Using Goose Floaters for Duck Hunting

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Using Goose Floaters for Duck Hunting

Deploying goose decoys in your duck spread can add realism and confidence to decoying ducks. (Photo By: River Monster Photography/Shutterstock.com)

Using honker floaters in your duck decoy spread can greatly add to your success. I have been using them to add realism and confidence while decoying ducks over water and to help those ducks locate your decoy spread from a greater distance. Right when the geese start to fly you have the honker floaters to help seal the deal on the big birds, too.

Decoy Deployment

There are a few things to remember and usually are no-brainers. Depending on the size of your duck decoy spread, I will not use more goose floaters than duck decoys. For one reason, goose decoys can really take up a lot of room on your boat, not only room; those decoys add a lot of weight through using 6-8 oz Texas rigs on goose floaters compared to 4-6 oz rigs on your duck decoys. However, one thing to consider would be long-lining your goose floaters.

Decoy location. It has been my experience that ducks usually do not land over or in goose decoys. I am not sure if it’s a size thing, a dominance relationship type thing or what, but very rarely do they intermingle with one another. I definitely use that to my advantage and have had great success. Keep the decoys separated. I use the goose floaters at the top edge of my duck decoy spread on the upwind side, essentially using the goose floaters as a blocker.

duck and goose decoys
Use a handful of goose floaters to bring in more ducks. (Photo By: Mike Miller)

Spell It Out

I’ll sometimes create an angle with the floaters and use that angle to help close off the hole, pushing the ducks tighter into the landing area creating that feet down finishing shot that we as duck hunters so desire. When considering the layout of your duck decoy spread there are a lot of ways to do it here are a few basic ones. The Nike swoosh (J-shaped decoy spread), the deep pocket or the U (my favorite), the L-spread, broken pocket technique, and the X-spread, if you have water and landing areas on all sides of you.

See also  .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum for Whitetail Deer Hunting? Best Ammo (Round, Load, Cartridge) for a Successful Whitetail Deer Hunt Hunting Calibers 04 Apr, 2020 Posted By: Foundry Outdoors Is the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum a viable caliber/load/round/cartridge for whitetail deer hunting? The accurate answer is “it depends”. However, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest whitetail deer. As with anything, the devil is in the details. To answer the question completely, we would need to evaluate the downrange distance to the whitetail deer, the bullet type, the grain weight of the bullet, the physical condition of the firearm, the size of the whitetail deer in question, the shot placement, the local wind conditions, the expected accuracy of the shooter, the ethics of the ideal maximum number of shots – the list goes on. [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo]What we can do is provide a framework to understand what average conditions might look like, and whether those are reasonably viable for a shot from the average shooter to harvest a whitetail deer in the fewest number of shots possible, i.e., ethically. Let’s dive right in. In the question of “Is the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum within the ideal range of suitable calibers for whitetail deer hunting?” our answer is: Yes, the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is A GOOD CHOICE for whitetail deer hunting, under average conditions, from a mid-range distance, with a medium grain expanding bullet, and with correct shot placement.Let’s look at those assumptions a bit closer in the following table. Assumption Value Caliber .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Animal Species Whitetail Deer Muzzle Energy 3170 foot-pounds Animal Weight 210 lbs Shot Distance 150 yardsWhat is the average muzzle energy for a .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum? In this case, we have assumed the average muzzle energy for a .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum round is approximately 3170 foot-pounds. What is the average weight of an adult male whitetail deer? Here we have leaned conservative by taking the average weight of a male individual of the species, since females generally weigh less and require less stopping power. In this case, the average weight of an adult male whitetail deer is approximately 210 lbs. [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo]What is the distance this species is typically hunted from? Distance, of course, plays an important role in the viability of a given caliber in whitetail deer hunting. The kinetic energy of the projectile drops dramatically the further downrange it travels primarily due to energy lost in the form of heat generated by friction against the air itself. This phenonemon is known as drag or air resistance. Thus, a caliber that is effective from 50 yards may not have enough stopping power from 200 yards. With that said, we have assumed the average hunting distance for whitetail deer to be approximately 150 yards. What about the other assumptions? We have three other primary assumptions being made here. First, the average bullet weight is encapsulated in the average muzzle energy for the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum. The second important assumption is ‘slightly-suboptimal’ to ‘optimal’ shot placement. That is to say, we assume the whitetail deer being harvested is shot directly or nearly directly in the vitals (heart and/or lungs). The third assumption is that a projectile with appropriate terminal ballistics is being used, which for hunting usually means an expanding bullet.Various calibersA common thread you may encounter in online forums is anecdote after anecdote of large animals being brought down by small caliber bullets, or small animals surviving large caliber bullets. Of course those stories exist, and they are not disputed here. A 22LR cartridge can fell a bull elephant under the right conditions, and a newborn squirrel can survive a 50 BMG round under other specific conditions. Again, the goal of this article is simply to address the question of whether .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is within the ideal range of suitable calibers to harvest whitetail deer - and to this question, the response again is yes, the .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum is A GOOD CHOICE for whitetail deer hunting. [Click Here to Shop .270 WSM Winchester Short Magnum Ammo]This article does not serve as the final say, but simply as a starting point for beginner hunters, as well as a venue for further discussion. Please feel free to agree, disagree, and share stories from your own experience in the comments section below. Disclaimer: the information above is purely for illustrative purposes and should not be taken as permission to use a particular caliber, a statement of the legality or safety of using certain calibers, or legal advice in any way. You must read and understand your own local laws before hunting whitetail deer to know whether your caliber of choice is a legal option.Foundry Outdoors is your trusted home for buying archery, camping, fishing, hunting, shooting sports, and outdoor gear online.We offer cheap ammo and bulk ammo deals on the most popular ammo calibers. We have a variety of deals on Rifle Ammo, Handgun Ammo, Shotgun Ammo & Rimfire Ammo, as well as ammo for target practice, plinking, hunting, or shooting competitions. Our website lists special deals on 9mm Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 45-70 Ammo, 6.5 Creedmoor ammo, 300 Blackout Ammo, 10mm Ammo, 5.56 Ammo, Underwood Ammo, Buffalo Bore Ammo and more special deals on bulk ammo.We offer a 100% Authenticity Guarantee on all products sold on our website. Please email us if you have questions about any of our product listings. Leave a commentComments have to be approved before showing up Your Name * Your Email * Your Comment * Post Comment

Goose decoys have a spot in each one and use your imagination when setting out your decoys. Keep enough space and distance between your decoys. I typically keep three to four feet between my duck decoys and one to three feet distance in the landing area. Ducks tend to want to be in the masses. Use the wind to your advantage and set up accordingly. Be prepared to change your decoy spread to adjust for the wind.

The Extra Touch

Using spinning-wing decoys such as MOJOs with remote controls in your decoy spread is a deadly combo; turn them off when working geese and back on when working ducks. Using goose floaters on rivers and streams also works well. I tend to keep more space between duck decoys and goose decoys on rivers and more of a gap between species leaving a clear landing area between both spreads. Use the river current to your advantage. Eddies create a great landing area for both ducks and geese and is usually where they want to be. Sometimes they will land above and swim in so keep that in mind as well.

Each hunting scenario is different, be willing and ready to adjust for wind, and how the ducks and geese react to your set up, making minor or even drastic adjustments can pay off.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>