A question that occasionally comes up from goose hunters is how to hunt geese without decoys. People wonder if they can even hunt geese without investing huge sums of money in a large decoy spread.
So is it possible to hunt geese without decoys? The short answer is yes but it will require work. Here are a few of your considerations to improve your chances of successfully hunting geese without decoys:
1. Locate exactly where the geese are feeding and roosting
2. Finding proper concealment
Locate exactly where geese are feeding:
As with any goose hunting it is important to locate where geese are at, where they want to feed and where they are roosting. If you are hunting geese without decoys it is more important than ever to be in the spot where geese are feeding and their roost location.
In order to do this you will want to spend some time scouting. I like to start my scouting 1-2 days in advance of when I plan to go hunting. For example, if I want to hunt on Saturday I will start scouting on Thursday. The reason I start two days in advance is to ensure that I allow myself enough time to locate where geese are feeding.
Some places that might be good to hunt geese without decoys include a flooded pond in a cornfield, the side of a river where geese are regularly seen and the shore of a lake frequented by geese. In addition, you might find it effective to sit in between two places where geese are.
For example, let’s say there is a lake with a field right next to it but further away there is another field where geese are feeding. If you do not have permission to hunt the actual field where geese are feeding but you do have permission to hunt a field in between the lake and that field you might be in luck. As the geese get off the lake and head to the feeding field you might be able to shoot the geese as they pass over.
Finding proper concealment:
Once you have located where the geese are feeding and roosting it is now time to figure out where is the best place to conceal yourself for the hunt. If there is standing corn or other crops near where the geese are landing it would be an excellent choice to hide in the crops. This could give you some excellent shooting opportunities because the natural cover created by the standing crops should keep you well concealed.
If the field is completely cut down you can do one of two things. First, you might sit near a fence line in the field. If you sit near a fence line this should give you some cover as the geese fly over and there might even be some tall grass to sit in by the fenceline to conceal you.
Another option would be lying in the field exactly where the geese are landing. This can be a very good technique as long as you do not mind getting a little dirty. To do this effectively you will want to use some of the surrounding crops to cover yourself. For example, if you are hunting a chopped down cornfield there will be some downed stalks that the combine did not pick up. Gather some of these up, lay down and cover yourself as best as possible. When the geese come to land you should be able to quickly pop up and get some good shooting in.
If there is snow in the field you could also consider bringing a white sheet as you lie in the field. Covering yourself up with the white sheet should help you blend into the natural look of the field and be in good position to shoot geese as they prepare to land.
It is absolutely possible to hunt geese without decoys if you are in the right spot and you are well concealed. In most cases it will likely improve your changes by adding some decoys to your hunting location but if you do not have immediate access to decoys then you certianly can give these techniques a try. If you setup directly on the “X” where geese are regularly feeding I would say that you should not have much of a problem hunting geese without decoys.