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Goose Hunting Tips

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flying geeseHunting geese, ducks and other waterfowl for sport or food is known as waterfowl hunting. The hunting season for waterfowl is usually through late fall to early spring when the young ones have been raised and birds start migrating to areas with a warmer climate. Geese share similar habits with ducks and have nearly identical hunting seasons. The methods and strategies used in hunting ducks and geese are mostly the same. Geese like ducks pursue a daily pattern that alters when there is a change in weather conditions or when they sense predator or hunter pressure. Generally they are creatures of habit; habits which develop naturally based on their instincts for survival.

By habit geese start stirring a half hour or so after sunrise, slightly later than ducks. Both true and migratory geese are all subject to this pattern. They take to the air to reach some crop/cut grain field (wheat, barley, alfalfa oats, corn, rye, etc.) within a radius of five to ten miles from their place of roosting. Geese also eat grasses, berries, seeds on land and tubers, algae, roots and pond plants growing in water. Morning feeding time is anywhere from thirty minutes to about a couple of hours after which they fly out to a drink water from a source that may or may not lie within their roosting area. Then they spend time just sort of resting, doing nothing, until the sun reaches a 'late afternoon' position. Then once again they head for the place they fed at in the morning. They will continue to follow this pattern visiting the same places daily if they do not feel pressurized by being shot at as they feed/drink or are intercepted while heading for the place. Their feeding continues right until dusk when they head back to reach their roosting place just before it becomes completely dark. They are able to calculate the distance for their roosting location and will leave the feeding area early if they need to travel back for a longer distance.

geese in fieldThe most important elements for goose hunting used by practically all hunters are decoys and blinds. The purpose of decoys is to lure geese to come with the shooting range and blinds are used to shield/conceal the hunter from the bird's view to prevent alarming them. Hunters also use goose calls to attract geese to a certain spot and sometimes use the calls of other birds also in order to pacify the birds against existence of any danger.

Goose decoys come in a variety of types like flapping wing goose decoys, goose windsock decoys, geese floater decoys, motorized flapping wing decoys, feeder decoys, sleeper decoys and many other types.

Using multiple types of decoys the hunter is able to create a decoy spread that attracts flying geese to land at a particular location. Geese in the air take these decoys to be real feeding/ resting/wing flapping geese and feeling reassured start landing around them giving the hunter a chance for an excellent shot(s) for bagging a number of birds. The very name is suggestive of what the decoys do. The flapping wing goose decoy has a three dimensional body identical to a real goose attached to a stake that is fixed in the ground to keep it balanced and upright. One end of a string is tied to a mechanical arrangement in the decoy to make its wings flap when the string is pulled and released alternatively. The others end of the string lies in the hands of the hunter who operates the decoy remaining hidden in a blind at some distance from the decoy. The flapping wings of the decoy prove a great way of attracting geese flying at a distance. There are even differently shaped interchangeable decoy heads that can be swapped to let the decoy assume a flying/landing appearance. Motorized decoys do the same 'flapping' thing with the help of a battery powered motorized arrangement inside that can be operated from up to 200 feet by remote control. Windsock decoys are made from fabric/spun polyester or similar material that swells when wind fills them up to display movement deceptively similar to real geese feeding in fields. Decoys are real size and manufactured very artistically to resemble snow geese, blue geese, speckle belly geese, Canada geese and other goose species.

Waterfowl hunting blinds used for goose hunting are also of many types. There are lay down style blinds allowing the hunter to lay on the ground comfortably, fully concealed with only his head propped up for good viewing. These are used to goose hunt in fields but can be adapted for hunting near water. A good one will have a spring-loaded roof. Sit down style blinds let a hunter or more that one hunter sit comfortably in a chair remaining shielded from view at the same time affording a good view and a good shot. Pit style blinds allow standing or sitting below ground level keeping the hunter hidden. The pit needs to be covered by a roof to avoid detection and it is a challenge for the hunter to view the quarry with being seen.Below is a video of geese with their goslings:

Posted November 30, -1 by Justin Ott

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