Friday, March 19, 2010

White Fronted Goose Hunt, Pt.1

I was down in Klamath for a special hunt this past February and early March. The opening weekend was a complete disappointment. Not so much due to lack of geese but other factors. My friend Jackie and I set up in a field against a dike face and had a few full body Spec decoys out. There were decent numbers of geese in the area, although with unseasonal mild temps and no snow, the geese had the entire state to go where they wanted. They were not pressured to any one area because of limiting factors such as snow covered ground, iced rivers, lack of food sources or inclement weather. We dug in our ground blinds a day before the opening with the usual optimism. I was fighting off early symptoms of a bug and doing my best to keep the upper hand.

We were in our blinds by shooting time on Saturday morning and waited patiently for the geese to make their move from the Klamath River to the fields. There was a lack of green up due to poor snow pack and less precipitation than normal years. The geese were finding food where ever they could with no real jackpot anywhere. Across the river from us there were a couple other hunters set up near the river. As the geese began giving us a look, the fellows across the way were shooting at geese well out of their range. Thus having a negative effect on all the geese in close proximity. I was beside myself with the display of poor judgement of shooting distance and the ill effects of educating the geese. Once they started shooting or what is known as skybusting, we had next to zero chances of calling in any geese to our spread. I watched as they continued to skybust and didn't see a single goose ever get knocked down. By the end of the first evening after we picked up our decoys, I continued to hear shooting well beyond legal quitting time. A healthy 20 minutes after the fact, which just added to my disgust. After we returned to the cabin I reported the location, number of hunters and associated facts to the proper authorities. Considering I wasn't feeling well they picked the wrong time and place for their display of poor ethics and disregard of game laws.

The next morning found me sick as a dog and able only to make a trip to the field to gather my gear and head home to lick my wounds. Jackie was on her way home also as work was on her itinerary. So, after a very disappointing opening weekend it took me a week to get back on my feet and entertain the thought of returning for the last week of the White Fronted Goose hunt.

Fortunately, the season ended better than it started. I'll have the conclusion in my next post in a few days. Jet even got into the action and had some proud moments.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt


Tovar Cerulli said...

Nothing like seeing a lack of integrity in the field to ruin a hunt. Looking forward to hearing the more positive end of the tale.

Anonymous said...

Yep - 20 minutes is WAY out of line. And skybusters should just find a new hobby.

Makes me think about all these new loads that promise all the "range" you want. I think it encourages some hunters to try to shoot at ranges they shouldn't.

Looking forward to the next segment!

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

The Canadian Geese have just started flying over coastal Maine, however we have no spring season. Did you get any feedback from the game department, or did your concerns fall on deaf ears?

Look forward to reading the next installment?


Terry Scoville said...

Tovar, you are so right.

WO, yea maybe like going to the range and seeing what distance a shotgun is effective at. I'm with ya'!

DEDH, The spring hunt is actually a damage hunt for Klamath County farmers. Trying to cut back the geese numbers while they are heading north. Not so sure how effective it is though. As for the game officer. I have tried to reach him since and he hasn't returned my calls so I really don't know the outcome. If I find out I will let you know.

gary said...

There ought to be a law against getting sick during hunting season, but then again if the law can't stop the sky busters it probably won't stop the lousy flu either, right?

Terry Scoville said...

Gary, sad but true.

Main Line Sportsman said...

I despise skybusters. I hunt geese/ducks in Delaware near the bay...and on the Eastern Shore of MD..we get our share of skybusters and they do ruin things...good for you for reporting the swine. I like your Blog...come check mine some time. Cheers...hope they are locked up for a landing in yer spread.

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