KEEPING IT REAL
One thing you may well have noticed in this story is that the wariness of geese at this time of year has come up several times -- which is because it can’t be overemphasized!
Hunters who want to score on any kind of goose should be well camouflaged, and concealed around some kind of natural cover or in a photo-realistic blind. More goose hunters miss shots by not wearing facemasks, or by having one that allows too much face to show. If you have any face showing, put on some dark-colored makeup and hide yourself.
If you’re hunting in dry fields, lay-down blinds -- those that totally conceal you until the decisive moment -- are recommended. Last year I picked up one put out by Avery Outdoors and did well on a couple of dry ground hunts at Winnie and Devers.
If you hunt rice fields, avoid pit blinds that’ve been out all season and from which hundreds of birds shot have been (and shot at). At this point, the geese know what happens there, and will avoid the pits at all costs.
Setting up along natural cover like a levee, or lying in the middle of a spread (and, yes, being wet and miserable) will yield far more birds. It’s also important to keep your dog at heel, as the fidgeting of a hyperactive retriever can easily spoil a promising late-season goose hunt.
A lot of trouble just to shoot a few birds? Maybe. But those who, because they went the extra mile, have experienced the thrill of dozens of geese landing around them, and hundreds, sometimes thousands, flying over within shooting range, are the ones who reap the rewards. Yes, late-season goose hunting is a lot of work. And we who venture out in the fields at this time of year deem it to be well worth the effort. Well worth it!