Canada Goose Hunting Tips

Canada Goose Hunting Tips

Canada geese are arguably one of the most versatile and exciting waterfowl to hunt and by using these Canada goose hunting tips I hope you can have a successful hunt.


Canada geese have no trouble nesting in urban areas where food is in plenty and predators are scarce therefore they are a common sight in public parks and water bodies.  This makes many hunters frustrated as they see them freely in town but when hunting in the county it can be a different story.


They rapidly grow in number as compared to other waterfowl that is hunted so due to their healthy numbers in many areas the bag limits are often generous.


The hunting season for Canada geese in most areas starts in the fall when the geese migrate. They can be seen traveling in a giant V formation from miles away and they do attract quite a lot of attention towards themselves.


Hunters travel far long distances to take part in goose hunting and by following some basic tips and tricks an average hunter can often bag some geese. So to help you in making your hunting trip a success here are a few suggestions.


Canada Goose Hunting Tips #1: The Calling

Calling is an important aspect of goose hunting as it gets the attention of the geese which are far off where you would no chance of making a successful shot.  If you do the calling right, you can turn the biggest flock of geese towards you as it grabs their attention.  The birds tend to fly towards a place that appears safe and the bird calls can assure the flying birds that a safe place to land is nearby.

Short reed canada goose call
Short reed canada goose call

Although there are different types of calls there are three most common types (resonant chamber, flute and a short reed). Choosing the right call is very important and as it can make a night and day difference in your hunting experience.


Now these calls also come with their own challenges, for example the resonant chamber calls are fairly easy to use but their range of sound is pretty limited and they are not that much efficient as compared to the other two methods. Flute calls on the other hand are a lot wider in their range of sounds, they are also a lot closer to the original call of a goose but they are also a lot harder to use and definitely take some skill and effort to be your asset.


Lastly the short reed calls, they are the most efficient and effective of them all due to their ability to produce sounds that can convey aggression and excitement which is as near to realistic as you can get when it comes to real bird calls, but one needs to practice to master this art. You can’t expect promising results from a short reed unless you give it the proper time and energy that it demands. However once you learn to do it right it gives you a clear upper hand on the rest of the hunters who don’t know this art.


Canada Goose Hunting Tips #2: The Decoys

Decoys are most often a necessity for goose hunting. After you have successfully used your calls to turn the geese the decoys are going to help you land the geese. Keeping in mind that the geese are very conscious of any activity in their surroundings you have to develop a solid technique for using your decoys because if you don’t know how to use your decoys you will helplessly see the birds fly past you mocking you with their honks.


Upright Field Canada Goose Decoy - Canada goose hunting tips
Upright Field Canada Goose Decoy – Canada goose hunting tips

If your setup isn’t right and the goose start to suspect something, they are not going to land as you want them to or even worse they will circle back to where they were originally headed before turning your way.  That makes it essential for any hunter to master the skill of using decoys like a pro.


The most important thing with decoys is that you pick a spot where you intend to shoot the geese. A suitable place should allow you enough camouflage and an easy approach in the vicinity so that you may collect the birds after they are shot down.


Therefore setup your decoys at such a spot where there is bush or tall grass for you to hide, for example hay bales or any other natural covering. Spread out your decoys in groups, try and imitate birds that have seen in the fields nearby or this particular field as this will help give you a natural look.


If you are placing your decoys in water you will tie weights to them with appropriate amount of string according to the depth of the water this will give them a natural feel when they move with the water. You also have to take a few precautions while using decoys because it’s not as easy as it sounds you can’t just throw a bunch of decoys in the field and expect good results.


You should to select a formation with which you should set your decoys.  For example, a common method is using a “V” shaped formation.  This formation allows the geese to land in the opening of the “V” by providing them a clear landing zone.


Canada Goose Hunting Tips #3: The Cover

The cover of your hunting point is very important. As the geese are preparing to land it is a must that your hunting spot must look as natural from the air as possible. To disguise yourself properly you must wear camouflage clothing.


Camoflauge Coat
Camoflauge Coat


Canadian geese are very keen observers therefore your hunting spot should not look like an army camp from the sky. Do your best to preserve and use the cover provided by Mother Nature.  It also helps if you spread out your decoys and hunters. It allows you to cover more ground and increases the team efficiency in the hunting field. Always approach the hunting spot with a plan as a good strategy helps your chances of success as well as ensuring the safety.


A well-managed and organized crew is much more efficient than a well-equipped but unorganized crew. Keep a look out for other parties if you are hunting public property so you should try to set up your spot somewhere away from other hunters. This will give you a better chance as you will be isolated from all other movement and gunshots.


Another thing that is worth mentioning is that you should continually change your routine, for example change your decoys formation every now and then or change your spot entirely. This will help you avoid being recognized by the local geese which may result in a dry spell and wasteful days.


Canada Goose Hunting Tips #4: The Shot

After all the preparations comes the actual shooting. I’d rather call it the moment of truth that separates the men from the boys. Like everything else, Canadian goose hunting also requires you to be technically correct. Your shooting technique will be a major factor in your game score.


No doubt, your setup, choosing the right spot and perfect timing to shoot plays a decisive role in your success. If you don’t rightly use the tools at your disposal you won’t be the hunter with a big smile on his face after the hunt. For example, if you are right handed and you place your blinds to the left of the feeding ground you won’t be very comfortable and will consequently miss the shot. But if you place your blinds to the right of the feeder you will have better range of motion and you will be more comfortable with yourself which will make you more efficient leading you towards a successful day of hunting.


One more thing to look out for is to decide, beforehand, everyone’s role in taking the shot. Position your blinds closely so that you can communicate amongst each other and when the time comes there is no chaos.  For example, one hunter should be designated as the shot caller so that person is the one who yells to the other hunters when it is time for everyone to shoot.


Another mistake that people make is that they hesitate in making the shot. If the geese are coming right at you and they are going to fly right above you there is a good chance that they will spot you and veer away, in such situations remain calm and take the shot as the geese are making their way towards you. Staying calm is the key to shooting.


If your movements are not measured the birds will judge the disturbance and start flying away which will add distance between you and the geese and it may lead to a missed shot. To avoid doing so, swing the barrel of your gun slowly towards the head of the bird and when you can see some daylight between the barrel and the goose – pull the trigger. It will result in maximum number of pellets hitting the goose.


Canada Goose Hunting Tips #5: Safety

It is extremely important to pay attention to safety when it comes to goose hunting.  It should be essential to remember that being a responsible hunter you have to save yourself and others from any mishap during a hunting day. Sometimes new and enthusiastic hunters show careless behavior towards safety as all that’s on their mind is to get the most kills under their belts to upgrade their status as a seasoned hunter.


Sometimes it leads to unplanned or out of routine shooting which can catch anybody off guard. So it is necessary for everybody to stick to the plan and listen to what the leader’s suggestions. Having an experienced hunter as a leader in a group of newbies is very essential to the safety aspect as he or she can keep a clear head while the adrenaline is pumped in the veins of the rest.


A good practice towards safety is to avoid hunting in crowded places. It not only helps in improving the hunting experience but also contributes heaps towards safety as there are no random pellets hitting animals and people that may accidently come in someone’s line of fire.  If you do take proper steps towards safety and use these Canada goose hunting tips, your goose hunt will never cease to add thrill in your life.


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