Enticing Lessers: A Practical Guide to bagging Lesser Canada Geese This Season
I’m Chad Belding, with The Fowl Life Television, and I am stoked to share the knowledge I have accumulated from our good friends and waterfowl experts across the country. Today we’re going to dive into the world of Lesser Canada goose hunting. It's a different beast compared to the big honkers, and we're here to give you the lowdown. No fancy talk, just the gritty details you need to make your next hunt a double-cluckin’ success. Let’s Keep Talkin’
Spotting the Difference: When you're in the field hunting Lesser Canada geese, knowing your target is crucial. These northern birds nest in the wilds of Northern and Western Alaska and Nunavut. They are known as Arctic nesting birds. Their migration is massive, starting from the northern tip of North America, and making their way down primarily through the Pacific and central flyways, but some will spread out throughout the country as well. These birds look similar to their larger cousins, but they are not the same. They talk a bit differently— with their higher-pitched honks, sharp clucks, and moans; They are significantly smaller, and they require a unique skillset to fool them on a hunt.
Decoy Hustle and Keeping it Real: Lessers roll in huge feeds, sometimes thousands deep. To get their attention, your decoy game has to be solid. Spread 'em way out, and cover a ton of ground. Even if you don't own enough decoys to have a huge spread, placing your decoys a little further apart the way you would see the geese feeding in a field is very important. If your decoys are too close together, it will make your spread look unnatural and they'll know something is off. Mimic what you've seen while scouting, and don't overcrowd. Make it look natural, create pockets and loose areas, and keep those geese interested and looking when they come in.
Calling with Attitude: Lesser Canada geese are suckers for the loud and proud. Hit 'em with higher-pitched, sharp honks, sharp, aggressive clucks, and moans that cut through the air. But here's the trick—don't blow your whole repertoire at once. Less is more, especially as the season rolls on and these birds get savvy. These birds are hunted hard. They will quickly learn from their mistakes and we even see them become wary of silhouettes later in the season. Keep some calling tricks up your sleeve for when the birds start to pick things apart a little closer!
Reading the Birds: Pay attention to what those geese are telling you with their body language. If they aren't feeling what you have to say, your calls to them likely won't mean squat. Listen to the guys who've been around the block, their advice is almost always “less is more.” Some guys will spend an entire day blowing their lungs out at geese a mile away whether they are showing interest or not. The truth is, unless the birds are feelin’ it on some level, it's unlikely they will play. Learn to read their body language. If they're close enough, you just need one bird to show interest in what you have to say. It's worth the effort to try, but know when you've lost their attention and when you never had it at all.
Timing is Everything: When those geese appear on the horizon, start loud to grab their attention. Get sharper and more aggressive as they close in. It's not about making more noise; it's about sounding like you own the place. Use a loud call for faraway geese and switch it up as they come in, getting more aggressive, more sharp, and to them, sounding more territorial. You want them to think the geese on the ground are really enjoying whatever food they've found.
Scout Like a Pro: Successful Lesser Canada goose hunting starts well before you hit the field. Scout the area like it's your job. Know where the flocks are feeding, roosting, and loafing. These birds move, so staying one step ahead is your ticket to success.
Blend Like a Shadow: Lesser Canada geese might not be as urban-savvy as their big cousins, but they definitely aren't dumb. Hide well, stay still, and consider setting up outside your decoy spread to avert attention. These birds are wary, so make sure to use everything you can to fool them!
So there you have it, a gritty guide to bagging those Lesser Canada geese. No fluff, just real tips to up your hunting game. Get out there, scout smart, make some noise, and bring home a haul you can be proud of. Enjoy your season, and keep talkin’.