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Thread: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

  1. #1
    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    The early split of Iowa's waterfowl season opened this past Saturday and the most shocking part of it was that virtually nobody showed up where we hunted.

    We've scouted the area we chose and saw geese sitting in good numbers almost every time we've checked it over the past few weeks. Our concerns were 1) we never got to scout the pre-season early enough in the AM to know when the birds showed up/how they flew in, and 2) that it's a public area situated pretty close to a major highway and a lot of folks have to have seen the same birds sitting on it. We got out insanely early expecting the worst, but we ended up with just one other hunter showing up and he was hunting a totally different area of the pond complex. No conflict for resources to speak of on this opener, which is almost unheard of with a spot this visible from a major roadway.

    So, we made the best of a great situation, setting up 24 Big Foot Canada goose floaters in the water mixed with 10 Big Foot Canada goose full body decoys on the bank. Two Lucky Flapper mechanical geese gave the whole thing some natural motion. We also tossed out a dozen Dakota mallard decoys in case any ducks wanted to play (and to give a little more realism to the spread), but geese were the main target. The spread looks really good from a distance, and the geese agreed.



    It took the birds a little while to show up, but when they did (around 10AM), they dropped into the decoys like gangbusters. You can only take a 2-bird limit during the early season split, and we were both punched out in the blink of an eye accordingly. Haidar even bagged an ringbill hen that made the mistake of flying in. It was such a good day that that geese were still circling to land in the decoys while we were walking through the pond, retrieving the last pair of birds that we killed! They didn't spook until one of the dogs ran to greet them.



    All in all, it was a great day for us and the dogs. Haidar also had his 3 year old son with him, and the young man got to see quite a show. We'll be back again to bag the ones that showed up after we limited out on this hunt.



    Last edited by Six-Gun; 10-04-2017 at 03:26 AM.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

  2. #2
    Senior Member snake284's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Gun View Post
    The early split of Iowa's waterfowl opened this past Saturday and the most shocking part of it was that virtually nobody showed up where we hunted.

    We've scouted the area we choose and saw geese sitting in good numbers almost every time we've checked it over the past few weeks. Our concerns were 1) we never got to scout the pre-season early enough in the AM to know when the birds showed up, and 2) that it's a public area situated pretty close to a major highway and a lot of folks have to have seen the same birds sitting on it. We got out insanely early expecting the worst, but we ended up with just one other hunter showing up and he was hunting a totally different area of the pond complex. No conflict for resources to speak of on this opener, which is almost unheard of with a spot this visible from a major roadway.

    So, we made the best of a great situation, setting up 24 Big Foot Canada goose floaters in the water mixed with 10 Big Foot Canada goose full body decoys on the bank. Two Lucky Flapper mechanical geese gave the whole thing some natural motion. We also tossed out a dozen Dakota mallard decoys in case any ducks wanted to play (and to give a little more realism to the spread), but geese were the main target. The spread looks really good from a distance, and the geese agreed.



    It took the birds a little while to show up, but when they did (around 10AM), they dropped into the decoys like gangbusters. You can only take a 2-bird limit during the early season split, and we were both punched out in the blink of an eye accordingly. Haidar even bagged an ringbill hen that made the mistake of flying in. It was such a good day that that geese were still circling to land in the decoys while we were walking through the pond, retrieving the last pair of birds that we killed! They didn't spook until one of the dogs ran to greet them.



    All in all, it was a great day for us and the dogs. Haidar also had his 3 year old son with him, and the young man got to see quite a show. We'll be back again to bag the ones that showed up after we limited out on this hunt.



    In the last picture, you need to shoot the ones on the end again, they look like they're about to fly away. I think they're playing possum.
    Last edited by snake284; 10-02-2017 at 05:41 AM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by snake284 View Post
    In the last picture, you need to shoot the ones on the end again, they look like they're about to fly away. I think they're playing possum.
    Those Big Foot full body birds look legit, eh? They are seriously the best goose decoys I've owned. They take the beating of constant trailer travel and still look great.

    Speaking of "playing possum," my second bird did just that! It landed in the water after I shot it but could still swim. The dogs pursued it through the water, but the goose got the bank well before they reached it and ran into the tall grass. My dog went into upland mode, sniffing it out and tackling it. It looked like he killed it when I got to the scene, so I grabbed it by the neck and carried it to the bank. Mind you, this is the same on you see me carrying in the video above. Sure enough, I put the bird on the bank and it took off running for the water again. That time, I gave it a water swat and spared any further drama.
    Last edited by Six-Gun; 10-04-2017 at 03:41 AM.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

  4. #4
    Senior Member knitepoet's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    Nicely done bud
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    Well done.

    I've only hunted waterfowl a handful of times.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  6. #6
    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    You need to do it more and in an area with a heavily used migration flyway. There’s no more clear feedback that you’re gonna have a blast than to see a gang of birds landing in a decoy spread that you setup before it’s even legal daylight, or huge birds like Canada geese swoop in so low you can hear the resonance in their voices buzz your skin.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    I have never used decoys. Only jump shooting ducks over ponds or laid in fields of stubble for geese
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

  8. #8
    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    Jump shooting is a blast and can be extremely effective. I have limited out in seconds doing just. But you need to come up here and see what a properly planned decoy spred can do. It’s even more fun when they land almost in your lap.
    Last edited by Six-Gun; 10-04-2017 at 03:30 AM.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

  9. #9
    Senior Member twa's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Gun View Post
    Jump shooting is blast and can be extremely effective. I have limited out in seconds doing just. But you need to come up here and see what a properly planned decoy spred can do. It’s even more fun when they land almost in your lap.
    Agreed, decoying is an awesome experience. I was witness to the aftermath of 3 kids jumpshooting a pond full of Snows many years ago....back when the limit was 15 a day in KS, I just happen to be with my friend who was a game warden at the time. He was off duty and we pulled around the corner and see geese flopping all over a field, this kid runs up to our truck and says hey you guys want some snow geese? We shot way over our limit....needless to say it didnt end well for him and his buddies. 168 birds were dead or wounded, my buddy and I went out and finished off several dozen cripples for the next few hours.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    Oh, yes. I have witnessed a similar hellstorm from just a few kids jump shooting a large farm pond brimming with snow geese just a few years back. Nowadays, you have no limit and can put a 10-round extension on your shotgun magazine, should you so please. If memory serves me, it was just 4 of them, roughly high school aged (during a school day around 10AM, of course), and they let loose on the flock. Me and a buddy watched from a few hundred yards out as they crawled to the pond dam. When they opened fire, the number of birds falling was unreal. Many flew a great distance and expired mid-flight during the escape, tumbling from the sky a solid half mile from where they were hit. I have no clue how many these kids dropped total but it was a whole lot. Ultimately, that is the goal of the season these days, so good for them.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

  11. #11
    Senior Member NN's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    WOW
    Go Cowboys go

  12. #12
    Senior Member bellcat's Avatar
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    Re: Iowa Waterfowl Season Opener

    Good hustle! We plugged a few tonite also!
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain

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