Looking to Go Hard Core on Geese? | Here’s 4 Things You Need to Know!

Want to Put More Geese One the Ground? |  Go Hard Core! To us, there are very few things that we live to do more than to chase Giant Canada Geese across the Midwest.  We have lived and breathed chasing these magnificent animals and have had to lick our wounds along the way.  While we all know that these birds can beat us all at times, we also know that they can be beaten!  We have developed four simple tips that we feel can help put you in a position to bust more caps on your Federal Premium Ammunition and put more geese on your hard core lanyard this fall.Step 1 – Know your surroundings:  So tell us if this situation sounds familiar, you are in the field perhaps hunting or possibly scouting and you have geese in the air.  It seems as though they appear from out of thin air and disappear just as fast.  This can be a very frustrating situation, knowing that there are geese in the area but being unable to pin point them.hard core geese huntingAs a hard core goose hunter, you must be a master of your surroundings.  We make it our business to know where every hidden grain field, short grass pasture or feed lot, pasture pond or lake is within a 5 mile radius of the area we are hunting.  Understanding where they geese are roosting, loafing and feeding are obviously extremely critical; however, understating the “other” options that are available for them is just as important.  We have found that the birds become pressured, especially if their roost has been disturbed.  It may seem as though they have up and vanished, when in reality we find they have spread out and begun utilizing these “other” areas.  Understanding the layout and distribution of potential roosts, loafing areas and feeds will aid you in determining an appropriate course of action and reduce the amount of guess work on your end.Step 2 – Understand the needs:  Like any other game animal, a goose has specific needs depending on the time of year and conditions.  This can change sometimes daily; however, there are some key indicators that can help you stay a step ahead of these critters come fall.  The best indicator or predicator for a goose’s behavior in our opinion is obviously weather.  Geese by default are very simple animals.  If conditions are such that they do not have to expend much energy to feed on cereal grains and they can get by on grasses and other forages, then it is highly likely they will not move much, other than a wing stretch here or there.  There is what we term “early season” behavior.For us here in the Midwest, we have an early goose season which usually opens sometime around the end of September or the first of October.  During this time, we are generally focusing on resident birds.  Also, the temperatures are usually mild and geese are typically still in their summer patterns.  You may be able to find birds utilizing some early harvest corn or silage fields; however, for us we tend to focus on their loafing areas.  This time of year, family groups are still present and these birds will spend the majority of the day in a loafing area.  For us, this is typically represents a pasture pond.We find that a goose is a goose, is a goose.  When we experience a warm spell towards the end of December, it doesn't seem to matter that the geese have been using corn fields for the past three weeks prior.  What we see is that they will change their pattern back towards their early season patterns.  That’s not to say that grain fields would not be utilized during this time; however, with extended warm periods we find that it’s time to start looking for the “grazing” areas.Of course, we all know the benefits of hunting during changing weather patterns, especially cold fronts.  Once temperatures drop and metabolic demands require it, geese and other waterfowl will expend as much energy as possible to search foods high in carbohydrates.  This is the time to be in the grain fields, cozied up in you man cave!  Understanding exactly how the weather dictates what they birds do in your area is critical to ensuring you leave the field with a truck full this fall. Step 3 – The Rosetta Stone:  When it comes to calling and the vocalizations of geese, you need to be able to have the Rosetta Stone at your disposal and speak their language.  We take calling very serious here at hard core; however, we recognize that like everything else it has a time and a place. When calling any waterfowl, it is important to remember that to be successful means more than just calling.  Doing your homework to ensure that all of the other elements of your hunt are addressed is more important in our opinion, then calling.  We see calling as the icing on the cake.  It is important to learn how to read the body language of the game that you are after, especially waterfowl.  They will tell you whether you should be more aggressive or subtle.  We find that with geese, they will tell you exactly how to respond.  For example, if we are hunting a grain field, where a lot of geese having been feeding most likely the birds will be very chatty when they show up, and we do our best to mimic them.  Likewise, if we are hunting a loafing area and the birds are barely vocalizing then we may keep our calling very subtle and soft.  Again, reading the body language of the birds is the most important factor to calling in our opinion.  If you have the ability, take some time and listen to wild geese and observe the calls they make and what they are doing, it can be very helpful.Step 4 – Your spread:  The last tip, but certainly not the least, would be the effectiveness and realism of your spread.  Through years of chasing and scouting waterfowl, we have learned that you can have checked all the boxes, and be in the right place at the right time; however, when the time comes and birds are 60 yards and closing you need to ensure that you have a spread that is as realistic as possible.Hard core decoys in our opinion are the most realistic and durable decoys on the market today.  Hard core’s Elite series of Canada goose decoys are simply a home run, no matter if you are hunting grain fields or over water.  Their light weight and durable construction, along with unmatched paint scheme continues to draw fans from all across the waterfowl hunting community.Aside for ensuring that your decoys look as real as possible, they need to be arranged in a realistic manner.  While the ole’ J hook has it place, in most cases that decoy arrangement may not be the most realistic or relevant for the situation, especially when your potentially going to encounter large groups.  As we have stated time and time again, do your homework.  Scout, and really observe the geese.  There is more to scouting than just figuring out what fields they are hitting.  Noting how they hit the field, are smaller groups hitting first with larger groups following or vice versa? How do they appear when they are in the field?  Are they content, are some resting?  These are all questions that should be running through your head when you’re scouting for your hunt, and should be translated and represented to the best of your ability when sitting your decoy spread.We hope that you have found these tips useful, and truly hope that they help you down more geese this fall.  Be sure to check out the wide range of Canada and Lesser Canada goose decoys by visiting the hard core brands website at http://www.hardcore-brands.com/ .