Using sleeper decoys to bag more birds
When waterfowl are resting or sleeping on the water or in a field, it usually means they feel safe enough with their surroundings to let their guard down. When birds flying above see other birds that feel safe, they have a lot more confidence in joining the party. Sillosocks makes sleeper goose and duck decoys that do a great job of imitating sleeping birds, and there are a number of ways you can use them to add confidence to your spread and bag more birds.
On the water. You may think Sillosocks are just a field decoy, but that’s not the case! One of our favorite ways to use our sleeper decoys, is putting them along the bank of a pond or on a sandbar in addition to a floater spread. Not only do you add more numbers to your spread, you also add confidence by making the birds in your spread look relaxed and safe.
When the temperatures drop and the water freezes, finding a naturally open hole in the ice, or breaking open a hole in the ice can be highly effective. Waterfowl love to rest on the water, and when the water ices over they will sleep on the ice for hours to thaw out a hole. You can mimic this by drilling holes in the ice and surrounding the open water with sleeper decoys.
In a blizzard. In brutal blizzard conditions, geese still need to eat and will usually slowly trickle out to the fields throughout the morning, and will often stay in the field all day alternating between sleeping and feeding. If the ground is already covered in snow, they will lay on the snow until they melt it enough to expose the crop underneath. Using a mixture of Sillosock feeder decoys and sleeper decoys is a great way to replicate this. Push the sleepers further into the ground to minimize their motion, and clear snow patches underneath the feeders and you have a winning strategy!
In the field. Geese and ducks alike usually like to zone in on the safest spot to land. Sleeper decoys are a great way to help direct incoming birds into the area of your spread you want them to land. When laying out in a field, they are great for stacking around the blinds to not only conceal the blinds, but also to get birds coming right at your blinds.