How exciting! How did you come up with the name for the decoys?
After hunting my first 2 hunting seasons at Wister (Salton Sea area, California) with 2 dozen snow goose floaters and 3 dozen snow goose shells, I still was not able to harvest my first snow goose. I was pretty frustrated. One day, I had a “not so great” reservation at Wister but I guess I must have picked a site Dale wanted to hunt because he asked if he could hunt with me. I usually like to hunt alone but when I asked how many snow goose decoys he had, he told me he had 300 decoys and I almost fell over and then I said sure lets hunt together.
When we got to the hunting site, I was a little puzzled and skeptical when I saw his decoys (… sorry Dale). However, after his decoy spread was laid out on the pond, I changed my mind. Considering how long it took us to check in/pay at the Wister Station (if you hunt Wister, then you know what I mean), I was impressed on how quickly we were able to get 300 of his decoys out on the pond and by first light.
A little after first light, we had a group of snows circle our spread and I admit, my calling scared off that first group. Dale was quick to tell me my calling didn’t sound exactly right and I was better off not calling at all. Well, he was right and by keeping silent and after letting the birds work the large spread, a single came in low and one shot using my Kent 3 ½ inch #2’s dropped the snow and I watched it fall (like it was in slow motion) as it dropped about 15 feet from where I was standing. “Thump”.
I finally shot my first snow goose and I was very happy. Thanks Dale.
The snow geese flew through our area from a little after first light (after all the teal got out of the way) to about 9:30 AM and that was it for the entire day. We shot 4 snow geese that day. Of course, the snows started flying over our site 20 minutes after shoot time…do they have a watch of something? Anyway, I scratched up enough money to buy 150 decoys from Dale last season and I’m looking to add another 150 of his new full body style this year. Dale’s new body style looks more realistic especially if you use these crop/field hunting. I pretty much never want to hunt with my old full body floaters or shells again… even the shells are heavy. In certain situations, you want the most realistic decoys out there. But in my experience and after weighting the various options out there, you will get a lot more snows come over your spread if you have a large number of decoys. And these decoys move back and forth in the slightest wind!
And Movement is the key to any realistic decoy spread.
Buying these decoys was a real no brainer for me. I was really torturing myself transporting and setting up my full body and shell decoys at the hunting sites and I was spending way too much time at home trying to get the mud off my old decoys. I really, really hate that mud at Wister. I remember my first steps in a Wister pond…Ha,Ha. Anyway, the super sticky Wister mud (clay) doesn’t seem to stick as much to Dale’s decoys and any mud left over washes off these decoys very easy by just a spray of a water hose (even when they are stacked right next to each other).
Thanks again Dale.
..and Matthew (Dale’s Grandson), congratulations on your first snow goose too. I saw your picture in the Western Outdoor News last week (the 2011 Thanksgiving Day week issue, Sound Off section). I heard your Dad ran out and got several copies of the paper.
Take care and Good Hunting.
Steven J. Prihisztal
Dale, I will be at Wister this Sat.
If you plan on going give me a call.
Was that you (at the blind across from us) that dropped the one snow on Wed.? The other bird in that pair came right over our Cabaw decoys (Allan strung him in with his call) and then I dropped the snow right next to the blind..Thump! I was awesome.... We got 2 snows and 1 duck that day. I had a great time with Allan and Carl. For some reason we missed some easy shots on 2 different groups of snows in the morning and I had the opportunity joke around about how we could miss such an easy shots! Ha, Ha. The blind location also made that trip very pleasant. I marinated the breast in Italian dressing for 4 days and my family enjoyed. I think snow goose (Med-Rare dipped in A-1)taste better than a good quality steak. Looks like I figured out an Imp. Mod. works well with my 3 1/2 inch shells. I also helped Allan bring down his duck (flying cripple) on a pretty long shot. Hopefully the wind picks up by Sat/Sun.
Dale Ghere has been hunting since the late 50's.