When the temps start to drop and the snow starts to fly I begin to think about hunting late season geese. And my favorite way to hunt them is over water. There is something special about watching those huge birds waffle right into you water spread and making them splash down. Over the years I have refined my tactics on these late season birds and enjoy consistent success.
By following the tips below you to can enjoy more late season success.
Hunt where the birds are:
This sound simple but when the temps start to get cold and water starts to lock up the geese will change there patterns quickly. Small potholes and lakes with start to freeze concentrating them into nearby moving water like rivers and larger lakes. They will often become very concentrating making for some very exciting hunts.
Bigger is typically better:
I am a huge fan of big goose spreads not only for geese but also for ducks. If the conditions are right I will run a large number of windsocks in the shallow shallow water and sandbars. If there is ice or dry land I will also run a pile of sleeper shells. I typically hunt out of a boat blind and space and weight are always a consideration. Nothing packs tighter and lighter than a windsock decoy!
Hunt cloudy days:
When it gets cold the more clouds the better. With clear skies the geese typically fly once in the afternoon. When it is really cloudy the geese tend to fly all day. Time your hunts to take advantage of the weather.
Late season geese have heard it all. Keep a careful eye on how the birds are sounding as they approach your set. I initially try to mimic there calling. If they are being loud, call loud and aggressive. If they are being quiet I am being quiet.
Dress for success
I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to dress correctly. Not only will your hunt be more enjoyable but you will also be able to stick it out until the last few hours before sunset when many of the geese will be flying. When in doubt add another layer. You can always take it off. Nothing ruins a late season goose hunt quicker than being cold no matter how many birds you are seeing.
By using these tips above you will start looking forward to the cold weather as much as I do!
Making your a better caller!