Story at a Glance
Topics covered in this article:
- Scouting for geese
- Decoy spreads
- Goose calling
- Goose blinds
Years of hunting and hours of practice have helped Vandemore earn a spot on the staff of Zink Calls, yet a day of hunting early season geese with Tony might not include much in the way of goose talk. "In general, I try not to call too much for early birds," Vandemore says. "Quite often the September birds aren't looking for a lot of calling. I let the scouting and the decoys do most of the work." Vandemore adds that the exception to this rule occurs after the shot, as young birds, confused by the shooting, can often be called back around for another look at the decoys. "Young birds don't know what to do when the adults are taken out of a flock," Vandemore says. "More times than not, you are able to bring the remaining birds back in with heavy, insistent calling."
One of the chief challenges of hunting early season geese is found in the amount of cover provided in a silage field or wheat field that has been tilled. According to Vandemore, the first step is to hunt out of a low-profile layout blind, like the Avery Power Hunter, one of lowest profile blinds on the market. Low-profile or not, with little vegetation available for cover, Vandemore stresses the importance of "mudding" your layout blind to blend in with the dark soil. Fox-tail and other grasses that are similar in color to any remaining cut silage or wheat stubble can be added before a morning's hunt to help provide a good base layer for blending in to the field. Vandemore adds that early season geese are also less wary of standing cover and a hunter may actually be able to use standing corn or even a fence row as a location for a larger blind. "You can get away with hunting out of standing corn when birds are using a silage field if you play the wind right and are able to squeeze the birds into a narrower slot of cut corn," says Vandemore.