Hunting geese with a bow shouldn’t be your first choice if you’re a beginner. It requires a lot of skill, the use of the correct bow, and accessories such as decoys. Once you get the hang of it, though, archery hunting is a fun and rewarding experience.
Can you shoot geese out of the air with a bow and arrow? You can shoot geese out of the air, but you have to use flu-flu arrows.
These are designed specifically for shooting aerial targets as well as shooting targets at short distances.
If that excites you and you want to try your hand at goose hunting with a bow, read our guide. We’ll teach you everything you need to know to have a successful hunt, from what broadheads to use to what decoys can make all the difference.
Hunting Geese with a Bow 101
Choose the Correct Bow and Broadhead
A common type of bow that’s used for waterfowl hunting is the recurve bow. This offers excellent speed, power, and accuracy, but it does take some time to master.
It shoots fast, thanks to its number-three shape, so it’s great for instances when you have to act quickly.
That said, other types of bows, such as compound bows and crossbows, are also worth exploring.
Bow vs Crossbow: Which One Is Best?
Crossbows offer many advantages when used for hunting purposes. They don’t require you to make many movements so they’re easy to use and they don’t make a lot of noise so that you will remain undetected.
By comparison, a compound bow requires you to make more movements, which can make you more noticeable and could even scare waterfowl away.
With this in mind, let’s check out some pros and cons of both types of bows.
- If you’re experienced with shooting guns, the crossbow trigger will be easy to master.
- Many crossbows on the market have scopes to make hunting easier.
- A crossbow can be heavy to both carry and use.
Compound Bow Pros
- A compound bow comes in handy when you’re hunting in a tight or awkward space as it won’t take up as much room as a crossbow.
- It’s lighter than a crossbow. This not only makes it easier to use when hunting geese, but it also makes walking around with and storing it much more convenient.
Compound Bow Cons
- A compound bow will take longer to learn how to use. It requires lots of hours of practice, such as because you have to learn how to hold and grip a bow and line up your sight pins.
What Are Good Broadhead Options?
A good bow is simply not enough. You need to ensure you have the right broadhead to make more successful shots. Here are some tips to bear in mind.
- Never choose blunt tips or field tips, as both of these aren’t powerful enough to take down geese. They’ll only injure the birds, which isn’t humane.
- For a cleaner kill, make sure you use a large-diameter broadhead. This enables you to strike areas such as the neck of the goose without damaging its meat. It’s especially useful for hunting geese at a close range. If you want to kill geese that’s further than 60 feet away, however, you’ll need an expandable broadhead.
- An expandable broadhead opens up so that you can increase your chances of hitting geese. It works well with heavy arrows and is ideal when you’re hunting geese that are around 120 feet away from you. Bear in mind, however, that they don’t always give you a clean cut.
- Finally, consider standard or regular broadheads. These work effectively with lightweight arrows and can slice through feathers with ease. They’re ideal for times when you’re hunting at approximately 90 feet away from your target.
Build A Blind
When hunting, a concealment shelter (otherwise known as a blind) that keeps you hidden so that animals can’t detect you is essential to have.
When you’re hunting geese and ducks specifically, you want a blind that will help you disappear into your surroundings, especially when you’re hunting in resting and feeding areas where geese like to spend their time.
Goose blinds are a type of hunting blind that look a bit like sleeping bags. They’re designed in this way to give you more access to geese that are flying above you.
But, there are other types of blinds that work well when you want to hunt geese, such as A-frame blinds.
These are becoming more popular and they are a great alternative to goose blinds in which you have to sit or lie down. After all, when using a bow and arrow, that’s not always practical unless you’re highly skilled.
Instead of buying a blind, you can also make your own.
What you’ll need:
- Buy 8 five-foot stakes (you can easily find these in gardening sections of popular retail outlets, such as Home Depot).
- 1 can brown spray paint
- Zip ties
- Side cutters
- 2 bags of four-foot high reed fencing (available from retail stores and gardening centers)
How to make the blind:
- Round off the ends of your wooden stakes if they aren’t already rounded.
- Place the stakes on a flat surface and spray paint the tops of them so that they won’t be visible when you put them into the ground.
- Take one stake and wrap it around the end of your reed fencing roll. Tie it with a zip tie to ensure it’s secure.
- Secure a second stake on the other end of the reed.
- Use two poles in the middle of the reed sheet so that they will provide some support to it.
- Add some real grass to the reed fencing. This will provide a more realistic effect. It’s also a good idea to attach grass from the area where you’re hunting so that this will make your blind blend into your hunting environment.
Use Proper Decoys
When choosing waterfowl decoys, make sure you opt for the most realistic ones. Products that are hand-painted and have realistic details, such as colors and feathers, will fool geese more effectively.
Here are some other tips to consider when choosing decoys.
- If you want to use goose decoys on the water, foam-filled ones that are designed to be anatomically correct are effective and won’t sink.
- To make geese view your decoy spread as a safe space for them to land, choose different decoys, such as ones that are positioned as though they’re eating and others that are moving. This creates a more realistic scene than if you have just one type of decoy.
- Consider using silhouette decoys. These are thin and black decoys, so they create good contrast against the surroundings. From a distance, they produce more of a realistic effect when combined with other goose decoys.
Use Animal Calls
Geese make various sounds, such as moaning and clucking, so it’s beneficial to try to recreate these calls. There are three main types of goose calls you can buy. Here’s what to know about them.
These are easy to use because they have an extended barrel and are designed to look a bit like a flute. They don’t require the use of hand pressure, so they’re ideal for beginner hunters.
Flute calls enable you to make a variety of sounds that geese make in the wild, and they produce a strong volume so they will be heard from a distance.
Short Reed Calls
This call produces a high-pitch tone, but it can be difficult to master. You need to learn some important tips to make realistic goose sounds with it.
- Wrap your forefinger and thumb around the bell and form a tunnel with the rest of your fingers. You can wrap your other hand over the exhaust end of the call, as this will create more pressure.
- It’s good to experiment with different pressures to see what sounds are produced. Since it makes a high pitch, use a short reed call early in the season. This is when young birds will be making shrill sounds.
Long Reed Calls
These are easier to use than short reed calls because you require less air to mimic the realistic goose sounds you want to achieve. Try to use them later in the year when mature birds are leading their flocks.
During this time, you’ll find that geese are making lower and more guttural sounds.
Where To Aim When Hunting Geese With A Bow
When using a bow and arrow to hunt geese, you’ll want to ensure you make a clean kill. Where you shoot a goose with a bow depends on the broadhead you’re using.
If you’re using a smaller broadhead that’s around two inches or less, you should aim above its main body mass. By comparison, larger broadheads should be aimed at the lower neck as this will ensure a cleaner kill.
You can also try to aim for the head, as this part of the goose’s body doesn’t have feathers that can be difficult to slice through.
If you want to hunt geese, you have to ensure you follow the best bowhunting practices.
In this article, we’ve provided you with information about bows and arrows, what decoys and goose calls you should use, and where to aim for the best hunting success.