Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014 Late Season Goose - One is better than none

Lone harvested goose from 2/10, Big Foot decoy, Foiles goose call,
and love my waxed cotton ditty bag from McAlister
Decoys set out in a likely location
If it's February in South Carolina then it's time for some late goose season hunting. The SCDNR has a special late season for Canada geese to give hunters a chance to thin the resident geese that now call S.C. home. No hunt will be a success without scouting and I have been scouting some likely ponds for weeks now, and while geese have been in the vicinity, there has been nothing routine about their comings and goings. With the season running from Feb. 6 - 15 the window of opportunity is narrow and hunts must be conducted using one's best judgement. A friend reported that six geese had been on a certain pond at 5 p.m. one day, so I set up my decoys and was hunting by 4 p.m. in that same spot the next day. Anticipation ran high so every crow call and cat call in the area had my ears perking up, and then at 4:30 I heard a flight of geese cackling - but only briefly. They never came to the pond, just flew by it within earshot, and despite me staying on high alert until legal shooting time ended at 6 p.m. that was the tale of the hunt. No geese present and no shots fired, and officially one less day to hunt them. At this point any sighting of a Canada goose is cause to formulate a hypothesis about when and where to hunt them before time runs out. With heavy winter weather forecast for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday it seemed like Monday afternoon would provide a comfortable time to stake out another pond for afternoon activity. Hunting in 65-degree temps in lightweight gear, I was able to set up my decoys and practice how I would rise from the bullrushes that concealed me and empty my three shell limit on a flock of geese. About 5 p.m. a flock of a dozen geese did approach without saying a word - so during such a stealthy approach I do not issue a call to them, rather I let my decoys do the talking. When a pair of geese swings by my end of the pond I raise up and squeeze the trigger two times, one clean miss and one hit - Splash!! Those geese climbed into the sky and turned on the afterburners and that was the end of my late goose season hunt, but I figure that one goose is better than none, and finish up thankful for the sport of waterfowling.

To view past blog entries from late goose season click 2013, 2012, 2011 or 2010.

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