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Using decoys for hunting snow geese is a popular method because it lures the geese into an area that allows hunters to shoot them quickly and effectively. However, these decoys cannot always be used because having enough to spread properly is expensive, and many areas cannot accommodate decoys properly. These eight snow geese hunting tips will help you hunt geese without using decoys.
Why Hunt Snow Geese without Decoys?
There are many good reasons to hunt snow geese without decoys, and there are several situations where you might have to. For example, if they are moving around in one big group, if you don’t have access to the field they are feeding in, or if you have limited hunting time, it may make more sense to set up a quick pass shoot rather than to decoy the birds.
There may be other practical reasons: if snow geese are destroying wheat crops, which could lead to ecological imbalance, or if you’re attempting to harvest as many snow geese as possible because their population is too high. Whether the reasons are practical or necessary, there are several effective ways to harvest snow geese, such as pass shooting, using a cow board, or sneaking. These eight essential snow geese hunting tips can save you money by helping you hunt without decoys.
8 Tips for Hunting Snow Geese Without Decoys
Find Exact Location
The most important variable in hunting snow geese is location. Considerable effort is required to scout them and understand their migratory patterns to locate their feeding, watering, and roosting areas, as they can migrate a remarkable distance within a short period of time.
Therefore, time is of the essence, and scouting will help you make the best use of the time you have. The more critical time is, the less time you can attribute to setting up decoys. Time is better spent making sure you know the exact location of the geese than trying to lure them somewhere.
When scouting, you should also be thinking of spots to conceal yourself effectively. Hide among the trees and woodland in the areas geese land to feed so they can’t see you and refrain from moving as much as possible to not startle them.
Fence lines can also give you some cover to hide. You can also try lying down in weeds in a field and using the ground as camouflage. Don’t startle the geese by jumping the gun. You’ll probably have to lay still for a while, so be patient.
When it comes to blending in, you’ll want to wear appropriate clothing that matches the natural background. Wear the colors of the area you’ve scouted and find a comfortable position. There are also many professional layout blinds available designed specifically for hunting geese that you can choose from.
Now that you’ve done the basics, it’s time to consider various methods of hunting snow geese without decoys. Pass shooting is among the most popular and obvious. It is a relatively inexpensive method that allows the Geese to pass by an area you have already scouted.
After they arrive, target one or two geese in one group and shoot once or twice when they’re in range while the other group is further away. It’s critical that the second group maintains its usual patterns, so be sparing at first. This will help to increase the number of snow geese you can bag.
Use a Cow Board
Instead of decoys, you can use a cow board, which may seem a bit odd at first but is inexpensive and gives the geese the impression that they’re landing in a normal field devoid of humans. You will need to be a quick shot, however, as you’ll need to move it realistically so the geese don’t understand it’s fake, and be ready to shoot when a bird is in range within about 50 yards.
Sneaking takes some practice but is another effective method once you know how to do it. Naturally, sneaking works best during high harvest in the late season where you can hide more easily, and again you should take pains not to move too much by crawling slowly and making as little noise as possible. Target the geese at the edge of the flock closest to you, and shoot when you feel like you are close but not yet noticed.
Jump hunting involves traveling around and looking for flocks of snow geese already feeding in fields. If you have the requisite permission to hunt in the area, you can use the element of surprise to sprint out into the field and shoot as many of them as possible before they get away. First, though, you’ll want to get as close to them as possible by using the stealth methods described above.
Capture Their Attention
You can simulate geese calls from your hiding place, either by training your voice to emit sounds like theirs or, probably more easily, by using pre-recorded sounds and an amplification device. In your scouting and study of snow geese patterns, learn a comprehensive range of geese sounds.
For example, they cluck when they are excited, murmur when they are looking to feed, and honk when they are relaxed. So make calls, or use recordings, that correspond to where you need them to be: cluck when they are at a distance, and murmur when they are heading in your direction.
A Successful Snow Geese Hunt Without Decoys
You can use a combination of any of the methods above, or all of them, for a successful snow geese hunt, though some, such as capturing their attention, will take more practice than others.
Some of the tips are inexorable: you will not be able to bag snow geese without doing the necessary scouting and concealing yourself adequately before discharging your weapon.
The Benefits of Snow Geese Hunting without Decoys
Not using decoys when snow geese hunting is straightforward and easy to learn and can also result in good fun. If you want to save money, save time, or have a reason to eliminate snow geese as quickly as possible, you can easily circumvent the need to use decoys. All it takes is a little practice and patience.