Geese Hunting: Beginner’s Guide

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Waterfowls hunting is a fun affair that you can even forget about fishing. They are a family of slightly bigger ducks. Their migratory season is very different from that of duck. However, that is not to say that they do not move together, therefore consider using ducks as a decoy. There are many species of geese found. These birds like flying in large flocks. 

This article herein discusses how you, as the starter, can successfully hunt these birds. You need proper gear for hunting either in marshes, riversides, waterways, and some farms. Remember, these birds like to live in such areas. There will be detailing of other factors to confer when choosing to hunt them. That is not forgetting the different types of geese and their migratory seasons.

The Different Types of Geese

This knowledge will help you to understand the types of these birds when hunting. Moreover, the decoy to use must correspond with these ducks. The following are some of these families

Barnacle Goose

It has a white face with a black coat on its neck. The teal’s body has silver-gray feathers with black stripes. Its belly also is pure white. These features apply to both males and females. Its typical size is about 70 cm.

You will find it in coastal grasslands and marshes because it’s like to feed on the grasses, leaves, and seeds. These animals like to breed in Arctic regions where their breeding seasons start from May to June. 

Brant Specie

It bears blackhead, crown and upper breasts, with white lines. The bird’s body is greyish brown, and the tail has whitish underparts and greyish upperparts. Its other parts, like the beaks and legs, are all black.  These appearances apply to both genders even though the female is shorter.

A mature adult can grow about sixty centimeters. Their roosts live in low lying marshy areas, farmyards and tend to like winter periods. Their primary food includes reeds, water weeds, lettuces, and cereals like corn.

Cackling Goose

It is very much alike with the Canadian species, but it is relatively smaller. It has a sharp beak and a shorter neck. In terms of its coloring, it has an elegant greyish tone with brownish streaks on its body. A blackhead and neck are colored by whitish rings, up and down the throat.  That follows a whitish underpants element.

A mature bird can grow to 56-76 centimeters. The goose feeds on seeds like cereals, water weeds, and grasses. Its most likely destination is the marshy regions and agricultural firms and breeds from April to June. 

Canada Goose

It is the most famous duck hunted in many regions. 

A Canadian bird has a black coat on the head and neck. Between its head and neck, there is a white chinstrap. Its bodily features include a cream breast, greyish brown back, and white tail, while the legs and the bill are both blacks. Such features are present in both genders. An adult can grow to a hundred centimeters.

Grains, aquatic weeds, and crops are some of its food. Sorry for the insects and mollusks that make a good meal. Marshes, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, farmlands, and ponds provide suitable roosts to them. During late March and Early April is their mating season.

Red-breasted Goose

They are lovely birds to watch. They have a black crow, neck, upperparts, and underparts. A nut-reddish tone in the belly and branded whitish strap encircling the forehead and the tail makes it colorful. The beak and leg are black while there is a whitish covert on the rear and the mandible.

The maximum size for an adult is 53-56cm.

Their food is grasses, wheat, barley, and maize; therefore, checkout on them in your farmland. The primary habitat is the wooden tundra, lakes, farms, and rivers.

African Goose

This breed is sometimes domesticated but is a wild swan. It is similar to the Chinese strain, but the African geese have a different knob figure, an unusual flap of skin.

This species occurs in different color varieties, which are brown and white. Brown bears black beaks and knobs. The white has a whitish pigment, orange beaks, and knobs.

Their size is varying in terms of gender. The females are shorter with large keels while the males are taller with medium-size lobes.

They love to live in lakes, gardens, rivers, and swamps. Their primary diet is cereals, waterweed, and some insects.

Snow Geese

These birds cohabit in a cold region and have thick underlying feathers and are fatty to protect it from the cold

Just like many animals like polar bears, snow geese are white all over their body except for their brown beaks and legs. They also have black wingtips. Rarely, you will find greyish brown swans with white head snow geese.

They like traveling in flocks and are in gaggles when swimming and living in humid regions like muddy fields, ponds, seas, and lakes. Surprisingly they have adapted to living in agricultural fields in search of food. They are located in Arctic regions, but they can migrate to their cold areas like the USA, Canada, and other places during winter.

They feed on cereals, frogs, insects, and water hyacinth.

Sebastopol Geese

They are beautiful birds, especially when they are in groups. These birds owe much of their origin from Europe. 

With a mix of white feathers, orange bills and legs, and blue eyes make them splendid. That is not forgetting that their feathers grow into a spectacular flexible, quill, and curly. Hence, resembling cotton towels. This appearance is not a heat insulator. Therefore they need shelter from the cold.

They weigh about ten pounds, making them smaller species compared to other geese.

Since they are poultry, they can eat anything you choose to feed them. Sebastopol geese prefer grains, seeds, insects, and even some grasses.

Egyptian Geese

They formerly were regarded as ornamental birds because of their beauty. Even the Pharaohs used to keep them as their valued birds.

They have a brown head and upper wings, while their feathers are light brown. Their underbody is white and green. This Egyptian goose bears long necks and legs with a pinky beak.

They grow about 63 to 73 taller and weigh to 2.3 kilos. Males are quite bigger than females, but they are hard to differentiate. Only the sound that both genders produce differently. That is, the male produces a raspy sound and the female a cracking tone.

They cohabit in wooded areas, rivers, ponds, grasslands, and reservoirs. The geese may also visit farmyards to search for food. They feed mostly in marshes on the waterweeds, frogs, and even small fish. Also, they eat grains and cereals.

What Gear to Carry When Hunting Geese?

Hunting of these birds needs careful preparation, testimonials from other hunters’ state of their sensitivity. You need to have a definite plan when approaching them.

Firearms Suitable for Geese Hunting

This is the ultimate killer of the ducks. The gun must make a quick and clean kill without shuttering the goose’s body. It must also be a good aimer with a quick recoil capacity, and you require much training before hunting with one.

What to Consider When Buying Firearms

Chokes

Check whether the shotgun choke feature is present. This feature is vital as it enhances how fast the bullet spreads. Like the choke with that nozzle in a sprayer, when it is closed, the water comes narrowly, but when open, it spreads out. If the shot spreads out, the probability of killing the waterfowls is high.

Consider the gun’s cylinder if the question about choke comes into your mind. A gun with a big cylinder needs specialized chokes. If the waterfowls are far, use one with a large cylinder, and if they are near, use a short one. Choose to buy a gun with adjustable chokes. 

Capacity

This aspect is concerning the number of rounds you can put in a gun. For most birds, including geese, your gun needs to handle three rounds or less. You have to make the kill decently and humanely. The use of a pump or semi-autos may make such an option impossible. However, you can use a wooden dowel or a magazine pencil to make such changes. 

Chamber Length

 Consider a shorter one that you can easily conceal with the bush leaves. For instance, a 12 to 29 gauge shotgun has about three and a half inches chamber size. Anything more than that is inconvenient unless you are dealing with the turkeys. A lengthy can be spotted easily by the game when you are hiding.

Recoil Capacity

The recoil is like the inertia force that comes after releasing that bullet. If you are not in a stable position, this force will drift you.  Use of higher gun powder or bullets results in much greater recoil energy. If you want a silent gun that will not alert the game, use those with less recoil. 

Large recoil firearms can injure you if you are not careful. Try to stay seated or standing and not lying to absorb that shock. 

The Best Rifles for Geese Hunting

Tikka T3X

Tikka is a Berreta subsidiary. Beretta is known for its outstanding firearms that are used even by militaries. Tikka rifles uphold the high quality that Beretta is renowned for. The Tikka T3X’s biggest strength is its versatility. It’s like the hunting rifle version of Glock. 

Features
  • Free floated barrel: This Tikka’s super-rigid action coupled with its free-floating barrel makes it exceptionally accurate – the accuracy of 3-shot sub MOA.
  • Adjustable trigger: The T3X comes with an adaptable single-stage trigger. You can set them from a pull weight of 2 – 4 pounds. As far as hunting rifles go, this is ideal – it’s not too light for it to be a safety issue, and it’s light enough for exceptional precision. 
  • Detachable magazine: The magazine box is detachable and you can choose from the round capacities of 3, 5, and 7, depending on the caliber and model you opt for. This model is chambered with the popular hunting calibers. You can also opt for the 6.5 Creedmoor model which is fantastic for a competition and hunting hybrid rifle. 
Pros
  • Rigid action 
  • Modifiable single-stage trigger
  • Guaranteed accuracy – 3-shot sun MOA
  • Free floated barrel
Cons
  • May not do very well in extreme long-range shooting

With its accuracy, rigid action, free-floated barrel, and modifiable trigger, the Tikka T3X is an excellent geese hunting rifle that’s reasonably priced.

Daniel Defense Delta 5

Defense Delta 5 is geared towards customization. You can easily configure it to your ideal geese hunting rifle.

Features
  • Interchangeable barrel: You can easily interchange cartridge and barrel length without needing tools or a gunsmith. This means you can use the Daniel Defense Delta 5 to hunt any game. 
  • Configurable stock: You can adjust the cheek riser and length of pull to the ideal fit. So this rifle offers wonderful ergonomics for each shooter. 
  • Excellent trigger: The Defence Delta 5 comes with an excellent Timney trigger that’s single-stage and adjustable (1.5 – 4 pounds), which makes it perfect for long-range shooting. 
  • Integrated top rail: This rifle’s integrated top rail and the M-LOCK attachment points at its end enables shooters to easily add optics and any other attachments they need.
Pros
  • Fantastic trigger
  • Super configurable stock
  • Interchangeable barrel
  • Shooters can easily attach accessories
Cons
  • Pricey

Clothing for Geese Hunting

These waterfowls have an eagle-like vision and will spot you from a distance. Therefore, the gear you choose should match your surroundings; preferably, use the green-brown colored clothing. There are also many patterns for your outfit available.

 Think of marsh grass and cattail patterns, which makes you less noticeable.  Those patterns and colors resemble the environment that disguises you. You may still choose to cover your face with a mask, or face paint.

These outfits must serve in all-weather seasons. The use of bags is also essential when hunting, since you need a place to store your catch and also the decoys. 

The Best Jacket for Geese Hunting

Game Deerhunker Parka

This hunting jacket is tough, soft, durable, warm, and waterproof – it sheds light moisture and snow. 

Features
  • Hunter Hide: The jacket’s fabric has a soft feel; you can easily think it is woven. Besides, the material is fade-free, quick-drying, and it repels light rain, sleet, and snow thanks to the Impervia coating.
  • Excellent Insulation: Thanks to the Heat Tech Tubular-Fiber used in the jacket, it retains body heat and therefore keeps you warm for the longest time, even in severe cold conditions. 
  • Numerous pockets in convenient locations: This jacket has handwarmer pockets on the sides and dump pockets on the front. It also comes with ammo spare clip and shell loop pockets on the left chest and an inside security pocket. 
Pros
  • Sized well for underneath layering if needed
  • The zipper is two way, so you’ll be comfortable even when you’re in a sitting position
  • Detachable hood
  • Very sturdy

The Game Deerhunker Parka is light enough, so it won’t inhibit your movement, but it’ll still keep you warm. It also large enough for extra layering, in case of extremely cold weather, and it has plenty of pockets. All these make it an outstanding hunting jacket. You can get it here.

Best Hunting Rifle Case

Condor SINGL-P

This Condor Tactical soft-shelled heavy-duty rifle case is built for the toughest conditions while also providing good value for money.

Features

Extra compartments: The rifle case comes with a 26-inch front compartment where you can fit your optics, SMG, pistols, and other requisites. The main compartment protects your long-range during your hunting trips.

Pros

  • Massive storage capacity.
  • Well thought out  pouch organization
  • Offers great protection for your hunting rifle even in extreme conditions
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Its traps have plastic clips

This exceptional Candor rifle case can adequately house your rifle, ammunition, optic attachments, and other hunting requisites, get it here.

Decoys for Geese Hunting

When it comes to effective placement of decoys, here are three key tips:

Place Decoys Next to Good Cover

Before you place your decoys in a pasture on an open field, always consider concealment. You will bag more birds when you have a nice hiding place, even if you’re up to 100 yards away from X. Find a dip, tall grass, or piles of stubble where you can obscure layout blinds. 

Use satellite maps/apps to zero in on great concealment locations that may not be visible from ground level. 

Spread out Hunters as well as Decoys  

With time, deep into the hunting season, geese wise up to the masses of decoys and layout blinds. By dispersing hunters and obscuring then in huddles of decoys, you accomplish numerous things. For one, the birds that are now conditioned to steer off rows of blinds won’t spot the danger easily. 

Second, when your decoys are spread out in family groups that ape a natural and relaxed flock, you get greater drawing power and a bigger footprint. And, you’re calling and flagging sounds more convincing – more like actual geese and less like the sounds of a bunch of hunters mimicking geese.

Decoy Motion is Important

Avoid deploying too many full-body decoys. Movement is vital in decoy spreads. Even full-body decoys with movement bases my not deliver the right amount of movement. So it’s always smart to have a few full-bodies and plenty of floaters especially if you have a nice current.

Always Wear Earplugs

It’s always prudent for waterfowlers to take the necessary steps needed to protect their ears. Goose hunters are especially prone to hearing loss because of the constant shooting magnum firearms with heavy loads. This is why you should always earplugs whenever you’re out hunting geese. 

A Summary of the Hunting Essentials for Beginners 

Recognize the Different Seasons for Geese

Remember this bird are migratory birds and move corresponding to weather factors. The flocks have a system in which they flock one place. Look at geese in Missouri between October and December. That is when these birds are common.  Here are other periods. The Canada geese move from November to February. That tells you always to follow the calendar to know how soon they are coming. There are also limited hours of hunting, like a one-half hour before sunset and after sunrise.

Recognize the different seasons of various states in the United States. These birds move with distinct seasons. Such periods offer peak sales of the kayaks. Always stay informed to identify those spells.

Kansas

For waterfowl hunting in Kansas, December is the perfect month. 

Oregon

In Oregon, they come in large packs of ducks where it is easy to shoot one. This is between January and March and September and October. You may see a few late December and early January.

Florida

In Florida, September and November is a perfect time. That ticks around September 29 to November 23. 

Louisiana

The geese hunting season in Louisiana is different from geese species. Hunting time starts from one-half hour before sunrise and in the one-half hour after sunset. Light geese and white speckle belly are allowed on November 2 – early February. 

Missouri

In February and March, geese hunting in Missouri is frequent. Shooting is one and a half hours before sunrise and after sunset. There is also a limited number of the birds you have to kill. The state warrants killing of 25 birds a day.

Pennsylvania

Other states authorize hunting in two periods. For geese hunting in Pa, the first phase runs from April to May, and November and December. In that period, shooting commenced from morning to noon.

Virginia

The Virginia wildlife act licenses only the hunters who register with the Virginia Harvest Information Program. That registration is renewed annually. Possession limits for geese are two to three bags daily, and shooting time is one-half hours before morning and after evening. On Sunday, it is full time but far from places of worship. The period runs from October to December.

Carry Out a Scouting Mission

Investigate the numbers in the flock, how they feed, and what they supply. Recognize their roost also. By that knowledge, you will plan for the hunting appropriately.

Concealment

Everything you will wear, your firearm, and the boat must camouflage the environment. Ensure such measures are in place for the birds not to notice you.

Use Flags and Flyers

The flyers will direct the flock to the route you want them to take. These flags catch the attention of the birds with its flapping sound caused by winds. 

Use Decoys

These are instruments with lookalike features of the birds. They are spread out and improvised with a stake that ten to move them. The teals will join them, thinking that their fellow members. That earns you a target spot, and please do not fail.

Equipment.

The clothes you buy, like waterfowl waders and other outfits, are essential. Use a gun with higher shooting power and accuracy. Remember, camouflage equipment will keep you hidden, thus increasing the chances of making a kill.

Use the Best Calling Techniques

A pure, high, and resonant tone helps in calling the teals. Moreover, clucking, moaning, and a goosey chirp will work the magic too. Learn these tricks every day with a high pitch and soft tone.  You can still use whistles or trumpets that entices them. Continue whistling, and they will keep on coming to you.

Appropriate Shooting Techniques

With the best forearm you have selected, trust it to do the work for you. Choose the one with a choke device that increases accuracy. Use a correct recoil handgun that will not make a high sound and not injure you. Choose the best position to take the shot. Be agile, and take a few steps to get closer. Finally, take the chance and rush to get your kill.

Use the Right Waders

Remember that you are dealing with muddy, swampy, and wet regions.  You will frequently move to set up a decoy or go for hunting. Therefore you need protective waterproof boots to walk in such areas. Neoprene material makes such boots. Moreover, they will keep you warm even after a minor leak. These waders are found in the market, check out their prices.

Retrieval Method

Have yourself the best object you are going to retrieve your object.  If you are pursuing the geese found in wet areas, use the best canoe, boat, or kayaks. They should have pleasurable features to help you in a shooting, and able to penetrate in the marshy areas easily. Good hunting kayaks have a cockpit to stand when hunting.  Check out our article on the best hunting boats and kayaks.

Ensure camouflage qualities must be present in those boats. Use also the geese hunting dogs to retrieve the kill. Train them accordingly for them not to mess with your catch.  Finally, dress the dogs in a camouflage coat that bears coloring and pattern which mimic the woods.

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