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Hen Killers - Goose Hunting 7 Points to Remember

Geese, especially snow geese, travel south in large high flying flocks. Generally geese feed in the arctic tundra and during specified times of the year travel to warmer climes. Seasons vary in different states in North America and hunting regulations vary with these seasons.

• The most popular goose to hunt is the snow goose. These are white, very large birds and weigh up to 10 lbs. and have a wingspan of 53 to 65 inches. This beautiful bird flies in packs that can be heard on ground from many miles away.

• North American areas allow hunting in state waterfowl management areas, but geese on public lands are generally immune to hunting without specific permission. To hunt snow geese, a hunter education course must be passed and a valid hunting license specific to waterfowl is required.

• Hunters are allowed to use archery equipment and shotguns that are 10 gauge may also be used. Unplugged shotguns, crossbows, or electronically amplified geese calls are illegal in most States. It is also not permissible to use baiting, but if needed, waterfowl blinds and boats may be used to hunt geese. Avoid attempting to take snow geese while a boat in moving. This is illegal.

• Although flocks of geese are large in numbers hunters do have a limit. Generally ten snow or other light geese per day is the allowed amount. In States bordering Canada goose hunters are usually duck hunters and the same methods used for duck hunting is used for geese. Geese can be hunted in waterways, but generally these fowl are hunted in fields where they feed on leftover grain and corn crops.

• Three types of hunting geese are effective and popular. These include fixed or semi-permanent blinds where flying and landing geese can be tracked. Duck blinds in waterways can be used to hunt geese. Often hunters, however, will track geese from year to year and locate their hunting blinds in specified areas.

• Locating the goose's favorite landing and feeding spot is also very effective. Geese come back to the same spot year after year. Finding feeding fields may be the best way to hunt the wily bird. Watch early morning fights and follow the geese with binoculars. Where they land will be the best place to hunt. Geese can quickly destroy a crop and landowners often welcome goose hunters to help cut down on the damage. Of course, always ask permission.

• The third practice in hunting geese is "sneaking up on the flock." Patience and a great deal of luck is your greatest strategy. Geese will feed in the open and often have a sentry watching for signs of danger. If a hunter is spotted, an alarm will be sounded and the entire flock will take off in panicked flight. Crawling in fields to hunt geese is a common practice and can be fun and exciting. Geese do bite so caution is always recommended.

Hunting geese can be rewarding, but remember that the most successful goose hunters allow geese to come to you. Above all, stay quiet and don't shoot until you see their eyes and feet.