Combo Decoy Set Up: Canadas, Snows & Specks

Cinque Terre

During the peak of the fall migration, it isn’t unusual to have Canada geese, snow geese, and greater white-fronted geese feeding together in the same field. Set up strategically, and you might put all three on the dinner table!

Snow geese always want to be ahead of other feeding birds, while Canadas and greater white-fronted geese (also known as specklebellies) will land downwind of the main group.

When setting up in the field, you will want a decent number of decoys (two dozen dark decoys per hunter in the field helps ensure you don't stand out). For white geese you will need more, but don’t let that discourage you. Your decoys will accumulate, and you can still find success in the meantime! A good rule of thumb: take note where incoming flocks land when you’re spotting. Are they with a large group of other birds or do they come into smaller groups?

Give this a try for your ultimate goose combo set up:

  1. Go to the field where you spotted the birds feeding, and set up your blinds with the wind to your back.
  2. Build your decoy spreads around your blind. Separating the different species will help keep the proper spacing between spreads.
  3. Place your Canada goose decoys (about a dozen) around your blinds. Tip the ends of the spread downwind, but don’t string them out. Spread them to cover 70 to 80 metres, or about 35 to 40 metres from each end of the blinds. This helps your entire spread look like a large mass of birds.
  4. Just downwind of the Canada decoys, place specklebelly decoys in groups of four to eight. Leave 10 to 15 metres between groups.
  5. Place snow goose decoys (about a dozen) starting 10 metres behind your blinds. String out the decoys in a line from the edge of your Canada spread to form a loose group directly downwind of your blinds.
  6. Leave a large hole directly downwind of the blinds for a secure landing area for dark geese, and a natural guiding flyway for white geese.
  7. Scatter a half dozen snow goose decoys through the dark decoys, since some of the whites will always join the mob on the ground.
  8. Good luck!

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