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An interesting couple of days in the goose fields. See the first post.

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  • An interesting couple of days in the goose fields. See the first post.

    An interesting couple of days in the goose fields. See the first post.

  • #2
    An interesting couple of days in the goose fields. See first post.

    It’s been a slow season so far but I have only been hunting a little over a week. Plenty of local geese but this crazy weather has screwed up the harvesting. Most fields are still standing grain. Consequently it’s been hard to find where the birds are going. Yesterday morning I set up in one of my favorite fields which has been semi-harvested. Unfortunately the farmer left all his equipment pretty much where I had planned to set up so I made do on the opposite side of the field. I put the deeks only about twenty yards into the barley field because the clump of willows for cover was just about as far from the edge. It was very foggy and cool though expected to get downright hot in the afternoon. I figured I’d get some shooting since this would be the first field the geese would cross after leaving the river and they obviously wouldn’t want to fly far in the fog and rain. Hours after legal shooting and still the fog hung on. Only a few birds were moving somewhere out in that soup. Finally three suddenly appeared over the decoys just before ten. Perfect set up with them flying overhead as they came in for a landing. Muffed the first shot and then my 870 gave me another Remington moment, firing on an empty chamber. Threw my concentration off and I missed totally with the other two shots. Should have had all three geese. Nothing happened after that and the fog didn’t lift till 1:00 p.m. Shortly afterwards a bunch of about twenty came off the river straight to my decoys. They didn’t bother circling and were about to sit down when the darned dogs bolted. The honkers instead sat down out in the middle of the field about three hundred yards away. Nothing else moved and I pulled up after they flew back to the river. Almost the whole day out there and nothing to show for it.

    This morning I went back to the same spot. Oh well, it’s something to do. Setting up in the dark I could hear a hell of a racket on the river about a mile away (it’s closed to hunting). Weather was ideal: overcast with a bit of a breeze coming across the field towards my decoys. Excellent situation. If any geese should come in, they would likely circle into the wind as they landed. That would bring them right over my hiding place. A whole lot of honking but nothing moved till about forty minutes into shooting hours. The first dozen were headed down the field about two hundred yards away. I gave them a hale and they shut up. Gave them a short bit of chatter and then I shut up. Here they came, circled around behind and floated in on top of me. I stepped out, missed the first shot, knocked one down with the second shot, but it sort of caught itself so I made certain with the third shot. The dogs played it right this time and stayed put till after I shot. By the time Pearl and Opal were back with the honker more were on the way. They never hesitated. A bunch of fifty made one pass over the decoys and split up to glide back in. Half of them came in from behind, I stepped out, and easily killed three birds: bang, bang, bang. The dogs didn’t see them all fall and I went out to help. We were picking up geese while more were trying to land on us! Luckily I spotted the third bird: it was just alive enough to hold his head up in the tall grass. Scooped him and we ran back to the willows (where my gun was standing safely!). Loaded up just in time to shoot overhead through the willows and take the leader in a large flock not more than twenty-five yards overhead. It fell like a stone. That was a limit and I was done! And only seven shots fired. I ran out, pulled up six decoys, and ran back to the hiding place to disassemble them. Then the BIG flocks started coming. It was stunning! Every bird in the sky anywhere was headed for my decoys. The noise was deafening. I decided to let them come down. It would be a good test for the dogs. Also, if the geese fed well, they likely would come back again tomorrow. Within a half hour hundreds of honkers were stacked up in the field in front of us, some right at the edge of the field not twenty yards away. Some actually brushed the willows fifteen feet overhead as they came in ... either that or the wind under their wings made the leaves rustle. It was tough on the dogs but they held tight. I figured the geese would feed for an hour or so and then head back to the river. Nope! Eventually I laid down on the decoy bag and took a nap with the dogs curled up next to me. Danged honkers didn’t leave till 11:30! They will be back. I’m still debating if I should return. I need to drag this out and not fill up my possession limit too quickly. Wait ... the possession limit is unlimited this year! Okay dogs, get your beauty rest this afternoon because you’re going to be up at five again tomorrow!

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    • #3
      WoW...You had your self one Hell of a day.

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      • #4
        Great Story OH. Go back tomorrow and get one for me!

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        • #5
          I have never had a "Remington moment."
          That's a new one on me.
          Did you short-stroke the pump handle?

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          • #6
            Honker,
            How do you prepare the birds for the freezer? How long can they be kept?

            Sounds like an interesting couple days. Good luck.

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            • #7
              99explorer, I stroked it long enough to eject the empty round and make the firing pin go clink on an empty chamber. It has happened before. Several times. Don't ask me how. And yes, the gun was clean. It got slobbered up badly yesterday and I had to work it over when I got home.

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              • #8
                Actually, the classic "Remington moment," as I understand it, is when the Model 700 rifle discharges inadvertently while the gun is being unloaded. I was just playing with the phrase.

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                • #9
                  jimbo: Sadly, I can't pick them anymore. My hands are getting bad with arthritis, especially thumbs. Dry picking also requires that the down be rubbed off with a wet thumb. I just can't handle that any more.

                  I skin and bone out the geese. Breasts, thighs, and legs. Roll and tuck each half breast and similar sized lumps of leg meat in Glad wrap, then put the packets in ziplock freezer bags. Use a straw to suck the air out of the bag as you close up the end of the zipper. The meat will keep quite a while this way and because it is boned out it takes up much less space in the freezer. WARNING! If you are transporting your possession limit anywhere besides your home you will need to retain a wing on the carcass which means you cannot bone it out.

                  These days I get most of my goose meat done up into smokies. A local guy does a great job and they are quite convenient to consume. I'll pull one out of the bag in the freezer, break it in half, put it in bowl with saucer on top for lid, micro for minute and half, and then snack away with a bit of honey mustard on the side. Have some strips of goose meat in marinade from a honker I shot a couple of days ago that's going on the BBQ tonight. Mmmmm!

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                  • #10
                    I have seen geese act like that before and it is a blast to watch. Unfortunately my day wasn't like yours. We visiting a friend in Wisconsin and as soon as we got there we decided to hunt the field. First we had to get our license. When we got back to the field our friend was tossing out the decoys, as we made our way out to the field, hundreds of geese came out of nowhere and tried to land right were our friend was setting up. He was out in the open and standing up and for ten minutes they just kept circling. He couldn't shoot because of a shoulder injury, and we couldn't make it out there in time. Three of us got one goose that night.

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                    • #11
                      Honker,
                      When I was in Nebraska, a girl friend would cook the goose, a lot like a turkey. It was o.k., but I do something like you do now and I like the way different things can be done with the meat.
                      BTW, I had a Remington 870 that without any perceptible effort from me after each shot the action would open. I did not care for that and wrote Remington. They replied and said that it was designed that way. What ever, I sold the gun. My Browning pump does not do that and my Browning Gold I don't have to worry about as it is a semi auto,

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                      • #12
                        That sounds like a lot of fun. I have never hunted water fowl before, but I wish I could. Is napping in the field a normal thing for you? I know I have done it before (on accident). Quite nice. Hope you have a nice hunt tomorrow.

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                        • #13
                          Sounds like you had a good hunt. I can't wait for the big birds to get down here. There is a small pond on the neighbors farm that geese love to loaf on and around. My guess is they know there is no way for a hunter or predator to sneak up on them. We took several limits of big honkers (biggest went 13 lb 15 oz.) and a couple dozen snows and mallards there two years ago. Last year the drought dried the pond and the birds shunned it. This year it is full to the banks and we are waiting for the snow to send them down.

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                          • #14
                            BTW my goose medicine is an early model Benelli SBE with 28 inch barrel. With 3.5 inch Kent Fasteel BB's it is pure poison on geese.

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