I would like to pose a question to gauge how you guys feel. My cousin and I were hanging out down in NESD this weekend, waiting for some snows to fly. We got talking about our respective successes and failures of last fall. Let me ask you a question. Do you think the Early Season is impacting the October hunting quality like I do? Maybe it is just the natural evolution, but man are these birds getting tough!!!! I had VERY few quality shoots last fall and he concured. Now we dont use stuffers, and we hunt with kids and stuff, but let me lay out a thought for you.
On Sept 1 geese are really still in family groups and learning how to associate with each other. They go out to feed in family groups, and are just getting used to landing in other flocks as a security measure. So is it easier to educate these young birds than it used to be when they had another month of field feeding to get used to seeing other groups of geese as a good thing instead of as a "OH SH**!!!"?? And then it carries over into the migration as well. I wonder if the harvest of birds down in Kansas and Oklahoma where many of these birds winter is as good as it used to be. I guess my ultimate question is I really wonder if we are harvesting a lot more than we could have under the old systems.
Now I am not embracing or advocating change, just questioning the way we do things and looking for opinions. ( I hate to look at anything as the best way ever to do something, especially when we are already doing it.)If you could only pass shoot in Sept, would you hunt?? This might actually make birds decoy BETTER in October. What if we could have five bird limits the first week of Regular season, and no early? I would like to see what people have to say about this, thanks any and all for your thoughts. Tom
I would rather have the early season.It is kind of a dead time that allows me 2 extra weeks to hunt.What does it matter if we shoot them in Sept. or Oct.Everything else is open in Oct.Plus there isn't near the competition because the non-res. can't hunt then.
The season is necessary to specifically target resident Canada Geese. Later in the season you have migrants moving in and these do not have the the same concerns the state has with the local geese. In fact, there is some danger in years where we have an early migration. The smaller Canada Geese that migrate through early sometimes start coming through on the tail end of the early season. The USFWS watches this closely, and if we would start harvesting too many of the little Canada's, they could potentially close the early season down to protect the little ones. This seems to be the best way to selectively harvest the resident geese. I would think we probably are harvesting more, as I shoot more geese now with the early season. Even if we were shooting the same number of geese, their should be a higher proportion of resident canada geese harvested. I also like it as it lengthens our waterfowl opportunities. By the way, nonresidents can and could hunt the early canada season. Very few did as these days would count against their time limit, and very few would want to do that as most can hunt early season canada geese in their own home state, and they don't want to give up their regular season time when they can shoot snows and ducks.
It may not have sounded like it, but I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying. But it has been way to serious around here, and I like to stir the pot, and make people say what they feel about something. My dad could play devils advocate to Satan himself, guess he passed it down to me. PLease take it in that spirit. Tom
The majority of geese that I shot last fall came after the early season. The education of geese may be happening, but unless they get hunted 8 months of the year like the SOB's I doubt that they will ever get as tough.
Now do I think it should be state wide like it is today that questions is tougher to anwser. I saw little pressure on the birds in the Red River Valley where the problem is greatest, and an unbelievable mount of pressure in areas's that predidation has not been a big problem.
I did not hunt in the Bismarck area or Minot or any other area's along the Missouri River, so I have limited knowledge of the hunting pressure effects there.
I myself have not seen the birds becoming tougher to hunt. it really doesn't seem to matter when we hunt in September. If you are in the feed field they glide in like opening day. I would still hunt if it was pass shooting only but how would you ever inforce that. If that was the case could you still lay in the fields with no decoys. I know a lot of guys that could kill Canadas if they sat in the feed field and blew a call.
IMHO giant local canadas are one of the dumbest birds in the waterfowl world. Actually we sat and talked about this in the snow goose decoys this weekend as tons of them flew by the decoys while we sat there blinds wide open BSing.
I think the September season is great and I hope that it continues into the future. The last weekend of the early season is as good as the first. The amount of pressure in September is not the issue in my opinion. I do agree that birds in October can be tougher to decoy, but I think this is mainly due to amount of pressure in October. The birds are constantly pressured. Constant pressure = shy birds. We had our best shoots in Sept. late Nov and early Dec. last year. In October the birds never have the opportunity to get comforable in an area. The same birds that were tough to decoy in October were willing to commit to the decoys in late Nov and early Dec after a few weeks with reduced pressure .
gee wiz, after these farmers get done do you think there will be enough to hunt. I myself find it very odd that these people complain that they need the hunter dollars and then turn around and want to kill :sniper: the very source which brings in the hunters. Go figure :-?
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