Cost/benefit ratio?

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Goose season re-opened today. My partner and I spent a good hour and a half setting up 120 goose decoys and our layout blinds. We declined to shoot at the first flock that flew overhead, we wanted them to land on the "x" in the dekes before we were going to start shooting. Ten minutes later we land a flock of 30-40, we jump them out of the decoys and each fire three shots: six geese hit the ground. Ten minutes later another flock of 20-30 geese touch down on the "x", we jump them: two shots, two geese hit the ground and we finished our limits of four apiece. Total hunting time was 25 minutes. Picking up the decoys and layout blinds was another hour and three quarters. Total work time was 200 minutes, hunting time was 25 minutes. But what a great hunt...and it didn't rain on us. The dog is happy, too.
Nice! Today I drove 50 miles round trip, tried to quietly hike through a hundred yards of marsh, obtained a sample of every sticker and burr in existence, and then shot 2 Mallards when a group flushed. Went on to practically crawl through head high weeds and stalks on dryer land chasing pheasants, but they all flushed wild too far out. Definitely worth it anyway.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Excellent, Karl. I took Hank out yesterday. No birds to be found, but he hunted well (albeit a bit too closely; this will change over time), quartered well, & handled superbly. Not bad for 7-months . . . since there were no birds to be found yesterday, I shot a few pigeons over him this morning. Hank will be everything I have anticipated him being, and better than I deserve.


Idiot Savant
Karl, one way to tell if it was worth it is to look in a mirror...were you smiling? Another way to tell is when those geese get to the dinner table....

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
I worked my fat ass and the dog. She did another one of her "guided missile" acts:


"Splash one."

Really funny to watch her, definitely the best part of the hunt. It looks like a great day to be on the water, hope you get out.

@Troutrageous: sounds like the old "**** Creek Death March" a friend and I used to make. Great fun walking miles down into a canyon, trophy hunting for wild roosters, luck up on a duck or two, completely wear yourself out on a crisp fall day. Great stuff. Well done.
I think the solution to make the work-hunt ratio better is to go half-ass on the setup. Then you spend less time working, and more time hunting since I imagine less flocks will fly your way, so it will take longer to fill a limit! :thumb:

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Roper, we were having a great time. I always tell people, "You can tell when you're playing, you are most likely laughing". When you get flocks of 50-75 birds landing with 20 yards, it's hard not to laugh. My "whining" was tongue in cheek. The rest of the story: When we had shot our limits we put a 75 year old guy in my blind and I hauled ass to the far end of the field. This gentleman had never been in a layout blind before and my buddy treated him to what we call "the show". He shot his limit in five shells and then wandered over to the edge of the field with a dazed look in his eyes. He was totally overwhelmed with the experience of all of the birds landing around him. His replacement guy shot his limit in six shells but he's had the "show" experience before.

Between the dog work and providing my elderly friend with a new life experience of first episode of layout blind hunting and big flocks of birds landing around him at really close range was a real blast. Yeah, we were laughing the whole morning.

@Jim, you and Hank are getting to be quite a team. Well done, nothing like a good dog to make a day.


Active Member
Upton O,

I'd take take that any day! Two plus decades ago my dad and I would wake up at 12:00 am in Chicago, drive 3.5 hours to central Michigan and hunt a goose management area. It was done by lottery...the gates closed at 5:00 am (Michigan is an hour ahead which didn't help out). You would stand around with 300 or so other hunters and wait for your number to be called. If you were lucky and got called within the first 50 groups you found yourself out in the field by 6:00 rushing to get your 6 dozen deeks set up. After which my dad's version of driver's ed occurred he'd hand me the keys to the Jeep and say "go slow, don't get stuck, and get your ass back here quick!". To this day I don't know what I was more afraid of the Eisenhower Express Way or 'Todd Farm' roads :hmmm: I'd show up 30 minutes later, 7:00 am, just in time to see the sky turn into a whirling black cloud of geese and ducks lifting off the preserve and fanning slowly out. Shortly after the first wave of birds would be cupping in and by 7:15-7:30 we'd have our one, yes 1!, goose limit. Packing up deeks, going back to the farm station to check the birds, and the long arduous drive back put us home by noon. Pretty much 11-12 hours for 15 minutes! But these are some of the best hunting memories that I have with my dad...

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Can't really tell about the cacklers this year since our weather is so much milder than it was this time last year. The birds seem to move around a lot more, but we've had some incredible flocks come into the decoys. Went out yesterday and didn't see the numbers we had on Saturday and Sunday. There seem to be more of the larger subspecies of geese but they are very wary, probably birds that have been in the area and are already shot up pretty good. I've seen a lot of ducks in the refuge and surrounding areas that hold suitable water. This storm system coming in will move birds, hopefully it will bring more water for us.