Archive for the ‘geese’ Category

Hunters: 1, Geese: 1

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Can you remember where or what you were doing the last day of 2007? I can tell you exactly where I was! Sitting in a wind swept, snow covered corn field southwest of Greeley, Colorado, trying to keep my nose from freezing in the sub zero wind chilled air hunting geese. Sounds fun? Well, I will tell you that I would not have missed it for the world. I took a good friend of mine, Jim and his son Jake, out that day to try and get in one last day of goose hunting before our licenses expired for 2007. This was the third time that I had taken them out this past year. The first time was at the beginning of 2007 and the second time was the day after Christmas. Both times we had come up empty handed. The first time we ended up getting my truck stuck and spent most of the morning getting it out and the last time we sat there in pea soup thick fog until we finally called it a day. To say that they were getting good at putting out and picking up decoys was an understatement.  This time I was keeping my fingers crossed that Jake would be able to knock down his first goose. Hopefully we all would at least get some shots!
All morning long we watched as geese flew around us from field to field, but by noon, we had not had any come in on our set. Jim and Jake had planned on hunting only the morning.  As they were getting ready to leave, Jim offered to buy me lunch. Being the starving type of hunter that I am, I graciously took him up on it. About half way to the trucks, geese started coming in on our decoys out of nowhere. I suggested that we go ahead and head to lunch. I figured that the way the geese were starting to fly, the afternoon hunt would be good and I sure hate hunting on an empty stomach! After lunch we headed back out to the field. When we got there we noticed that we had 20 to 30 extra decoys! Of course these guys were a little bit more apprehensive than there molded plastic playmates, especially when three large camouflaged men started coming at them with shotguns. Trying to put the sneak on a flock of geese in an open field is about like trying to win the lottery, TWICE! It just doesn’t happen (at least not very often). Once we had done a good job of scaring off the geese that were in the decoys, we disappointedly hopped back in the pit and got ready. We didn’t have to wait very long before the previous hunts started to pay off. The first flock came in and we knocked down a bird. Then gradually the chaos began. We started having flock after flock come in, almost so fast that you didn’t have a chance to completely load your shotgun. Then it happened. We were coming out of the pit to shoot at a group behind us when Jake and his dad spotted two that had landed in the decoys on there end of the pit. They quickly swung on the geese as they took off and Jim and Jake both connected! We had several other opportunities to shoot at birds that afternoon, but like all good things the day was getting late and we needed to pick up and get home.

Here is a picture of Jim and his son Jake with the geese that they shot. Congratulations Jake on a job well done. See you in the pit!

Hunters 0, Geese 1

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Last Sunday I was finally able to get out and do a little goose hunting! I picked my friend Darrin up around 5:30 in the morning and we headed out to the field to meet Roy, our other hunting companion. When we arrived it was a balmy 9 degrees out. Roy had called and said that he was running a little late, so not wanting to spend too much time in the heat wave that we were experiencing; we decided to wait in the truck until Roy showed up. The anticipation finally got to me and Darrin and I started setting up our decoys a few minutes before Roy showed up. Darrin being  the good friend that he is located our pit in the dark, by almost falling into it. For those that have never hunted out of a ground pit, it is basically a hole that is dug in the ground, and then it is covered with a top of some sort. In this case it was several pieces of plywood that have holes cut in it so that a person can fit down inside the pit and hide.

Anyway, we got most of my decoys set up and then we started throwing out Roy’s decoys. In the
still of the morning you could hear the sound of the geese on a nearby lake. My hopes were high that it would be a good morning filled with a lot of birds committing Hari-Kari. Sun-up came around 7:15 and we were ready! All of us were scanning the sky waiting for the first flock to come in.

8:00, 9:00, and then finally at 10:20 we started seeing our first flocks of geese. The only problem was that they were getting up off the lake and going about a half a mile east of our position to a very safe golf course. So, to say that that pretty much put the nail in coffin for this hunt was an understatement. If you have ever hunted geese, you know that no matter how many decoys you have out, you will never be able to compete with the real thing! The geese were definitely smarter than us on this day. However it wasn’t a complete loss. I was able to hunt with two friends that I don’t get to see or spend much time with and we were able to catch up on what was going on in our own lives. Overall it was a great day.

Stormy, my significant other, thinks we are out of our gourds for sitting in a frozen field for hours, but for those who have experienced the excitement of geese coming into a spread of decoys, with their wings cupped, totally committed and ready to land on your head! You know what I am talking about!