The Duck and Goose Band Curse

Are you one of those guys who hunts like a maniac, kills a couple hundred geese a year, maybe 100 ducks, add in another 100-200 snow geese yet you have little to no bands to show for your efforts? It drives some guys crazy and I’m one of them. I kill more Canada Geese than any other species and I’ve yet to lay claim to the elusive leg band. Apparently I missed the banding bandwagon back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when local banding projects were more common. Back then it was normal to kill a band or two out of a single flock of geese. Now, well it’s a rare occurrence you hear about from time to time and with more lesser geese in Colorado than ever it seems like a 1 in 2000 chance you’ll score a band.

Some guys call it “band juju” or “luck” and I personally don’t believe in all that business but when you’re in a slump like I’m in you start to wonder what the hell is going on. On a positive note I do have some oddball leg bands, 4 Black Brant bands 2 of which had a tarsas band, a snow goose band, an 11 year old Ross goose leg band with a blue neck collar and a Specklebelly leg band. Maybe I was meant to have all of the uncommon bands, who knows but I’m hoping this upcoming goose season has a twist of fate for me, I’ve seen it happen…

Just last year a hunting buddy of mine had been in a 15 year dry spell for Canada goose bands and he killed 4 last year alone! Then there’s the guys (we wont name any names here) who seem to get 2-3 bands a year consistently and they hunt 4 days a season (@#$%@#$%)!

Who knows what the secret formula is but it seems you’re better off just not worrying about it and letting it happen because if you hunt enough it will. I’m confident one of these years will be my year to break the band curse and your day will come to. It’s always good to remember why we are out there in the first place and if you score a rare trophy it makes the experience even sweeter.

If you’re hard up to finally shoot a leg band you may need to travel to a destination where banded birds are more common. Take a look at or the USGS website to research where all of the concentrated banding projects are taking place. There was a banding project in Longmont, Colorado one year and there is a hunting club just north of there that killed over 60 Canada goose bands in a single season. While I don’t recommend you prey on known banded birds it can help to be hunting in the general vicinity of a know banding location. These banding project are done to gather accurate statistics so try to make it fair.

And as a side note, don’t be one of those guys who goes to Ebay and buys 40 shiny new leg bands to load up on your lanyard. Someone will call you on it and your just better off building your collection of leg bands the right way.