upon something usefull. I`m sure there are a lot of other hunters out there doing that same thing. I`am posting some pics of some of things that worked and some that didn`t . I urge others out there to post up their efforts .


My layout rig ; I modified an old boat trailer to carry two layout boats . The motor on my layout is a 52cc brushcutter I converted to use a 5 3/4" trolling mtr. prop . It worked great and would push my boat 6 mph loaded. Sold it to a duckhunter in Idaho.
Image

Prior to the Higdon fully flocked decoys . I flocked all my drakes. Still using them.
Image

My decoy cart . A couple 20" bike forks and some 3/4" sq tubing . Saves a lot of carrying.
Image
Image
Image

Another one of my more frivolous endeavors. I have three of them that I scatter them throughout the the set . A small timer turns it on an off at preset intervals . It is intended to represent a bird raising up and flapping it`s wings . The motors came out of some old Mojo doves.
Image
Image
Image

My homemade four arm vortex prior to painting. I use it primarily for field hunting. The Mallards really love it . The control box contains a motor speed controller and a 12v remote receiver. It allows me to turn it on and off from my layout blind .The wiper motor is off a Dodge Durango. Just click on the picture to see them fly.
Image ImageImage


One of my more effective efforts is my goose flagger . It uses a small wiper motor to move a Sillosock flapper decoy on a 4 ft. fiberglass rod from side to side . The flapping wings of the decoy combined with whiffleing side to side motion provides some tantalizing movement. I built three of them. They all run off one battery and can be turned on/off remotely . The motor speed is adjustable to accomodate the wind conditions. http://youtu.be/YvIEnyCaFZg
Image
http://youtu.be/YvIEnyCaFZg
We all have experienced freeze up locking us out of our favorite pond or marsh . As temps. warm the ducks start filtering back into the area but ice is still covering your spot . All you have to do is knock a hole in the ice and drop the this marine bilge pump down thru it (Walmart $15) . Hook up the battery leads and let it start pumping water onto the ice . It will make what appears to be a large opening in the ice in short order. I cover the pump/batt. with a shell decoy . I will usually set some full body ducks and geese decoys around the perimeter with a half doz keel-less floaters in the middle of the water . It adds to the fun of fooling them.
Image

My homemade dippers : They are self contained i.e. The battery and timer are contained inside the decoy . No wires to an external battery . You can set the timer to shut on/off any where in a 0 to 60 sec range. They will run for about 4 hrs on a charge . You can see from the dated pic . I built them long before Higdon came out with their models .
Image

This is the last of the mini longtails I built . It is scratch built using a scooter motor with a 5to1 reduction transmission (Ebay) Finding the correct prop was the challenge . I ended up using a prop from a 1964 Evinrude 9.5 hp outboard . The guy I sold it to is still using it at MDC he powers his layout and pulls his sons boat behind it .
Image

This is my buddy Mike testing out the motor on his homemade foam layout boat.
Image


These were a few of the less laughable of my efforts . I`m sure there are a number of you out there who have come up with some interesting stuff we would love to see it .
Last edited by John O`Neal on Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
JOHN O`NEAL
John O`Neal
hunter
 
Posts: 517
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 2:16 pm
Location: LENEXA Ks.

Re: Goose floaters for ducks ????

Postby flynfold » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:23 am

Johnny O You are the Man! Love your Ideas, thanks for sharing
flynfold
hunter
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:47 pm
Location: Stilwell, Ks


Return to Kansas Duck Hunting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests