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Rivers of Opportunity

Tips from three veteran waterfowler's on river hunting
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Use Oversized Decoys

Cold temperatures often cause hunting to heat up on larger bodies of water, particularly rivers, which are always the last to freeze. When things get cold in central Missouri, Avery pro-staff member Tony Vandemore shifts his attention from moist-soil management and flooded corn and timber areas to the big waters of the Missouri River.

Big water, Vandemore says, means hunters need decoy spreads that will have greater visibility to passing waterfowl. When Vandemore hunts the Missouri River, his spread consists almost entirely of oversize Canada goose floaters.

"Canada goose floaters are bigger and more visible from greater distances than duck decoys," Vandemore says. "Also, I think late-season ducks can get accustomed to seeing the same five- to 10-dozen-duck decoy spread everywhere they fly. By switching over to a spread composed entirely—or mostly— of Canada goose floaters, you give the ducks something they haven't seen before."

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