Chase the geese flying over the water

Chase the geese flying over the water

Since September 24, it has been possible to collect these large migratory geese elsewhere than on agricultural land.

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The Bustards, as they are commonly called, saw all colors in the fields from September 6th to 23rd, and they become increasingly suspicious of the various subterfuges of the Nemrods. A little change of scenery is fun and increases the challenge.

A connoisseur

Michel La Haye is an old hand in the field of migratory birds. Besides making decoys and teaching the art of the decoy, he is the owner of the tour guide service

I have often heard this enthusiast speaking about the different facets of goose hunting at his conferences.

He often alluded to the day dormitory. I kindly asked him to share his knowledge on the subject with the readers of the journal. Here is the gist of his explanation.


Michel guided the duck across the great waters of Quebec and Ontario for many years.

“I always managed to be in a good spot for both the early morning duck pass and later morning goose hunt. I chose magical locations, day roosts as I call them, where game comes and goes throughout the day,” says La Haye.

In general, these birds usually move daily between two points, namely between resting places and feeding places, during the stops they make on their migration.


The thrill seeker hunter must find the dormitories.

These are feeding grounds – or staging areas, if you prefer – where the ducks spend the night protected from predators, such as in a large open bay or widening of a river.

The breeder should also identify secondary foraging or foraging areas such as day roosts where the birds will spend the day waiting to return to their foraging area in the afternoon.

It is also in your interest to identify the travel corridors between these last two locations.


On agricultural land, ducks rarely make long distances like geese between the daily feeding place and the night quarters.

Ducks are therefore more likely to be found in this type of daytime resting environment, in contrast to geese, which typically prefer to return to the dormitory at night after each of their outings. This is what Michel calls a day dormitory.

In the vicinity of large bodies of water, geese tend to seek out a daytime roost, often more open than at night, before heading to the fields at the end of the day and returning to the night roost at sunset. Ducks are more early risers than geese, and some groups congregate at the same roosts as geese during the day. Therefore you can have a nice mixed hunt.

“Except at the end of the season, when you are sure these roosts will freeze over in the following days, it is very important to avoid disturbing the geese and ducks in their night roosts, otherwise they will be disorganized and will likely decide to continue their migration. Don’t forget that in our latitudes, most waterbird populations are only temporarily on their way to their winter quarters in autumn,” the expert guide explains.


If you don’t want to hunt ducks, you can wait an hour after sunrise to find and dig your location for the next day, and sometimes the same day when many geese are frequenting the site. You can also position yourself in such a place by first gently shooing the geese away with your boat without shooting.

You then position your lures and quickly camouflage your boat. You just have to wait for them to return in small groups.

If you don’t have a retriever, effectively harvesting the birds you catch is essential to hunting, it’s even a legal requirement. A fully camouflaged hunting boat – often called a duck boat – is ideal for this hunt.

Decoys have two main functions: to attract the attention of geese at a distance, then to lure them to land, and then to fly over a deadly area at the best possible angle.

In an already busy daytime roost, a few floating decoys along with a field lure or two set near the shore will do the trick. Arrange them leaving plenty of space between individuals and crowds to mimic birds with calm and confidence. Form three small groups with an opening in the middle, directly in front of your boat or cache.

If you’re more into a flight corridor pass hunt, you’ll have at least four dozen floating lures with a good number of land lures. You can add a few dummy ducks if you want to do a mixed hunt.

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