Late season, hunted birds

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Late season, hunted birds

Postby muskyduck » Mon Dec 03, 2012 5:38 pm

Been really getting on some awesome hunting spots in the past week. Duck season just ended in wi and we still have two weeks of goose. Lots of geese on fields. I've got permission on several well used fields. When I'm not hunting, I check them every morning and afternoon. I know where they want to be. But why are the geese flaringwhen they are cupped and get about 75 yds from finishing? Then they land 200yds away. This doesn't happen all the time but it has happened probably 6x in the last couple days. I have 3 dozen decoys out: half are full body and half are shells, all ghg pro grade. I have hunted fields in the past but this is the first year I'm doing it on my own. I'm confident in my calling and I do a detailed job of brushing the layout blinds. Once they are cupped I usually stop calling. When I flag, it is only when they are outside a 1/4 mile or so. I know there could b a lot of things but of anything mentioned, should I be doing something different? One thing I thought of was digging a down about 4 in. To set the blind in. That is the only thing I can come up with, because even though it looks amazing when brushed in, it still sticks up. I have been hunted in plowed corn fields, so no rows left. Please help!
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Re: Late season, hunted birds

Postby rowley » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:29 am

in the area i hunt, the birds are all local and the hunters usually throw everything they have at them every time they hunt. the one thing i found to work (most of the time) is only put out a family size spread 6-8 decs, move your blind 30 yards away to your shooting advantage. as far as flagging goes, just enough to get their attention at long range and the only calling i might do is the feeding grunt.
hope this helps it certainly made a big difference for me
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Re: Late season, hunted birds

Postby A-Bomb » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:30 pm

Well, if your killing birds and having some that dont commit, id say its just the nature of the beast at this point in the season. Fact is, its late in the year, theyre smart to the game. Not every flock that comes out is gonna finish. It is what it is.

Although your taking great detail to brush in your blinds, do they have high profiles? If so, you may want to consider digging htem in to lower profiles. Are theyre any shadows around your blinds? If so, pile stubble around your blinds and taper it off to eliminate the shadows. Also, i wouldnt try and put too many in the field. Id put your blinds close together so when you open the doors they just barely clear and then fill in between then to get rid of any shadows. Also, if you can hunt the edge of the field, you may want to give that a try. Decoys....Are your decoys shining? If theyre wet and shining, then that could very well be why theyre not finishing to you.

Some other things you can try...Go BIG with your spread, or go small as suggested above. Also, dont set in the decoys. If the birds are short stopping you, try setting down wind of your decoys. Other options include sitting 90* to the wind. That way the birds arent coming strait in on you, but rather from side to side offering a crossing shot. That way when they come in theyre not looking strait in on your blinds.

Good luck, hope you hammer em.
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Re: Late season, hunted birds

Postby muskyduck » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:36 pm

rowley, you make a great point. The majority of these are local birds that have concentrated in certain areas do to the freezing temps locking up the surrounding lakes, ponds, etc. However, all the fields I've been hunting have anywhere from 300-600 geese in a specific area. Saturday there were an estimated 1,500 on one field (400+ acres) in three different groups. Does that make a difference? I had been playing with different set ups as far as the decoy formation. I've seen different responses. I had thought about taking the 3 doz decoys and splitting them into 2 separate groups on both sides of the blinds (like 20 yds to each side). That way it still gives the appeal of a large concentration, but likes like family groups. It works well with mallards on the water, wonder if it would do well for geese in the field....?
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Re: Late season, hunted birds

Postby muskyduck » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:05 am

A-Bomb wrote:Well, if your killing birds and having some that dont commit, id say its just the nature of the beast at this point in the season. Fact is, its late in the year, theyre smart to the game. Not every flock that comes out is gonna finish. It is what it is.

Although your taking great detail to brush in your blinds, do they have high profiles? If so, you may want to consider digging htem in to lower profiles. Are theyre any shadows around your blinds? If so, pile stubble around your blinds and taper it off to eliminate the shadows. Also, i wouldnt try and put too many in the field. Id put your blinds close together so when you open the doors they just barely clear and then fill in between then to get rid of any shadows. Also, if you can hunt the edge of the field, you may want to give that a try. Decoys....Are your decoys shining? If theyre wet and shining, then that could very well be why theyre not finishing to you.

Some other things you can try...Go BIG with your spread, or go small as suggested above. Also, dont set in the decoys. If the birds are short stopping you, try setting down wind of your decoys. Other options include sitting 90* to the wind. That way the birds arent coming strait in on you, but rather from side to side offering a crossing shot. That way when they come in theyre not looking strait in on your blinds.

Good luck, hope you hammer em.


Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks! The one thing I did not think of was the shadows from the blind. I will have to pay better attention to that in the future. Unfortunately that wasn't it in these cases, as it was overcast each day over the past week. I went out today, however, and it was clear blue and I noticed the shadow, but didn't think about it until I got your post. My buddy and I use Avery Finishers and we try to tapper the blinds with the stalks.

As far as set up goes, these are fairly large open corn fields that have already been cut and plowed-over for the winter. They are flat! We did have an opportunity to set up against the irrigation-pivot one day which was perfect because of the tall grass surrounding it. Decoys were out about 15-35 yds from the blinds. But the geese would stay just outside the spread. Two pairs finished at 45 yds on the outside. Monday, we set 90* form wind but just inside the decoys (because we didn't want them landing too far out like the other day). Had a few over head passing shots, 3 did finish nice, and then about 4 other groups (anywhere from 6-30 birds) work, circle come in wings cupped, and pull up at 45 yds. Like you said, maybe just seen it all by now, I don't know. On thing about setting in the decoys, you see hunters do it all the time, and they have success. Is that only in the cases where you have 80+ decoys out?

The last thing was the shine on decoys. Now we did have a mist on Monday morning, but it was so cloudy that nothing was shining. However, other then using FFDs, is there any trick to keeping morning dew off so when the sun comes up and the geese are moving you don't have that problem? I can't think of anything, but I have used Rain X on mallard decoys to keep ice from building up on subzero morning. It works great!
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Re: Late season, hunted birds

Postby Wobbling Wings Waterfowling » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:20 am

Try a very small spread... like a half dozenseriously. How mnay guys do you see with a half doz. And if you are already on the X then deffinately try it. Pick six of your most realistic decoys, thats what i would do. And try being quiet or do no calling but if they start to slide off then hit them. Also make sure your blinds aernt stickign up to high and make sure their are no shadows like stated above,
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Re: Late season, hunted birds

Postby rowley » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:39 am

so muskyduck, let us know what you did and how it turned out.
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Re: Late season, hunted birds

Postby muskyduck » Fri Dec 07, 2012 3:56 pm

O
rowley wrote:so muskyduck, let us know what you did and how it turned out.

Oh I will. I got a fresh field where 500+ have been landing at 815 like clock work all week. Doing it this weekend!
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Re: Late season, hunted birds

Postby muskyduck » Mon Dec 10, 2012 3:09 am

So, I was all set with 8 decoys in a perfect set up, on a field that I had seen the 500+ landing in the past 4 days. Ready to try something new, like some tips you guys gave me..... no birds showed up. I drove down the road after, and they were on a different field. Last two weeks they have been inconsistent like that (on a field one day, and another the next, then a completely different area the next, etc.), but finally their was a little consistency this week. They just decided to change their mind the day I hunted...

Now, I'm really starting to believe that it is just the nature of the late season birds. Unpredictable as all hell. The good news is it's not me! :yes:
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Re: Late season, hunted birds

Postby WIDrakeKiller » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:17 am

Make sure you're hidden good. We have had the same problems so we have gone to hunting fence lines and tree lines on edges of field. Also don't overcall which sounds like ur not doing. Do the same thing ur doing once their locked up just let em come in. This weekend I got screwed the snow we had would stick to the decoys and u would go brush it off and 5 minutes later they would be covered in snow again. We had them flare at 50 yards. I would try setting out just ur full body's, unless theres snow on the ground. then sit on a tree line with ur decoys about 20-30 yards out in the field. MINIMAL flagging. Believe me there not scared to land on the edges of fields. Sure its better to go out in the middle but they pick u out almost every time.
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