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SPUR-WINGED GOOSE (Plectropterus gambensis)
Spur-winged Geese are probably the largest waterfowl worldwide, with some males weighing more than 10 kg, although most weigh in the region of 5 kg. They are predominantly black with metallic green glossing and a variable amount of white on the belly and face. The legs and bill are pinkish-red. The large size, bold black and white coloration, slow winbeat and spurs on the bend of the wings, make them unmistakable.
Widespread throughout South Africa, but largely absent from the dry Namaqualand and Kalahari regions with no surface water, they prefer moist habitats such as dams, vleis, pans and large rivers, from where they may fly long distances to their feeding grounds. Spur-winged Geese may be found on virtually any inland dam at one time or another but prefer larger bodies of water where they have ample protection during the moulting season. They benefit from agricultural practices and often congregate in large numbers on grain or green fodder fields but they generally feed on harvested grain fields. They appear to prefer seedlings such as wheat and oats early in the season and maize and groundnut seeds in the winter months.
These ducks are hunted over decoys from natural and man-made blinds. Morning shoots are generally on cultivated pastures or recently combined maize (corn) and wheat fields. Afternoon shoots are more productive for Yellow-billed duck and usually take place around impoundments. Bag limits are generous and a gun can expect to shoot, depending on the time of the year, between 5 and 10 duck per day. Depending on the time of the year you will encounter, amongst other, the following species: Egyptian & Spurwing Geese, Red-billed Teal, Southern Pochard, White-faced Duck & South African Shelduck. Parties of between 2 and 6 guns can be accommodated. Karoo Wingshooting has waterfowl concessions in excess of 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres).