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For a limited time only...
The marsh is happy to offer geese in sizes S/M/L, grab yours today!

Seriously though, all three of these came from a group of 5, and the remaining 2 I'm 99% sure were Specklebellies, which are really rare for my area and I have only seen here one other time. Anyone have any idea what kind the smallest goose is? It's too big to be a cackler but it is tiny, about the size of a snow goose.




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"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
 
Measure the bill length, and then check reference material on all races of Canada geese.

The small one is my pick. They taste good, don't just breast em.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
 As Vince has stated measure the bill length. It could be a Richardson goose.
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
Cody Williams wrote:
The marsh is happy to offer geese in sizes S/M/L, grab yours today!
[img]https://i.imgur.com/QUkvZrv.jpg?1[/img]
Seriously though, all three of these came from a group of 5, and the remaining 2 I'm 99% sure were Specklebellies, which are really rare for my area and I have only seen here one other time. Anyone have any idea what kind the smallest goose is? It's too big to be a cackler but it is tiny, about the size of a snow goose.


It looks like you got the trifecta! I lesser, a greater and an OMG! Good shooting Cody. The geese here are sitting in a hole in the Mississippi River that would take a ice cutter to get to...LOL

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
I believe these events occurred during our second year hunting this farm. We were setting-up for geese on a foggy morning in the dark, trying not to blind each other with our headlamps as the three of us unloaded gear and assembled decoys prior putting the spread in place in a hay field adjacent a partially cut cornfield. A very young voice pronounced that, "My grandpa said we can hunt with you!", as three young kids in their early teens pop out of the darkness. The farmer was a patient of Eric's who had offeed him the privelige of hunting his nearly three hundred acres that butted-up against the Whitefish River east and south of Trenary. There was a massive section of beaver flowages due east of the farm that formed what was known as "The Spreads", nearly 3/4s of a mile long which held around 5,000 geese during the migration. The Autrain Power Basin also had a newly established State managed waterfowl production complex on the south end of the impoundment on lands rented from the Upper Peninsula Power Co. The State's goal was to establish a seasonal population of around 20,000 birds that would use it as a stop-over location to rest and feed during the migration, "seeded" with nuisance giant canadas that were cannon netted down-state in Oakland Co from private lakefront residences, trucked to the U.P. for release in hopes of expanding their population and range. Our first year hunting this farm was very productive. Live was good!

Eric responded to the leader of the three boy band by asking him who his grandpa was..."George Webber" came the quick pronouncement. After a quick confab we started to paw around in the flotsam in the back of our two trucks to find some camouflage netting and some army surplus sleeping pads for the boys to layout on. After we got the decoys placed we positioned them below our locations in the spread making sure they could not easily swing on birds near us...just for safety's sake. We grassed them in as best we could anf then the three of us took-up our positions and waited for legal shooting time. Just after it was legal to shoot we could hear geese calling in the thinning ground fog, but their calls were a bit different. We quickly realized that it was a flock of lesser canadas, which often got on the move at first light along with the local wood ducks. As the five birds worked around the spread they only spun by us once before turning and setting-up to drift in. Eric was supposed to call the shot, but our guests never waited, unloading on the birds and killing all of them. The remainder of the morning was productive, putting us at our limit of 12 geese, with the remaining seven birds all giants. Eric wanted to drive back to Marquette to catch the Michigan football game, so we told the kids to grab their birds and we would leave the decoys out for the following morning's hunt. When they began chattering about how they could get back to the beaver flowage off the east end of the farm to shoot those geese we admonished them to not shoot their roost because it would push the birds out of the area. Neither Eric, Steve or I were paying attention as the kids took "their" birds and left to tell their Grandpa George how well the morning's hunt had gone. After we got our guns and geat loaded Steve walked over to the goose pile to start loading birds. He started laughing, which obviousy got our attention. All five of the lessers the boys shot were still laying on the ground!

The next morning, after our hunt, we started to pick-up decoys. We had remarked how odd it was that the kids didn't show up again, particularly since we had actually grabbed enough gear to enable them to be better hdden, should they join us. While breaking the spread down we found three severed goose heads/necks laying among the decoys. Quite a mystery for about thirty seconds until we found the lead shotshell casings. It seems that the boys revisited the decoys the previous day and shot more birds... The last year I hunted there I was directed by George to talk to Bradley, since he handled all the hunting priveliges requests. As I walked toward the outbuilding that he had indicated as the location of his grandson, out walked Bradley with bloody hands. He quickly closed the large door, but not before a gust of wind blew some "odd" feathers out of the doorway and across the farm yard. Bradley informed me that they were now leasing goose hunting access... I never asked what the lease price was, I just turned and walked back to my truck. I picked-up one of the pale gray feathers that had blown out of the outbuilding entrance as I passed it, prior asking Bradley why sandhill crane feathers would be blowing around their farm yard. I never waited for a response and I never hunted there again. I secured permission from a couple of farmers about a half-mile south of this farmstead, but far fewer birds would lift-off the Whitefish from this beaver flowage complex each fall. One of the young Cotey boys, Steve, told me he and group of young men from a farm to the north found a way to drive their ATV's in to the flowage and shoot it. Two years later, State Senator Tom Casperson secured a position of chairman of the State Finance Comm., the folks who control the MDNR's finances. He introduced legislation that passed, banning all MDNR land purchases and lease spening for all State parcels larger than forty acres until each of these had a specific management plan drawn-up for it. Senator Casperson's family owns a large logging business here in the U.P. For some reason, we don't see as many lesser canadas as we used to. The other interesting thing about their behavior is that,, out in North Dakota we seldom get them to come into the decoys, while the birds that we see in the UP decoy with abandon. I never figured-put whether they were fromd different populations or just experienced different levels of hunting pressure
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
Thanks for the replies, guys-after doing some research online and with your advice I'm pretty sure the tiny guy is a Hutchinson's. I've seen cacklers in person one other time and they are tiny, smaller than the one I got the other day. I'm no biologist but I'm guessing Great Basin, Lesser, and Hutchinson's for the 3.

I would have gone after the specks but these geese came in a group of 5, the front 3 were the ones I shot. The specks came in behind the others and I didn't realize they were any different until they flew off sounding that crazy call they have, I'm amazed at what a variety of geese were in a group of 5! Specks have been a bucket list bird for me, I've never seen one before in person so I was really happy just to have encountered a couple.

RL-that's an interesting story, thankfully we're blessed with an abundance of public land here so we can by and large avoid a lot of access issues. I am concerned for the future though....

Speaking of size ranges in geese, earlier this season I shot this absolute hoss of a goose-one of the biggest I've ever seen! His head covered almost my entire hand






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"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
Interesting story Rick,
In the early eighties we shot two banded geese with consecutive numbers on a small lake in northern Indiana. They were banded in Barboo Michigan. Which I believe is in the UP. We have three populations of Canada geese here. The local giant goose population, the Mississippi Valley population and the Southern James Bay population. The SJBP geese are tiny compared to our locals.

RVZ
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
Cody, it is good to see that you still have some hunting. Way to go.

That smallest goose reminded me of three very small Canada type geese I shot back in 1958. Most of the guys told me I had taken Richardson geese. This would have been western Minnesota.
Allan
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
Rick,that was a darn good read. I liked that one a lot.
Allan
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
Great shot Cody, a triple with those three is really something!
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That is really cool Cody. Sounds like a great hunt. The picture with your dog on the ice, it kinda looks like the dog and geese are floating a little. Neat picture.
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MVP and SJB flocks were combined to form a new management unit about three years ago by the Flyway Council. SJB bird's flight corridor truncates at Seney National Wildlife Refuge, extending east to the St, Marys River. We get focks of both species of lessers, with the smallest a little larger than a mallard. Every time I hear that short clipped call cutting the morning I think of that hunt at Webber's. In the early 1980's we had a new Wildlife Biologist installed at the Newberry office which had control over the State Management and Refuge complex that was erected on the old Dodge family hunting lodge lands on Munuscong Bay. I lived over there for just under five years working under a contract MSU had with the USFWS/Army Corps of Engineers to monitor the river and wetlands ecosystems prior consideraton for extension of the shipping season to continuos traffic all year.

Those banded birds were likely captured south of Barbeau, Michigan.
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
Thank you for the correction on the spelling of Barbeau Michigan. It was the first banded goose I shot. Banded 7-3-86 recovered 10-10-86. Banded by M Stratz near Barbeau Michigan. Maybe you know him, he was out of Lansing?

RVZ
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
Thanks again guys! Dani-I love taking pictures in the late season, the ice and light combine for some really cool effects. Here is one from last week-





------------------------------------------------
"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
I recall often my goose hunts on the Weber farm with Eric and Rick, eh! What a rush at first light to first hear and then see geese approaching over the trees answering one's calls and steering towards the decoys. That scenario I'm sure plays out in many locations for many of us.

I also recall running over a black bear in the dark with Eric's Ford 150. We got out to look and only found where the bear upchucked some corn from a nearby field, and some black hair on his bumper. Following up would have to wait since it was pitch black dark. No signs of the bear off the gravel road upon our trip home.
I remember also becoming a little unnerved to know the farmer's son was poaching deer in the fields we were hunting. Made setting up decoys in the dark a little spooky.
I also remember the farmer instructing us to shoot the cranes, which was not on my list of federal offenses to commit.

Thanks Cody for taking me on your great hunt through your story. Some good wild game dinners ahead.
Steve
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
Some great stories here. I love your triple Cody. I once shot a small goose in central NJ that had a faint white ring around the base of it's neck, like a mallard but near as distinct. We get greater Canada's as migrant geese and many giants as the local birds. This goose was much, much smaller, and many years later someone else I was hunting with got another. That's one of the great things about waterfowl hunting, when you get a bird from far away that is not with most of it's kind. You always remember it.
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
S Lewis wrote:
I recall often my goose hunts on the Weber farm with Eric and Rick, eh! What a rush at first light to first hear and then see geese approaching over the trees answering one's calls and steering towards the decoys. That scenario I'm sure plays out in many locations for many of us.

I also recall running over a black bear in the dark with Eric's Ford 150. We got out to look and only found where the bear upchucked some corn from a nearby field, and some black hair on his bumper. Following up would have to wait since it was pitch black dark. No signs of the bear off the gravel road upon our trip home.
I remember also becoming a little unnerved to know the farmer's son was poaching deer in the fields we were hunting. Made setting up decoys in the dark a little spooky.
I also remember the farmer instructing us to shoot the cranes, which was not on my list of federal offenses to commit.

Thanks Cody for taking me on your great hunt through your story. Some good wild game dinners ahead.
Steve



Yes, it speaks volumes regarding the animal's resilience when you can roll a bear the length of a Ford F-150 crew cab at 30mph or so, and the result is a few wads of hair and most of the corn it was gobbling-up from the field to the north left behind. I distinctly remember our joint epiphany that wandering around in the woods in the dark in the rain looking for an injured bear was not a good idea...prior scooting back to the truck I also remember our hunts in Iho's cut oat field to the south, particularly the morning when Eric was well east chasing-down his cripple on the other side of the fence, leaving us to "chat" with the angry farmer who drove out into the field to the edge of the spread of decoys to demand, "Who the hell gave you permission to hunt in this field?" When we answered that Mike Iho, the owner, had given permission to hunt there, he quickly broke in to inform us, "Mike doesn't own this field, I do! EricHe just leased it to grow oats." We apologized and let him cool down via small talk, eventually getting permission to continue to hunt it for future dates. I also recall that Eric oddly never came back the decoys until after he left. Also glad we collectively decided to stay north of the large oak in the southern center of the field, since he told us he didn't want us set-up on the other side any closer to his cows. Geese like oats, almost as much as cut corn. We sure did well on that field. That was the season prior our shift to Webber's farm fields.

You also left-out us getting shoved off into that little forty acre pasture surrounded on three sides by mature forest to hunt the opener in the rain that year, too. Hard to set-up and the edge of the high spot in the field when the entire pasture is a hillside! On the bright side, after several wary passes of our spread each time we did shoot a limit of birds for two days. Those hand made silhouettes actually worked better than they looked. I eventually gave them to a kid who bought my giant field shells, after I dropped the price and sweetened the deal with a couple dozen free decoys. Nice kid with very little money. He wrote me a letter to thank me for the decoys and the huntin spots I put him on.

I also hold you responsible for picking-up George's son watching us in his rifle scope from the fence row as we were laying out in the decoys on the hillside. Had you not seen him, we would have been oblivious to the reality that he was pointed a loaded rifle at us for all that time... You just made matters worse by having a pair of binocs in your pillow pack to verify that the glint was his scope optics catching the sun.

Ah, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan....no law north of the Bridge!

Last edited by:

RLLigman: Jan 15, 2022, 6:17 AM
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Re: For a limited time only... In reply to
In my area we would call that triple a giant, an interior, and a Hutchi.


Why get a low profile boat and put a high profile blind on it?
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Hollow White Pine body & Sugar Pine head, Cackling Goose decoy made for my rig some years ago. Photo was taken prior to sheen being applied. It still does the job when called upon.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920