A question that occasionally comes up from goose hunters is how to hunt geese without decoys. People wonder if they can even hunt geese without investing huge sums of money in a large decoy spread.
So is it possible to hunt geese without decoys? The short answer is yes but it will require work. Here are the 3 things you will need to improve your chances of successfully hunting geese without decoys:
1. Locate exactly where the geese are feeding and roosting
2. Obtain permission to hunt the area
3. Finding proper concealment
Locate exactly where geese are feeding: As with any goose hunting it is important to locate where geese are at where they want to feed and where they are roosting. If you are hunting geese without decoys it is more important than ever to be in the spot where geese are feeding and their roost location. In order to do this you will want to spend some time scouting. I like to start my scouting 1-2 days in advance of when I plan to go hunting. For example, if I want to hunt on Saturday I will start scouting on Thursday. The reason I start two days in advance is to ensure that I allow myself enough time to locate where geese are feeding.
Obtain permission to hunt the area: The other benefit of starting your scouting 1-2 days in advance is to allow time to get permission to hunt the land. If you only scout the night before you plan to hunt you may very well find where geese are feeding but you may not get permission to hunt that area or the landowners might not be home. Two days of time should allow you enough time for both locating geese and obtaining permission. Trust me, I have made the mistake of only scouting the night before and I have often times found geese but without permission to hunt the land, knowing where the geese are at does not do much good. Landowners are not always home and they do not always allow you to hunt. By giving yourself this extra time you can stop back to that landowners home a few times and to hopefully catch them at home and ask for permission. Also, if they say no to allowing you hunt you should still have some time to find an alternative hunting spot.
Finding proper concealment: Once you have located where the geese are feeding and roosting and obtained permission to hunt the area it is now time to figure out where is the best place to conceal yourself for the hunt. If there is standing corn or other crops near where the geese are landing it would be an excellent choice to hide in the crops. This could give you some excellent shooting opportunities as the geese are either getting ready to land or are coming off their roost. If the field is completely cut down you can do one of two things, sit near a fence line or lay in the field. If you sit near a fence line this should give you some cover as the geese fly over. Lying in the field exactly where the geese are landing is a very good technique as long as you do not mind getting a little dirty. To do this effectively you will want to use some of the surrounding crops to cover yourself. For example, if you are hunting a chopped down cornfield there will be some downed stalks that the combine did not pick up. Gather some of these up, lay down and cover yourself as best as possible. When the geese come to land you should be able to quickly pop up and get some good shooting in.