Full Blown Trinity River Goose Hunt
With two dozen Snow Goose silhouettes, two dozen Snow and Blue Goose shells, three White Front floaters, two Snow Goose magnet flyers plus five dozen duck decoys loaded in the 15 foot Weldcraft boat, I turned the bow into the wind and opened the throttle on the 40 horsepower Johnson. I wondered if the extra load of goose decoys would pay off. In the previous couple days of scouting the Trinity River bottoms I had seen increasing numbers of Snow and White Fronted geese. White Fronted geese or Specs as they are called are especially attracted to the habitat of the Trinity River. My mind was made up and I was going full blown for a combination duck and goose hunt.
The next morning we slipped into our blind and sipped steaming black coffee. With all the decoys put out the evening before, all we had to do was wait for legal shooting time. It was a clear night and I could see the goose decoys behind the blind with the remaining moonlight. As I fumbled in the dark for another cup of coffee, I heard the unmistakable distant call of a Speckle belly Goose. I found my Haydel Spec Call hanging from my neck and knew I had to make a crisp call. The call came out clean and the Spec answered. I called back and he answered again. Suddenly, I could see the outline of the bird silhouetted against the moonlight as he came over the blind. The goose saw the decoys, cupped his wings and sat down. The extra effort of putting out the goose decoys had already paid off. We waited quietly until legal shooting time and harvested the goose as he flared out of the decoys.
While Mallards and Pintails dominate the interest of reservoir hunting there is always a chance of a bonus goose. Harvesting a Snow Goose, Speckle belly or even a Canadian Goose is a great addition to a river hunt. Already this year, guided hunters with Palmetto Guide Service have harvested several geese on our duck hunts here on the Trinity River. The extra effort of putting out goose decoys can pay off handsomely.
I add three Specklebelly full body floaters on all my duck hunts. Where conditions allow, I put out at least two dozen Snow Goose silhouettes. Remember to put the goose decoys upwind from your blind in order to pull the birds over the blind as they approach into the wind. Another thing I have learned here is to let Pelicans come into your spread. All kinds of ducks and geese are attracted to the white Pelicans and on occasion, you will see a Snow Goose flying with the Pelicans. What better decoys than live birds. We recently harvested a Snow Goose and a Eagle Head Blue Goose that dropped out of the ozone level to fall into our live Pelican decoys.
Using Snow Goose decoys along with traditional duck spreads will attract more ducks to your blind. I have observed many flights of Pintails attracted to a Snow Goose spread on the Katy Prairie. Why wouldn't they be attracted to the white here on Lake Livingston? Certainly, your chances of turning a single Snow, Spec or Canadian Goose your way are greatly increased with a few goose decoys behind your blind.
Go full blown for a Trinity River goose. The extra expense of a couple dozen goose decoys and the effort to put them out could pay off with a bonus goose on your next duck hunt. www.palmettoguideservice.com
Dave Cox of Palmetto Guide Service is a regular contributor to the Lake Livingston edition of the Texas Sportsguide. This article has previously appeared in that publication.
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