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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Now is the Time for Spring Snows

This is the year to see what you've been missing
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Decoys and E-callers

If there is one constant through the different stages of the migration, it is that snow geese are voracious feeders.

Avid snow goose hunter and guide Ben Fujan says that hunters should use this habit to their advantage when it comes to setting up decoys.

"Snow geese are aggressive feeders, and new birds will always try to concentrate on the upwind side of a flock on the ground, where the fresh food is," says Fujan. "Naturally, that's where we hunters are going to want to be."

Fujan usually runs between 800-1200 full-body decoys in a teardrop pattern, with the bulk of the decoys tightly packed around the blinds near the crown of the spread.

Fujan says that decoying birds will often get lower over the downwind decoys and then fly up the spread, their eyes drawn to the mass of decoys on the upwind side. A landing space in the decoys should concentrate these birds directly in front of the hunters.

"We leave a hole for the birds to focus on about 6-10 yards in front of our blinds, with decoys completely enclosing the hole," says Fujan. "Be sure to make the landing area large enough for several birds to feel like there is enough room for them all to land."

When it comes to using e-callers, Fujan likes to run one pair of callers upwind around the blinds and another pair at the downwind portion of the spread. Hunters should scatter the speakers within the decoys and keep an eye on the volume of the callers, especially those downwind.

"You want to always make sure that there is sound coming from all parts of your spread," says Fujan. "But you don't want the downwind callers to be too loud, or you run the risk of spooking the birds as they are setting up on your decoys."

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