It’s not a lot to look at for quantity or quality.
It is maybe two acres in size…maybe. No biologist will say it’s ideal waterfowl habitat.
But the pond is only about 15 minutes from my house, and seems to have a knack for producing some nice hunts without taking a lot from my day.
Just this morning I was able to get up, work an hour or so, have a good hunt and still put in time at the office.
As well as close to home, I’m able to drive right to the cattle pasture pond. Most times I toss a dozen floating goose decoys into the water and scatter two dozen shell decoys along the shoreline. Half of the decoys have stakes that allow them to bob in the breeze.
A layout blind,…kind of like a camo sleeping bag…,fits right in amid the decoys when I cover it with a few handfuls of grass. Hank lies down on the blind’s north side, so he’s partially covered by shadows.
The entire set-up takes 20 minutes unless I add a dozen floating duck decoys, then it’s 25. (For some reason the pond seldom attracts ducks…unless the season is closed.)
The pond sits between several watershed lakes, Harvey County East Lake and assorted farm fields. That means it doesn’t see a ton of goose activity, but there’s usually enough to keep me entertained.
Two years ago I spent most of morning looking at nothing but water and sky and then heard a single “honk” at about 11 a.m. Looking south, a flock of seven geese were sailing towards the decoys.
Three shots, three big geese down…and I mean big. When Hank came out of the water with the first I couldn’t see the 85-pound dog behind the bird!
On digital scales, one weighed 14-pounds and the other two a tad over 13-pounds. Yes, I know that’s unreal big, and I’ve weighed a lot of geese and gotten very, very few that would be an honest 12-pounder. These things looked like black and brown swans. I assume it was a brood of especially-large birds.
This year I had a hunt when two shots made for three retrieves. On another, I shot three times into a flock of 30 at point-blank range and, well, —blanked.
This morning’s hunt went a bit better with a lonely lesser Canada coming directly to decoys about a half-hour after sunrise, dropping from high in the sky, rocking back and forth like a falling autumn leaf.
About an hour later I saw a flock of about 60 a a half-mile to the west, heading north to south. A little flagging with a T-shaped flag to replicate the motion of goose wings and some active, (but poor) calling and the birds made a left-turn and headed my way.
It took three shots but the two large birds that fell finished my daily limit of three.
Driving past the landowner’s house, I began to peel an orange. I was nearly home when I put the last segment of fruit in my mouth.