A few weeks back I talked a little about Goose Hunting and how in this one particular instance, we had geese land just outside of range. Those live geese drew in even more geese and, before we knew it, dozens were on the ground and not in a position for us to make a shot.
I’ve been thinking about that situation a lot. What would make those geese interested enough to come down with our decoys yet concerned enough to keep a safe distance?
In this case our blinds were concealed fairly well in a stubble corn field. I don’t think we stood out but there is always the possibility. While setting up in the dark, our decoys were arrange in a slight hollow. When the geese came in, they landed on top of a little rise and eventually moved away from us.
I think our decoy placement and lack of decoy movement was a likely reason for them to be wary. I chalked it up as a learning experience and, even though we didn’t get one of those geese, it was cool to see them come in and draw even more geese onto the ground.
While back out goose hunting on Saturday, we had the very same thing happen. Things were different this time, mainly in our concealment. We were setup in camo blinds on a snow covered field. Even with snow tossed onto portions of our blinds, we were painfully obvious.
To entice the geese, we setup four and a half dozen decoys. We spread out over a large portion of the field then put the main body in with our blinds. We played the odds, geese could come in to the small groups of decoys we had away from our blinds, or they could come right into the landing zone we created.
The first flight of geese circled us once then came in for a landing. As we prepared to pop out of our blinds and shoot, they came up short and landed outside of range. We waited, hoping they might come into us for a shot. Unfortunately, they showed us no interest and stayed right were they were. A few minutes later a new flight came in and landed with the group of live geese.
This went on for about fifteen minutes before a third flight circled above. We popped out and began breaking shots. I couldn’t get in position to shoot behind and over my right shoulder so I took aim at the group on the ground, which was now getting up and flying away (I was hoping they would take off into the wind and come right into us, unfortunately it didn’t work that way and not a single goose went down).
For the rest of the day we had geese circle us once then get out of dodge. As a result, we had to take less then optimal shots. We didn’t kill any geese that day but it has left me more curious than ever. We obviously looked appealing enough to land but why didn’t the geese come in and socialize with the decoys?
Whatever the reason was for those geese avoiding us, it has flamed goose hunting from an enjoyable past time to a full fledged passion. Come next season, I intend to be a goose whisperer, of sorts. I’ve got a lot to learn about decoy placement and calling. I see a lot of YouTube Videos and books in my future.