Waterfowl Tips and Best Light Goose Decoys If you do much duck hunting, you probably also hunt geese. The last twenty years has seen a tremendous population boom of Canada geese, or Canadian “honkers” as many call them. But it’s also seen a dramatic increase in lesser-known light goose species. If that sounds a little exotic to you and you’re looking for a little adventure again, you should try hunting light geese for a welcomed change of pace. Light geese consist of several goose species, most often referring to snow (lesser and greater), blue, and Ross’ geese. Technically, blue geese are just a color morph of lesser snow geese. These goose species typically inhabit northern boreal regions in the summer. However, the booming light goose population has led to a lot of habitat destruction in these arctic breeding grounds, which are important to many different wildlife species. Because of this damage, the federal government issued a light goose conservation order in 1999 to address the problem. More about that critical legislation below. During migration periods, light geese pass right through our neighborhoods on their way to southern climes, and right back through as they head north in the spring. They often migrate in huge flocks (as in thousands). As such, you need to hunt them a little differently if you want to actually put some in your roaster pan at the end of the day. Here’s what you need to know if you’d like to try hunting them. Location When you’re hunting light geese, you need to find two things: food and water. On a spring conservation order hunt for light geese, they will be eager to fly north. But they get caught near the snow- or ice-line and won’t typically venture past it since they need calories and water to survive. Try to target these transition zones because geese will be forced to stop there on their northward migration to graze. A good place to ambush them is a large snow-free field or pasture, because it offers abundant short-cropped grass with good visibility around them. Best Timing Since the surviving adult birds are extremely wary and often migrate first, it may be in your best interest to wait until the middle to late migration period. This is when younger, uneducated birds start their way north. You’ll typically see the most hunting action in the mornings and in the evenings, but action can vary from day to day. Goose Decoys If you’re going to target light geese, you’ll also need a good number of decoys. Some people even swear they use up to a thousand at a time! But if you think about it, you really do need good-looking decoys and a realistic spread to convince gun-shy geese to come in for even an inspection. Hard Core has all your light goose decoy needs covered. From snow geese, blue geese, or Ross’ geese, you can set up sentries, feeders, and floaters. Spread out a mixture of shells and full bodies a bit to make them appear more numerous. Supplement your quality Hard Core decoys with snow goose rags or wind socks to make it easier on the checkbook. The blue goose sentry four-pack is a good option to start building your decoy collection. Hunting Tips Because of the conservation order we discussed above, hunters can use unplugged shotguns on these snow goose hunts. There is also typically no bag limit on these species during a conservation order hunt. But check your local regulations before quoting us! To maximize your shooting opportunities, wait until the geese land around you and get nervous enough to start flying away before your hunting party opens fire. It’s critical with this many geese to focus on just one bird at a time, or you’ll probably just wound several in the process. Light geese are very wary creatures. You’ll need to step up your concealment efforts significantly. Especially since the conservation order was issued, they have been shot at relentlessly from just about every unnatural-looking hummock they fly over. Make sure your blind is completely invisible, and hide everything that isn’t a decoy. Attention to detail is just part of the game. If you haven’t hunted light geese before, you owe it to yourself to try it at least once. If you can go with friends or a guide first, it might be a better option than shelling out the money to do it all yourself. Light goose hunting can be a humbling experience, just as any waterfowl excursion can be. But it can also be extremely thrilling. Imagine a mixed flock of snows and Ross’ geese flying overhead, making a deafening sound as they get closer to your spread. It’s a sight you need to see for yourself!