Manitoba is known worldwide as a premier waterfowl hunting destination. Due to the extreme diversity of waterfowl habitat and being situated along both the central and Mississippi Fly way’s. The province is home to wave after wave of migrating waterfowl right until freeze-up each fall. Of Manitoba’s waterfowl experiences, field hunting Canada geese is definitely among the most popular. In this HuntFishMB Trip Tips segment, Jay Siemens travels to Manitoba’s Interlake Region on a field goose hunt. Afterward, he shares his top 5 goose hunting tips for beginners. The full video can be found below!
Concealment is Key
Waterfowl have exceptional eyesight and geese are no exception. It is imperative when the birds are coming in that you keep any movements to a minimum and your face covered. Exposed skin shining in the sun is one of the easiest things for a goose to pick out. To keep the geese locked in with their feet down, it is important to cover your face, cover your gear, stay low, use appropriate camo, and your hunts will be a lot more successful.
In Manitoba, it’s rare to waterfowl hunt without a mixed bag. In most areas, if you’re hunting geese, you’re most likely going to see some ducks too. When this is the case, size 2 is the shot you want. Shot size is without a doubt preference, but from Jay’s experience, the most common shot size for mixed bag hunting in Manitoba is 2 and that’s what he recommends.
When you setup in the morning, you factor in the wind, weather, sun, bird position, etc. to create the best setup possible to increase the success of your hunt. Lots of the time, you’re right and it all works out. However, as we all know, sometimes it just doesn’t work. Wind shifts, birds aren’t working right, you name it. When this happens, you need to be flexible and able to adjust and adapt. Adapting to changing conditions just might save a hunt for you one day.
Pick a Bird
In the beginning, it can be overwhelming when a large flock is right on top of you. But always remember…pick a bird. This is important for two reasons. First, there can be a flock of 100 geese or more right on top of you, and if you don’t pick a bird, you better believe you can come up empty-handed still. Second, if you’re hunting in a group, be aware of where you are physically within your group and pick a bird accordingly. For example, if you are on the far right of your group with your fellow hunters to your left, you should be shooting at the furthest right birds within the flock that are within range.
Don’t be afraid if you don’t know how to call because, at some point, everyone didn’t know how to call. A lot of the time, someone in the group will know how to call and they can take care of it. Also, more calling isn’t always better. Every hunt, you want to observe how the birds react to things like calling and act accordingly. Sometimes it is minimal calling from afar and once the birds see your spread you just sit and be quiet. It’s all about observing and adapting.
So there is it, Jay Siemens Top 5 Goose hunting tips for beginner waterfowl hunters. Like all types of hunting, it can be intimidating and overwhelming in the beginning, but remember, everyone was a beginner once and everyone is always learning along the way no matter what skill or experience level you are at. We hope these tips are useful for your next waterfowl hunt. Be safe and have fun!