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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Close-Range Canadas

Four experts share their secrets on how to decoy wary late-season geese 
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2. Adapt to Weather Conditions

No one can change the weather, but goose hunters should be willing and able to adapt to the conditions at hand. Calling strategies may vary, depending on the temperature, amount of sunshine, and precipitation. Your ability to adjust is vital to success.

"Weather is the key in hunting geese. Why? Because on snowy, cold days the geese will be very cooperative to the call," says professional guide Kevin Popo of Wilmington, Delaware. "But on a bright, sunny, warm day it may seem like you are not even blowing the call, the geese are so uncooperative."

According to Popo, your calling should always be in tune with the weather. "On windy days you will have to blow louder than normal," he says, "and on windy and rainy days you will have to be more aggressive still. Let the weather set the tone for your calling."

"On windy days you will have to blow louder than normal, and on windy and rainy days you will have to be more aggressive still. Let the weather set the tone for your calling." —Kevin Popo

Popo typically starts out by keeping his calling as simple as the geese will allow. "My approach is to start with a single honk. If the birds keep coming toward me, I'll continue with this simple approach—a single honk. If that's all it takes for them to come to the decoys, then that might be all it takes that day to get it done," he says.

By not playing all of his cards at once, Popo leaves himself room to maneuver. "You might say I save a few things, but that's not really what I'm doing. I start with the basics, a honk and a cluck, and see if that is enough to get the birds to finish," he explains. "If they don't, then I'm going to increase my tempo and put some urgency into these basic notes."

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