Four seasons goose Shooting holds exclusive hunting concessions over all the finest goose shooting farms within the Free state. goose guides ensure the hunting areas preserved during the season, holding good numbers of geese, and ensuring clients have the best possible opportunities for quality goose shooting. We offer decoying, or flighting into pans and dams, depending on client’s preference.
South African Free State offers the best shooting for geese in the southern hemisphere, and with the number of geese increasing decade upon decade it is only getting better.
Goose shooting in the Free State province, South Africa is now the best place in the world to shoot inland geese. The geese are flying further southwards towards the Eastern Cape every season, so why travel to northern colder climates when you can travel to the warmth of South Africa! You can save time & money when goose shooting in Africa!
In the Free State, the number of geese moving into these areas are increasing every single year, with 200,000 + geese counted last season.
All goose shooting with four seasons shooting holidays will take place on local farmlands in the Free State in South Africa. We are all set and ready to shoot by dawn, ready for the first skein of geese to decoy on this field of old maize stubble. You will need to be up by 5 AM to have a coffee and toast before we head out goose shooting, guides will do the rest.
You will be taken out to a field we have done our reconnaissance on the day before, a decoy pattern or two will be set, pit blinds dug with a low net shielding you from the goose is vision, the first geese will arrive shortly after daybreak, we will leave a goose guide with you for the duration of the goose flight, the goose guide will call the geese into the decoys.
Upon the arrival of the first goose to your field you are all set, morning goose shooting in South Africa lasts about 2 hours, the geese in South Africa will give you goose fever with fast paced shooting.
There is no time limit on the goose shooting over the fields, but please remember once the geese have seen you, and being shot at that morning, it would be a wasted endeavour to prolong the goose shooting, and better to head back to the Lodge for a full English breakfast.
You will only ever be shooting on fields that have had good numbers of geese feeding on them the previous day, time constraints allowing we will show you the field you will be shooting the evening before.
Your guide will always explain which way the geese will be coming in from, depending on the local dams and pans and wind direction, for those of you that are inexperienced in goose shooting in South Africa, our goose guide will ask you not to shoot until he shouts out “take them”, please don’t be offended by this because many game shooters misjudge geese at distance, shooting far too early, spoiling opportunities, for fellow Goose shooters in neighbouring hides.
Four seasons shooting holidays will do everything within their power, making your goose shooting memorable for all the right reasons, please remember geese are noticeably bigger birds with long necks and you must shoot the head of the goose and not the body.
Goose shooting is about the whole experience, from the planning of your trip, the journey to South Africa, meeting our guides over a beer the evening you arrive, we understand the client’s expectations for the mornings goose shooting. On the first morning – your alarm will go off at an annoyingly early hour, a cup of coffee or tea and toast, then off we go to the field. Next you may be asked to help set out the decoys and dig your pit blind hides, this will not be the case with older clients of course. Daylight always seems to arrive earlier than expected, it brings with it the sights and sounds of Africa, a very different experience in its own right, starting off a new day, with the unknown expectations of the first geese arriving.
These new surroundings start to come gently into view as dawn breaks, the distant calls of a small skein of geese – leaving you wondering if they will come into shot? Your guide skills with a call and great decoy positioning will ensure you have the best opportunities! The next couple of hours offer heart pumping excitement, when all goes to plan, every client will have multiple chances at shooting Egyptian and spur wing geese. When geese decoy beautifully, you will shoot until the birds stop coming, this is because there are days the geese will not decoy very well. The enjoyment of a flight is not dependent solely on the size of the bag, but how they geese present themselves and the quality of the goose shooting.
The Free State has become a major overwintering province for Egyptian geese. There are of course a local resident population of around 100,000, continuously topped up by geese moving south through the Free State province, from July onwards. The majority of Spur winged geese are shot in early season, during May and June, although spur winged geese are shot throughout the entire season. The geese feed on sunflower and maize stubble fields until the grain is all eaten, geese then turn their attention to centre pivots where wheat or grass grows. This is where geese and farmers come into conflict, goose shooting in South Africa moves geese on from these areas.
There are also good populations of yellow billed duck, red billed Teal along with a multitude of other ducks, we feed ten large flight ponds which we shoot on evening flights. Ponds fed daily attract good numbers of geese as well as ducks! Ponds shoot once every two weeks, giving excellent evening duck shooting.
Fields in South Africa are extremely large with little to no cover to hide Goose shooters, we use pit blinds and shoot from the centre of fields, should we still have a standing maize crop we will of course take advantage. Good camouflage clothing is a necessity, but the biggest obstacle is for clients to keep perfectly still and only make slow movements without looking up at the geese with a white face.
The best size of group for wildfowling is from four to six guns. If your group is less than four, we may book other guns to make up numbers for your visit, but never making more than seven in total. If you are four or more, no other guns will join up with your party. Your guide will focus on setting decoys, hide building, calling, and retrieving geese.