What are the best field types for goose hunting?
The type of field you chose for goose hunting is an important part of having goose hunting success. There are a lot of different field types to select from so I will review several field types and explain the benefits of each.
When I was a beginning goose hunter I had no idea what type of fields that geese would land on. In fact I didn’t even know if geese would land on fields with standing crops or not.
Here are a few high level notes regarding field hunting for geese:
Geese will not land on fields with tall standing crops. For example, a corn field that has not been cut down is very tall. The corn rows could be 6 feet or more tall. Geese would not land in these fields because their wings would hit the corn as they try to land and there is no comfortable landing spot for them.
After geese eat at one field for several days they will typically move on to another field. This is because they have picked through all of the food and are moving onto the next feeding spot. How fast this happens depends on how many geese are in the flock. If there are several hundred birds eating on a field they will eat through the leftover crops quickly. However, if it is a smaller flock it will take them longer to diminish the food source.
Hunting fields that have just been cut down can provide incredible hunting opportunities. If you are out scouting for places to hunt or if you have access to private hunting land it is a great idea to try and take advantage of fields that have recently been cut down. This is because the geese will target these fields as they have not been picked through by other geese and wildlife and will provide plenty of fresh and easily accessible food.
Some Field Types to Consider:
- Corn Fields
- Grass Hay Fields
- Alfalfa Hay Fields
- Soybean Fields
One of the best types of goose hunting fields is corn fields. This is because corn is an excellent source of energy for migrating geese. Tractors and combines that farmers use to cut the corn down can never get every single piece of corn so it is inevitable that there will be leftover food for geese.
In addition, the chopped corn fields usually have some leftover stalks that are perfect for concealing hunting blinds. You can grab some of the stalks and weave the through the loops in your hunting blinds to make your blind blend in very nicely with the surrounds. Just make sure that you do not grab all of the down corn right by your blind. Walk at least 25 yards away and grab stalks so your area does not look different to the geese because of clearing out the downed crops.
When cornfields are partially chopped down they provide excellent cover to hunt from the standing corn rows of corn and then you can shoot into the open areas. You can stand about 3-4 rows back and then setup your decoys out in the cut down section of the field. I have found this to be an extremely effective method for hunting geese as you cover is totally natural looking to the geese.
Grass Hay Fields
These fields also provide great cover opportunities for the hunter. On warm days the geese may use these fields as a resting area to stay a little cooler and will eat the hay.
The long hay also makes it pretty easy for you as a hunter to blend in with the surroundings. Similar to the down stalks for corn field hunting, you can weave the hay through your blind to provide a natural look. If you do not have a hunting blind you could lay down in the field and pull some of the long blades over you as long as you do not mind getting a little dirty.
However, the food sources in these fields can sometimes less abundant than corn and soybean fields. So you may notice if the geese have other options nearby they may choose other fields first.
Alfalfa fields, especially alfalfa fields that are great for hunting geese as the geese can easily get to the food source. In addition, in the earlier parts of the hunting season alfalfa fields are great options as many of the other field types might not yet be harvested leaving this as a great early season choice.
However, these fields do not provide much cover for hunting so you will likely need to find a side area of the field that has some natural cover in order to have success.
Another downside of hunting alfalfa fields is that these crops are not as forgiving as some other crops when walking and hunting in them. In fact, these fields can flatten out if you use blinds in them. Because of this potential damage a hunter may cause to the field, it can be more challenging to get permission to hunt alfalfa fields.
Canadian geese like grain and seed fields. As we previously mentioned, the protein in these fields provides for a good source of energy. This makes soybean fields a good option.
Soybeans are easily accessible for the geese to eat of the plants and even if the fields have been harvested there will be some soybeans left through the field.
Similar to alfalfa fields the cover for hunters is a little more difficult compared to corn or hay fields. Again, you may need to find some natural cover on the sides of soybean fields to sit in for cover.
Be Willing to Move
With any type of hunting your game is never fully predictable. If you try one field type and geese are not landing there be willing to get up and move.
To be successful make sure you pay attention to what the geese are doing as you hunt and if you notice that geese are not interested in the field type you are in and they are heading to neighboring fields than it is a good time to make adjustments and move fields.
Field hunting for geese can be one of the most enjoyable ways to hunt for geese and enjoy the outdoors. Over 90% of the goose hunting that I have done has been in fields and I enjoy this type of goose hunting the most because of the relaxation it provides you once you are setup.
Once all decoys and blinds are in place you can kick back and enjoy the day. This type of hunting allows you to talk with your hunting partners while you look for approaching geese.
I encourage you to try all different types of fields to see what works for you in your area and what fields you enjoy hunting out of. Do not be discouraged if you only have access to one field type. If that is your situation then you can experiment with different decoy setups, blind locations and calling techniques.
Regardless of what fields you are hunting you can have success as long as you are persistent and you are willing to try new strategies to bring in geese.
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