While driving to the goose field each morning I am always thinking or talking about the mornings strategy.
Big spread or small spread, how will we start talking to those first few flocks, and who will be working the flag? Plus, the most important decision, donuts or no donuts?
But back to the calling strategy or starting point at least. Remember this advice is just a starting point and being flexible is key to consistently killing birds. If it is not working change it up!
The first question I ask myself when thinking of a calling strategy is am I hunting where the geese want to be (the X) or running traffic?
Hunting the X:
If you are hunting where the geese want to be I start off with a less is more attitude when it comes to calling and decoys for that matter.
This is where a smaller decoy spread (no reason to put in all the work setting a large traffic spread if the geese are already targeting your location) and less aggressive calling typically shines. Speak to the geese enough to get them coming your way and let the decoys do the work!
Not on the X… time to get aggressive:
Early geese can be easy if you’re on the X, but if you are hunting traffic birds making a beeline for a field they have hit for the last week straight, you better get aggressive if you want to have a shot.
Aggressive sounds will often get a bird or two to break away from the flock and pull others with it given how family orientated the geese are early in the year. Once you find a sound that broke off a bird or two, keep on that reaction note till you finish the geese or they start to slide.
I have found early geese that broke off to a reaction or aggressive note will often loose interest if you back off on the calling. Be very mindful of this!
What is my favorite aggressive goose sound? No question it is the spit note!
I also like to use an aggressive comeback call for that pleading sound that is asking a passing flock “please…please…come over here”
Use these calling tips on your next early season goose hunt and you will have more success!