Proven Goose Hunting Tactics Indepth Hunting Here ph
Goose season is finally here, the wait is over. Weather you are hunting geese in Pennsylvania or in Arkansas the tactics are basically the same. I have composed some helpful hints that should help your goose hunting adventures. These are my proven procedures used when calling and setting out decoy spreads. Hopefully these tips will make you a little more successful while adding a few more birds in your bag. The first ingredient to a successful goose hunt is making sure you have proper equipment. Your layout blind is one of the most critical pieces of equipment you will need. Address the issues of any tears in your layout blind. Don’t use grey tape to fix the tears where it could be exposed to the sun. That tape will reflect sunlight about as good as a mirror, big no-no. A good goose flag is also important. Assemble the flag and get used to its movement before you go to the field. It is very important to have a good goose call. You must know how to use that call, so practice, practice, and practice a little more. Decoys are essential; they complete the formula for a successful goose hunt. I recommend you invest in dekes somewhere in the middle price range. Geese are tough; they will not fall with a simple glancing blow. A magnum shot load is going to be required to hunt geese, the 3 or 3 ½ inch shells will be standard equipment on your hunts.
Practice the early and late season calling patterns. In the early season geese are in family groups, so call sparingly. Call just enough to keep the birds interested and coming your way, a simple honk might be all you need. You are hunting mainly “Home Flocks” in the early season. These are geese that stay in the areas year round. These geese are familiar with the area and often are comfortable with the humans. As a result, an aggressive style of calling will hamper rather than help in early season goose hunting. You will not see large waves of geese in the early season, as you do in the late season. The late season is the time to get aggressive with your calling tactics. I do my best to mimic the patterns being fluted by the geese coming into my decoys. I like to try and pick out one particular goose honking and return calls trying to convince that goose to land in my decoy spread. Do not overcall in any circumstance you are faced with. Geese intrepid overcalling as unnatural and will surely flair before they are in gun range. During the early season it is best to leave your flag decoys at home. You really don’t need it at this time. The late season is a different story, now you want to use your flags. Use your flags at the right time. Start flagging when the geese have a good view of your decoy spread. Lift the flag a few feet off of the ground and flap it 3 times to simulate a goose stretching its wings. Remember, the purpose of the flag is to simulate a goose landing in your decoy spread. Practice with the flag several times before you ever go to the field.
Early season decoy spreads are going to differ from late season tactics. We will use up to three dozen decoys in early season. As we have said, geese are still in family groups in the early season. Your decoy spreads should be place accordingly. While you are scouting before the season starts you should make a note of the positioning of the geese in the fields. Remember to leave adequate pockets within your spread for the geese to land. Increase your decoys spread up to ten dozen in the late season. A different strategy is used for decoy placement in the late season. The U or J shaped patterns are the preference for late season decoy patterns. Regardless of which pattern you decide on, remember to space the individual decoys six to ten feet apart. As the season progresses you will want to change your decoy pattern around a little bit. Give the geese a different look, but don’t overdo it. Always face your decoys into the wind. Those big birds have to land into the wind to maintain the proper lift. Place your layout blinds at the closed end of the U pattern or the end of the hook on the J pattern. Of course if you are hunting out of a pit, you will want the landing areas in the pattern to be in your shooting range. Whichever method of concealment you decide to use, make sure you are blending in with the surrounding areas. You must be concealed to hunt geese. As our crew says, “Blend in, or go hungry”.
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