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Things to Know
Real "Field" calling...

I have hunted with a lot of different guys over the years. With every person, there is a difference in the way things are done. So I will start this column by saying, this is what works for me...what works for you might be different. In this series I will go thru some ideas that work for me and try to help put more birds in your bag.

To truly understand calling of geese, you must start to understand them. The Canadian goose is a sociable bird by nature, but on the other hand very greedy. A bird on the ground is not calling to the birds in the air. The lead goose is trying to "intimidate" the circling birds to protect his area, his food source. He wants nothing more then to have the whole field to himself. In every flock there is a lead bird. This is whom you are trying to imitate.

I rely on a call, probably more then I do anything. The call is what is going to keep their attention and get them to where we all want them.... back flapping in the decoys. The call will help to make the "imperfections" in your decoy spread a lot less noticeable to the birds. You will be able to make them focus their attention on you and not the imperfections. Remember, when you put that call to your lips you are trying to be the "lead goose".

The first step in field calling geese is to get their attention. I use a flag to get their attention more often then a call. For the simple fact, they can see better then they can hear. A goose a half-mile away, under normal conditions, is not going to hear "hail" call. Therefore, a flag will grab these birds' attention and get them to come take a look.

So now I have got these birds attention, they are closing in now on 500 yards. As they approach, I will start in with my call. I start off being loud and aggressive with clucks or double clucks, mimicking the gander that is trying to protect his space. This will do two things. First, this is grabbing their full attention...secondly; I am setting up the "scenario".

As the birds approach to 200 yards, then I am starting to get more aggressive and sounding like more geese. I am the lead bird that has started the whole flock "clucking". This is done with super fast clucking, various volumes and notes. This is where you are starting to hear the flock talking back. This will continue until they set their wings on what we call the "death glide". This is wings set, head back, and loosing elevation. I slowly start backing down from the fast clucking, starting to sound more like several "real geese", consisting of medium and low volume clucks, moans, and growls. This is where... I am not trying to be aggressive, as much as, I am seductive. I don't want the birds at this range, for any reason, to get "spooked".
As the birds enter the 40 to 50 yard mark. Their wings are locked down, head forward and looking side to side. I have continued to slow the cadence. Now I change to a subtle feeding growl, along with low clucks and very seductive... moans. I am just trying to close the deal. Continue this until the birds are positioned head down, tail vertical to the ground, and wings "backflapping". This is the opportune time to say "TAKE EM!" A goose being large in size takes a while to head back skyward. This will offer the best and most shots at the flock.

As important as calling is, the most important part is being able to "read" birds, basically to know what to say and when. The geese body position and movement will key you into a lot of their thoughts. I have given you a "classic" flock. In future columns, I will go into more advanced scenarios and how I would handle them.

Until then... GOOD HUNTING!
Chris Jones
Avery Pro Staff


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