Geese

Geese can be found throughout Oregon. With five species available for harvest and liberal seasons, including and early and late season Canada goose seasons, there is plenty of opportunity to add a goose to your diet.

 

Canada goose

Types of Geese

White-fronted goose in flight

White-fronted goose

Features: The distinctive white band across the base of their bill gives this goose its name. It is medium in size with a gray and brown body. Adults have dark brown and black spots on their chests and breasts give this goose the "specklebelly" nickname, while the young of the year birds are a nondescript gray with yellow legs and bills.

Habitats: The white-fronted goose grazes on a mixture of grasses and grains. It can often be found in agricultural lands.

Techniques: Hunting white-fronted geese is not for the faint-hearted. Scouting is necessary. And since they're mostly found in agricultural fields, permission to hunt it is always required. Large spreads are needed for this leery bird. Calling is advantageous to getting their attention. Concealment is always critical.

Brant

Brant

Features: Brant are a small to medium-size goose. They have smoky black backs and bellies, and dissected white collars and white around the tails provide striking contrast. The brant can live up to 20 years and are resilient enough to ride out storms on the open ocean.

Habitats: Brant are primarily found in bays and estuaries, but on occasion can be found inland. They forage on eel grass and other aquatic vegetation. Most of their feeding is in shallow water or in tidal flats. They tend to feed in flocks.

Techniques: As with any waterfowl hunting, location is key. Seek areas where brant would want to feed. While brant will decoy into spreads, there's no need to call. 

Canada geese

Canada goose

Features: Canada geese come in many sizes and colorations. All have the same general long, black neck and white chinstrap. Their breast color can range from light gray to a dark brown.

Habitats: Canada geese have become abundant in many city parks and agricultural fields where forage grasses are available. They can be found floating in bays, estuaries, rivers, reservoirs and lakes as well.

Techniques: Canada geese can be hunted like other waterfowl. From jump shooting to calling birds into a decoy spread, Canada goose hunting can be productive. 

Note: If you want to hunt geese in Northwest Oregon, a Northwest goose permit is required. Learn more 

A lesser snow goose comes in for a landing. It is white except the wing tips are black

Snow goose

Features: A medium-size goose, adult snow geese are white with black-tipped wings that are visible in flight. Their pronounced pink bill has a dark "grinning" patch across it, and they have pinkish feet. Young of the year snow geese are grayish white with grey legs and bills. These birds are very vocal and can be heard over a mile away.

Habitat: Snow geese are well-adapted to agricultural land. They can also be found in wetlands, roosting in open water. Sauvie Island, Summer Lake and Klamath wildlife areas have abundant snow goose populations during various times of year.

Technique: Snow geese will decoy into spreads. Some hunters deploy large spreads of 500 or more decoys. Effective decoys can be silhouettes, white rags and even white plastic bags. The blind is critical, as with most waterfowl hunting. Make sure there's no sign of your presence. 

Note: If you hunt geese in Northwest Oregon, a Northwest goose permit is required. Learn more

Ross's geese

Ross's goose

Features: The small Ross's goose looks very similar to a snow goose, but with some slight distinguishing features. Like the snow goose, this goose has black primary feathers. But it does not have the black grin of a snow goose on its pink bill. Also, their wing beat is faster and call higher pitched than a snow goose's.

Habitats: The Ross's goose can be found in shallow lakes and wetlands while in migration. It feeds on grasses, sedges and small grains.

Techniques: Often taken while snow goose hunting, the techniques are similar. Create a white decoy spread with silhouettes, white rags or white plastic bags. Concealment is always critical. Make sure there is no sign of your presence.