5 Ways to Speed Up a Slow Goose Season

5 Ways to Speed Up a Slow Goose Season

Our goose field was not as fervent this season as it has been in years past. Like many hunters, we spent many mornings staring out at thousands of specks, snows and Canadas from a dreary distance. It wasn't until the final weeks of the season that the birds — specks in particular — decided to cross some imaginary line and give us a close enough look. After months of frustration and dejection, we finally maneuvered to get a few good shots on the incoming flocks. Even though the season seemed to screech to a halt, there were a few things we did to pick up the pace and improve our chances. Make sure to check out these five great ways to speed up a slow goose season — it could just be the difference between a forgettable and unforgettable hunt.

Don\'t Waste Your Time

Don't waste time chasing birds when they are not flying. We learned very quickly the geese simply would not fly in the morning, so there was no reason to keep waking up at 4 a.m. to look up at empty skies. It can be frustrating when you go out time and again and nothing shows up. It will wear on you. I've known plenty of guys who have given up on a season because they are getting up early, seeing nothing and then heading in for an afternoon at work. It's too much of a grind — don't do it.

Fix Your Spread

We had way too much going on with our decoys early in the year, so I simplified it by putting the full-body Canadas and shells in separate groups. I then moved some specklebelly groups to the periphery, where I know they like to feed together most of the time. With two weeks remaining on the season, we finally started peeling birds with low groans and clucks. Instead of a massive spread of everything from snows to greenheads, and super-aggressive calling, we kept it simple.

Buy A Goose Flag

Nothing gets the attention of a long-range goose like a flapping piece of black cloth. There are intricacies to flagging, so here is the rule I go by: Flag until you have the bird's attention, and put the thing down once the geese are a few hundred yards away. Some guys will flag when birds start to slide the edge of the dekes, but it's only little flutters. Most of the early-season birds we saw were way out there, and the only reason they gave us a look was the flag.

Get Out There on Foggy Days

Yes, it's true birds don't always like to fly through the soup, but if it's clear in the morning and fogs up in the afternoon, be there for the last 30 minutes of shooting time. My brother and I were packing up after sitting in layouts for hours and seeing nothing, when we heard the unique chirps of a speck in the distance. So we decided to crouch down at the edge of the field and see what showed up. Sure enough, flock after flock poured over us. It was so murky the birds couldn't see us standing up, and we're both 6-foot-4, 250 pounds.

Don\'t Be Afraid to Move

The old codgers may scoff at this, but don't be afraid to pick up and move. If the geese continue to fly along the periphery of your spread, grab a few decoys and walk to where they are flying. There are several run-and-gun type layouts on the market, and some of them even have room for decoys and silhouettes. If you don't want to spend the money, just make sure you are in full camo, slot some dekes and go lay on the ground — just be sure to have something to cover your face.

Recommended for You

Ready to grill up some delicious, juicy waterfowl burgers? This Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe is made with ground duck breast fillets and a kick of horseradish. Recipes

Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe

Scott Leysath

Ready to grill up some delicious, juicy waterfowl burgers? This Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe...

The sweet, tangy flavor of orange juice combined with spicy jalapeños in this duck recipe will have your taste buds screaming for more. Recipes

Sweet Jalapeño Grilled Duck Recipe

Scott Leysath, "The Sporting Chef"

The sweet, tangy flavor of orange juice combined with spicy jalapeños in this duck recipe will...

A dainty English setter suited for the uplands has the drive for waterfowl. Stories

The Accidental Duck Dog

Jack Ballard

A dainty English setter suited for the uplands has the drive for waterfowl.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Browning A5 Shotgun -

Browning A5 Shotgun - 'Gun Stories'

Gun Stories host Joe Mantegna talks about the origin and history of the Browning A5 shotgun.

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

This video is a classic! Take a front row seat with Carson as he hunted back in college. The clips are all either filmed with a GoPro or cell phone!

Picking a Puppy

Picking a Puppy

Wildfowl contributor Mark Romanack shares advice about choosing your next retriever.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during 2019, company CEO Charlie Holder shows off the limited edition Yentzen Classic aimed at commemorating the life and times of company founder Jim 'Cowboy' Fernandez. With a special autographed box and a laser engraved call body, the Cowboy Classic is a perfect way to honor the legacy of the 1959 world duck calling champ and inventor of the double-reed duck call. Calls

Cowboy Fernandez Commemorative Yentzen Classic Duck Call

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

As Groves, Texas duck call maker Sure-Shot Game Calls celebrates their 60th anniversary during...

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show! Shotguns

Best New Waterfowl Shotguns for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 23, 2019

Check out our picks for the best new waterfowl guns from the 2019 SHOT Show!

While there's no guarantee they'll make you a better shot, these 8 newly-designed shotgun choke Accessories

8 Best Choke Tubes for 2017

Wildfowl Online Staff - October 25, 2017

While there's no guarantee they'll make you a better shot, these 8 newly-designed shotgun...

See More Stories

More Hunting Tactics

Follow these tips for hunting snow geese on your own! Hunting Tactics

Hunting Snow Geese Solo

Joe Weimer

Follow these tips for hunting snow geese on your own!

Deadly shallow-water hunters show you how to kill more greenheads and geese. Hunting Tactics

How to Hunt Shallow Rivers for Mallards & Geese

Joe Genzel

Deadly shallow-water hunters show you how to kill more greenheads and geese.

Locate a few small-water spots and let nature do the rest. Hunting Tactics

Low-Cost Duck Hunting on Public Water

Tony J. Peterson

Locate a few small-water spots and let nature do the rest.

See More Hunting Tactics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.