The decoy spread makes all the difference in the world when you are trying to attract these wary birds. The flocks of geese have been hunted nearly non-stop since they left the arctic brooding grounds in the fall. By the time we see the big flocks of snow geese in South Dakota, they have been hunted straight from September through April.
Needless to say the birds are wary of everything. The adult birds can be upwards of 15 years old and they've seen years of decoy spreads. By the time a spring hunt rolls around it's time to go big with the spread. It's not uncommon for hunters to save money and set spreads including everything from full-body decoys to plastic shopping bags and diapers. Specklebelly geese may fall for that in the spring but the adult snows know better.
Big spreads of full-body and wind socks can draw spring snow geese from a thousand feet up.
We rely heavily on wind socks with and without heads. It's simply not feasable to trailer and set 1,000 full body snow goose decoys. Silosocks make a great wind sock decoy. They are reasonably priced, printed with good detail and they are rugged enough for multiple seasons.
In the late months of hunting snow geese in South Dakota we set huge spreads. The set is actually fairly simple - we set them close together in a large X formation. The electronic call is placed in the middle of the spread with additional speakers reaching out to the down-wind side of the spread. We drop a Vortex machine with snow goose decoys in the middle. That gives them plenty of sound, plenty of landing areas, and tons of visibility.
Motion in your decoys is often more important than a big spread. What good is a gigantic spread if the birds won't commit all the way to the ground? Motion is the difference between sticking out their feet or flaring at 100 yards.
We spent the weekend with "The Flagman" Randy Bartz - learning all there is to know about adding motion to the spread.