Sometimes, placing decoys out isn’t enough to lure in a flock of Canada geese. This is especially true when several groups are scattered throughout numerous fields within sight of each other. When this happens, it’s anybody’s guess as to where the next flock will land, but Darryl Hodge of Lexington’s Wrecking Crew Guide Service doesn’t like to sit around and let the geese decide without him doing a little extra coaxing.
“We will do some flagging when we feel it is necessary,” Hodge said, referring to the practice of waving black and white cloths, or flags, up and down, causing the material to resemble flying or moving geese. With the flags waving in their hands, the hunters will stand, jump, and crawl, making as much movement with the flags as it takes to get those geese to land in their field.
It seems counterintuitive to move about, much less make a lot of movement on purpose, but this is a case that Hodge said requires an exception to the rule of being as still as possible until it’s time to shoot.
“It doesn’t always work, but often, when so many geese are present in adjacent fields, the movement will give those undecided geese the confidence that our decoy spread is the most active set of geese, and on some days, that is all you need to seal the deal,” Hodge said.
“We call just like we do when we’re in layout blinds, and we only stop flagging whenever we’ve got a group of geese that look committed to coming into our range,” Hodge said.
Regular, full-bodied decoys are also important to have in place while flagging; Hodge likes a good mix of decoys, with some in the feeding position, some in the alert position and some in the preening position.