HUNTING TIPS & TACTICS
Although there are technically four separate sub species of the Lesser Canada Goose found across North America, they act very similar in how they react to decoys and calling- which is VERY different then what you would expect from Greater Canada Geese.
The first major difference is that Greater and Lesser Canada Geese rarely intermix during migration or breeding. In addition, their feeding patterns are different, thus hunting tactics need to be altered when hunting the Lesser Canada Goose species versus the Greater Canada Goose species. In fact hunters are more apt to decoy the Lesser Canada’s into a large spread of Snow Goose decoys than a smaller spread of standard Canada Goose decoys.
When targeting the Lesser Canada Goose in a field hunting situation in most instances, the flock sizes are much larger than one would normally find with the family groups of Greater Canada Geese.
Therefore the decoy spread size must follow suit. Typically when hunting the smaller birds, decoy spread sizes of 6–10+ dozen decoys are the norm. In addition, the set of the field spread also makes a big difference. Most Canada Goose hunters are familiar with setting their decoys about 2 – 3 feet apart and often will place small groups together as “family groups.” When setting a spread for Lesser’s, pack the decoys as close together as possible can make a world of difference in getting the Lesser Canada Geese to finish on your spread, thus emulating their feeding patterns.
Calling the Lesser Canada Goose is also a different ball game. In fact their sound is actually higher pitched than even a Snow goose. Thus using a standard short reed or flute Canada Goose call will not cut it. Several call companies offer a Canada Goose call specifically for the Lesser Canada Goose and when calling these birds using a rapid calling cadence is much more effective.
Bottom line, when questions arise on how to hunt these little birds, one would be better off hunting the Lesser Canada Goose more similar to how they would hunt Snow geese versus Greater Canada Geese. For those hunters on a “decoy budget” that don’t want to invest in a larger spread of Lesser Canada Goose decoys, keep an eye out the next time you are hunting Snow Geese in the fall – add 1 or 2 dozen Canada Goose decoys off to the side of your Snow Goose spread in a tight group and you may experience a nice combo hunt for both species.