Water fowl talk

a goose on the side of the lake

“ Necessity is the mother of invention“

Packing it is the key

Welcome to fall, my friends.  With the first opener of the season now on the books and since I am a hunter I wanna share some ideas, thoughts, strategies, and tactics that I employ during early season waterfowl.  Allow me to offer a disclaimer first. “ I grew up in the world of deer hunting and adopted the world of waterfowl as means to get into the field to hunt a few weeks earlier.  So by no means do I consider myself a real waterfowl hunter.  To me it’s another avenue to do what I enjoy and I’ve grown to enjoy my time chasing geese.” With that out of the way let’s talk about what I consider my hybrid take on waterfowl hunting.

Yes I love those huge goose decoy spreads just has much as all those hardcore guys do.  However carrying hundreds of decoys in and out single handedly just isn’t practical or efficient for a guy like me that hunts solo.  That isn’t to say it can’t be done, I’m a firm believer of “if there’s a will there’s away”.  The way I look at things is if I can’t strap it on to my pack then I don’t need it.  Now there are thoughts that this mentality will add a lot of extra weight to my backpack but that’s the trade off for not having to backtrack and to have hands free. This also gives me the ability to run and gun or pick up and move.

On the subject of my backpack I keep it pretty simple and versatile to fit pretty much whatever I am out hunting on any given day with a few add-ons or subtractions. For example when I head out on a goose hunt I’ll strap a dozen old goose silhouettes to the back and a lanyard worth of calls to go along with my box of shells for the day.  I love the versatility and flexibility of the silhouette set up for the run and gun style that I impose to my hunts.  To me the key to hunting is being able to assess and adapt on the fly.  This normally implies a good deal of preseason intel through scouting and having boots on the ground.  Having a lay of the land and forming a good outline of a plan is really key to putting the geese on the ground.

On any given morning I will make my hike into my starting spot about two and half to three hours before first light.  This gives me time to really touch and connect with the field I’m going to be working in.  After getting my bearings, the first thing I’ll do is decide on where I’ll be sitting.  Again with that minimal approach I’m normally not going to be laying in blind.  Therefore if this isn’t a spot I’ve prepped and plan on working throughout the season it means I’m using whatever I can find to build up a nice little hide.  The key here is to have a spot with the wind blowing in my face.  From there I’m unpacking and turning those silhouettes to group into a couple of family groups.  These groups are set to appear to be feeding and hanging out without a care in the world. Once all the work on my setup is done the remainder of the time I’m settling in and putting the final touches on my hide.

Once the sun starts to rise with the last few minutes before it’s time to hunt I might hit the call a few times or rustle the ground around me a little bit to help set the scene while I’m watching my surroundings.  This is the point where the day’s chest match begins.  If all the stars align I’ll be busting incoming geese in no time.  If things don’t work out right I’m thinking into my next move and what I can do to help turn things into my favor.

I hope you enjoyed and found something to take away to add to your game or just to think about.  Congratulations on making it to a new season and happy hunting.

When it all works out

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