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Refining Motion Issues for Canada Geese

Jerry Carlson_Goose Hunting
Jerry Carlson — Canada geese are attracted to movement as long as it is not too much. Subtle is the key!

It was during a spring snow goose hunt in Kansas last year that I really go to thinking about the unique characteristics of Canada geese. Unlike snow geese, they do not like an abundance of motion in the decoy spread. However, there is no doubt that some action is needed.

While waiting for another group of snows to give us a look, I focused on a small group of Canadas that were headed our way. As rotaries whirled around us and the pole flyers flittered in the breeze, it seemed like an inviting and realistic setting for any geese. But just like always, the Canadas got jumpy at a 100 yards and veered off to the side at 60.

It made me realize once again that Canada geese are attracted to motion from a distance but get spooky at close range when there is more decoy action than they can handle.

When our hunting party first started putting out spinners for ducks, we quickly learned our lesson on trying to field hunt ducks and geese at the same time. The ducks loved the spinning wings and came right in where the geese would flare just out of gun range.

Because remote control switches are not legal in Minnesota where we do most of our hunting, we attached a wire switch ran it back to our blind. This allowed us to turn the spinner off when geese were approaching.

Last year, I also added another spinner system to our spread. It is a set of spinning wings on a short pole with a switch right on the pole. This unit, called a Bam Bam Stick, comes from an innovative company called Fowl Factory ( I can operate this from my blind and easily mimic landing birds.

Flagging is always a great option for creating movement in a spread. I utilize both long and short flags. A couple of my flags are on 10 foot poles which enables us to get high in the air for more visibility. When birds are in close, I can flutter the long flag without drawing too much attention to my blind.

I have several dozen shells I mount on stakes that also add some movement when the wind blows. In addition to that, I will set out some windsocks that create realism in the spread. If it is extremely windy, I pull the windsocks because they get too wild and start whipping back and forth. This will spook the birds at close range.

One last motion item I have started to use is another product from Fowl Factory called a Fowl Trax. It is a battery operated system that slides a decoy back and forth along a track. It is a subtle form of movement that mimics a feeding goose.

Bringing wary Canada geese into gun range can be tricky at times. There is no doubt that movement will attract the birds to your spread, but keeping it subtle enough to bring them in without spooking them is the tough part.

By utilizing a combination of movement options, we have been able to fool birds frequently. However, nothing is guaranteed to work 100% of the time. That is why it is called hunting!

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