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Hunting geese in the fall

With the spring flight, everything is more or less clear: the goose flies a wide front, sits down on prisadah, feeds in the fields. In autumn, the intensity of goose flight through the Central part of Russia is many times less. Most hunters don’t even see these birds. What is it? The fact is that geese change their migration paths in the autumn.

Routes of flights of geese
There are two main directions-along the coast of the Northern seas, across the Karelian isthmus and along the Baltic sea to Europe. And the second — along the Urals to Orenburg, Kazakhstan, Kalmykia, Dagestan, Stavropol. Accordingly, the further away from these routes, the fewer birds can be found. It just so happens that Tver, Moscow, Vladimir, Nizhny Novgorod, part of the more southern regions of the Middle zone, as well as the black earth and part of the Volga region are far away from the flight directions.

More geese are found in the Yaroslavl region and North-West, as well as in the republics of Bashkiria and Tatarstan. Projected hunting is possible in the Orenburg region, Kalmykia, Stavropol, Rostov region, in the marshes of Karelia and Leningrad region, on the sea coast of the Arkhangelsk region. However, this does not mean that hunting in these regions is easy. The factor of time and random circumstances plays an important and sometimes key role.

Time and related factors of goose flight
Now let’s look at why and when geese fly in the fall. Everyone is well aware that they fly from nesting sites to wintering grounds. The question is when they fly. It is worth noting that the spring flight to the North is delayed by the course of spring, snow cover, and various natural freaks, which greatly stretches it in time and space. In autumn, there is no such stretch — the birds make “marches” from the nesting sites and as long as they have enough strength. And there are enough forces depending on the wind. If the wind is favorable, North or North-East, they can overcome more than a thousand kilometers in a day. Then a little respite and another throw.

Birds can fly almost the entire country in three to five days, making stops only for a short rest. Often the flight goes all night, sometimes at such a height that the birds are distinguished with great difficulty. But we have a large country, the weather tends to change, so there are deviations and delays.

Geese are collective birds and fly in flocks. One pack leads to another. If there is a large number of flocks at the same time, then the hunters say that a “wave”has started. This is a characteristic feature of the autumn flight. The “wave” can last for different times, from two or three days to five or seven. However, such phenomena are typical for places of mass flight. If the place of hunting is located in the side, the “wave” consists of only a few flocks, the total number of birds from two to three hundred to a thousand. In addition to “waves” there are also separate flocks that fly independently of others. It is difficult for me to say what kind of birds they are, since I am not a biologist, but an ordinary hunter. Most of the geese spend all summer in the tundra, but some birds, such as immature young people and geese nestling in the Middle lane, do not reach the tundra. And by the fall they begin to roam the surrounding area and fly South. It is possible that they migrate in separate flocks. Hunters sometimes meet such flocks at the opening of the hunt in late August, although this phenomenon is quite rare. The bulk of the birds appear in the Middle lane after Nikita of houseplanet (28 September).

And for several years of observations on this day (plus or minus a day), I always see the first geese in the area of Nizhny Novgorod. Then the flight begins, and the first peak falls on October 1-5. Interestingly, this period of time is also constant, but this is the last constancy. In the future, birds fly randomly until the second decade of October. Then the encounter with the geese becomes accidental.

It is worth noting that it is possible to get not all flying geese. As already noted, the birds make a “March”, so they can fly through the area in transit. And they will not be interested in either scarecrows or decoys. Who should we hunt? To hunt successfully, it turns out those birds that make a stop or a small domestic flights. Often the places of stops are the same from year to year. Next, I want to share some tactics and observations that gave a good result.

To date, there are four options for hunting geese
Geese hunting in recreation areas
The first option is in the recreation areas. Geese on the fly hold large rivers. Very often they fly over the water at a relatively low altitude, landing on sandbanks for recreation. Here on these braids usually happens hunting. Not all braids are convenient for resting birds. Best of all — a whole series of Islands with low and sparse vegetation, braids and rifts. A colony of gulls is a kind of pointer where to look first — geese are very well guided by these birds. In addition, geese can stop to rest on fish farms or large forest swamps. In General, the places of rest stops are quite constant from year to year. You can hunt all day, they can fly at any time.

Geese hunting in the fields
The second option is hunting in the fields. Hunting in the fields is very rare in autumn. But sometimes it happens that the “wave” of the goose is delayed for a week or more in one place (similar cases were observed in many regions in 2009). Then the geese begin daily flights from places where they spend the night to places where they feed.

However, in autumn, there is a specific feature — geese leave for feeding early in the morning, and arrive late in the evening. It was necessary to observe several days in a row return of geese on water in pitch darkness, approximately in an hour after approach of full darkness. And here lies a certain paradox — there is a lot of goose, but no one knows what it is! In the fields, no one really looks for it, and when they see it, they don’t even check whether the flock will return the next day.

And on the water, few people notice them, since the first half of October is not the best time to spend the night on the river Bank. There are very few fishermen, and the hunters leave the grounds about an hour before the geese return. In the morning, geese leave the water in pitch darkness. And if the goose lands on the water noisily, then it takes off very often almost silently.

Geese hunting in places of overnight stays
The third option-hunting in places of overnight stays. It is purely hypothetical, since geese arrive in complete darkness. Effectively shoot in such cases is almost impossible (even when using prohibited lighting equipment).

However, if you approach it creatively, you can find a legitimate option. Over any major city at night there is always a glow from street lighting-the humid air and low clouds are highlighted. Against the background of this glow, the goose is visible from a distance of about a hundred meters. And again there is a subtlety — the goose, going to the stuffed animals, looks at them “at the clearance”. In other words, it passes behind the hunter in pitch darkness. Therefore, the effigies should stand at a distance of about a hundred meters from the hunter from the glow. The goose sits down so that it can see the stuffed animals. This should be taken into account.

Hunting geese in the open air
Hunting by car-it would Seem, what is easier, one “pushes”, the second shoots. But, as they say, there is one caveat. When taking off, the goose almost immediately chooses the safest direction-towards the water (if the hunt takes place on the river) and tries to gain a safe height as quickly as possible. There are exceptions in the fields, and sometimes the geese preferred to run away from me rather than fly away. In any case, the main rule of the beater is not to shoot! Geese should be “pushed” carefully, unobtrusively, without sudden movements. Then they will most likely fly away a little after takeoff and sit down again.

Accordingly, the second hunter must imperceptibly expose several stuffed animals (six or eight pieces), qualitatively disguise themselves and work on the semolina to attract geese. Autumn geese less sugar than the spring, are well stuffed and forgive many flaws in the disguise. However, do not abuse this — if a person is identified by a bird as a person, it will never fly up to the shot, even in the dark.

Goose hunting equipment
Now let’s talk a little about equipment. Surely an attentive hunter has long wondered: how to disguise yourself on a bare sandbar, away from bushes, thickets of sedge and other grass? At the time, in exactly the same way puzzled me. Ultimately, it worked two ways.

1. Method the first. In the sand digs a hole the size of a meter by two. The dug-out sand is laid out by a breastwork on the edges. Large cardboard boxes are used to close the pit. The color of cardboard (without drawing) is very similar to the color of sand. Cardboard boxes are stacked in three strips. The first strip covers the legs almost to the waist, the strip is covered with sand. The second strip is cut in half, the edges are dug in, and it turns out the similarity of the shutters, which are thrown back by the hunter, occupying a sitting position. The third band covers the head.

2. The second way. The same hole is dug, and a recumbent scrapbook is installed in it, like an American one, which is covered with sacking.

Stuffed animals for goose hunting
The next question is the choice of stuffed animals and their number. In autumn, the goose is much less careful than in spring, so I use a little stuffed animals-six or eight pieces. Sometimes twelve.

All stuffed animals are full-body, the manufacturer is not important. The decoy is mandatory, and it is not uncommon to return fired geese. Birds at this time of year weigh a little, so they fight well with a “Troika” even at extreme distances.

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