Flagging for snow geese is one of the most effective yet under utilized tool in a snow goose hunters bag of tricks. To flag properly a snow goose hunter needs to have the right equipment, needs to be concealed, and most importantly know when to flag. I will discuss each one of these key ingredients to successfully flag snow geese into your decoys.
Choosing a Flag:
There are two types of flags on the market. One is a hand held flag and the other is a flapping wing decoy style flag. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. The hand held flags common to Canada goose hunting are effective at flagging snows from a distance and up close. When the geese are 150-300 yards out I flap the flag like a goose has just landed in my decoy spread. Do this in an inconsistent way to provide the illusion of different geese jumping or stretching their wings. Once they get inside 100 yards, only flag when the geese are on the corners, and do so sparingly in an attempt to provide the illusion of motion and NOT draw attention to yourself. This is the #1 way of getting busted by the snow geese if you are not concealed 100%. Flagging will bring a snow gooses eyes directly to you.
Inside 100 yards is when a flapping wing goose decoy really shines. It allows you to flag the geese away from your blind location. This focuses the attention away from your blind and into an area with no hunters hiding. Note: Flapping wing style decoys let novice hunters or guests flag and be part of the hunt because they are almost a fool proof way to provide realistic motion in your spread and not focus attention on your blind location.
Since flagging is such an important part of successfully hunting snow geese over decoys, you must be hiding in your decoy spread for maximum effectiveness. Flagging outside the decoys will focus the attention on the hunter without any decoys around. It is a dead give away something is wrong. Therefore conceal your blind as effectively as possible, and then conceal it some more.
Knowing When to Flag:
Flagging snow geese is very similar to calling ducks. If the geese are locked up and heading your way, their is now need to flag. If the geese do not decoy into range, let them go over your head or off to the side 75-100 yards and then flag. Flag until a single bird turns your way and then stop and watch. If that bird continues your way, let the flock work. if the bird is sucked back into the group, continue to flag. Continue this game until the geese are in range. Note: Flagging before the geese get out 75-100 yards will make the flock turn around to quickly and not lose any altitude. This is a bad thing because the more geese pass over your decoys without coming into range, the more educated they become to your set up.
By following the tips above your snow goose decoy spread will be more effective.
For more goose and duck hunting tips please read other articles located at duck and goose hunting tips.