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Resident-Goose Hunting in Maryland with Jeff Kreit

How to Hunt the End of the Season

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Jeff Kreit of Baltimore, Maryland, an avid geese hunter and an Avery Outdoors Pro Staff team member, has hunted geese since he was 3-years old. He hunted only the Eastern Shore of Maryland until about 14-years ago, when the resident population of geese in Maryland exploded. “Instead of hunting out of pits like I usually would, I bought a trailer to carry my decoys and layout blinds and became a mobile goose hunter,” Kreit says.

Question: Jeff, most states don’t have a February goose season, so since you can hunt until February 14, what are the geese doing in February? Click to enlarge
Kreit: The geese are tougher to decoy and call in during February. Remember, these resident geese are getting pounded for 1 or 2 weeks in September and then from November through February, so they’re really educated. When you hunt geese in February, you’re hunting the birds that have a master’s degree in recognizing decoys and identifying goose calls.

Question: What are you doing to get these birds to come into your blind?
Kreit: We hunt a totally-different area than we’ve hunted in the earlier season. Normally, we’ll set our decoys on the top of thehill in a field, but in the late season, we’ll put our decoys out halfway down the field. The very ends of fields are also good spots because by February, the geese have probably eaten all of the food in the field except the food that remains on the outermost edges of the field. Also, some time in the late season, instead of putting out a gigantic spread, like we do most of the season, we’ll put out a small spread of decoys, especially if the geese are using the field. Sometimes we’ll Click to enlargeput out as few as 3-dozen decoys, but we’ll place them in spots we’ve never put out decoys before.

Question: How does your calling change in the late season?
Kreit: We call faster in the late season than we do in the early season. We try and call as fast as we can and as much as we can when we have geese coming into our blinds.

Question: Do you have a lot of competition for those geese in February?
Kreit: Yes, we do. We’ve identified certain farms that are more productive to take geese at in the late season than other farms. So, we don’t hunt those farms until the end of the season. Click to enlargeThat way, the geese aren’t accustomed to hunters being on those farms. Because we’ve hunted geese here our entire lives, we pretty-much know which fields are early-season fields and which ones are late-season fields. We never hunt our late-season fields during the early season. We’ve had a huntable resident population in Maryland for 14-years now. The group of hunters I hunt with live on the land, know the farmers and the fields, and more importantly, they know the geese, which makes us successful throughout resident-goose season.

Question: What’s different about late-season geese?
Kreit: Just about all of our late-season geese come off large reservoirs. Now, these may have been geese that have lived most of their lives on small farm ponds. However, when these ponds and lakes freeze-up, often the only open water is major reservoirs. So, that’s where they’ll go sit on the water, and that’s where they’ll be coming from when they’re coming to feed.

Question: Have you seen a decline in the resident-goose population since y’all have such a long season on them in Maryland?
Kreit: Not at all. Actually, the hunting has gotten more difficult because we have more people hunting the resident geese now than previously.

Tomorrow: How to Hunt the Last Few Days of the Season

Check back each day this week for more about "Resident-Goose Hunting in Maryland with Jeff Kreit"

Day 1: Decoys, Calls and Blinds for Resident-Goose Season
Day 2: Resident Geese vs. Atlantic Geese
Day 3: Big Decoy Spreads
Day 4: How to Hunt the End of the Season
Day 5: How to Hunt the Last Few Days of the Season


Entry 441, Day 4