Thursday, September 09, 2010

Getting goosed out

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS editor

I had to re-evaluate how I was going after the geese at Dairy Farmer Dave's in Sanilac County, Michigan, when in seven days I hit the field four times.

The impact was immediate: burn out?


Wait a minute here, deer season hasn't even begun yet. Which is what I call affectionately, "90 days of insanity."

Don't get me wrong. I like goose hunting but I've had to take a long look at just what kind of goose hunter I am. I'm thinking lately, not so good.

The feathered critters are as wary a game as I've come across in many a day. Whereas the deer and turkeys never make me behind my pyramid blind, I've gotten nailed every time out.

To my credit, it is an open winter wheat field with a few sections of weeds to hide in but I just can't hunker down enough without detection.

And decoys? They're out I've decided. The birds fly in, see the dekes and bust me in the blind, then flare at 60 yards. Leaving me with no shot.

I found myself questioning the range estimations in my head but when I stepped them out they were at 60 yards.

For my last hunt I decided I would bag the dekes and the blind and use the woods as cover since I noticed they were flying over at nearly the same places each morning en route to Dave's north wheat field.

And it would've worked if they would have just been within the magical 50-yard imaginary marker.

I even decided to test the hypothesis and was once again deemed a fool by merely dusting the lead bird's feathers.

In a perfect world I envisioned me driving over to where Dave is on the farm, dropping the tailgate and Boom! Three geese are laid out for his inspection.

Poof! I shake my head and I see no such reality.

What I wanted to do was show him I wasn't just goofing off out there.

One thing he doesn't have to worry about is the birds landing in his wheat field any time soon.

Between Dave periodically chasing them away throughout the summer and me firing warning volleys, they're easily convinced that's one field they don't want to be in.

I guess that's good and bad. Good for Dave, and bad for me.

Albeit temporarily. This is only the early season, which runs until Sept. 15.

Then I'm treated to a new, earlier fall turkey season. Traditionally, the fall turkey season begins in early October, but the Department of Natural Resources in its infinite wisdom has deemed there is a glut of birds.

So I will probably try another go or so on the pesky geese ... in the NEW field they prefer and try the same woods-cover trick there.

Then, fully armed with two tags, I will give the earlier turkey season a try.

Dave would like to see them reduced if not eliminated from his woods all together.

I consider turkeys more of a specialty of mine, albeit the spring variety mostly. I already have them scoped out -- where they roost and their usual routes to the surrounding fields and to a watering hole in the woods.

Hopefully it is during this season that I can snap out of what I've noticed is a slump. I've dropped nothing of any consequence since the six-pointer fell from a shoulder-blaster arrow shot at the end of October 2009.

Where you can travel to any hunting show and hear several patrons say, "I really just like getting out in the outdoors," ad nauseam, I'm there but eventually I need to see a kill and fulfill a sense of accomplishment.

So geese fly on and we'll meet again during the regular season when it begins Oct. 9 and I need the occasional break from the mother of all seasons: deer archery.


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