Everyone knows there is only one way to hunt geese in the winter, right? Not even close! There are many ways to hunt geese and there are many objectives for different hunters in different regions. On this episode I talk about less conventional strategies for taking a goose in the late season!

Unconventional goose hunting usually centers around going to the geese instead of waiting for them to come to you. But there are many variations of a traditional setup, depending on the conditions and locations. You can hunt in broken ice, use fewer decoys, setup in passing areas and many more strategies.

Geese are great for late season hunts because they are less water dependent than ducks in many areas. There are alot of land hunts that can be had. You can also hunt them on land or right at the shore of moving streams and creeks. They are often less picky about how much water is available and are happy to stay mostly on land next to just a little bit of running water. Ducks on the other hand tend toward the opposite which makes geese easier to hunt in colder areas and places with less open water.

If you can identify a handful of areas along a stream or creek that may hold geese, you can setup a circuit and hunt them on foot. If you are able to slowly sneak up on a 3-4 spots in an hour or two, your chances of taking a couple of geese are fairly good. And you do not need to be out hunting hours before dawn to do it. 

One of the big things that helps the waterfowl hunter is a shift in mentality. You do not need to take your state’s limit of birds to have had a successful day. A goose is a sizeable prize. Taking just one in some areas is a great accomplishment and can provide a couple of meals.

Do not set your expectations and tactics based on what you see on TV. A good hunt is a fun hunt. A great hunt puts goose on the table. Taking a limit of birds in some areas may only happen every few years. Set your sights on what is realistic and rewarding for your area.

Listen to the podcast episode to hear the unconventional tactics.  

 

Hunting in the winter is not just difficult, it is dangerous. Things that were an inconvenience in the early season can be life threatening in the cold. On this episode I talk about the most common things that threaten the safety of waterfowl hunters and what you can do to avoid those dangers and live to hunt another day.  

As mentioned in the episode here is the review video for the First Lite Furnace 350 Merino Base Layers.

And here are all of the podcast episodes on Duck Hunting.

The most dangerous things in waterfowl hunting are the water and the cold. And of course, cold water. Firearms are not even close to the chief danger.  If you want to stay alive you need to learn how to use more caution navigating boats, retrieving birds with waders, and anything that brings you close to the water.

The gear you wear in the late season also makes a big difference. Hunting ducks and geese will cause you to get wet, you are around water constantly and sweating almost as often. Moisture plus cold creates big opportunities for hypothermia and worse. Having the right gear for the weather can make a big difference. However, none of it matters if you make even larger mistakes.

Listen to the episode to hear about the tactics and gear that can keep you safe and comfortable in some of the harshest conditions out there.

When you hunt the coldest days of the year, half of the hunt is battling the elements, and that is a battle you can win with the right gear and preparation. You do not always need to spend big money on top brand gear either, the biggest thing you can do is follow proven principles. On this episode I talk about the strategies and gear you need to hunt the coldest days of the late season.

Here are some of the resources mentioned in this episode:

When it comes to comfort, acclimating to the cold is an important step that can be easily overlooked. The more time you spend outside in cold weather the more used to it you will become and the more comfortably you will be able to hunt in cold weather. That does not mean your body is better able to withstand the cold, it simply means you no longer need to be in 70-degree temperatures to feel comfortable.

Cold weather gear should consist of two main things, layers and barriers. Layers keep the warmth close to your body, and barriers keep the elements out that would plunder that warmth. You cannot have one or the other in the late season, you must have both. That does not mean you must have the most expensive gear on the market to keep warm, there are many reasonably priced layer and barrier options.  They may not use GORE-TEX or Primaloft but they will do the job almost as well and for a fraction of the cost.

There are some high-end brands that make some tremendous late season hunting gear like First Lite, Sitka, Cabela’s, and many more. But you can get much of the same benefit for a fraction of the cost if you understand what you are looking for in gear and piece together what you need from more modest brands. Don’t let the marketing hype fool you, you can stay warm by wearing almost anything if you understand how to use layers and barriers and pick your materials wisely. It might take more time, research, and knowledge, but you can build late season gear affordably. 

The same layer and barrier philosophy needs to be applied for every piece of gear, not just your parka and bibs. Boots, hats, gloves, facemasks, and everything else should work to keep the warmth in and the elements out. Addition items can be very helpful like hand warmers, body warmers, or even heated vests, socks, and coats. 

Listen to the podcast episode for all of the information.

 

When the weather, habitat, and food sources fully shift to their winter phase, your hunting strategies should also shift to give you the best possible chance of success in the deer woods. On this episode I talk about how to hunt deer in January and what is unique about that month in the whitetail season.

January is a unique time of the deer season. Everything is different in how the woods look and feel. The cover is gone, the food is scarce, the days are short, and the air is cold. Deer are very much huntable, but they are not in the same places doing the same things they were during the rut. 

Shorter days means less daylight movement, but the deer are still there. In order to hunt them you must see things through their eyes and understand their core needs, namely food and cover. Finding food sources is more important now than ever and finding food near any kind of cover is like finding gold now that woods are bare and empty.

Deer are also less stressed as the busiest time of the hunting season has passed, however due to how wide open the woods are, spooking deer at this time of the season can send them running far away where they might discover better places to hang out. Stealth is of the essence.

If you are hunting deer in January you must realize that the deer are less forgiving. If you make a mistake or push the deer, those particular deer may not return for days or weeks. The season could be over by the time you get another chance at them. This doesn’t mean other deer may not come around but the bottom line is they are more skittish and have to run further in order to find reasonable cover so that they feel safe again.

So strategy and tacks need to change when hunting this time of the year. However, if you are willing to make a few adjustments and hunt this part of the season for what it is, you can be very successful in the deer woods. For some people, this is their favorite time to be out.

Listen to podcast episode for all the info.

Nothing can help you bring home more ducks than setting bad habits right. You cannot spend your way out of bad habits and no amount of gear can compensate for them. On this episode I talk about how to identify and correct some habits that will make you a better duck hunter. 

All you need to do to form a bad hunting habit is nothing. Making bad habits will happen by default, breaking them takes humility and work. But there is no faster way to improve and become a more successful waterfowl hunter and breaking bad habits. 

Some bad habits include:

  1. Not Practicing – Nothing will help you take home more ducks than practicing in the office season and there is no better and more realistic way to practice than by doing a few sporting clays courses. Put some of your gear money into a practice fund.
  2. Not Testing – Every gun, ammo, and choke may produce different and sometimes very different results. If you do not pattern test your gun every time you change something in your setup, you will not know what your performance and limitations are. 
  3. Lack of Stealth – Whether you are in a blind or on foot, stealth is vital to duck hunting. It is too easy to get careless and think you are invincible because you don’t see any ducks. But that doesn’t mean the ducks cannot see you. Do everything you can to minimize movement and keep your volume level low.

Listen to the episode to hear more about these and other bad habits. 

If you have a whole day to hunt ducks, why only hunt them in the morning? The truth is you can cram three unique duck hunts into a single day if you live in the right area. On this episode I talk about how to do everything possible to take home a limit of ducks over the course of a day.

The morning hunt is the traditional one that most people identify with, sitting in a blind with decoys out in front and calling birds in. This is a great way to hunt, and effective in many places if you’ve done your scouting. But it is far from the only way. This is likely the best way to start the day though. Get out early and try to bring home a limit of ducks early. 

The mid-day hunt takes on a different form. Once you have packed things up and gotten something to eat, you can run and gun, cover ground, and work to sneak up on birds on ponds, streams, and other bodies of water. This can be just as effective if you know the water in your area and have put together a good circuit.

The evening hunt is your last chance but it provides a good chance to get it done. The premise here is you have a whole day to hunt and do not want to go home empty handed or shorthanded. Hunting at the end of the day can be just as productive as any other time.

Listen to the episode to hear about all 3 hunting strategies for an all-day hunt.