Introduction: How to Setup Decoys

Hi, my name is Trevor Larsen. I am a very avid waterfowler and have been hunting for 10 years, and I will demonstrate how to be successful in the field. I’m going to show how to boost your confidence level before even getting to your hunting spot. I’m going to show in five steps how to setup decoys. Divebomb Industries, a decoy manufacturer with employees that have lifetimes of experience on waterfowl hunting have confirmed that there are certain ways you have to setup your spread and I am going to show you them.

Step 1: What Type of Waterfowl?

The first step in setting up decoys you need to know what type of waterfowl you will be hunting. In our area it will most likely be: Ducks (there are many types of ducks but set up the same) geese (Canada’s, Snow Geese, Speckle Belly’s, and Lesser’s). By knowing what type of bird that is being targeted there are different ways to setup.

Step 2: Scouting

Once the type of bird is known scouting is key. Scouting the birds will make the hunt pull through, but it has to be done more than once. Its like doing homework. Those parts are: looking to see where they are feeding in the field, where they are coming from, where they go after they are done feeding, and what times they arrive at those places.

Step 3: Figuring Out the Weather

Depending on the weather the spread will be setup differently. You will always setup so the birds will come into you. So most of the time the wind should be to your back because all waterfowl land into the wind so it easier to slow down and land softly. Sometimes it might be beneficial to hunker down perpendicular with the wind so they come in from the side. That is determined by where you are hiding.

Step 4: Setup

When you figure out where the birds are landing and what the weather is there a few different ways to setup. If there is a side wind; facing perpendicular with the wind setting up the decoys in a J will be most effective. The long end of the J will be considered the backstop for the birds so they don’t go past it, and the short end will be considered a guide. The little pocket is where the birds will land. If the wind is straight to your back you will want to set up a U. Using the same principles as the J as the two long sides guides for the birds and the middle is a backstop. The birds will land right in the center of the U if it is done correctly.

Step 5: Ducks & Geese

With ducks and geese using the J and U method for your spread will be essential, but for geese depending on the type and time of year the setup will be a little different. For early season Canada’s they are still in protection mode for their little ones even though they are almost full size and they stay in their family groups. When setting up your spread use the J or U, but you will mimic them being in their own family groups by placing groups of decoys in groups of 3-25 making a J or a U out of the different groups. That doesn’t apply for Canada’s late season and all the other types of geese. When hunting snow geese, lesser’s, and specks using the J and U will be most effective, but place them in a much larger scale. Running 30-50 dozen decoys maybe even more if money allows because they are very expensive. The reason for using that many decoys late season is because these birds travel in huge flocks for the migration and they can stack into a field to as much as 500,000. That is for mostly snow geese.