As late season waterfowl is upon us we are noticing the birds becoming shy to decoys and calls. You may ask the question how do I get around this and have late season hunts that are successful? Here are a few keys that may help you in the late season with geese and duck, I will break them out for you.
1. Make sure you don't over call, tend to call toward wing tips and tail feathers. By this I mean call if the birds are going away from you or are banking outside of your spread. It is ok to cluck and moan if the birds are committed to your spread just be cautious about over doing it.
2. Mix up your spread and don't be scared to try some different things. For instance add in some snow goose or Speck decoys. This time of year you tend to see the birds be much less oriented by species. This can go with mixing in lesser decoys or Cackler decoys into your spread, size is easily identified from above and makes things more realistic.
3. Flagging- movement is key all season in your spread, but in the late season I tend to rely more on flagging the birds in then I do calling at them.
4. Decoy set up- I tend to set up a black hole or dense decoy spread later in the year. As you watch birds feeding in the field you notice them competing over feed and they are typically consolidated to areas of the field where feed is readily available. Try to mimic this with your spread.
1. Bigger is always better with ducks later in the year when talking about decoy spreads in the field or on the water. When setting up in field use what you have, set out your floaters and full body decoys.
2. Motion is one of the biggest factors in a successful hunt, birds are more likely to commit to a spread with motion and looks realistic like birds feeding in a field. This can be with Robo ducks or The real Motion stake system that GHG has. When using Robo ducks set them up at varying heights, if you are able build a few of your own poles for these, don't be scared to go high, I have one that is 12 feet and it does the trick.
3. Blinds- this goes for ducks and geese. No mater what time of the season make sure you have your blind ( brushed) to the vegetation that you are laying in. If you are hunting a dirt field, see if the farmer will let you dig your blinds in the ground a few inches and mud your blinds up as much as possible.
I will go out on the biggest tip of all, don't get greedy! I am always guilty of this, always thinking they will give us one more pass. Usually this is not the case and I miss shot opportunities, take into consideration that these birds have been shot at since September and they are smarter than what we give them credit for. Make the most of each flock and don't be scared to "cut em" !