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Goose Hunting Tips

On windless days water decoys may not be very effective. When ducks and geese swim on calm water they cause small ripples from their motion. There are several techniques and devices to mimic these ripples caused by live waterfowl. Jerk strings may be the easiest to operate and the most cost effective. Jerk strings can be attached to both goose and duck water decoys. Hunters can make their own weights, or purchase some down rigging weights available on the market. After placing the decoy and the weight in the water spread hunters "jerk" the string, moving the decoy and creating ripples across the calm water. There are many types of shakers and swimming decoys available on the market today, many of them serving the same purpose and being effective when properly used.
Often, in flooded timber, hunters move their legs when standing in a couple feet of water to create the ripples caused by feeding ducks. This can easily be done when hunting in spots where you have to stand in water. However, be careful not to move too much and attract the unwanted attention of passing birds, thus exposing your location.

Most experts say the best loads for geese are sizes 1, BB, BBB, or T steel shot. For most hunting situations, the BB or BBB shot is the most effective shot size. Both have plenty of pellets, but still enough energy to bring down a goose. Guns are usually 10 or 12-gauge.

Creating the illusion of motion within your goose decoy spread can make geese lock up at a distance. Flagging is both a long range and short range attractor when hunting. If you can see the geese, the geese can see your flag. Often a flag is the only thing that can turn distant flocks of geese towards your decoys - so do not leave home without your goose flag.

Every goose hunter should own some silhouette goose decoys. They are extremely realistic and are the only choice when hunting in muddy fields or when you have to walk in to the goose field. Once you have a bunch of silhouette goose decoys, complete your spread with the most realistic decoys for your hunting and storage situation. If you can drive into fields and have storage available in the off season, a full body goose decoy would be the decoy of choice. If you cannot drive into your hunting location or storage is of concern, purchase more silhouette goose decoys. If you hunt over water, floating goose decoys would be the decoy of choice.

When you're goose hunting and see a flock of geese, you should try to determine if they are callable or not.

If the geese are flying low, breaking up in formation, gaining and then quickly losing altitude, flying one direction and then changing direction, flying with a slow wing beet, or simply towards your location, you should consider them callable and start trying to decoy them in.

If the geese are coming towards you simply give them a cluck or two to get their attention and let the decoys do the work.

If geese are callable but not coming towards your decoys, it is time to start getting their attention by doing loud rapid power clucks and hail calls. Next look for any signs of a goose that is interested. The moment you see a goose responding to you by turning towards your location, breaking away from the flock, or settings its wings, you need to keep that bird's attention. Most of the time it will be a younger bird within the flock. Hammer away at this bird to keep its attention because sometimes this will lead many of the flock mates right into your trap.

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