Whether you are a beginner or have some experience in goose hunting, here are some tips that may serve as reminders or revelations to make your days in the field more forthcoming.
While not all may apply to your hunting needs, success out there lies in the tiniest details.
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10 Foolproof Goose Hunting Tips That Will Help You Bag More Than Your Limit
1. Invest in High-Quality Waterfowl Hunting Waders
Your best chance at hitting your geese limit in the field depends on the waders you wear as it does on your rifle or how spread-out your decoys are. The golden rule in hunting is staying hidden and still, and your best chance is having the right hunting waders to make this effective.
Besides, the right geese hunting waders will come accessorized with add-ons that will make your hunt much easier and manageable. For instance, functional waders will come with a shell holder, hand-warmer pocket, among others.
2. Go for Small Decoys
Dozens of full-bodied decoys don’t necessarily translate to success when it comes to goose hunting. Essentially, the number of decoys appropriate for use is determined by whether you are hunting geese that are feeding in a field or if you are hunting next to a refuge.
You will need many decoys to confuse the geese’ perception of which side you are on when hunting next to a refuge. On the other hand, the number of dekes you use is not important if you hunt in a field where birds are actively feeding.
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A dozen full-bodied decoys with motion stakes coupled with half-dozen shells looking like content and resting birds show the geese that the area has everything they need – food and safety. Also, smaller decoys allow you to quickly get out of the field after you have bagged your limit.
Tip: Silhouette decoys are another useful option for an inexpensive goose hunting rig.
3. Don’t Overcrowd Your Decoys
Geese often land and fly off with each other. Therefore, there is usually enough space for the birds to land and take off without their wings entangling.
This same principle should be employed when spreading out your decoys. Crowded decoys will leave no room for hovering birds to finish or land. Since the Canada goose wings can spread up to six feet, consider spreading your decoys two to five large steps apart.
4. When It Comes to Goose Calling, Less Is More
With the advent of goose calls, you can make pretty much any goose sound possible, which is important in giving life to your decoys. However, it is easy to do more harm with the goose calls than good by overcalling more than the birds would normally call.
To avoid this, pay attention to the geese’s body language to know how to call and imitate their behavior. For instance, geese only make a few clucks and a ton of feeding murmurs when on the ground, which you can achieve by holding a call and drawing air from your diaphragm.
Tip: When choosing goose hunting calls, go for two that complement each other. An acrylic short-reed goose call will produce a loud, sharp, and high-pitched tone in a field or windy day calling. On the other hand, a wood short-reed goose call will produce a deeper but softer and more realistic sound.
5. Sometimes Flagging Is Better Than Calling
Normally, you’d be tempted to call loudest on calm foggy days, but that does not always increase your odds with the waterfowl. Instead, consider waving a flag when you hear the geese approaching. This will be particularly effective when you know the geese are close and flying towards your spread.
6. Keep Your Concealment Natural
No matter how well your call the geese or spread your decoys, you can bet the geese will not come to the field if you are not naturally concealed. Remember that if you can see the geese, they can also see you.
While layout, boat, and pit blinds are great complements to camouflage clothing when it comes to concealment tactics, you don’t always have to use them. A face mask to go with your camo wear while hunkering down in weeds and cattails next to a pond is often enough.
- If you decide to use blinds, ensure you also cover them with natural vegetation using a hog wire.
- Concealment also applies to groups. Don’t hunt in groups that are too large to conceal.
7. Keep Still
Whether you are hunting alone or in groups, the golden rule is to stay perfectly still until the shot is called. This includes the fact that people in your group should not look up at the geese even if they have face masks. It is a basic discipline that will land you loads of kills.
8. Watch Geese’s Behavior in Different Temperatures
When temperatures fall below 20, and the ground is covered with snow, geese typically lie down immediately after hitting the ground. Therefore, when hunting in such temperatures, positioning your decoys to emulate this look is a foolproof way to lure the birds.
However, you can leave some of the decoys on their bases to make them appear as if they are walking and actively feeding.
9. Scout Effectively
The best decoys, goose calls, hunting gear, and powerful rifles are useless if you are not in the right location. Therefore, learning how to scout the geese’s flying and behavior patterns effectively will lead you to a position where the geese want to be and therefore tipping the odds in your favor.
For instance, if there is a lake or field where you often see geese, take note of when they come and how often they stay as these could be excellent spots for goose hunting. However, if you never see any geese in a particular area, your chances of landing a kill are limited.
Successful goose hunters spend hours driving around, scouting for roosting spots, and water well where geese frequent. Some of the best scouting techniques include:
- Focusing on where the geese are flying.
- Checking lakes and ponds.
- Surveilling local fields.
- Using your network of hunting buddies.
10. Take Advantage of the Wind
The next thing you want to consider when goose hunting is the direction of the wind and use it to your advantage. Geese will naturally land into the wind – that is, towards the direction the wind is coming.
Understanding this will help you figure out the most strategic spots to place your decoys, predict where the geese will land, and position yourself in proximity to their landing zone.
There you go, beginner hunters. With these detailed, tried and tested goose hunting tips, you bet you will be getting into the hunting game with all the information you need to land a good number of kills. However, with a little practice, you bet you will be bagging more than your limit.
Do you have extensive goose hunting experience? What other hunting tips would you like to share with beginners? Let us know in the comment section below!
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