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Best Weather For Goose Hunting
The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 01 December, 2021

Best Weather For Goose Hunting

Elaine Sutton
• Tuesday, 20 October, 2020
• 7 min read

To understand what is the best weather for goose hunting lets take a look at each weather type and look at the benefits and considerations each condition will provide. On hot days goose hunting may be challenging as the geese have a tendency to get lazy and not move much.

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Oh… one more thing, the higher temps of the early season are not entirely to blame for the chances of a few less geese. So regardless of the temperature, if the birds have not yet begun to migrate to your area you will typically only see the resident geese as hunting opportunities.

The good news is that when mother nature opens up and brings in the moisture it will not hinder geese from getting out and moving about. However, the only problem is that it may get a little uncomfortable for hunting in the rain if you are not properly suited in waterproof gear.

During these rainy days, the vision of the geese may be somewhat hindered depending on how hard the rain is coming down. When hunting in heavy fog you may find the need to call more consistently for geese than in clear conditions otherwise they will not know where your decoy spread is.

However, a challenge with hunting in the fog is it can make it difficult for you to see and react to geese before they are out of range. It will be important to stay on high alert the whole time you are hunting in fog if you want good chances of bagging geese.

Make sure that you check the weather forecast for your area before you head out hunting to ensure you do not get surprised by a storm coming your way. This will take some time so if you are taken off guard when a storm comes you may be picking up decoys in the wind and brutal weather.

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This is one of the perfect times to head out to the field or water and bag a bunch of honkers. Think of this like humans, in extreme heat we have a tendency to want to stay cool and in order to do this we minimize the amount of physical activity we are doing.

We do not typically do a ton of physical activity outdoors in the heat if we can avoid it. Additionally, freezing temperatures freeze us to the bone, and we stay hunkered inside doing what we can do preserve body heat.

These cold times are when you see geese huddle up on frozen water and ground to try and preserve body temperature. So as you can see these mild temperatures should present good opportunities for hunting as geese will be in a great mode of moving about pretty much through the entire day.

Sitting out with the sun beating down on you with hunting gear on can be uncomfortable, additionally being still for hours in cold temperatures is not a ton of fun and may leave you chilled to the core. As temperature drops to single digits and below zero there is a likelihood that geese are going to be holding tight for a good portion of the day.

With colder temperatures the flight times of geese can tend to push later and later in the day. This means that a late morning flight could happen or sometimes the geese may even hold out until just after sunset for feeding.

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During these freezing times you will see geese huddle up in groups and often notice many of them in the sleeping position. Depending on the area that you hunt and how late into the season you chase geese, there is a chance that you will encounter snow.

However, as I discussed with fog, it will also hinder your sight as the hunter so there may be a chance that geese appear and disappear before you are able to react and shoot them. This is due to the fact that full body or shell decoys can collect snow on their backs making them disappear altogether or at least appear unrealistic to the approaching geese.

So in order to recreate this natural look it can be a good idea to use a good amount of sleeping decoys or even shell decoys without putting them on the motion stakes so it looks like the geese are resting directly on the ground. For example, if you see that there is a snow storm or cold front coming to your area in the evening you might want to head out for a morning hunt.

In many goose hunter’s eyes the absolute best time to hunt geese is just before a cold front or storm comes to the area. Use this information as a guide to understand what you might expect to have for goose hunting success in each of these weather conditions.

Weather plays the biggest role in determining your odds of hunting waterfowl. Mother Nature likes to play tricks and make hunting season a bit difficult at times, but if you pay attention to the outdoor elements, you could wind up having a spectacular day.

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Let’s take a look at which types of weather conditions could play a role in the success of your waterfowl hunting endeavors: Due to these conditions, ducks won’t be caught off guard by glaring gun barrels and human shadows.

As the wind, rain and sleet worsen, waterfowl scramble to find shelter, which causes birds to move into fewer areas. Clear sunny skies on warm and windless days can be difficult to hunt in.

You can learn the bird’s patterns, flight lanes, feeding areas and so forth to help overcome the weather challenges. As the sun comes up geese will typically get off their roost and head out to feeding spots.

Hunting in the morning provides a great opportunity to shoot geese at a time when they are hungry. Very hungry geese may be more likely to make mistakes so take advantage of their empty bellies to bag your honkers.

It is possible to have goose hunting success all day long depending on where you are set up. If you stay in the fields for the afternoon you do have a good chance of getting some birds.

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Early afternoon can be a good hunting time as the geese come off their morning feeding spots and head back to their resting area. If they see an attractive spread of decoys in a field the geese may stop in if they are still hungry.

I will mention that this mid-afternoon time of about 11am-3pm will usually show a significantly lower amount of geese flying which can decrease your shooting opportunities You also benefit from the slightly warmer temperatures that the afternoon brings so even though there might be longer periods of time without geese at least you can be relatively comfortable sitting outside.

I live in Minnesota and in the August and September hunting seasons it is often light until 8 or 830pm. This means that I can get off work and be setup in the fields by 6pm for the prime time of the evening hunt.

The first few hours of the morning and the last few hours of the evening are typically the times that you will see the most geese as they are actively feeding when they wake up for their morning meal and in the late afternoon as they prepare to roost for the night. You see people on social media posting the countdown to duck season.

Trust me, I spend copious amounts of time on Facebook. Spring is when the green head blues kick in for most, but it's prime time for snow goose hunters.

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The special conservation season is built around the reverse migration. As the snows travel north, we have a second chance to stack up some numbers and save the tundra that is so badly damaged by excessive goose populations on the arctic nesting grounds.

There is no limit, no need for plugs in your guns, and electronic calls are legal. Use as many blue phase snow decoys as possible, create a lot of movement, and sound is crucial.

This seems like a self-explanatory tip but this is how you really put snow goose numbers on the ground. This always gets overlooked and it is something so simple that can make a huge difference in your bird numbers.

You don't want to deal with things breaking in the middle of a hunt. It has an easy access ammunition pocket for your scattered snow goose shells so you can just grab and load.

A dog that is not used to thousands of geese torpedoing down around them may lose their cool in the blind and break early. Your dog will have to watch a lot of birds fall and you need to be able to call them back even in the middle of retrieves if big flocks start to come in.

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Control, drive, and obedience are very important for your dog to master. Scouting is important for any type of hunting but you aren't trying to shoot a handful of green heads or Canada's.

Play the wind and never hunt a field with the roost at your back if you can help it. When my foot was broken I covered myself in a white sheet so my boot was not visible.

Use whatever means necessary and take extra precaution to conceal your blind or pit. Wind socks add dimension and depth so surround yourself with them.

Put your layout blinds out that night and let the snow naturally cover them for the next morning. A lot of people do not hunt like this and would never move if the birds weren't committing how you wanted.

Flyers are a good addition to any spread to help direct the birds and to add significant movement. This is something simple you can add to the mix when hunting any type of waterfowl.

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You need to set them according to the time of day, feed, and wind. A snow goose decoy spread should reflect the patterns of the flock you are planning to hunt.

Snow geese are aggressive by nature, and will run each other over in order to get to food first. There are professional storm chasers and are willing to give you the hunt of a lifetime.

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