What Do Hunters Do With Dead Geese?


Have you ever asked yourself why people hunt geese? Some hunters choose to hunt geese because they provide food for their families, while others do it as a sport. The latter might not always sit well with some people from an ethical viewpoint.

Is killing geese a milestone for hunters? Some hunters feel a sense of accomplishment when they bag their first goose. Hunting for geese isn’t easy and requires lots of patience and skill, which is what can make it so intriguing for many out in the field.

But, when the hunt is over and you’ve managed to kill a goose or two, you need to ensure you store and transport it properly. With this in mind, let’s explore what to do with the geese you’ve killed.

Where To Store Dead Geese

When hunters kill ducks and geese, they don’t always do it for food. Some do it as a sport, which means they might not take the goose meat back home with them.

A recent news story featured how hunters in Canada were told to dump their hunting waste, namely dead geese, into the forest for other animals to feed on instead of dumping it in a public place.

If you’ve killed geese and you don’t want to take them home, make sure you treat them responsibly!

On the other hand, if you want to take the goose back home with you, such as if you want to cook it for your family or have it sent to your taxidermist so you can mount the goose on your living room wall, you’ll have to ensure you follow the correct transportation and storage regulations.

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How To Transport Dead Geese

When transporting dead geese, such as from Canada to the U.S., make sure you follow these important rules.

  • Leave one wing attached to the goose. This is a requirement that will enable you to import game birds so that their species can be identified by officials. Never try to travel with processed birds!
  • When you package the birds, make sure that each bag contains the correct information. This includes your name, address, and migratory game bird permit number. It should also be signed by you so that the bird can be legally transported to the U.S.
  • Check your state’s regulations when transporting dead birds, as these can vary from one state to another.

Do Dead Geese Need Refrigeration?

You need to store geese in a freezer immediately after they’ve been killed so that their meat doesn’t attract bacteria and spoil. You need to keep the goose at temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other tips to follow before refrigerating geese include the following:

  • Remove the crop and entrails from the goose. These can ferment unless they’re removed.
  • Pluck and skin the goose. If you’re doing this during your hunting trip, make sure you put an identification mark on the goose as this is sometimes required according to state game regulations. Check your local state laws to find out what identification marks you need.
  • When cleaning out the goose body cavity, you should do this with a clean cloth instead of with snow or grass that you’ve found in the field as this can cause bacterial contamination.
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If you’re going to eat the goose meat, you don’t have to age it. However, if you want to do this anyway, you should keep the meat at just above freezing temperatures for two days to make it more tender.

On the other hand, if you’re sending your goose to the taxidermist, there are other regulations that you have to follow:

  • Don’t carry or transport a goose with the use of a neck strap as this will damage its feathers and skin.
  • Put cotton balls inside the goose’s bill. This will prevent blood from soaking into its feathers which can be difficult to remove at a later stage.
  • Place the goose in a vacuum-sealed bag instead of wrapping it in the newspaper. The ink from the newspaper will get transferred to the goose, which will absorb moisture from it or stain it. Vacuum-sealed plastic bags will preserve the goose and prevent freezer burn.
  • Before storing your trophy goose for transport to the taxidermist, rinse dirt and blood from its body immediately.

Related Questions

Do some hunters put dead geese in their decoy spread?

If you’re not transporting or eating the goose you’ve killed, you could place it in your decoy spread. This is called a “sleeper.” It can fool geese into thinking that it’s a real goose. Make sure you use an effective goose decoy spread to increase your hunting success.

Should you kill a goose with a #4 shot?

While you can use a #4 shot for duck hunting, it’s not a versatile choice for geese. To find out more, read our guide, “#4 Shot For Geese: Is It A Good Idea?”

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Is it legal to shoot geese on the water?

Generally, it’s legal to shoot geese on the water. However, there are important ethical views to know about. To find out more, read our guide, “Can You Shoot Geese On the Water?”


If you’ve killed a goose, make sure you know the correct and legal ways of storing and transporting it.

In this guide, we’ve given you the tips to bear in mind before the next time you head out to hunt waterfowl, whether you want to keep your goose meat cool for later consumption or you’ve got a trophy goose you want to send to the taxidermist.


  • CBC
  • Clemson Cooperative Extension
  • DecoyPro
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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>