By: Barry Schindle
Premier Flight Guide Service
Decoy spread can range from a small 100-decoy spread to monster 1,000+ decoy spreads. We use all sorts of decoys and each has its place in the spread. Some days may call for a small full body spread with some floating snow decoys in the sheet water in the field... other days may call for huge decoy spreads of custom windsocks to grab the attention of the large migrating flocks of snows and blues on their journey north to the breeding grounds.
As a guide we are always willing to accept any help in the decoy spread setting and teardown. Some days it will be mandatory for the customer to help if we decide to pull the spread after the AM hunt and to get it reset in time for the PM hunt since time is at a premium.
We also incorporate special decoys whether it is flying decoys or special flags/kites in the spread to grab the attention of the passing flocks of snow geese. When you building your own decoy spread you have to ask yourself what type of snow goose hunting situation are you going to be in and what type of equipment do you have at your disposal. Windsock decoys like Northwinds, Silosocks, and Deadly Decoys can be easily transported in the back of your pick-up or in a small trailer and allow for faster set-up. These decoys to me are a better value for a starting out goose hunter since they are the most versatile snow goose decoys.
Another option is the full body decoys, these are ultra realistic and to me the best option if you have the resources to pull it off. These decoys require a large trailer and usually a 4wheeler to get the decoys in and out of the muddy fields. Another option that every snow goose hunter should consider in his arsenal is some floating decoys, these work great on roost ponds and sheet water in the flooded spring fields.
Most spring snow goose guides have found the best option for them to be mobile is using a windsock decoy. Since a spring snow goose guide may have little if any help picking up and resetting his spread daily a large full body spread is just not practical. My favorite spring snow goose spread is a long narrow spread with my blinds on the upwind side of the spread. If I have a hill to work with I will usually run my decoys up the hill and have my blinds hidden just below the crest of the hill or on the flat on top.