I swear that if I hear one more golfer or landowner who buys up a farm, has no animals and then posts the land complain to me about the resident goose population, I think I will blow a gasket. Resident geese are a huge problem, both here in New Hampshire and Vermont, as well as the rest of the United States. There are many factors to this, but not allowing respectful hunters to access areas where these geese are doesn’t help the issue.
It was “o dark 30” when I loaded my gear into the truck. The open season for resident geese opened on September 1st and seeing that it was September 9th I was already behind the eight ball. My gear for this hunt consisted of my Mossberg 500. 12 gauge pump, fitted with a modified choke. My ammo for this hunt was Winchester Drylok 3 inch shells in BB shot. Next into the truck went my Final Approach Field decoys, my BlackHawk pack, which was loaded with my face mask, gloves, Gerber Strongarm knife, first-aid kit and my Haydel’s H-81 Honker. This call has saved the day more than once. I was hunting some local cornfields, so I was going to use the standing corn for concealment.
Everything was loaded. So I headed out. The area I was hunting was only about 25 miles away, so I would be all set up and in place by legal shooting time. Because of prior scouting I knew the geese came into the area. Now it was up to the gods.
There was more standing corn than I would normally like, but it was what I had to work with. Thankfully, there were some open fields where the geese could come into, so using both the corn and the fields I set up the best that I could. Just at daylight I heard the first geese coming over; my hopes were high. I hit the H-81 and while I thought I could turn them, they had their sights on somewhere else. This happened again and again. At about 9:00am I decided to pack up and head home.
Along my route I pass by a golf course and a great deal of posted land. What made me mad is, as I slowed down to look, the golf course was full of geese, as were the posted fields. Geese are grazers so they will head to areas of good feed and what area has the best grass? Golf courses are the answer and that is where the geese were.
I had approached the golf courses and the local land owners about hunting and they all said “No” to any hunting. What I heard from the golf courses was that they were concerned about what their customers would say about hunting. They also admitted that there were some customers who complained about the geese. When I approached the landowners I often heard that the geese “were pretty” and they didn’t want them hunted. Many also said that they had contacted Fish & Game about having the geese removed. They complained about goose feces in the yard and their driveways. I tried to explain that these were birds and no matter what Fish & Game did, they would be back. It fell on deaf ears. I was wasting my breath, so I said, “thank you” and left. Now these areas were full of geese.
So another morning went with nothing in the bag. There is still time so I am not giving up. With that said. If you are a golfer and you are tired of the geese ask the club to open the course up to hunting. If you are a homeowner and have posted your land, allow hunters to put pressure on the geese. It is OK to set rules as ethical hunters will honor those rules. On the same token, if you close off your land to hunting then don’t complain to to me.