SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:15 pm

September 1 (Opening day of early goose season)

Got out opening morning of early goose. Early goose season here is a little quirky, never really expect much until I start seeing geese fly around my home or where I work which I have not been. However, I have been seeing a lot more lounging around the parks and even a recently mowed sweet corn field just jam packed with geese not far from where I hunt, which I never see this time of year. So I was a little more optimistic than typical for opening day which is mostly to shake the rust of and just nice to get out and do some bird watching.

Kind of an odd color of sunrise.

Sept1morning.jpg


Saw quite a few wood ducks. Not the best picture, but I did get to listen to them on the water which hopefully will help me this fall.

woodymorning.jpg


I did see quite a few more geese than expected. However, they all seemed to be flocks led by geese well acquainted with the location of our blinds.

I saw 3 coming straight toward me fairly low. Decided I'll just let them come and shoot them when they fly over. About point they can see the decoy spread, they hang a left and flow down the channel that has no blind on it.

Shortly there after another flock of 5 or 6, decided to flag them and a little calling. Same exact pattern.

A little while later, another bigger flock of maybe 10 or so, tried being more aggressive with the calling. Zero interest and took the exact same flight pattern being sure to steer wide of all blind locations in the area.

Saw a few other birds off in the distance, but absolutely no birds showed any interest. I didn't hear any shots in the area either. I know there were at least a few other guys out. It was a beautiful day. A little cool and windy for this time of year, but it was nice to be out without sweating.

And as far as knocking the rust off. Looked at the weather. East wind. Set up the spread thinking the geese will be coming in to land from the east :roll: :lol: I finished and was taking my gear to the blind when I realized I had everything assbackwards. Doesn't really make any difference in this blind, so I didn't have to go rearrange the decoys.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:24 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:...they hang a left and flow down the channel that has no blind on it.

Shortly there after another flock...Same exact pattern.

A little while later, another bigger flock... took the exact same flight pattern...


So, any idea where you'll be tomorrow?
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:36 pm

Rick wrote:
SpinnerMan wrote:...they hang a left and flow down the channel that has no blind on it.

Shortly there after another flock...Same exact pattern.

A little while later, another bigger flock... took the exact same flight pattern...


So, any idea where you'll be tomorrow?

We are required to hunt from the blinds. Club rules or I know exactly where I would be. I have deer stand along the route. Sometimes they come over so low I can hear there flight feathers rubbing.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:40 pm

Time to hunt that stand with some flu-flues.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:45 pm

Rick wrote:Time to hunt that stand with some flu-flues.

I definitely need to pick some up.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Sep 08, 2017 9:51 am

September 8 (Easy Singles)

Given the weather and lack of real goose activity I hadn't been out since opening day. Over the last week, the club where I hunt killed a total of 8 geese with only 5 of 25 hunters getting anything.

Showed up this AM and was the only one out at the club. Decided to hunt the goose field at the back of the club. There are several big retention ponds around 400-600 yards to the east that often hold birds and they were holding some birds. This is usually never a good thing. I've watched a whole lot of birds get sucked in over there. And if they do get up, they go north and come nowhere near the blind.

I've tried different things over the years to try and get them interested and mostly just ignore them and hope I get birds coming from the southwest. I tried something a little different. I treated them like interested birds as opposed to disinterested birds. A lot more coaxing. When a single would start talking, I'd try to pick up a conversation and this seemed to do the trick. Four separate times about 20 minutes apart. I'd strike up a back and forth with a single that would last for between 10 and 20 minutes. Then a single would get up and fly over to me. Three of them came straight in on a suicide run. One flew past and came back a couple minutes later on a suicide run.

This was a before work hunt, and I had to start packing up at 8AM. Pulled my truck in the field to load the decoys. Before I had picked a single decoy, about 10 or so were coming in on what looked like a suicide run. Even with me and the truck in the field, half the flock still looked like it wanted to come in :lol: 5 more minutes and I'd have got my 5th, although, I would have educated the rest of them so probably not a bad thing that I packed up. After I was about half picked up a pair came over that looked like they would have played. Great morning.

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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:32 am

Keep practicing. Eventually you'll be 'picking out bands'.
They band a whole lot of geese up in that area.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to **** around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:40 am

aunt betty wrote:Keep practicing. Eventually you'll be 'picking out bands'.
They band a whole lot of geese up in that area.

I killed every goose that came within range. No opportunity to look for bands.

While I am very lucky when it comes to bands. As far as local goose bands, I only have 2. Most people that have shot as many local geese there as I have have a lot more than 2 local bands. I think they band a bunch in the park that sits just to the west of our property.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:53 am

Sure beats watching them go "that-away" I'll bet.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:07 pm

Rick wrote:Sure beats watching them go "that-away" I'll bet.

One of those days that makes you feel like you actually know what you are doing.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:00 am

September 9 (Bad Decisions)

I hunt a club. Every blind is assigned to a group of 3 guys that rotates weekly during regular duck season. Your blind the first week of duck is your blind for early goose as well. You must get it ready to hunt for duck season. If you are at the club an hour before shooting time, you can claim your blind. Unclaimed blinds are claimed based on the order you arrived with one exception, you can't claim the blind you jumped the day before until everybody else jumping has passed. There are 2 goose fields that are both with duck blinds (they are too close to hunt both at the same time so you pick which you hunt if you claim them). I wanted to get one of the goose fields, but I had to hope the guys who have those blinds didn't show and I was ahead of everybody else or join up with guys that I hunt with.

First bad decision. I got up extra early so I'd be first on the jump list.

The people in the blind that I shot 4 the day before showed and claimed their blind. The one guy actually beat me there and was already gone. His partner showed a little later and asked if I wanted to jump in with them. I said sure if they were hunting the goose blind. He wasn't sure so I drove all the way to the back where that blind is only to find out the other guy had the boat loaded and ready to go.

Bad decision #2, I said I'll head back and hunt the other field.

About 5 minutes before jump time, the guys with that blind show. They say they are going to hunt a little and then work on the duck blind, but I'm welcome to join. So I make bad decision #3 and pass and decide to head to one of the water blinds.

There are geese all around in the dark making noise. Looking like I might have made the right decision.

About 15 minutes before shooting time, I just get into the blind after setting up about 10 geese pass right over my head about 25 yards up. :shock:

Sun comes up and I really don't like how I have the decoys set, but there are a lot of geese. Screw it Bad decision #4, I got to move them. Not half way to the first decoy and some geese go over that looked like they might have wanted to play.

OK, got things looking better.

A good sized flock heads over. A little high, but they seem in range. 3 shells later either they weren't or I missed. Another bad decision or bad shooting.

The rest head out with no interest and then it pretty much goes completely dead on my end less than an hour after shooting time. I hear shooting from the other guys which I could have been hunting with.

On the plus side it was a beautiful day of bird watching. I had a hummingbird about 5' from me feeding on a flower in front of the blind. Kingfishers chasing each other around and fishing. Lots of bluejays, robins, and other little birds. After about 2 hours of nothing but bird watching I called it a day.

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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:31 am

September 11 (Nada)

Got out this morning and as far as a log this is mostly just checking the box.

Barely heard any geese in the distance. Saw one small flock and a pair about half mile away or more.

Saw a few woodies and a few distant ducks that may have been teal. One woody hooked in and landed behind me after kak'ing at him with the BWT call. Later got a look at it and it was a small wood duck that just wanted to land back in that corner.

Very disappointing with only 4 days left in early goose. Usually this is when it starts to pick up. With the nice weather forecast for the rest of the week, I just don't see any new birds showing up.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:50 am

September 18 (3 days after early goose closed)

They have return :(

Driving into work (yes I went to work on Sunday :( ), I saw a long string of about 40 geese and a few other flocks.

I went for a walk yesterday evening with my wife about 2 hours before sunset. Singles, pairs, small flocks, geese trading around all over.

I think I saw one flock that literally just returned from their summer vacation up north (we have a strong molt migration where the locals without young head north for the summer) and a lot of the pairs seem to vacate the area with their fledglings. About 20 or so geese up in the stratosphere were passing overhead and when they were basically straight up they must have spotted whatever landmark they were looking for and they just started gliding and coming down ever so slowly. Last I saw them they were about a mile SE and only a couple hundred yards off the ground.

It was non-stop geese action 5 miles from where I hunt. Too bad it was 3 days after the season. Early goose is like that. Some years this happens before the season ends and it is great hunting. Most years it is shortly after like this and you are lucky to get much action at all.

Over a month of frustration until we can get after them again.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:38 am

Tickles me just to see them show up, so I'd be happy season or no.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:25 pm

I love seeing and hearing geese pretty much any where I go. The timing in relation to the season is always funny and normally frustrating. It's generally within a few days of the end of the season and it is like flipping a switch most years.

This was a better than normal year even without any significant return. For whatever reason, more geese than normal stuck around.

I also saw a nice flock of ducks on the move today. I think they were mallards, but I couldn't really tell. Definitely not acting like pond hopping locals. It still feels like summer, but the leaves are starting to change and the waterfowl are starting to show the signs of that the calendar is moving toward fall.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:16 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:I love seeing and hearing geese pretty much any where I go.
Have a farmer friend in Indiana that can cure you of that. Five minutes alone in the yard with his geese and you'll want to kill every one you see for the rest of your life.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to **** around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:22 pm

Less than a week to opening day. :-D

Heading out at lunchtime I saw a nice flock of mallards flying around in the bright sun. Saw 30 or so and I think were more in front, but I had trees in the way and decided not to gun it to get in front of a semi just to see the whole flock. A little down the road I saw 50+ Canadas. Enough burds flying around at noon to get some excitement going.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:14 pm

October 21 (Opening Day - proving once again it is better to be lucky than good)

I hunted with one of my regular blind partner Jesse. My other blind partner didn't hunt opening day. Not quite sure why.

The warm weather kept the wood ducks around. They are a lot of fun, but not exactly easy to hit when zipping from this way or that with little to no warning. We burned through quite a few shells. I managed to get my three. Jesse could not get his to die and lost 3 and ended with zero and was very frustrated by knocking them down and losing them.

We saw about 6 mallards all morning and surprisingly few geese. But there were a ton of wood ducks around.

OpeningDayBandedWoodie.jpg


Species: Wood Duck
Date banded: 08/25/2016
Banding Location: NEAR BLOOMINGTON, HENNEPIN COUNTY, MINNESOTA, USA
Age: HATCHED IN 2015 OR EARLIER
Sex: MALE
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:26 pm

Pretty.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:06 am

October 26

Beautiful morning to be out. A little cool, clear, beautiful sunrise, ...

I'm set up on a bank between two good sized ponds. I'm set up for ducks out in front of me and I have a small spread of geese in the pond behind me. I always like to have a few geese out because even though I'm not expecting any, you never know when you will get that random goose looking for company, plus I think they catch the eye of the ducks.

With work and the weather, I hadn't been able to get out since opening day, but was finally able to swing a pre-work hunt this morning.

Not nearly as many wood ducks around as opening day. I had one fly over at about 2 minutes after LST. I passed on the shot because I would have dumped him into the jungle to the west where we lost 2 on opening day in full daylight.

Not much happening when I hear a drake mallard announce his presence as he is coming my way. I scramble to get my call when he is almost to me. A couple quacks and he locks in on the geese behind me :?: He comes down and is basically hanging stationary in the air about 20 yards over the goose dekes. So taking all my wingshooting skills, I dropped him. :thumbsup:

For about the next hour, very little action. A few woodies flying around. The geese start to stir a little. I need to pack up around 8AM so I don't get to work too late. My alarm goes off to remind me it's time to go. I decide to give it 5 more minutes.

About 2 minutes later, I hear a single goose low and off to the west. There's several large ponds back there, so he must have roosted back there. I start talking with him and he flies through the little pass that gets him to the pond out in front. From there all he can see is the duck decoys. I can see him looking around a bit confused by what he heard and what he is seeing. But he keeps heading straight for that goose he knows he heard. I pop him. Don't fold him, but he locks into the death glide. I was about to shoot him again and thought, I'll just catch him if he goes by. He slammed into the ground right at the base of the door to the blind less than 3 feet from where I was standing. :thumbsup:

2 shots, 2 birds. It's nice when it works like that. Granted, they couldn't hardly have been any easier shots, but isn't that the plan?

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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby DComeaux » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:15 am

Seems like a very relaxing morning. Too bad work was in the mix.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Duck Engr » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:25 am

Very nice!


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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Deltaman » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:50 am

Nice way to start the work day :beer:
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure, that just ain't so"
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:51 am

Deltaman wrote:Nice way to start the work day :beer:

Being able to get out and hunt before work makes work better. It really does.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:42 pm

October 27 (birds, birds, birds)

But very few the right kind.

I saw about 20 wood ducks and no other ducks at all. Not many geese either. End without a shot fired.

But damn were the birds flying around. Robins, doves, tweetie birds of all kinds, kingfishers, ... They kept me on my toes.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:02 pm

I saw a bird once when I was huntin'.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to **** around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:57 am

Oct 29 (First archery outing)

I saw a deer in my area heading back to hunt on Friday and there seemed like a good number of tracks in the mud when I checked on the way out Friday, but nothing showed while I was there in the morning. A couple times I thought I heard deer moving in the brush, but that was the only excitement for the morning.

I got to watch a goose commit suicide at one of the nearby duck blinds. The thing was clucking like crazy as it flew over and went straight in to the nearest blind.

Another goose came over very low, and as I watched him I was thinking somebody should shoot him. He goes over one blind. Bang, bang, bang. And keeps on going. I don't think they touched him. He doesn't gain any altitude and flies over another blind. Bang, bang, bang. I didn't see any signs they hit him either. He decides to head back from where he came. I think he went over the first blind again. Bang, bang, bang. And he continues on back the way he came appearing no worse off :lol:
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby DComeaux » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:19 am

Good Lord! Was the goose actually low enough?
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:21 am

Shootem in the lips.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to **** around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:25 am

DComeaux wrote:Good Lord! Was the goose actually low enough?

The goose was definitely low enough. What I couldn't tell was whether it passed by close enough or not.
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