What's bigger than a dove...

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
and shakes the ground when it hits? Big Canada geese. We started the waterfowl season today (early goose on the west side). The heavy fog screwed us up for most of the morning but we still managed to knock down 8 of the big bruisers. One of the things was the biggest goose I believe I've ever seen. The dog had a real struggle trying to carry it back to the blind. I had to go out and help. I had a half dozen good photos and somehow screwed up the down load. (%*$&). We quit at 11:00 and my friend burned up a bearing on his decoy/ATV trailer so we spent the next six hours trying to fix and/or get it fixed. I have one poor shot of the dog bringing in one goose. Excuse the bad photography.
I wondered what trickery was going on. Regard in dove, I saw a lot this weekend it was awesome. I didn't bring a gun because it was my mom's birthday. Oh yeah, we were is Arizona...Freaking dove everywhere.

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
I filet the breast and it goes into sausage. My neighbor takes the legs and cans them in jars with a few spices. She'll use a couple of the carcasses to boil for the canning broth. The canned goose legs look pretty rough in the jar but I'll tell you, they are outstanding to just munch on. They are also great in beans or soups. I love'em. I've also sliced the filets cutlets and grilled them to medium rare, too.


Team Umiak
Karl..gr8 post. Geese are addicting..my absolute best shoot was Mattawa on my birthday in January..a few years ago..like 12. For 3 we punched our card..in a snow storm, by 1000. Then it was the iceyist drive home, in 4wd, sideways at like 15mph. lLast time I went goosin.

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
@Gary, thanks, you're right and I agree. I just had a couple of shots of the monster bird we shot and I wanted to post it.

Rob, my dog is probably a little pissed off. She doesn't like the big honkers. She's a fairly small Lab (53 lbs) and she has a hard time getting a grip on the birds and lifting them to carry. I've worked her with a Dokken goose retrieving dummy in prep for goose hunting which has the size of a medium goose but no mass. She did really well, very steady, marked well, did a little "shopping" (picking up one bird, dropping it and picking up a different bird), but, all in all, she did well.

@Fodal: those snowy hunts like that bring the magic of a winter scene, hungry birds, fast shooting, laughter and hunting buddies who shared the misery of wet, cold blinds, and scary drives on icy roads. Thanks for sharing that. Our hunt on Saturday was dry, warmish, and an easy drive. Your experience has more flavor and is what I would call a REAL goose hunt. Plus your birds were much more educated that the ones we shot on Saturday. For me there has to be some suffering to be a real waterfowl hunt. Plus, there has to be some skill involved to fool the birds into the decoys. It's like steelheading: which I picture as done in the winter, snow flurries (or at least moderate rain, cold water, and temperatures in the high 30's. I'm not a steelheader; I don't mind hunting in the rain but standing in former rain to my waist hoping for one strike, well, I'm just a woosie.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Superb, Karl! And I've received that "Next time you shoot one of these, YOU go pick it up" looks from my Labs on occasion over the years . . . along with the "WTF look" after a miss. They're very similar . . .

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Is this "WTF" look you mentioned? I just missed the first rooster of the year and the dog was, well, disappointed. She is still watching where it went out of sight.

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
The upside to Montana is there usually are more birds. The downside, the day before this photo we were a little bit north of Great Falls. It was 9 degrees with four inches of snow, no birds and too many hunters. It was the coldest day I've ever hunted.