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Okay, I'm set up downwind of my decoys on the edge of a cut barley field. My hiding place is a peninsula of brush and poplar tr

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  • Okay, I'm set up downwind of my decoys on the edge of a cut barley field. My hiding place is a peninsula of brush and poplar tr

    Okay, I'm set up downwind of my decoys on the edge of a cut barley field. My hiding place is a peninsula of brush and poplar trees. Finally, two and a half hours after sunrise three flocks are coming to the deeks at once. The first flock drops down and swings around over the deeks from the east. They cluck and mumble like they're ready to land but veer off heading to north end of field. The other two flocks of about fifteen each have circled behind me and sound like they are dropping in. Finally I catch sight of the first floating above me into the wind. None are visible immediately behind it. The honker is thirty yards, dropping, and moving very slowly into the wind. I step into the clear and it is straight above me. Do I shoot or wait for the rest to come into view?

  • #2
    The first flock must have spotted your call.
    Hold off on the leader of the second flock unless he sounds the alarm, if he does,then shoot. If not the rest of the flock should be following unless they to saw your call and veered off.

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    • #3
      What I am saying is, you have been busted. What was your dog doing?

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      • #4
        Wait on all of the second flock. Yes you could shoot 1 or you could shoot 3 which is closer to your limit. Plus you get to watch all the others come in and land which is always neat.

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        • #5
          Wait on all of the second flock. Yes you could shoot 1 or you could shoot 3 which is closer to your limit. Plus you get to watch all the others come in and land which is always neat.

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          • #6
            I wasn't busted. The geese did not see me or the dogs (all three were buried deep in the brush). I was set up rather close to the edge of the field. That is often a bust factor at this stage of the season. If I had put my decoys out twenty yards further in the field, the first flock almost certainly would have lit on them. But the wind was not steady out of the west. It kept flipping around to the north. So I put the decoys closer. If the wind shifted steady from the south and the decoys were fifty yards out in the field, the geese would come into the set from the wrong direction and I would have had no shots even if they landed in the deeks.

            In deciding whether to shoot or not a few important factors needed to be considered:

            1) Time of day. It's two and a half hours past sunrise and this bunch is about it for today. Get shots now or go home empty-handed.

            2) The first bunch. They are about to land at the other end of the field. The remaining two flocks are in a position to see them land safely. They will almost certainly follow suit. They may still cruise over close enough to shoot. Or they may not. They are almost certainly not going to circle again or land in my decoys. Live geese in the same field will bust you every time no matter what kind of decoys you put out.

            In this case a bird in the hand is ... a bird in the hand. At that time of day I count myself lucky to have ANY opportunity. And this was more than an opportunity ... it was a shot that was pretty hard to miss. And I didn't. One blast and it folded without a flutter. Sudden death is always the most relieving sight for a hunter. Of course, the rest were gone instantly.

            Anyway, I would have gladly taken that goose over a triple any day. Turns out it's banded!

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            • #7
              I should add, that was the only shot I fired today. There was sure a lot of skybusting going on at the other end of the valley though. Good grief! A couple of miles away so I couldn't see what was going on but those guys (I'm guessing three) must have shot two hundred rounds in two hours. No exaggeration! You know if they didn't have their limit after thirty shots or so they were must be blowing holes in the breeze at geese two hundred yards high.

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              • #8
                OH, I think you did the right thing under the circumstances. Under normal conditions, I let the first one or two cautious geese circle close and land. They usually don't all come in at once later in the season. They allow a poor scout or two to test the waters before committing.

                This takes great patience for sure and I usually decide to do it long before seeing geese. I have found that once the scouts are on the ground, their flock will follow even though there are other live geese landing elsewhere nearby. Congrats on an exciting outing and a tasty goose.

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