They come in and over in flocks that the average waterfowler only dreams of. They are young, mostly birds of the year. They are, frankly, quite stupid. By the time they get to Mexico, they'll be smart; right now, they're trusting. You and your partner are the first to have a go at them. You've sacrificed a lot to be here. It's the trip of a lifetime.

Hunting Geese Guide

Hunting geese on the Canadian tundra—the treeless plain of the North, the area where the growing season is so short that only the hardiest of plants can live—is an experience that perhaps will outlive any duck hunting experience.

With the refuge system and with the nesting habitat in the sub-arctic circle, it is unlikely that the population of geese will do anything but spiral upward. Where a Canada goose was once a trophy, today he is almost a nuisance in some areas. On the tundra, you meet him at his roots.

In very few places on this earth does a man feel completely alone, totally vulnerable. The tundra is one such place. Little has changed since the last glacier receded from here, and the wind that whips off the ice pack not too many degrees north of you speaks of winter, even though you may have left September summer temperatures behind you in the States.

How to Hit Geese Properly?

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And the geese, if you hit it right with BB guns, are there in numbers unchanged from what they must have been like when the Crees, like the man who guides you, held sway over this land and lived off the geese all winter—as he does today.

The bird's nest in the regions around James Bay and Hudson’s Bay proper. When the sun slants just so in the autumn sky, something in them says "go,’’ and they begin their staging flights—not unlike World War II aircraft that marshaled from fields across England for raids on Germany.

The Bays are the last major stopovers for the birds before the flights south, and they are trading constantly across the barren reaches. Your guide knows their favorite spots, however, and so he sets out what passes for his “decoys’ while you watch from a scrub-willow blind. The decoys may be chunks of tundra mud with sticks protruding, old rags or even newspapers.

To do it properly you will need a proper rifle and scopes, arrow equipment, sun protecting hats etc. Quality, here, counts for little; it's a numbers game.

Your shooting will primarily be at flocks consisting of four to ten birds, family groups, mainly, and the liberal five-bird limit is quite a load to carry back to camp. Once that limit is filled, there are other chances for sport: pass shooting at ducks, sharp tailor ptarmigan hunting, fishing for brook trout or even hunting snipe, a sport of generations ago.

Few More Words

Back at “camp,” which is actually a lodge that can feature either plush or Spartan accommodations, depending on how much you want to spend, you'll sit around sipping red pops and trading lies with the other parties, all of whom have probably returned by midafternoon. You'll find that there are few repeat hunters in this group.

This doesn't speak poorly of your outfitter, though. Instead, most of the goose hunters will be like you: first-timers from the States who have saved their nickels and dimes to finance this trip after years of waiting in line for a public blind in a public marsh for a chance at shooting a well-educated public goose.

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