This Ross’s goose, taken during our spring season, exhibits some gnarly barnacles on the base of his bill. Age is supposed to be one of the factors that contributes to this unique physical feature. I’ve also heard that the barnacles become larger in the spring, in order for the male to attract a female. I’ve never seen them look like this in the fall, so maybe there is some truth to this. It’s also interesting that these geese don’t show the same feather staining snow geese do, even though they seemingly lead the same lifestyle. Personally, I love the way these little guys look and the way they come into the decoys.
Spring season Ross's goose.
Snow geese leaving the roost, this is a good place to start.
Scouting and setting up a waterfowl field hunt for the next day can be a time consuming grind at times- hours of driving dirt roads, looking through binoculars while following flocks of ducks and geese from the roost, and finding land owners that are busy with harvest and farm work. Some days it’s easy and we find the field we want right away. However it turns out, it’s the necessary effort we put in to ensure a quality hunt for the next day.
Snow geese in the field, this is the spot!
We look at many fields, judging each by the number and species of birds using them, the type of cover and food in the field, the proximity of the field to the roost, wind direction, access, everything! Everything must be taken into account; you can’t take this part of the hunt for granted or try to shortcut it, you’ll surely get burned the next day by something you’ve overlooked.
What is our ideal field you may ask? Good cover (high stubble, corn is the best) we can stuff our blinds with, dry, untilled, easy access, loaded with the birds we are chasing for that particular hunt (darks, whites, or ducks), and at least a mile from the roost. If all of these variables come together for us the next day we are probably going to have a good hunt. When you lock up one of these fields that has all of the right variables coming together it makes it tough to sleep the night before the hunt!
A sample of the results: snow goose, blue goose, Ross's goose.