Scouting Geese

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Here in Pennsylvania like some other states we have a resident goose season.  The good thing about resident goose seasons are that there are a lot of birds but very few places to hunt them.  Most resident geese tend to hang out in local parks or retention ponds located in the middle of developments.  The good news is that these birds will eventually have to leave the safety of the water to feed. 

The first thing you want to do is find out where the geese are going.  I do this on one of two ways.  If you have the morning off then I head to the local ponds where the geese are roosted and relax.  Once the geese lift off then it's time to follow.  Of course this isn't always easy to do and a lot of times you may lose them.  However, always remember that no scouting trip is ever a wasted scouting trip.  The one thing you did learn is which direction the birds are heading.  You have just norrowed your search of surrounding fields down dramatically! 

One I have a direction I make up my second plan of attack.  This is to locate the potential fields in the direction of travel where the geese could be feeding.  I plan out a route and put some miles on the truck.  The key to this is to be sure you don't scout these fields until at least a half hour after you saw the geese leave previously.  This will help ensure that the geese are in the field when you drive by.  Once you have located the geese it's time to ask permission.  This is where it can get tough.  I find I have to knock on a lot of doors before I get into a farm.  What I do that most people don't though is even if I get turned away I try and learn something before I go.  I always strike up a conversation with the farmer and ask if he's been seeing geese anywhere else?  Does he know of any other farmers with cut fields?  Does he know of a farmer who may let me hunt?  Farmers are very close knit and know each other well.  A lot of times I have gotten ecxellent leads by a farmer who has turned me away. If you get bummed and hop in your car and leave you'll have missed out. 

The last tip I have learned that I find more usefull that all the rest is hunting a field that the geese aren't using.  There are quite a few times when you'll have permission to a field that the geese may be flying over on their way to the X.  If this is the case all hope is not lost.  Get yourself 8 or 9 silhouettes.  Head out a day or two before your hunt and put them in your field where you want the birds to land and let them do their job.  I have seen on quite a few occasions where the birds flying over will ultimately change their minds after seeing the "flock" of 9 birds in the field.  It gets the better of them and they figure... well, there must be food in that field if those geese are there.  Next thing you know you'll have the birds in your field right where you want them.  Only thing left is to set up the blinds and wait!


groovy mike's picture

THIS is what makes a GREAT site!


 This is an excellent tip.  The second half of your article is a tip in and of itself. 

Asking and gaining permission to hunt is the hardest part of hunting for a lot of us.  Trying to learn something is a fantastic plan that I am going to try to adopt. 

Those are GREAT questions to ask. 

And the idea of luring geese down NOT on the day that you are hunting them, but to establish a change in their feeding patterns is absolutely brilliant.  I have leaned something from you today. 

Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience!  THIS is what makes a GREAT site!


ManOfTheFall's picture

Great tip. I have always

Great tip. I have always wanted to try goose hunting and with this tip it may be a very good starting point.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

That is a great tip, finding

That is a great tip, finding out the general direction and area were geese are feeding will help tremendously.  Nice job!

Critter done's picture

Great Tip

I've beeen ask to start a goose hunt at our lodge and never was much of a goose hunter. This will help us locate the best place to set up. Thanks for the tip.