Sunday, December 28, 2008

guiding my good buddies family duck hunt

I have been looking forward to this day all season, Dan a buddy of mine and his dad along with his son Jake and his two nephews booked a hunt down on the Paul's Pond or duck pond today...actually they hunted the pond last year and I was scheduled to guide them down and then I had the sudden passing of my dad in Iowa and couldn't do the trip...I took Dan and his family on there first guided hunt when Jake was just five or six so we go back a quite a ways...He has become a pretty close friend and always share a blind with him on my annual father-son hunt...Today was special as I don't get to hunt the pond too much...actually I prefer to goose hunt but hitting the pond a few times a year is alot of fun...we had a great shoot, the ducks came in just perfect in small groups and the boy's did a great job of picking out the drakes...Paul owner of the guide service came along and sure helped out...I am a little rusty on my duck shootin' and he knows the pond like know one else...It was a great time hunting, the best part of the hunt was looking down and watching Dan's dad just sitting back and enjoying the good times his boys were having....joe

Honkers in the snow on Friday, day after Christmas

I have a group of local clients that go out with me almost every year, three of of the five guys used to work with my dad and that's pretty cool to hear a few stories from other guys about him...I told the guys that they were in for a good and fast hunt...the temps have bee staying in the teens and to of the guys are receiving Chemo so there energy isn't what it used to be....Needless to say the honkers never let us down and we had a great shoot, Paul promised the guys in the morning that we would shoot our last goose before nine and thats when we finished up, here is a tailgate shot back at the truck, we wanted to get out of the field quick so Swat could shoot it this morning, man I love it when goose hunting gets like this...joe

Monday, December 22, 2008

Geese in the blizzard..

I had a group of three guys that canceled at the last minute due to our snow storm that we are gettin, Paul the owner of the guide service called me back last night and said he had rounded up a few locals that wouldn't have a problem making it out to slam a few geese in the snow...we had a late start, I was lucky to have a helper.....goose hunting in snow is alot of work chasing geese and dusting off decoys...I had my neighbor along to help...and we got in a great shoot...we got a late start one of the clients forgot his gun so we were out in the field setting up and we could here several volleys from the other group on the hill...we got the 20 deeks out and took awhile to get the geese to lift off the river but when they did they came in low and was great to hunt with my neighbor and have guys that can wipe out a whole flock in one was good, cold and a fast shoot when they got to is the pit shot..

and here is a shot of me back at the truck with my new winter hat...I got a slight case of frost bite last week on the tips of my ears from the old beanie and needed something that would keep the ears warm, I think I kind of look like a Nordic Hunter..Joe

A couple goose huntin' Virgins

I had a couple new guys out in Burbank for there first goose hunt....The geese were real leery, could have been the weather change or the constant banging from the rest of the goose hunters in Burbank area today but we got enough geese to get there gear down and set into the spread for some new goose hunters to get there fair share of geese to take home for the grill....joe

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The geese out here in Washington are thicker then I ever remember for this time of year, we have had un-seasonably mild weather but it hasn't stopped the geese from being really aggressive in their feeding habits. My fellow guide and Foiles staffer Jeff and I had a party of goose hunter's this morning, he was set up on the X... I can't remember how many geese were in the field he was hunting, but it was in the several hundreds. I was in a buckwheat field above him...we both knew the geese would probably want to be in his field and he would hammer out his limit and then I would get my group in there and swap out his dudes...Jeff was done pretty quick and we moved, as we moved the sun broke through the clouds which made the geese a little more leery, but it was still a pretty quick hunt My guys banged out there four goose limits and we were done... it helped to have good shooters in the blind as well, two goose groups in and out in a little over two hours...not too bad of a day and we got the field rested for the hunt tomorrow...joe

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Tough hunt with a good buddy...

The goose guiding business has been pretty slow this year...Our guide service in years past would book four or five groups a day on a regular goose day. The last couple of years it has gotten slower and slower. This year we have records amounts of geese for this time of year and no clients to take out...I could just jump into a pit with one of the smaller groups that Paul has been taking out, but I also enjoy just hunting with the guys where the success might not be as, but the company always makes up for lack of fast shooting.

Jim, a guy I work with have hit it off since the day we met at work over eight years ago. I have seen his talents on a goose call and duck call progress every year and he is just a great guy to hang around...We have the same sense of humor and it makes for some pretty good laughs in the duck blind, usually at a fellow hunters expense...there are no punches pulled when you are hunting with us together. :) We hunted a little out of the way place that he has been hunting for years...It can be kinda "Tough Duty" but at times can be pretty good. The best part about it is that it is only 10 minutes away from the house which makes for easy hunting. The hunt was really slow, we only saw a handful of ducks all morning and the ones we seen we were able to coax into the decoys...

My boy Jake loves to go hunting with the guys, he isn't shooting yet, he will be getting his Hunters Safety card next Spring. I have promised him that we would try turkey hunting. It is a pretty good comedy when he is in the blind tough, he is a natural comedian when things get pretty slow...The highlight of the hunt was when we heard a single goose honking down the river, Jim and I both did the double team smack down on him and called him into the decoys after circling our spread, getting lower and lower on every pass...finally he started to drop the feet and dump his big ASS into the deeks...Jim and I called the shot and we both dumped the bird with a shot each...The goose landed with a big splash and Jake who had been waiting to get another boat ride, rode out and scooped up the big ol' Gander...It was a good way to finish up a slow hunt.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Last weeks goose hunt...

Today was the day I finally had a paying goose group out at the farm. I was set up in a buckwheat field hunting out of a pit that I have hunted the last eight years. I knew this was a test of my new Final Approach Lesser's that I picked up this year before the season when I was put on their Field Staff. Paul, the owner of Burbank Goose Club was nice enough to let me give them a shot...

I ended up hunting right next to my buddy and fellow goose guide Jeff...he and I have been friends for a year or two now and if I was gonna hunt next to anyone on my maiden voyage with my FA's then he is who I would want it to be next to...he is a good guide and we don't have the usual love to hate each other mentality that you see with some of the guides that hunt against each other. We were sitting on 500 plus geese that were rested the previous day. I was told later that the geese were using his side of the field, but that was irrelevant on how our success would go that day. First flock circled me and dumped right into him...neither of us were calling, our agreement before the hunt to give us both a fair shot. I assured my dudes that after they finished out which they did in quick time, we would move over to Jeff's spot to get our share of shooting...Jeff finished up and we moved, the sun started to come out, this shows how fast he and his guys were getting there geese in and we started getting our own share of the geese.

The old story of "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" fits right into goose hunting...I had several geese "backwing" into the decoys, call the shot to only watch my goose that I would pick to shoot fall in desperation and the other four guns drop just one...We always stress to pick your bird and make your shots count, but the fella's seemed a little rusty with there old trusty's if you know what I mean...I have seen "go's" in the past go like this and usually you can talk them into relaxing, but geese were coming consistent enough to have shooting every fifteen minutes or so.

There comes a time when a good guide has to "pull the plug" this is when the clients have shot at there fair share of geese and we need to rest the field for the next hunt...Usually this is after four good size flocks of under 50 birds...our limit is four geese and this gives them the chance to harvest their group at a time. I give the guys the heads up prior to the hunt that if they get an opportunity to shoot one goose per go then I have done my job...well we had one more go and as before the guys dropped a few and we were done...there were no limits this day. The guys scratched out a few a piece and I am sure were happy with the way I gave them the opportunities.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Here is my new blog...

I have been wanting to start a blog for awhile now, mainly I will use it to post up my goose hunting pictures along with a short story about my hunts...I have been a professional goose guide in the Columbia Basin of Washington for the last eight years. I am also on Foiles Migrators Prostaff along with Final Approach's Fieldstaff. My main goal in hunting now days is to pass on my passion and skills to my nine yr. old son Jakob who loves to goose hunt as much as myself...Check back through out the season to see what I have been up to...joe