Conducting spring and autumn goose hunting
Among those who like to hunt wild birds, the goose is considered a very honorable trophy. But it must be understood that hunting a goose is not the easiest task, it requires certain knowledge from the hunter. Due to the uncontrolled shooting of prey and poaching, the population of many species of birds declined so much that they were listed in the Red Book, therefore, hunting for them is strictly prohibited. Any harm to their population is punishable by law, so you should know which bird you can hunt for and which not.
Goose hunting in spring and autumn
Key Features of Spring Goose Hunting
Many hunters love to catch these waterfowl during the spring summer. Spring goose hunting is an interesting, but not the easiest thing to do, because this bird cannot be called stupid or inattentive - a careless prey will not even be able to get close to it. Even with goose hunting, you need to take into account local legislation, and know what bird game is allowed to shoot. If these birds do not appear in the area, then you need to decide where to buy tickets or a ticket for the trip.
Before choosing a place to hunt wild geese before selecting equipment, weapons and ammunition, you need to study the habits of this bird. You may have to spend one season just to observe the behavior of game birds. We must learn to distinguish between different types of geese, because at the moment, spring hunting for goose is allowed only for a white-fronted goose and a goose. However, some production methods are also prohibited as being too cruel or causing huge damage to livestock of waterfowl.
Debate is underway to ban the spring shooting of wild geese altogether. Various reasons are used. For example, some believe that it is better to get these birds only when they have already bred chicks. Others say that hunting for a wild goose in the spring was brought in from the north, where survival literally depends on it, so you need to keep track of what laws are being adopted so as not to earn a serious fine for shooting in the wrong time. It is also worth knowing which wild goose hunting is prohibited in Russia:
- In Russia, there are only 8 species belonging to the genus of geese. In the spring, only 2 of them can be hunted: a white-faced and a booby. In autumn, in addition to these two species, you can also get gray goose. The remaining five species are the white and mountain goose, white-headed and dry-headed goose, as well as the small white-fronted goose (aka piskulka). This five is, in principle, forbidden to shoot.
- Even in Russia and a number of neighboring states, there are geese, medium-sized and very beautiful waterfowl. They are easy to recognize by photo or video, and they are listed in the International Red Book. And this means that their shooting is prohibited. Anyone who tries to catch these birds will face severe punishment.
- The closest relatives of geese are swans, which are also found in Russia. Most hunters would never even think of killing these beautiful creatures, but it is advisable to clarify: hunting them is also prohibited by law.
Additional recommendations for spring goose hunting
The first step is to find out in which region goose hunting in the spring is allowed and in what period. For example, in Belarus, the season began in 2017 on March 11, and it ended on May 14. During this period, the hunter usually has one decade left to hunt these waterfowl. At the same time, you cannot shoot more game than is permitted by law. It is also worth seeing which particular method of extraction is allowed, as well as which birds of which species can be shot during the indicated period.
Before the hunt itself, you need to choose a suitable place on the path where waterfowl return to their nests. Here it is necessary to take into account several important factors that may affect the success of the entire enterprise. First you need to choose the right place for shelter for hunting wild goose. Usually it is placed on a lake, swamp or on a river, where the flocks will land. The presence of competitors also affects the choice of place: if several hunters decide to place shelters in one territory, then someone will be left without prey.
You also need to prepare in advance for success to work hard in cold weather, in frost and in mud. Even at the best time, it will not be easy and on the part of the hunter it will be right to count on a long and difficult job. If it was decided to hunt in May, then there would also be enough problems: mosquitoes, stuffiness and the need to endure these and other delights in heavy clothing. Moreover, most of the work will have to be done at night so that waterfowl do not notice the human presence.
Preparation and conduct of spring goose hunting
First, the miner must make himself a suitable shelter, and he must be able to do it with his own hands. In the foreground is camouflage: a wrap of a suitable color for the shooter himself, a camouflage net for shelter and the like. The colors should hide the hunter from the attentive eyes of the game, so they must repeat the colors of the fields or melt snow. It all depends on the opening of the season, terrain (whether hunting takes place in the fields, in the taiga or in the tundra) and other factors that every experienced hunter knows about.
In preparing the shelter, the novice shooter must remember that it must be done in the dark. You will have to abandon the tent or a comfortable, but noticeable suit - the geese will consider this a threat and fly by. For the same reason, it is better not to arrange the stuffed animals and shelters around various man-made objects. Their wild waterfowl prefer to fly around just in case. The shelter itself should be invisible from a bird's eye view, and not stand out from the surrounding area.
Some hunters prefer to look for a place to shoot themselves before the season opens, when it will be possible to beat these waterfowl. After the opening of the goose hunt, they prepare for themselves a suitable shelter. There are certain rules for hunting out of hiding. In the case of geese, one must understand that freshly dug scraps from a height look like black spots, to which the flock will not fly up. It is advisable to mask them so that all the land is covered with grass, snow or other similar means.
Tips and some options for wild goose hunting
There are certain tricks and secrets that can help in the spring hunt for the wild goose. Firstly, according to many experienced miners, the best time to shoot these waterfowl is at sunset and at dawn. In the morning, the flock flies to feed in the meadows, and in the evening it returns to the water. Moreover, the routes of the flocks usually do not change, so you can not beat them on flights immediately, but you can’t get several geese at the same time: once you catch, the flock will not return.
Another good option for prey is near the field where geese fly to feed. And do not beat them with a raid, because shooting at a lead is not accurate, and the hunt may turn out to be unsuccessful. It is worth remembering that the day is not the right time to shoot birds, and in the fields it is best to get game in the morning when the flock only arrives at the feeding place. Regardless of where the hunt takes place and how long it will last, you need to come 1-1.5 hours before the arrival of the pack. Some hunters prefer to appear 2-3 hours before the flight of birds.
Goose catch with decoys or stuffed animals
Wild goose hunting is also practiced with scarecrows or a decoy gander. In the case of decoy or semolina waterfowl, one must act in the same way as when hunting a wild duck. Now many people don’t use this method, because they don’t want to spend time catching goslings. Moreover, young growth is caught alive and without damage. You can also take geese during molting, when they will not be able to fly. The choice should fall on the loud-voiced gander, whose scream will surely attract the flock, which will be the prey of the shooter.
Because of the same goals, stuffed wild geese are purchased for hunting, but it is still recommended to take a suitable decoy to them. Stuffed animals should be placed on the way of flight of the flock, so that there was someone to shoot. The decoy should sound exactly like the voice of a gander, otherwise the leader will feel the falsity and lead everyone away from a suspicious place. Spring, in particular, March and April, is a rather hungry time for flocks, but they do not become less suspicious because of this. Some hunters prefer to use an electric tank that accurately reproduces the voice of a goose.
You can still use the so-called profiles, which can also be useful help. Profiles are flat images that depict wild birds. They can also attract flocks, although not as efficiently. But, although some use profiles or homemade stuffed animals, it is most effective to take a weather vane with you. These are voluminous stuffed animals that imitate the movements of living waterfowl in the wind. With them, the spring hunt for the wild goose is greatly simplified.
Differences of Autumn Goose Hunting
Goose hunting in autumn is not so often practiced in Russia. The fact is that in the autumn the prey season of many other birds and animals opens, a large number of hunters scare away this careful waterfowl. The spring hunt for the goose begins when the birds have not yet been scared away, and in a short time you can collect a lot of hunting trophies. But there are regions in which it is customary to get this bird in the autumn period. At this time there is a large influx of hunters, most do not leave without prey.
In particular, it is worth paying attention to goose hunting in Kazakhstan, which is praised by many experienced miners. A ticket or a ticket there is inexpensive, and it’s easy to beat a bird in this area. It is advisable to consult with local experts who can recommend good places for shooting. The fact is that in this region the flocks stop for a living for a long time. For 50-60 days they are fattened before a long flight, and the hunter has enough opportunities.
The production rules for the fall season are no different from those typical for spring. The same methods are used: shooting from an ambush, the use of profiles, stuffed animals or decoy geese. Of course, guns and ammunition are used exactly the same. And, of course, what should not be done is to beat the birds more than the norm or shoot them out of season. Otherwise, one who has already hunted in the spring can act in exactly the same way in the fall. We must not forget that the geese are always careful and so simply will not let the shooter shoot at them.
Various goose hunting equipment
In many ways, the success of a hunter depends on what equipment he will acquire: an experienced miner with inexpensive equipment will be much more successful than a beginner with the latest ammunition. First you need to choose a gun for hunting a wild goose. It is desirable that his aiming range was at least 50 m, otherwise it would be too difficult to hunt. It is recommended to take a semi-automatic weapon that is charged with a fraction. Even such old models as the MC 21-12 will do.
Some use pneumatics or hunting carbines, for example, various modifications of the Saiga carbine. But here you need to understand that a bullet requires more accuracy, and it is better to forget about preemptive shooting. Fraction is easier to use and much more reliable. But not every weapon is adapted for this type of ammunition, so it is better to know in advance under what ammunition this or that weapon is made. And you also need to evaluate the ammunition in terms of price and availability in this particular region.
Some hunters recommend that beginners take pneumatic guns, since they do not scare game so much and they have cheaper cartridges. But here one important detail must be taken into account: many powerful pneumatic models are forbidden to use for hunting. You should not take expensive new products only then to find out that you can not use them. You also need to choose the right sight for your weapon. You can take a mirror, collimator, or the most expensive - a holographic sight. It all depends on financial capabilities.
Additional hunting equipment
Some equipment options can be made independently, or can be purchased at the nearest hunting store. In particular, a suitable camouflage suit will be a good acquisition. You can buy it, order it or even make it yourself if you have the appropriate skills. It’s worthwhile to take ordinary or electronic decoys for geese, they will greatly facilitate the hunting for this game. Purchases of lying bedding and stuffed animals or a weather vane (for example, a greenhead) will not be superfluous. But here's what hunters write about equipment:
“Good hunting equipment in goose hunting will not hurt anyone, you can not argue with that. But it can never replace experience and skills. Moreover, the skill of shooting is far from in the very first place. More important is the ability to hide from their prey and an understanding of its habits. Then even such a complicated game, like a wild goose, will not leave the shooter. A beginner should not take the most expensive equipment. We need to practice, learn successes and failures, and only then decide what to buy for the next hunt. ”
Types of geese for hunting
In Russia and neighboring states, only three species of wild geese are hunted. Each of these birds has its own characteristics of appearance and its habitat. But their habits are similar, and therefore they can be mined according to the same principle. It is only important to understand that profiles, stuffed animals, decoys and weathercocks for each species have their own differences. And every hunter should know what his prey looks like. In order not to confuse, for example, the white-fronted goose and the piscule, which cannot be hunted. Hunting is allowed for the following species of wild geese:
- Grey goose. He has a large pink beak, clearly visible in the photo, a large trunk and gray-brown plumage. The weight of one bird ranges from 2.5 to 5 kg, and sometimes more. It nests both in the European part of Russia and in Siberia. Hunting for it is allowed only in autumn.
- Goumennik. Outwardly, it looks like a gray goose, but slightly smaller (4.5 kg - maximum weight) and with a darker plumage. The main difference is a dark, almost black beak with a light stripe at the end. This bird nests a little to the north than a gray goose.
- White-fronted goose. Hunting for wild white-fronted goose is the most common type of such hunting. The thing is that, although this bird is smaller than 2 other species, it is most common. Its mass does not exceed 3.2 kg, and it is easy to recognize it by its light white-pink beak. But you need to be able to distinguish the white-fronted goose from the small squirrel, with which this bird is very similar in appearance.
Hunting the wild goose is a very difficult, but interesting activity. According to hunters, of all waterfowl, it is geese who have the most delicious meat, so such a trophy is worth the effort that will be spent on its extraction. It is only important to choose the right time, place and equipment for hunting. Yes, and knowledge of the habits of prey will also not be amiss.