Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Scouting is Key to September Canada Goose Success

September goose hunting succes requires teamwork

Waterfowl hunters understand that ducks and geese can simply change flight plans from one day to the next. This makes scouting perhaps the single most important ingredient for success during an early season goose hunt. The early goose season comes with a liberal bag limit and intends for hunters to keep sprawling populations of geese in check. With thirty days to work with in September, there is enough time to fine tune preparations and consistent efforts will usually pay off.
Chase Wiles, Waylon Wiles and David Felkel retrieve geese
Not every outing will be successful, and my first September goose hunt went lacking of both geese and any shooting. Hunting with Hugh McLaurin, maker of Big Lake goose calls out of Elloree, we waited for the geese to come to a roost pond one afternoon. We didn’t scout the pond, we just figured that they would show up there. While we guessed wrong that day, that is just a part of hunting, and as the Drake Field Expert for the Lowcountry I will keep hunting!
“In September the farmers in the coastal plain are cutting their corn fields, which makes the Canada geese act like nomads,” said McLaurin, a farmer himself. “They will jump from field to field when the combines move through, and they will use farm ponds along to way to rest.” Goose movement can be a guessing game, and another factor in play is that geese can live several years and the entire flock benefits from the older and more wary geese that are cautious about decoy formations and unsound goose calling.
Shane Wiles - Goose Hunter with GoPro
Brothers Shane and Chase Wiles hunt in cut cornfields in Orangeburg County and are friends with McLaurin since they share a passion for waterfowling. They had been scouting an 80-acre cutover cornfield since the season came in and watched as the goose activity continued to increase each morning until it was time to call for a hunt on Saturday, Sept. 13.
Jenni Wiles - Videographer
It’s worth noting that when the Wiles’ brothers need to round up some hunters, they simply ask their family and cousins until they have enough shooters. They ended up with three generations of their family out in that cornfield before dawn waiting on some Canada geese to show up and to subsequently strengthen their already strong love for the hunt. The photos show that they were richly rewarded that day, and McLaurin and I were fortunate to hunt alongside them.
Success didn’t come easy and began with a 5 a.m. meeting to gather goose decoys together, and to load gear into the trucks before driving out into the field. Chase Wiles took care to direct the crowd to the exact spot in the field where the geese had flown into and fed the day before right after sunrise. Everyone fanned out into the dark field to set out about 100 goose decoys.
To view the remainder of this article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view the latest Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report click here.

To view past blog entries on September goose hunting click 2013 or 2011.

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