Canada Geese Hunting Basics
Fall Canada Goose migration is one of the biggest animal movement in North America and the time almost every game bird hunter is waiting for all year long, however despite the large number of birds crossing the sky over your head, success rates are low if you don't keep in mind the basics about geese hunting.
Shooting downs this smart, big birds requires not only firepower but also strategy and a deep knowledge of geese behavior and skills, otherwise the birds will spot the danger and will avoid to land near you, especially when there are many hunters on the area.
To increase your success chances try to follow the next basic rules to hunt geese.
1. Master the art of calling
This is a key skill to succeed on Canada Goose hunting. You must learn and practice until calls become your second language. There are tons of material on the internet as well books and multimedia resources which not only describe but also play the different sounds geese use to communicate.
Once you master the art of calling, half of the job is completed.
2. Study geese routines
Scout the area where you are hunting on every day at dusk. Every morning geese tend to feed on the same area they were feeding the afternoon before, so if you scout the area everyday it will be possible to identify where geese are feeding and set your decoys near that place. You may have for sure that the birds will be there the next morning.
In addition you will be able to identify the flock leader and learn its communication and behavioral patterns. By doing this you will be able to mimic the leader's call the morning after and attract geese to your trap.
3. Set up your decoys on a different manner every day
Avoid repeating the same pattern day after day, if you don't do so, geese will be able to spot you as a danger and will keep away of your shooting range. To avoid this problem set up your decoys on a different arrangement each day.
You may choose a large, spread distribution one day while the other the set up may be a group scattered disposition; the aim is to mimic the way birds behavior on the ground in order to avoid a human made pattern.
4. Try to use the same type of decoys on an particular set up
If you choose shell decoys try to avoid mixing them with full body; same way, if you are using shapes, don't mix them with shells, otherwise birds will be able to note "something different" among those geese on the ground and will render suspicious, avoiding to get close to your hunting spot.
5. Hide your blind
Geese have a keen eye and are smart. During their flight south they will see dozens of hunting blind on their way; enough to allow them identify the danger and fly away of it; so hiding your blind is a good idea if you wish to succeed.
Set up your blinds on high scrubs and use camouflage in order to render them invisible; in addition try to avoid too many blinds, the less the better!
6. Change your regular shooting point
Most of hunters set up their blinds in line with the decoying place in order to have a clear shot towards birds approaching them. Since this is a regular set up, birds tend to look for "something unusual" in front of the decoy flock, increasing the odds to detect your blind.
To avoid such problem try to set your blinds aside the decoy set up, on a perpendicular line respect to the birds approximation route. This way your blinds will be out of the area where birds are accustomed to see blinds, decreasing your odds of being detected before shooting.
7. No more than 20% active decoys
When setting your decoy flock, keep in mind that geese land mainly to feed. If you see a flock it will be clear that most of birds on the ground are feeding while only a few are active doing something else.
Then try to mimic this natural pattern when you set up your decoys. Use at most 20% of active goose decoys while the remaining 80% must be on feeding positions; this way your set up will look as a legitimate, natural flock on the ground.
Following the above tips will increase your success rate and the the number of geese on your bag. Of course you need much more than this to become a master goose hunter, but at the beginning, these tips will make a difference for sure!