Colorado Goose Hunting
Being blessed by Colorado’s great goose hunting adventures you will know why it is a sport that can be seen by traveling across the Front Range and Eastern Plains. If you drive along the Front Range and most parts of the Eastern Plains it would not be hard to miss all the goose trailers and hunters getting out into the fields preparing for another hunt in this highly accepted sport as the sun is rising and cresting.
From my experience, goose hunting is definitely a practice makes almost perfect game and even most of the professional hunters and guides will tell you that you will learn something new each and every day you plan, scout and hunt in Colorado and anywhere for that matter. It is a challenging, highly competitive sport that can be frustrating, exhilarating and rewarding all at the same time. Everyone has their own style when it comes to hunting geese and some may become quite aggressive when on a hunt that does not fit their idea of what is right but there is not a specific way everything needs to be done in order to have a successful hunt. There will be similarities in approaches and strategies used in having a successful hunt in such areas as hunt location, scouting, decoy placement, decoy types, blind concealment, flagging and last but strictly not least calling.
Here are a few so called tips and information that anyone can take into consideration when hunting for the allusive goose. Just remember that there is always someone who will voice that they have a different style and approach and that is what really makes this sport so interesting because there is so many ways you can hunt. If everything was the same how thrilling would it really be?
When talking about decoys it all just depends but personally I really like the massive spreads of 35 dozen plus, it just looks awesome but you can get away with six as well. Weather is a large player here and when it is cold it seems as though the geese like to be closer together as it keeps them warm. If it is hot the opposite holds true and giving the decoys plenty of spacing will in turn replicate geese that are trying to stay cool. Having a spread that is stretched out can also make the flock look larger if you do not have 400 plus decoys. Realistic decoys would be hard to hurt the situation and as you will see when there is snow on the ground geese are always on their bellies. Shells in the winter conditions are crucial as they do look as realistic as it gets.
Feeders and more feeders is also another thing to note when watching geese in a real setting, there are always the ones that look around with their heads up high but most are head down putting the grind on the feed. Movement also always helps out and there are many decoys on the market that will provide you with the motion you need on a windless day or a day that the wind really does its part. Leaving an open area for them to land is also very important because you do not want a flock to land out of range or on one side not giving your whole hunting group a chance to unload their favorite shotgun. Geese favor to land into the wind so make sure you have an opening in front of the hunting blind with your backs facing the wind and they should glide right into your runway of destruction.
Pile pictures are always a nice way to remember that epic hunt but it you do not keep concealed it may not be the largest stacked pile when it is time for a picture. When a large group of geese come in to take a look at your spread that’s exactly what they are going to do so it is crucial that you don’t let them pick your gawking face out and with good concealment you can become invisible to all the eyes trying to pick you apart. Sticking out like the sore hunter who has a cold barrel or using corn in a winter wheat field is never good so try to use cover that is in the field when concealing your blind. In Colorado a lot of hunters use pits and the best ones are going to be flush with the ground, have lids that can be closed and of course are covered with whatever is currently in the field. Blend your layout blinds into the surroundings just as you would a pit. Concealing your blinds and of course yourself is a huge factor for success when hunting geese.
Flagging geese is a good way to get their attention when distant and it is best to try not to flag them when they are really close, directly facing the blind. In some instances they want to see the wing movement or flagging all the way to the ground as the flag is used as a very good attention grabber and as a very good way to keep attention when the geese are on the edges of the spread or going away. Using a call is similar to using a flag and generally you do not want to call real hard or flag real hard when they are looking right at you in close proximity but it can work both ways. If they are right in your face try to call or go soft on the geese with clucks that are slow and murmurs that resemble the feeding sounds and then go after them hard and loud if they look like their leaving. Smaller geese or cackling lesser geese are usually quite vocal and loud so when they come over have all the callers blow their call and see the results.
It would be wise to not think twice about changing something or some part up if it is not working. If you can read and understand what the geese are looking for that is truly the best approach but even after going through all the trials and tribulations you will only come out of it with a mild comprehension of what their language is but you will be more than a step ahead of the other hunter by reading and understanding these birds. In the end scouting will also payoff tenfold because if you do not put in the time to scout you are really just gambling. When you find the money spot or X make sure you have lots of rounds because you are going to have a nice stack of geese to pile up.
Basically there is no set in stone way to hunt geese so scout, listen, watch and learn how others hunt them and surround yourself with hunters that have fun and enjoy the hunt no matter what the final outcome is and you too will always enjoy Colorado goose hunting, as well as all the time you are spending in the field.
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