Where Do Geese Roost:
As fall hits Canada Geese begin to migrate south to warmer climates. There are many factors as to why geese migrate. Such as temperature changes, food supply, and length of day. However, whatever it may be, Geese migrate 2,000-3,000 miles every year. They usually won’t make the trip in one flight. Therefore they need to make stops along the way from Canada to the lower United States. Two of the most important activities Geese do as they stop while migrating is feeding and resting or roosting. The question remains well “Where do Geese Roost?”
Before we dig into where we need to look at why waterfowl hunters need to know where geese roost. If a hunter can find a roost, Geese will more than likely be feeding in the area. Creating excellent hunting grounds for days, and if weather permits, weeks sometimes. As geese tend to use the roost to relax and rest during the day and night. They will leave the roost multiple times a day to feed. Geese tend to roost in large groups, but they leave the roost at different times in smaller groups creating excellent hunts.
Where to Begin Looking:
Geese roost daily, it takes a lot of energy to fly 2,000 miles. So they look for safe places to relax and rest. For example just look at your hunting dog. They do the same thing. My lab, for instance, will go into our dark basement by himself and take a nap. He gets away from the kids crawling over him, it’s a safe place to be. Geese do just that at the roost. So if you are looking for a roost pond or field. Try to find areas that Geese would be safe from predators, hunters, and robust activity. I can’t say all geese are the same, but they are looking for safety.
Therefore some places that I find geese roosting are flooded quarries. They have little to no activity anymore as they are usually fenced in and vacant. Very few people ever get to hunt them. Next look for county or city land that has run off ponds or fields that can never be hunted. As soon as you find safe places around you, Geese will likely find them as well. I never give Geese enough credit for being smart, but they are. They know where hunters can’t shoot them as they roost. Even if the birds push out and fly south, don’t stop checking the roost spot. Because as new birds arrive it won’t take them long to find low-pressure roost spots.
So You Found the Roost:
You’ve found the roost…now what? Start scouting the area and finding out when the birds tend to leave the roost and come back. Geese tend to be predictable feeders. Early morning they leave the roost to go feed, coming back in the early afternoon to relax. You need to find out what fields they are feeding in. When you see the Geese leave in the morning start following them and looking for any fields that create a great feed. Look for cut corn and bean fields. If it’s early goose season. Start looking for cut wheat and grass fields. Cut fields leave a lot of unharvested grain for geese. Making it easy for them to fill up.
Don’t be afraid to start scouting a radius around the roost. Many times you don’t need to follow a flock. You just need to keep your eyes peeled for the right field geese are feeding on.
Once you’ve locked down the field the Geese are feeding on. It’s time for a great hunt. Make sure you set up where the Geese want to feed and be sure to mimic how the birds have been feeding on that particular field. Hopefully, you have a clear answer to “Where do Geese Roost” but more importantly you have a clear idea of why it matters.
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Never Stop Finding Where Geese Roost:
Once the season ends it’s common to clean up your garage and decoy trailer and store them away until the following fall. This is usually when most waterfowl hunters also tend to not think of scouting or hunting after the season. However, even late in the season, you can find geese. It’s never a bad idea to follow late season birds, you may just find a new roost that you hadn’t discovered during the season. Plus when you aren’t hunting, you tend to take your time scouting and finding roost as there is no pressure on putting a hunt together for the following day or weekend.
A great idea as well as to mark the roosts down on a map or there are plenty of GPS apps available to help pinpoint the locations. This way when the following season rolls around you won’t forget one of those hidden roosts that others haven’t discovered yet.