In Scotland we have the Greylag goose and the Pink footed goose as regular residents. They visit Scotland in the winter time, and then range throughout the Highlands with concentrations in the Central belt and up the east coast. We operate in the Aberdeenshire, which is according to us, the best area for shooting geese. Geese like to use an area to roost (sleep) overnight. These are normally areas that have been used for many years, and because of this they will be used by large numbers of geese. With this kind of movement back and forth, some territories will set hunters up on the flight line in, or out, of the roost site.
- Geese hunting in Scotland is normally conducted a good distance away from the actual site, so that the birds are not disturbed so much that they will leave the area altogether. This kind of hunting largely depends on windy weather keeping the birds low and, of course, the chance that the geese come your way.
- We also make use of decoys. Your guide will be watching the geese feeding areas before you arrive, and he will then take you to the best areas to set you up in a hide with decoys already in the field. Then it is a matter of waiting for the birds to come. Remember this is conducted in the winter time and can be very cold, so make sure you have warm hunting gear on and good shooting gloves. You will hear the geese long before you see them, and if everything works out right they will then come to your decoys and give you a shot. Hopefully the geese will come in many groups, thereby giving you better shooting.
Whichever way you choose to get involved with geese hunting in Scotland the sound of the geese approaching is very exciting. Your guide will have spoken to you beforehand and given you advice on where they may come from, and when it is best to shoot. The geese are all wild birds, so remember to keep well down until they are within range.
After shooting geese we go rough shooting in the afternoon, pheasants, hares, partridges, rabbits, woodcocks and then evening flight on ducks and geese. The main type of duck hunting in Scotland takes place around flight ponds. The gamekeeper for the area will feed these flight ponds every day. The ducks do not live on these ponds, but fly in from the surrounding countryside as the day comes to an end. The flight pond will have butts set in place around it, with hunters sitting in these butts as they wait for the ducks to start “flighting in”.
Duck hunting in Scotland can be an exciting evening of sport, as the targets will be coming from all directions. Some might already be flying fast, but once a shot is fired they will accelerate even more to get away. A hunter has to be a good shot to bring down a duck and, depending on the locality, “flighting” can produce different species of ducks in a single evening.