10 Tips - Secrets for Hunting Early Geese

 Canadian geese flying in a crisp blue sky

10 Tips for Hunting Canada Geese From the Avery Pro Staff

Hunting resident Canada geese during the early season can be feast or famine. The weather is warm, and geese often settle into established feeding and roosting patterns. Many birds also remain in tight-knit family groups at this time of year, making juvenile birds difficult to lure away from wary adults. Despite these challenges, great opportunities exist for goose hunters who are willing to do the work necessary to put themselves on the X. Following are 10 tips from members of the Avery Outdoors pro staff that will help you bag more geese now and later in the season.

Four Canadian geese flying in a crisp blue sky
Canadian Geese, photo courtesy of Bass Pro Shops

1. Scout for Geese at the Right Times

When scouting for Canada geese, go during the time of the day that you plan to hunt. They'll sometimes feed in one location in the morning and another in the afternoon, occupying the same fields over several days. They may also be feeding only once a day. —Jim Thompson, South Dakota

2. Don't Hesitate to Move

If geese start landing outside of shooting range, don't hesitate to rearrange your decoys, your blinds or move everything. Be sure everything is well hidden. The time it will take to make these adjustments will be well worth the effort. —David Hochman, Connecticut

3. Clear Geese for Landing

When field hunting for Canada geese in high winds, be sure to increase the size of the landing area in your decoy spread. Likewise, if large flocks of geese are anticipated in your area, the size of the landing zone should be increased. —Greg Owens, Minnesota

4. Take Time for the Details

Arrive at your hunting location with plenty of time to set up your decoy spread. Do not cut corners by just throwing out your decoy rig. Take time to set up your spread correctly and avoid getting your decoys dirty or muddy. Paying attention to details will dramatically increase your chances for success. —Rusty Hallock, Maryland

5. Customize Your Camo to the Area You Hunt

If you hunt in different parts of the country, remember to re-mud your layout blind with soil from each particular region you hunt. Also match your other camouflage to the local vegetation, crops, and terrain. This will allow you to blend your blind into the surrounding field and increase your chances for a successful hunt. —Rusty Hallock, Maryland

6. Look and Listen Before Calling to Geese

Don't start calling to a flock of geese as soon as you see them. Instead, stop and listen for a bit to see how vocal they are and pay special attention to the lead goose. Many times if you can convince the lead goose to commit, the rest will follow. —Kevin Addy, Pennsylvania

7. Shoot as a Team

If you hunt with several guys in the same decoy rig, decide on individual shooting zones based on each shooter's position. For example, hunters on the outside of the spread should start by shooting at birds on the outer edges of incoming flocks and work toward the center. The guys on the inside of the rig should start with the birds in the center of the flock and then work out. This will keep you from doubling up on the same birds. —John Taylor, Maryland

8. Hide in the Shadows

When hunting in sunny weather, always use the shadows to your advantage for concealment, especially when hunting in open terrain. Many things will create shadows, from full-body decoys to hay bales. —Derek Rambo, Texas

9. Wait Out the Weather

Fog often suppresses early morning feeding flights. If this happens, sit tight until the fog burns off. In many cases, you'll be rewarded for your wait with hungry birds coming right at you. —Mike Hungle, Saskatchewan

10. Take a Step Back to Look at Your Decoys

When you set your decoys, take a look at them from 40 to 50 yards away to make sure they look natural and your blinds are well hidden. This will give you a chance to make changes before the first flock of geese arrives. —Mark Brendemuehl, Minnesota

Originally published on Ducks Unlimited
Published here with permission from Ducks Unlimited