Hunting Stories

Beau's First Goose Hunt


Beau finally got his chance to retrieve some geese on 9-27-07.  Four of us had a great morning hunt.  Bad news was the new member of the group did not have an exterior goose permit and had to limit his shooting to ducks only.  John didn't show up until just before shooting hours. The problem with that was no ducks showed up.  I missed the hunt in the same field last Sat. and Sun. when there were lots of mallards coming in with the geese. We could have easily taken two more geese if John had the required permit, limit being two each.  It was five for the early season.

I was very excited driving down at 3:00 AM to meet Eric and Dennis, my nephew, about the possibility of shooting some nice green heads.  I actually prefer mallard hunting to goose hunting.  However, it's a real thrill to see a flock of Canada Geese folding first one wing then the other dropping like rocks from a hundred yards up before back pedaling hard as they get ready to land in the decoys.   Up that close they sound and look like a 747 landing, thrusters in reverse trying to slow down. That's when the fun starts. 

The first flock looked us over making 4 passes before Dennis said he wasn't going to wait for a fifth.  He dropped one and I missed completely.  Beau tried to go but I had him tied in the blind.  Jigg's made that retrieve.   It didn't take long for the second group to mistake our decoys for the real thing.  A little better shooting this time dropped two more.  Not sure who hit what, doesn't matter.   Beau had somehow managed to get out of his slip lead but waited to be sent.   He hammered his first ever goose on the dead run.  He even tried to step back in the blind with it.  I didn't let him in.  He circled 4-5 times with his prize until Dennis got a picture.  He wasn't about to put his goose down.  Eric's GWH retrieved the other one, three down, three to go. 

Now we had a long wait.  Several flocks buzzed us during the interim not quite in range before heading to a safer spot.   It started to seem like the hunt was done for the morning.  Half and hour passed when the by now familiar sound of more geese coming in from the west could be heard.  We started calling with Eric and Dennis flagging like crazy.  This large flock passed out front, made a wide 360 and dead headed right at us, gliding, wings set to land.  I was the first to raise and shoot, one fell dead.  I swung left and dropped another going straight away.  It hit the ground, got up and started running fast as a goose can run.  Eric pounded one that fell almost on top of us.  Beau was back with the first one down almost instantly when I noticed Joe up and running after the escaping  goose.  I yelled to let it go.  I desperately wanted to send Beau. 

John finally heard me and stopped his chase.  By the time I got Beau lined up and sent him he ran probably 100 yards in the correct direction when the goose saw him coming and tried to fly.  That caught his attention.  He was there in another 20 yards, bowled the goose over, picked it up and started back with a very unhappy goose.  I let him carry it around showing off while Dennis and I took more pictures. 

At the hunt test the previous week end one of the Muddy Water HRC officers that saw pictures of Scout, Beau's half brother, on the club's web site forum page retrieving a big goose said to me, "It's really weird, out of place to see a poodle carrying a goose, hard to get use to."  He'll have to get use to it again.  Only this time it will be Beau.   



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