The late season is often the toughest time to hunt for Canada geese because the birds have seen plenty of hunters and are wary of anything that appears out of the ordinary.
Taking geese in winter requires a change in tactics that will help you outsmart the birds. Check out these five tips to improve your late season Canada goose hunt.
By this time of year, the geese have seen countless decoys and may be reluctant to fly into a large spread of decoys. You will have better luck attracting the birds if you use a small spread, because the birds typically are not use to seeing just a few decoys and will feel more comfortable approaching.
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Also avoid the common U or J shaped spread. Try small clusters or circles of decoys. To reduce the odds of spooking the geese, make sure to use realistic decoys. Remember, the geese have likely seen their share of decoys by now and if your decoys are not realistic, they are likely to avoid them.
CUT DOWN THE CALLING
Since many Canada geese have encountered hunters by this point in the season, they have also heard plenty of goose calling from hunters. Instead of enthusiastically calling the birds when you see them, try a minimalist approach to let them hear something, but not an endless string of calls. Another approach is to take your calling cues from the geese. If the flock approaching is noisy, use more calls. If it is quiet, use fewer calls.
As with calling, keep your flagging limited during the late season. If you are wildly waving the flags, you are likely to spook wary last-season birds. Keep it subdued and subtle as you try to imitate a goose that is spreading its wings. Remember to also keep the flag low to the ground, at the level of a goose.
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RAKE THE GROUND
If the ground is covered with snow, it opens a good opportunity to imitate goose activity in the field. Wherever the geese have been in the field, there are tracks and bare spots, which can attract incoming geese. You can imitate this activity by using a garden rake to expose the ground and create your own goose tracks.
While creating the appearance of goose activity can attract birds, signs that may alert the birds to your presence can scare them away. You need to eliminate signs of human activity, such as boot prints and vehicle tracks.
During the late season it is essential to make yourself as inconspicuous as possible. One way to do this is to use a small blind. The smaller the blind, the less suspicious it will appear to the geese. In addition, make sure your blind blends in well with the surrounding terrain. This will do wonders to keep you hidden from wary geese that become educated to large blinds that do not fit in well with the surroundings.
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