This September I will be headed north to Alberta Canada as I have done for the past 10 years. The goose hunting there is the best I have ever experienced anywhere bar none. Now, I should not lead you on to think that it’s a snap. You still have to rely on good blinds, decoy placement and skillful calling tactics; however you have the numbers of birds that allow you to experiment with different techniques which are helpful when back south of the border.
We’ve learned through the years for example that if the geese are wanting to skirt your spread on one side that you can place more decoys from that side to the opposite leading edge and the birds will swing in most of the time. This is something to keep in mind for instance if the wind changes direction on you. Rather than pickup the whole spread including the blind; you can simply move as little as six decoys and be back to hunting in less than 5 minutes. We have even tried hunting behind; in front; and even to the sides of our spreads and under certain conditions they really pay off.
Calling experiments can sometimes really get wild. Last year for example we were set up in a pea-field one morning and figured out that if the bird came from the river we needed to call very excitedly; lots of double clucking and rapid cluck them all the way to the blind. If the birds came from the beaver pond south of us we simply clucked and moaned the birds in. The beaver pond birds that came from the east worked only to single clucks a lot of moaning and rapid clucking the last 40 yards. This held true the next time we hunted that field 3 days later after a major migration! Much of the same tried and true rules still apply but we were experimenting to see what it took to bring the birds in on their first pass and consistently from group to group. There are always birds that will do something once (like coming to a siren on a call); but I wouldn’t chance that one in the states. Flagging seemed to work great one afternoon even though we were about a mile from the river.
Canada has a lot to offer. In September it’s usually comfortable especially for the kids and gives them the opportunity to learn to call as well as those who are experienced to play around. Alberta Wing out of LaCrete Alberta hunts some of the first grain fields the geese get to on their way south. Give Boyd a call @ 318-258-4888. He’s a heck of a caller of course not that I’m biased but during the off season he does work with us.