Sunday, April 12, 2015

At last

... there's a flock of geese that have been chomping away at a chicory crop and driving the farmer to distraction. He'd been asking us to come and deal to them but with the roost very close to the crop we've been waiting for a strong wind in order to cover our shooting noise.

Finally we got the wind and were able to get setup before sparrows fart. The hunting site would be slightly challenging as we were near a ridge in a large paddock, and there was no clear X as goose kak was layered everywhere. Not a square foot was free of goose doo.

Then the wait started. As it got light, the breeze began to stiffen and then a pair came in but set down behind us. Matt released his dog which flushed them out and then they swung downwind and came back to us on set wings!

After that the long wait was on us. With our binos we watched the birds, maybe 300, drift out as the tide in the harbour receded and then as it turned, they began to drift back in. The wind grew and grew and soon white caps were thumping in. We moved our blinds to cover where we thought the birds may land - as we'd set up earlier in the dark we'd not quite nailed it.

Finally after a wee nap, I was in my blind when Tony yelled "geese, geese!" and a small mob arrived, swung wide and set to come in. At the last second they drifted to our right and set down just below a hump.. but with another mob lining up we were able to let them go.

The next 10 minutes were mayhem as we got stuck in, and dropped a heap of birds. The departing birds headed down to land in a river but with a volley of shots they departed back out into the harbour, which was in turmoil.

I had to leave mid afternoon and they didn't fly again before I left, but later on I got a couple of messages saying the final total was 54 birds. Happy farmer we hope.

Rain & wind. Photo courtesy Matt McCondach
Goose pile [Tony Dobbs]

Packing up


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