The first widespread snowfall of the year that feel late last week brought the Fowled Reality crew high hopes for waterfowling the past week. We scattered across location throughout central Illinois on Friday in a scouting effort to find migrating canada geese. Hundred of miles and many phone calls led to next to nothing promising for goose hunting. In areas between I-72 and I-70 we saw very few new birds show up. The local birds in the area stuck to their afternoon feeding routines with the colder weather and recent full moon. As has been the case all season, they either fed in fields that we can't waterfowl hunt, or randomly flew as resident geese always do. Scott had been seeing some of the locals geese feeding in a chisel plowed corn field that we were able to get access to. They were there 4 nights in a row prior to our scouting mission on Friday. Unfortunately, they never showed to the field Friday so our plans for a Saturday hunt were put aside.
Canada geese feeding in the field that no one gets permission to hunt
Blake and Chris headed to Missouri Saturday morning for a hunt with some guys from Muddy Dog Outdoors for a little goose hunting action in central Missouri. The field we were hunting had tons of birds circling it Friday afternoon. As has been the case with our goose hunting season, none of the geese took flight that day and instead elected to sit on the ice at the local lake or feed on grass on the banks. The one good thing that came out of Saturday was a phone call that the resident geese were back in the field we had access to in central Illinois. There was only 40-50 geese using the field, but we'll take what we can get this year.
The Fowled Reality crew got setup shortly afternoon and waited for the geese to repeat their pattern of flying just a quarter mile off the roost to the feeding field. They had now been in the field 4/5 days. We waited and waited only to be outsmarted once again! The birds sat on the ice the entire afternoon. We heard them get vocal at one point during the afternoon as a flock of specklebellies flew over, but that was all the activity of the afternoon.
From the reports we read, lots of geese finally crossed the state line from Wisconsin into northern Illinois and great goose hunting success was had by many. Smaller numbers of new geese entered areas just north of I-72 and south of that line very few new geese showed. Over New Year's weekend we had an estimated 3000 geese using the area we hunted this past weekend. They showed without any snow and a slight cool down. They quickly returned north with the warmup the first few days of January. Now that we got snow and some of the coldest temps of the year, they haven't returned. The frustration of the 2011/2012 waterfowl season continues!
For more updates on where the goose hunting aciton is hot.