Snow Goose Calling
Dozens of good goose calls are available, all of which areeffective in the hands of a good caller. It’s helpful to listen to wild birdsand try to imitate them with your calls. There are no better teachers. Butunless you have a friend who is a skilled caller who can teach you, you alsoshould purchase an instructional CD, DVD or audiotape that will allow you tohear the actual sounds of geese and good calling by practiced goose hunters.Study this and try to duplicate the sounds used for various situations. Aftersome practice, record yourself on a tape recorder and decide for yourself ifyou’re good enough to start calling in the field. Listen for weaknesses in yourrepertoire, then practice to improve them.
Snow Goose Hunting Tips
There’s no such thing as a casual snow goose hunt, one reason manywaterfowlers don’t participate. This sport requires large goose decoy spreadsand constant scouting.
First, you must study movement patterns of geese where you want togoose hunt, then secure permission to hunt where concentrations are located.(Most hunting is on private hunting lands.) When geese start using a field,they stay until the food supply is exhausted. Being there after they’ve startedusing the field and before they’ve eaten it out is the trick.
Elaborate ground blinds are nice but not necessary because a goosefield usually produces only one or two good shoots before geese move elsewhere.Many goose hunters simply lie on their backs in the goose decoys and wear whiteor camouflage-pattern clothing. Pit ground blinds, portable ground blinds andmakeshift ground blinds made from natural materials on-site also can be used,depending on where you hunt.
When it comes to snow goose decoy spreads, bigger usually isbetter. The decoys should be in place before sunrise to take advantage of thesnow goose’s propensity for flying early.
The most important thing goose hunters should remember is toremain well hidden and motionless until birds are well within shooting range.Snow geese are wary, and if they see or hear anything out of place, they’llavoid it. If approaching birds seem reluctant to land, flare off at the lastminute or land consistently outside the decoys, chances are they are spottingthe blind, hunter movement or something else that makes them nervous. Adjust asnecessary.
Avoid the temptation to shoot when the first geese start droppinginto your set-up. Veteran waterfowlers hold off until the lead geese aretouching down and geese in the rear of the flock are well within gun rangebefore making their move.
Remember this rule of thumb as well: If, when aiming, the end ofyour gun barrel covers more than half the bird, the goose is beyond 45 yardsand is too far away for a clean kill.
If you’re not up to the tasks just outlined, consider hiring ahunting guide. These guys can show you the ins and outs of snow goose hunting,and after you’ve experienced a hunt first-hand, you’ll know whether you reallywant to make the required investment in time and hunting equipment to hunt onyour own. Best of all, hunting guides do all the work. The hunter need notspend hours scouting, gaining hunting permission, and setting and retrievinggoose decoys. For a reasonable fee, reputable hunting guides do all this andclean and pack your birds, too.
Snow Goose HuntingConclusion
Snow goose hunting is challenging, for sure. Nevertheless, it’s asport many of us find irresistibly attractive. Goose hunting allows us toperfect our skills with a shotgun and to go afield with men we enjoy andadmire. Most of all, it gives us another excuse to be outdoors. Until you havesat in a goose spread and watched a fall or winter day unfold, develop anddecline, you have missed one of life’s greatest pleasures.