6:30 in the morning we meet up and headed to the farmers field with practically a train of trucks. Mack had his trailer hitched up and I started learning that goose hunting requires a LOT of equipment. Tons of goose decoys, of several varieties, placed in patterns I have yet to grasp but were debated over by the other hunters and 6 layout blinds went into the field. Raking the corn stalks and debris to cover our set up as well as help in the illusion that the decoys were looking for food, was all part of my learning experience. Then we parked the trucks out of the field and waited.
Like duck hunting, I enjoyed this hunt because you got to talk and shoot the breeze until someone spots or hears geese coming in. Mack had the blinds laid out so that he was in the middle to call the shot. I was towards the left end next to the last guy in the row.
At 8:30, 2 low flying geese were spotted heading right for the left end of our group…that’s me! Mack called out to let us have the first shots and we got ready… They got closer and closer and I was waiting for Mack to call the shot…. They cupped for landing… no call yet…they dropped their landing gear…no call yet….HECK WITH IT! Time to shoot!!! I missed. By that time, the rest of the group opened up and 2 birds quickly hit the corn. I think I hit the lead bird on my second shot but by that time with everyone else shooting I could not be positive and I was having so much fun I didn’t care anyways! How would have known that laying in a tent like sleeping bag thing that opens up on the top, in the middle of a corn field in 20 degree weather could be so much fun! (Btw- Mack just figured we’d open up when they got close….got a bit of a ribbing for waiting so long to shoot.)
2 birds in, 2 birds down, not a bad way to start the morning. About 30 minutes later another flock came in and we all hunkered down. This group didn’t like something though as they circled us twice and then headed across the road to another field. But they didn’t land, they circled back again for another fly over of our set…but still no landing gear coming down and they headed back.
Mack told us that things would explode when the geese really got moving and around 9:30 he was right… a group of 4 circled and dropped their landing gear only to be meet with a hail of steel and tungsten. 4 more down. While Mack and a couple others were running out and picking those birds up, another flock came in and circled the decoys! Half our group was just laying in the corn and the other half were sitting in their blinds trying not to move! No shooting though as that group moved on. A couple minutes later though and several hundred geese were coming in from what seemed like every direction! We had a group land just to our left while a couple other groups came in for landings in the decoys. 6 shooters, 6 birds down so we had 6 more birds to go…and 10 seconds later the hunt was done!
So, you’re asking when did I get my bird? …well, after the second group my feed tube on my pump shotgun jammed! And nothing I could do in the field would free it up. All this was happening while being circled by hundreds of geese! So, it was down to a single shot and I waited until I had a perfect line on a single bird about 35 yards out….one shot was all I needed!
We grabbed all the birds for a quick shot and Mack got his truck and trailer out so we could load it all up and get out of the field as quick as possible. We then went to Mack’s were I’m fairly certain I was the but of a joke as Mack convinced me to pose for a picture not with just my birds, but with eight that he put in a neck carrier…at least he told me it was to carry them around my neck. I really didn’t think about the fact that I was going to have 8 birds hanging around my neck only…at 10 to 12 lbs a piece…that’s close to 100lbs of “dead” weight! Oh well, I still couldn’t stop smiling!
Mack, thanks for introducing me to ANOTHER addiction!