Last season I treated myself to a morning goose hunt on private lands arranged by one of the professional guides from Minturn Anglers out of Denver Colorado. Not only did I have a most enjoyable and successful expedition, I realized this was an investment with returns. During our few hours together, my guide provided me with some valuable insights about geese flying patterns that I can use year after year.
Often, watching geese in the air tells me what they’re doing, and, in turn, prepares me for what I should be doing! Goose body language can be as simple as dropping 200 feet with legs down or stopping a wing beat. Here are some of the observational tips passed on to me by my Minturn Anglers hunting guide:
- A goose that stopped his wing beat tells me he is looking at me; I try to convince him to come for a closer look with a series of very fast clucks
- The bird that has locked wings and is gliding in from height is probably planning to land; I entice him with soft clucks, moans and feeding growls
- A circling bird with a slow wing beat is considering making an approach; I find I can bring them in if I use a slow feeding growl followed by clucks rising to a peak
- A goose that circles without changing wing beat is probably just checking me over; loud and fast calling is sometimes effective to get this bird’s attention
- A bird leaving my spread might be turned around with a quick series of double clucks; I’ll try anything as I am losing the bird anyway
Every situation is different, and even with expert advice, I find that some methods work better for me than others. Still, it’s the ability to read the geese and their flight characteristics that help me decide what they want to hear. I am positive this has made a dramatic effect on my history of successful hunts!