With Canadian Geese now on the pest list and able to be hunted all year round, hunters can now reap the rewards!
After a phone call from a dairy farmer complaining about geese destroying his paddocks, a reconasince mission was put in place.
The key to any goose shoot is doing your homework. You need to find out what paddocks the geese are targeting, is there are particular crop they are eating or just grass? Is there a pattern to their behaviour such as following maize silage being feed to the cows as this will determine where you setup your blinds and decoys.
However the most crucial information is finding out what time the geese are coming in, morning or night or are they sitting overnight. During the months around February and March the new geese are small and are trying to bulk up for winter and generally feed twice a day.
In our case the birds were eating chicory in two paddocks close to a lake in the Waikato. They were sitting overnight, so we needed to push them off the night before we chose to shoot.
Last weekend when the weather bomb was due to hit we pushed around 250 geese off, setup the blinds and decoys facing down wind in anticipation of the next days shoot.
With rain and 100km hour plus winds forecast my XTR jacket and pants were essential. Being summer I only needed one other layer, my micro fleece Ascend Top which provided the warmth when raining and wicking ability when the sun came out.
As the sun rose, the boys were all hidden in their layout blinds awaiting the excitement of the 1st flight. Around 7am the first mob of geese lifted from the lake and tracked straight toward our setup, with a stiff wind blowing in their face they stayed low all the way to the decoys. With goose callers honking and a couple of quick waves of the flag, the geese were set for landing! The geese tried to land just short of the blinds, however 10 geese were no match for 5 guns. Everyone picked their birds and demolished them!
Just as the boys were picking up the birds, another flight appeared on the horizon….but this time a bigger mob. Rushing back to the blinds just in time 15 geese descended on our decoys to 5 x 5 shot 12 gauge semi automatic shotguns! Two birds made it past the anchor man due to a malfuction, however with a quick honk they turned to see what had happened to their mates, only to suffer the same fate!
As quickly as the shooting turned on, the shooting stopped! Some days the geese never show, others you can not do anything wrong. 30 birds at 100% strike rate was nothing to write home about but certainly provided a lot of fun for the morning, especially for a friend of mine Matt, as it was his first goose shoot!
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