First field hunt of the season

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First field hunt of the season

Postby John O`Neal » Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:14 pm

The frigid temps not only presented us with a premature freeze-up but fortunately brought the geese into our area as well. It was time for us to shift gears and hit the fields for a combo hunt . A property I have permission to hunt on is a large (approx.800 acres) irregular shaped field that adjoins the river. Unfortunately for the third year in a row the farmer has opted to plant beans there. Whatever happened to the crop rotation concept ? Nevertheless the field gets a lot of waterfowl over it and I feel fortunate to have access. We decided we would give it a try . Running traffic in a cut bean field is a challenge in more that one aspect . First off the birds are headed for the feed, and a bare bean field does nothing to whet their appetites . And secondly, but so important, it is hard to almost impossible to hide without resorting to digging in ,and that was not an option we had. We ended up setting numerous full body decoys around our our layout`s and used silhouette`s in tight in an attempt to mask the profile of our blinds . We started seeing the ducks first as small bunches started passing over around 3:30 in the afternoon. The ducks at first paid no attention to the three spinners we had set-up but that soon changed as a group of no less than 20 bombed into the dekes . We downed four and felt pretty good about ourselves, but that only lasted a minute or two as our shooting deteriorated quickly . We finally managed to scratch out eight Mallards before our run with the ducks ended as quickly as it had begun . Then came the geese . Big strings of birds headed for the corn fields and not showing much interest in joining their fake brothers in the beans. About the time we thought this exercise was going to be a bust a couple of very big geese sneaked in on us. We downed them both and Avery my friend Patrick`s Lab struggled mightily trying to drag the 12 lb . Giant Canada back to us . We ended our first field hunt with six Canada`s and eight Mallards . We had a great time and can`t wait for some snow . We`ll be able to hide without a problem then .

Patrick holds up two Giant Canada`s .Both weighed 12 lbs . Weighed on a digital scale .
Image
Last edited by John O`Neal on Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby EcatMagoo » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:13 pm

Nice hunt! Thanks for posting. This forum is so much more enjoyable when others post hunts with pics!!
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby cluckmeister » Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:31 pm

Nice hunt, I got two 12 pounders and a 11.4 yesterday morning myself
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby mudpack » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:32 am

Nice work! Love to hear the success stories.
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby wtrfwlr43 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:36 pm

Nice hunt John. Beans can be very productive around where I live when we've had a rain and they are soft. The geese will pile into them. A couple ways I've had success at hiding in beans. The farmers won't let me dig down so I look for a LOW spot, rake a BUNCH of bean chaff (well away from the blinds) and cover the blinds completely with chaff. Or hunt an edge or waterway with grass.
Way to hang in there and get some birds!
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby billythekid » Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:19 pm

Nice Work! Wish I could find 800 acres of riverfront land!
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby dukhntr » Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:39 pm

EcatMagoo wrote:Nice hunt! Thanks for posting. This forum is so much more enjoyable when others post hunts with pics!!


Very much true! Nice job on the combo hunt!!!
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby MNH » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:07 pm

I share the same fate as you, running traffic in a bean field. BUT, there are some shallow drainage ditches to get down in to help hide a little. Some misc. weeds brush grow in there, and depending on ditch size, some have a lot of cover some minimal. What I found this is that the Avery fast grass in brown timber (rogers sells it) practically disappears in a bean field. 3 mats covers up a blind. Doesn't look like your doing too bad, but give it a look, it might help.
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby John O`Neal » Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:23 am

billythekid wrote:Nice Work! Wish I could find 800 acres of riverfront land!


Billy ; Here is how I have gained permission on two large(800) (1300) riverfront property`s. Knocking on doors ( cold calling) can sometimes be very unproductive . If you catch the farmer at a bad time ,in a bad mood , or if your just one of many that have banged on his door this week it becomes to easy for him to say "We don`t allow hunting "or " It`s already promised".. The method that has secured me hunting access to over 2100 acres in the last three yrs. is a little more involved . I went to the county courthouse and purchased a Platte book for $35. It contained the property owners name ,address and phone number . I then used an internet people search site to get all the info . available on that particular individual owner cost $2.50. I then composed a letter outlining who I am, my background, and my passion for water fowling, I placed an emphasis on explaining that if he would give consideration to allowing me to hunt on his property I would treat it with the utmost respect and always leave it in as pristine condition as when I entered .In summarizing I then said I would be making a follow up contact in the near future . Be sure if you use this method to put in all your contact information as on both occasions I have used this system the property owner contacted me before I had made the follow-up call .
This type of approach to securing hunting access may not work every time but as of right now I`m two for two.
Maintaining the relationship : Here`s what I do to keep the farmer/hunter relationship healthy. At Thanksgiving I send each farmer a note of appreciation for allowing me to hunt and a " spiral cut honey baked ham " I figure who doesn`t like a ham at thanksgiving. I send Christmas cards . At the end of the season I do a follow up Thank You Card with a notation regarding how much I enjoyed hunting his land and how much I appreciate him allowing me to be there.

wtrfwlr43 wrote:Nice hunt John. Beans can be very productive around where I live when we've had a rain and they are soft. The geese will pile into them. A couple ways I've had success at hiding in beans. The farmers won't let me dig down so I look for a LOW spot, rake a BUNCH of bean chaff (well away from the blinds) and cover the blinds completely with chaff. Or hunt an edge or waterway with grass.
Way to hang in there and get some birds!


First season I hunted this field it had numerous low spots . The farmer would plant around them allowing them to grow -up in weeds providing ideal spots to place our layout blinds . But a year ago he had the land laser leveled to my dismay . It`s now as flat as a pancake . Without the ability to dig in ,much like yourself I`m doing a lot of raking.
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby cluckmeister » Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:52 pm

John, we have a super nice farmer that gives us access to about 500 acres for goose hunting and this year got us access to another 360. These also are prime goose fields, he doesn't goose hunt any more but does enjoy a nice goose dinner on occasion, and, he also calls us to let us know when the geese are hitting his fields. Weve never been skunked on his land in 4 years, so we are very lucky to have this ground. We asked about leasing it but he refuses to lease it, and says just bring me a goose once in a while. So we always make sure we dress one out for him after hunting. Also we limit the number of guys hunting on a trip to 5 and we charge 10 bucks a head to hunt. So that's 50 bucks a hunt between us. We keep the money in an envelope and at the end of the season we give him the cash. He always refuses but we insist and tell him, Heck use that money for seed for next years fields. He just smile and says, ok guys Ill give you a call when they start coming in. BTW there are 13 water sheds within a 5 mile radius of his place so theres geese everywhere. A fellow just cant have it much better and kindness to a farmer goes a long way in my opinion
If you're there for the limit, you're there for the wrong reason
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby dukhntr » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:53 pm

John O`Neal wrote:
billythekid wrote:Nice Work! Wish I could find 800 acres of riverfront land!


Billy ; Here is how I have gained permission on two large(800) (1300) riverfront property`s. Knocking on doors ( cold calling) can sometimes be very unproductive . If you catch the farmer at a bad time ,in a bad mood , or if your just one of many that have banged on his door this week it becomes to easy for him to say "We don`t allow hunting "or " It`s already promised".. The method that has secured me hunting access to over 2100 acres in the last three yrs. is a little more involved . I went to the county courthouse and purchased a Platte book for $35. It contained the property owners name ,address and phone number . I then used an internet people search site to get all the info . available on that particular individual owner cost $2.50. I then composed a letter outlining who I am, my background, and my passion for water fowling, I placed an emphasis on explaining that if he would give consideration to allowing me to hunt on his property I would treat it with the utmost respect and always leave it in as pristine condition as when I entered .In summarizing I then said I would be making a follow up contact in the near future . Be sure if you use this method to put in all your contact information as on both occasions I have used this system the property owner contacted me before I had made the follow-up call .
This type of approach to securing hunting access may not work every time but as of right now I`m two for two.
Maintaining the relationship : Here`s what I do to keep the farmer/hunter relationship healthy. At Thanksgiving I send each farmer a note of appreciation for allowing me to hunt and a " spiral cut honey baked ham " I figure who doesn`t like a ham at thanksgiving. I send Christmas cards . At the end of the season I do a follow up Thank You Card with a notation regarding how much I enjoyed hunting his land and how much I appreciate him allowing me to be there.

wtrfwlr43 wrote:Nice hunt John. Beans can be very productive around where I live when we've had a rain and they are soft. The geese will pile into them. A couple ways I've had success at hiding in beans. The farmers won't let me dig down so I look for a LOW spot, rake a BUNCH of bean chaff (well away from the blinds) and cover the blinds completely with chaff. Or hunt an edge or waterway with grass.
Way to hang in there and get some birds!


First season I hunted this field it had numerous low spots . The farmer would plant around them allowing them to grow -up in weeds providing ideal spots to place our layout blinds . But a year ago he had the land laser leveled to my dismay . It`s now as flat as a pancake . Without the ability to dig in ,much like yourself I`m doing a lot of raking.


Good info here!!!
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby John O`Neal » Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:25 pm

cluckmeister wrote:John, we have a super nice farmer that gives us access to about 500 acres for goose hunting and this year got us access to another 360. These also are prime goose fields, he doesn't goose hunt any more but does enjoy a nice goose dinner on occasion, and, he also calls us to let us know when the geese are hitting his fields. Weve never been skunked on his land in 4 years, so we are very lucky to have this ground. We asked about leasing it but he refuses to lease it, and says just bring me a goose once in a while. So we always make sure we dress one out for him after hunting. Also we limit the number of guys hunting on a trip to 5 and we charge 10 bucks a head to hunt. So that's 50 bucks a hunt between us. We keep the money in an envelope and at the end of the season we give him the cash. He always refuses but we insist and tell him, Heck use that money for seed for next years fields. He just smile and says, ok guys Ill give you a call when they start coming in. BTW there are 13 water sheds within a 5 mile radius of his place so theres geese everywhere. A fellow just cant have it much better and kindness to a farmer goes a long way in my opinion


Cluckmeister; Thats a very creative method of showing your appreciation to the farmer and obviously one that works well for you. Having access to hunting property such as you have is priceless and well worth the time and effort required to maintain a good hunter/farmer relationship. Only one of the land owners I have cares for waterfowl, we do our best to keep him stocked up on meat and goose jerky.
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Re: First field hunt of the season

Postby cluckmeister » Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:05 pm

John, for those fellows that don't care for goose meat or jerky, you might try making some smoked sausages/brats and have them try them out., They are excellent. I went on a trout fishing trip to Roaring River State Park back in June and one night we fixed goose brats and wild hog brats, we had one guy that said he hated goose no matter how it was fixed. I tricked him into eating the goose brat first, I told him it was hog, in fact he ate 2 and then I told him to try one of the goose brats, he said no way, no one told him that hed actually ate goose brats. About 2 hours later while sitting around a camp fire, smoking a stogie and sipping a bourbon and coke I asked him what he thought of the brats, he said they were great and maybe he needed to go hog hunting with us next year. I just laughed and said nope you need to shoot some geese with us because what you ate was actually goose. He shot his first goose last week.
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