What is the Best Time of Day to Hunt Geese?
Morning, afternoon and evening all have some advantages for goose hunting. If your schedule only allows you to get out hunting during one of these times you can still have success. However, for those times when you can hunt all day it is possible to be successful at any time.
Let’s discuss how each time of day can be effective for hunting geese.
Times of Day to Hunt Geese
Being setup for field hunting in the mornings can be a great time to hunt geese, quite possibly the best time. As the sun comes up geese will typically get off their roost and head out to feeding spots. You see geese will usually get active and start flying when the sun hits where they are roosting and typically geese roost on water.
Geese commonly feed in fields that are near their roost. These fields are often within several miles surrounding their roosting spot. A good strategy to find where geese are feeding is to find larger bodies of water in your area and then search the fields within a few mile radius of the water to find feeding spots.
Hunting in the morning provides a great opportunity to shoot geese at a time when they are hungry. Get your decoys placed in these fields that geese are often seen feeding in and then when real geese see that other geese are feeding in a field they will be likely to join them for the meal. Very hungry geese may be more likely to make mistakes so take advantage of their empty bellies to bag your honkers.
Also, morning hunting on ponds, lakes and rivers can be effective. Typically geese like to roost overnight on water so if you find a body of water and you can setup near where geese have been resting you could be in an excellent shooting spot when geese leave the water and head to local fields to eat.
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It is possible to have goose hunting success all day long depending on where you are setup. If you stay in the fields for the afternoon you do have a good chance of getting some birds. I would consider the afternoon hunt to be between 11am to about 3pm.
Early afternoon can be a good hunting time as the geese come off their morning feeding spots and head back to their resting area. If they see an attractive spread of decoys in a field the geese may stop in if they are still hungry.
I will mention that this mid afternoon time of about 11am-3pm will usually show a significantly lower amount of geese flying which can decrease your shooting opportunities However, there usually are some birds moving at all times of the day, particularly in moderate temperatures. If you have the time to sit and wait all day it does not hurt to give it a chance. You can learn more how weather impacts goose hunting here.
Hopefully you enjoy the opportunity to be outside and relax so even if you do not see birds at least you had this time to enjoy by yourself or with friends and family. You also benefit from the slightly warmer temperatures that the afternoon brings so even though there might be longer periods of time without geese at least you can be relatively comfortable sitting outside.
Some of the most productive hunts I have ever had have been in the evening. I consider the evening hunt from about 3pm to sunset. Similar to morning hunts the geese often come back off their resting spots and head back out for their final meal of the day.
For people who work day jobs the nice thing is that you can sometimes still get out for an evening of hunting after work. I live in Minnesota and in the August and September hunting seasons it is often light until 8 or 830pm. This means that I can get off work and be setup in the fields by 6pm for the prime time of the evening hunt.
Check your local regulations for hunting times in your area before hunting in the evening as it is not always legal. For example, some hunting zones allow evening hunting for early season but cut off evening hunting at 4pm during the regular season.
With some patience you can have hunting success during any time of the day. The first few hours of the morning and the last few hours of the evening are typically the times that you will see the most geese as they are actively feeding when they wake up for their morning meal and in the late afternoon as they prepare to roost for the night. However, geese can be shot at any time of day it just takes time and patience.
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Scott – Owner – DecoyPro