Yamaha Outdoors Tips — 10 Ways to Hunt Light Geese
By Steve Hickoff
You weren’t ready to quit anyway, were you? Think waterfowl season is over? Think again. Late-winter and early spring seasons provide plenty of opportunities for so-called “light geese” (snows/blues and Ross’ geese). 10 ways to hunt them follow here:
Realism is crucial. They’ve seen everything from yard-sale shell decoys that cause birds to flare to sweet full-bodied options offering plenty of convincing on the ground.
Call wildlife officials to get insider information on the best locations for hunting light geese as they move north. Check out the Ducks Unlimited waterfowl migration map, updated by real hunters like you.
Scout and seek permission as hard as you hunt. Contact landowners in agricultural areas on the possibility of hunting light geese, which they might view as unwelcome. If you knock on a bunch of doors, chances are a few responses will be in the affirmative. Think positive.
Start where they roost, and include locating a nearby field where they feed and/or might forage. Study them for a pattern of use. They’ll often move and feed early in the day and later in the afternoon, loafing elsewhere during midday. Sometimes too they just move on.
PAY FOR IT
Offer to lease from landowners for the light goose season(s). Dropping a few bucks might get you all the opportunity you need. Make the most of it.
GET THE EDGE
Unplugged shotguns and electronic calls are often allowed during these hunts (double-check your regulations). This means you might want to invest in a quality calling device for your spring snows/blues and Ross’ geese—you can split cost with waterfowling buddies.
MIX IT UP
Study maps, drive roads and glass fields. Set your spread in late-morning for afternoon hunts. If it feels right, get back there the next morning too. Don’t burn out a spot, though. Find a number that’ll produce.
White bedsheets. Snow camouflage. It all works. As hiding goes, wear white if snow covers the ground, or standard options if you’re in a layout blind. Use natural cover if habitat is bare, though white apparel looks like snow geese in a big spread. Blend in, no matter what. Snowies feel the pressure and adjust accordingly. If possible, hide all unnatural evidence, including your truck, trailer and four-wheeler.
It’s not unusual for a hardcore light goose hunter to place several hundred to even 1,000 or more dekes out in a field, and even use wing flags to impart movement to the spread. Invest some money, or again, team up with buddies and their fakes. Stake as many decoys as possible. Full bodies, shell fakes and silhouettes should round off your presentation.
RIDE TO HUNT
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