LATE SEASON HONKER SET UP
Best Bets: Place your most realistic, full-bodied decoys out front to fool wary incoming geese. Credit: Adam Raby.
- The biggest mistake goose hunters make is not leaving a large enough landing zone. A mature goose has a wingspan of two meters, so 10 geese landing wing tip to wing tip need at least 20 meters of space. If the birds don’t have enough room, they’ll often circle the spread again, then land short.
- Spread the decoys at least six steps apart. Canada geese are territorial and want their own space when feeding, sometimes chasing, or beating each other with open wings to claim a spot in the chow line.
- The farther birds get from the main flock, the more they spread out. Canadas land in a group for safety, but disperse after hitting the ground. Decoys on the far edges of your spread can be four to six meters apart; this makes your spread look both bigger and more natural.
- Make the landing area obvious to the birds. The more geese look things over, the more nervous they become. A big landing area and a concentration of birds in the center of the spread, which hides the blinds, makes the geese feel safe. They’ll believe they’re landing close to other birds that have just come in and are still close together.
- Since incoming geese look most closely at the first decoys they see, place your best dekes out front. I set my HD Honker full-bodied decoys out front and a couple around my blinds. I then use a combination of Silhouettes and FB Lessers to complete the flock.
- Place a concentration of decoys around your layout blinds to help conceal your presence.
- Place decoys as distance markers, so you know when the birds are in range (this can also be applied to the other two set-ups).