Tony, Matt, Chewie and I lay in our blinds in a quagmire watching and waiting for geese to appear. It was cold and windy and ducks flew around in the early morning gloom. During the week, the boys had scouted about 150 birds using a paddock – they’d walked the birds off the previous evening. Because we’d have to walk our gear into a wet and slusshy paddock, I’d decided to travel as light as possible so had the dozen Higdon shells on my back, my layout, blind bag and gun. We managed to get the gear in without too many dramas and set the decoys for the cold SE wind. Because of the presence of a house we couldn’t set exactly for the wind, but none the less it felt like a pretty good setup overall.
|I detect a goose|
From time to time rain pelted down and we sheltered down. The sun came up, raising temperatures marginally. Finally a ragged group of 5 geese appeared on the horizon. We got down and began to flag and they came our way… before passing overhead and landing 2 paddocks over. Uh-oh.
20 minutes later, a huge group of birds got up and began to fly towards us. At a guess 100+ birds were up and approaching. They hung over us, well up in the breeze before meandering away, then swinging down wind. Half of the birds split off, set up and landed well upwind. The other half continued to mosey around before dropping flaps and landing in with their mates. We were snookered. After a couple of minutes we released the dogs to push the birds away and they took to the air, disappearing over the horizon. We’d done all we could – there’s absolutely no point in taking random shots, maybe hitting a few but educating the rest. Hopefully they’ll keep.