Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Umpqua Goose Hunt

Posted by todblog on February 14, 2010

January 30, 2010

It’s been a few years since I’ve really made an attempt to go out and hunt geese in the Umpqua Valley. Like anything else, we all get busy and schedules get plugged up with various activities. Keeping dates open isn’t always easy especially when you add the activities of the kids to the calendar. With a four month long goose season, you’d think I could find a few days to go out and claim a few. Well, this year I finally did find a few days and made a serious mistake. I went on a half-day goose hunt and invited my friend Michael Burrell to come along. The boy is a crack shot, is always looking for an excuse to pull a trigger, and his passion for hunting and the outdoors is nothing short of addictive. After our outing I realized he got bit by the goose hunting bug real bad. There was no stopping him.

There was a small problem, it was the tail-end of the season and there were only a few weekends left. However, with that same problem came end-of-season sales on gear at various sporting goods stores. Michael found himself buying layout blinds and full body goose decoys that were sure to fool late season geese looking for a place to land. Their paint job and body positioning were extremely realistic.

It was the last weekend of the Western Oregon Goose Season and we would put the decoys to the test. Luckily there were ranchers who were willing to let us test the decoys out. Ranchers value goose hunters as they chase geese off their pastures intended for cattle and not goose grazing.  Several hundred grazing geese can really have an impact on a hay field. That can add up when you consider the cost of seed, fertilizer, equipment, and labor it took the rancher to prepare that field for livestock production.

“So you guys want to hunt some geese, have at it and come back soon!”

Here’s the result of our unscientific decoy test..

Trying to hide in an open field amongst a bunch of old shell decoys missing paint and an ugly battleship gray paint job..

Here’s a view from inside the layout blind.

The result…

Here’s what happened when we put out the realistic decoys… some are still placed behind us.

Although we reduced the number of geese in the field by 12, the rancher gave us an “F” for effort as there were still several hundred geese left to eat his grass and the season was about to close. The geese would have a 7 month break before goose season opens up again in September. I guess we’ll try to get a better grade next year.


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