Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 81

ty paint. The real key to decoy effectiveness isn’t their individual appearance. It’s their overall look. The Look We all want our decoys to look like real birds. Marty Dietz, a Minnesotan with a bad case of goose fever, says the best way to accomplish this is to record and study images of live birds. “When you’re scouting, take pictures of birds in the field you’re hunting,” he advises. “This allows you to see the numbers, locations and positions of individual birds.” By basing his decoy spreads on his photos, Dietz knows he’s exactly mimicking the real thing. Early season groups of geese usually contain numerous small family groups that often land and feed on their own. Decoy spreads should match, with small clumps of a half-dozen phonies spaced throughout a field. This is the time of year when feeding is heaviest. Geese are hitting numerous food sources and packing on the pounds while weather allows. For this reason, veteran goose hunter Dee Draper of Utah does all he can to match such feeding scenarios. He advises mimicking live birds in the area, and key observations help www.dakotacountrymagazine.com do so. “A tighter spread indicates a lot of food, while an open and scattered spread indicates less,” he says. When representing heavi- ly-feeding birds, Draper recommends using a high proportion of feeding, head-down decoys. Birds notice these details. The overall look of an individual decoy is largely determined by LANDERS NORTHSIDE BAIT & TACKLE I-94 & U.S. HWY 83 BISMARCK, ND FULLY STOCKED FOR FALL HUNTING! Beer, Food, Fuel, Car Wash, Propane Fill & Much More! Hunting & Camping Supplies, Clothing & Gear, Licenses, Ammo & Much More Full Bait and Tackle Shop! GRINDERS - HOAGIES - SALADS - SOUPS R OPEN FO H C N LU I! MON-FR Cold Cooler Sandwiches & Breakfast Sandwiches! COME-ON-IN TO SIT-DOWN AND EAT, CALL AHEAD OR GRAB & GO! Dakota Country, October 2016, Page 81