A Dozen Goose Hunting Tips

goose hunting tips
If your dog retrieves geese repeatedly from the same spot, set up to hunt that spot daily.

Would you like to improve your goose-hunting success and make each trip more enjoyable? These 12 tips could help.

Find the Best Concealment

goose hunting location
Field stubble can help conceal the goose hunter.

When selecting a goose-hunting location in a harvested crop field, look for areas that have elevated stubble or more prevalent stubble. Hiding is the most important factor in waterfowl hunting. If you can locate areas that will better conceal the hunters, your chances for killing some geese greatly improve.

Mud Your Ground Blind

Looking natural is always crucial. The best way to fully conceal your layout blind or pit is to “mud” the material before any natural vegetation is applied. Simply mix up a bucket of dirt and water and rub the slurry across the ground blind material. Be sure to let it dry before going afield. The mud will eliminate all unnatural shine or sharpness.

Elongate Goose Decoy Stakes For Even Better Concealment

goose decoys
Goose decoys are best placed in central portions of fields, away from cover.

Goose hunters also can use any type of goose decoy—full body, shell or other styles—to help conceal layout blinds where natural cover is scarce and shadows are prevalent. Raise the goose decoys slightly by lengthening the stakes 6 to 8 inches, then place them around the perimeter of your ground blind.

Proper Goose Decoy Placement

Place your most realistic goose decoys (full bodies, shells and floaters) on the downwind side of your goose decoy spread near the “landing zone” where geese will see them as they approach. Place the least realistic goose decoys (silhouettes, windsocks and rags) farthest from the view of approaching birds.

Avoid Edges and Cover

goose decoys
When weather is warm, decoys should be placed farther apart to mimic behavior of geese when the temperature is higher. In cold weather, place decoys closer together.

It’s best not to set goose decoys near fence lines, brush piles, high vegetation or ditches that offer natural cover; geese shy away from any cover that can conceal a predator. Place your goose decoys in the middle of the field or water where the geese can see all around them.

Watch the Weather

Pay attention to weather conditions and bird activity when you set up your goose decoy spread. When it is warm or calm, geese tend to spread out more across fields and water, and often will break into smaller “family groups.” As the weather gets colder or when the wind picks up, geese tend to “huddle” into more tightly packed flocks. Set your spread accordingly.

Adapt to Conditions

snow goose flag
A white trash bag makes a great snow goose flag.

Also remember, when the weather gets cold and snowy, geese naturally tend to lay down in the field. Utilizing more shell goose decoys helps you better replicate these cold-weather flocks. If full-bodied goose decoys are used, simply remove the bases or legs so the decoys lay flat on the ground.

Add Some Crows

Goose hunters often place a few crow decoys off to one side of their field spreads. These “confidence” goose decoys help lessen the wariness of geese by making the goose decoy spread appear more lifelike.

Use Jerk Cords

On calm days, rigging several jerk cords is an inexpensive way to add movement to your spread that will help fool the wariest birds. Tie three to five floating goose decoys 5 to 7 feet apart along a cord. Anchor one end and use the other end to “pull” the goose decoys into motion.

Trash Bag Flag

goose call
Keep calling, even when geese get near.

Realistic goose flags and kites are great for drawing the attention of snow geese to your goose decoy spread, but a 13-gallon white trash bag tied to a long pole works just as well.

Keep Calling

Don't stop goose calling when geese are close. Feeding and landing geese make a lot of noise; a silent goose flock is either asleep or alarmed.

Look for the "X"

Geese will always have a specific area where they tend to land. Each day you hunt, be sure to remember the exact spot in the field where the birds pitched in. The next day you will be much more successful if you are set up on the “X.”

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