Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 82

its design, manufacturing process and finish. These variables are, perhaps, most important in the early season. “With a lot of sun in the early season, and the light dew around dawn, a painted decoy will shine as the sun comes up,” Draper claims. This immediately educates honkers. For one great source, Draper and all other experts interviewed, rely on Avian-X fully-flocked AXF Honker decoys. Michigan’s Joe Robison, a waterfowl biologist-turned-hunter, agrees. “On sunny days, fully flocked decoys absorb sunlight and appear more natural than painted versions. Avian-X decoys finish birds right in your lap… far better than any others I’ve tried.” While the ultimate goal is to set your blocks on The “X” -- that spot on the spot where birds always seem to want to land -- that’s not always possible. When he can’t be right on the mark, Draper presents two other decoy rigs to fool birds. The Loafing Rig Big western river systems often congregate birds between feeding stops. Draper scores big in such locations by creating a resting-type at- mosphere on a sandbar or island. Draper advises that, especially early in the season, geese like to drink and rest in areas just out of the water, and are often on low alert while doing so. Mimicking such mid-morning loafing activity often brings geese in on the first pass. The Traffic Rig The right decoy spread in the right location can cause passing geese to change their plans. Draper and his hunting companions often employ a traffic rig to bring in geese traveling between their roost and primary feeding grounds. Again, utilizing fully-flocked decoys, Draper attempts to create a scenario mimicking a group of birds on a hot feed. To do so, he uses a larger number of tightly-spaced decoys. The spread employs mostly feeding poses along with a single, head-up sentry. “An effective traffic rig portrays a lot of food,” says Draper. Early Ducks Geese aren’t the only game in town during the early season. To consistently score on teal, realistic decoy set-ups are just as crucial. While teal come and go quickly, they do so across the entire continent, and often see multiple decoy INTRODUCING... TUFFY BOATS CUSTOM RIGGING ACCESSORIES www.drivenmarine.net As a customer, you can expect honest answers, attention to detail, and products you will be proud to own. (701) 751-2582 - Bismarck, ND Page 82, Dakota Country, October 2016 www.dakotacountrymagazine.com