Monday, July 17, 2017

Rules are there for a reason

Its been a while since the last goose hunt. The call had come in from a farmer friend that canadas were on his new grass and he wanted them gone. The week leading up was punctuated with massive southerly storm fronts bringing 160 kph winds in some places and carrying sleet, snow and rain. The birds had been arriving mid morning in good numbers. I was a bit worried that we'd be hunting mid moon rather than on the dark - one of the irrefutable goose hunting rules is that on the dark moon they wont fly at night to feed so will travel and feed by day.

We met early at the usual gathering point and got out to the farm. Because the ground was sodden we'd only be able to get gear in by quad so we travelled light, with a couple of dozen decoys. We got to the site and it was more a marsh than a paddock. My fears came true as 2 mobs of canadas left, disturbed by the quad and our head lamps. With the settled weather post storm they'd obviously resumed night feeding. Our only location option was to set up on a dryish berm, prior experience told us that setting up layouts in mush just leads to big rings of footprints around the blinds. We got setup and then the wait began.

A swamp, not a paddock

A few geese moved early, but not near us. A group of greylag geese watched us from a couple of hundred metres away, nervously shuffling around.

The highlights:

1. I got a good amount of sleep during the day
2. There were truckloads of mallards trading - we may have a good duck hunting option next season
3. No geese ate the farmers grass that day
4. Layla chased down the greylags and scored the only goose for the day

Leggo! The goose was returned unharmed
Next time I hunt geese, there will be no moon.

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