Finding Honky Tonk- Andrew Bishop

August 27, 2012

Last Monday I finally organised some time to visit a farm near Lake Waikare in the Waikato to help rid the dairy farmers Canadian Goose problem.

My old man and mate of mine Beefo set out in the early hours of the morning with a trailer load of goose decoys and another trailer with the quad bike.

We parked at the end of the race to the cow shed where the 4wds would not go any further. The paddocks were so sodden we had to use the quad bike to ferry all the decoys, blinds, guns, ammo and shooters to the paddock where hundreds of geese had been devouring the newly sewn grass.

At this time of year the birds are either starting to pair up or still in large mobs if the are 2 year old or less. This mob was therefore a mix of 2 year olds and juveniles.

The cocky had left his blind for me out in the rain all week…nice! Lucky I had my XTR pants and jacket on to repel the bath I had to endure for the next couple of hours on a windy, rainy Waikato morning!

After setting up close to 50 decoys, we waited, and waited. The flight was non existent which was making us think the worst, in that we would get one large mob! With 3 shooters this is the worst scenario, other than them not turning up at all! The cocky said by 8am they should all in the paddocks feeding.

9am passed and to my amazement our first customers turned up. The pair who took one pass out wide, Beefo and I calling and quick flap on the flag, they turned and set into the spread crossing in front of our blinds only to end belly up in the mud after two shots.

Eye opener complete, again we waited! The morning was slow but rewarding. Most mobs were 2-5, with the largest mob of 15 stretching us 3 shooters!

These geese have been shot at several times and are very cagey, so to finish up on 30 birds picked up we were happy with the mornings effort.

That afternoon the farmer called me to tell me 100 geese were sitting back in the paddock! Just goes to show if the geese are hungery, nothing is going to stop them. All I could think about all day was; If only we could be paid to hunt!

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