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The majority of hunters refer to the white fronted goose as the ‘specklebelly’, perhaps it depicts the large, barring often found on the breast of full-grown adult birds. The white-fronted goose is medium-sized and weighs between 4 and 6 pounds. Moreover, they are very agile. When you hunt these birds, they do not fall from the sky similar to the Canadian geese. Instead, they fall from the sky in a zigzagging manner. Also, this is the way they land whilst alive. The zigzag is almost vertical, which accounts for any shooting position.
The Mississippi Flyway offers some of the best waterfowl hunting grounds due to its diverse agricultural regions. Nonetheless, a white-fronted goose poses lots of hunting difficulties. They sense the slightest disturbance from humans. They are one of the most reclusive geese you can hunt in the flyway, thus they are a highly prized catch between the other species such as the Canadian goose and the Snow goose variety. Therefore, you require a defined approach to success on your first hunt, which will ultimately lead to the second until you master all of the hunting skills required.
Note that, successful specklebelly goose hunting in the Mississippi flyway requires a large investment of time scouting and planning. If you are lucky, you can find a friendly landowner who allows hunting on his property that the geese are actively feeding in. Sometimes, geese can destroy crops and introduce unwanted weeds such as red rice thus landowners want the geese to me removed and hunting is an excellent way to do this. Therefore, scout carefully and cover large areas, you might just get lucky.
Expect the white fronted goose (Specklebelly) to gather in small groups they tend to gravitate to the center of harvested soybean and rolled rice fields food permitting. Limit your movement once you spot a flock and pay close attention to location where they are feeding. When hunting large flocks you need to spend ample time setting your decoys in as close to the exact spot where the geese were observed feeding the night before while scouting. You will also need to pay close attention to the camouflaging of your blinds contouring and matching the surrounding landscape as much as possible. Additionally, you need to practice good bird calling and the ability to read the birds.
These are the basics that will determine your decoy strategy. Moreover, when setting your decoys establish that they are not squeezed to tightly together, rather evenly space out your decoys in to family groups as close to what you had observed while scouting, so that they are portray as relaxed feeding flock. If you can maintain decoys of 6 to 10 family groups with between 3 to 6 decoys each in a relaxed postures. Chances are you will make the geese decoy readily in to the open landing area you have provided between the family groups. Smaller flocks are often found across the Mississippi flyway during the waterfowl hunting season; however, it is advisable to reduce the number of decoys in your spread to between 2 and 6 family groups with the smaller flocks. These smaller flocks can make the hunting a little more difficult by reducing the cover that a larger decoy spread can provide.
When setting your family groups pay attention to the wind direction and do not place all of your decoys facing in to the wind, this is a signal to on coming birds that they are about to get up and fly off. Additionally, the eyesight of specklebelly geese is quite good compared to other wild game. If one bird spots you and set off the alarm, the remainder of that flock plus other advancing flocks will change direction following the others. Therefore, deploy layout blinds upwind of the landing zone using the thick of your decoys to furthermore conceal your layout blinds. These tactics are particularly effective when specklebelly goose hunting and are equally effective while hunting ducks and snow geese in the Mississippi flyway.
If you are a novice or even if you have been hunting for many seasons but are unfamiliar with the area, you may wish to seek the aid of a local hunting guide service. There experience, knowledge of the surrounding lands and the availability of equipment could not only save you valuable time but increase your success on the specklebelly hunt.