Hunting Q & A

Should I use less decoys in the late season?

Should I use less decoys in the late season?

Q: Having experienced rather dismal seasons in the last few years, I'm finding that less decoys seem to work better especially late season. Do you feel this is true and how many should be used in timber situations? - Cam Huff

A: I have seen the benefits of going to smaller decoy spreads especially when the birds are a little “stale.” I think birds begin to pick up on a variety of cues which they associate with hunters after they have been gunned hard and I think it is key to attempt to differentiate yourself from the other spreads that birds have been shot over.

When I was growing up, guys all shot the most logical places with 6-8 dozen decoys and all of the spreads looked the same. What I did was find small out of the way holes with small decoy spreads with great results while the guys on the points with big spreads just couldn’t pull birds. When you find that birds just won’t work traditional spreads, I would grab a handful of real good decoys and give it a shot and go small!

—John Devney