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Buckslayer

Early season water

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Buckslayer

Just wanted to get everyones thoughts about being able to hunt water for the early goose season. I understand that the DNR opened it up to allow hunters to shoot more birds, but it seems to me that we would shoot more if we couldnt hunt water. I do a lot of scouting and that has definetely become more difficult. A lot of birds in a lot of different areas have seemed to vanish on me the last couple years. Now dont get me wrong, I know that just means I need to work harder to find them, and I do, but after they get shot off the roost, finding geese becomes a lot more difficult. It just seems to me that if we were not allowed to hunt water, it would keep geese in an area longer, scouting would be easier, and in turn hunters would help the DNR out by shooting more geese. What is everyone else's thoughts?

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tearin' lips

Agree/Disagree. If we left them alone on the roosts they would definately stay around longer. They would in a sense have a place of comfort. But Laker Taker can attest to this fact. On Rainy lake where we occasionally hunt early season geese, we are not hunting their roosts. There are certain spots that geese go to thoughout the day that they feed, preen, etc. The islands and rice beds that we hunt are an example of this. If we shoot the geese here they just go back to their roosts, on beaver ponds and backwaters where no one can get.

So it gets to be a gray area in my opinion.

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Sartell Angler

agree with tearin' lips

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eyepatrol

The lake that I hunt isn't a place where the geese roost per say. With all the storm water ponds around and wastewater treatment lagoons around, the geese go and roost on those rather than the lake. The geese I get on the lake here are coming from other areas north of me, where they're getting shot at on fields and such. And, nearly every one that I get or see come to the lake are loaners or pairs. Those geese that are roosting on the ponds and lagoons steer clear of the lake. I watch them every year go well around the lake, by a half mile or better, then they make a turn and go on into the pond or lagoon their roosting at.

My situation is spot specific though. It may very well be different in other areas.

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Rost

Who would want to put on waders and sludge through a slough anyways? I like a dry field where I can lay in my comfy SUB smirk.gif

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ec30_06

It seems that there are a lot less geese flying over my field after the first few days of the season, and the geese seem a lot harder to decoy since it was opened up to hunting on water. I am sure it does not help that all the lakes by me get pounded opening two weekends of the early season with very few birds actually killed and lots of skybusters. Also seems like it has been distrurbing the locall ducks a bit.

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ironman

I'm not quite convinced that shooting geese off the water makes them leave. These are the local geese, that we hunt in the early season and the same geese we hunt in the late season. These geese dont migrate. Now they may relocate, to refuges and such but not leave. If they did leave I would think the dnr would encourage more water hunting, because the sole reason for the early and late hunt is to reduce local numbers. Not only do we have a large number of local geese that stick around all year, I'm starting to notice flocks of mallards that stick around as well.

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shae1986

I disagree, now down by the cities maybe this is true but up here the geese i am shooting in September are totally different birds than i am shooting in October. I do believe that hunting geese off water makes them leave. Thats how i feel, but i do hunt water as a last resort to have a decent hunt. I would much rather sit in a field, to me its a way of keeping the birds in the area. Now the probelm is that some people cant find decent fields to sit on so they are forced to sit on the water to shoot birds, there is nothing wrong with hunting over water to shoot geese. If there was then it wouldn't be legal. Again i do believe that birds shot off the roost will leave the area, ive seen it happen. But i have also seen geese leave there roost not get shot at and not come back either, which makes them fun to hunt bc these birds can be unpredictable. I hope everyone is haveing a good and safe early hunt and good luck chasing birds this year.

A. Shae

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huntnfish

I would personally rather see the DNR close the early season on water. On opening day I saw quite a few flocks very high and vee'd up heading south. I am pretty sure they didn't go real far, but they still left the area. I took a drive past the roost pond after we were done picking up and there were a few pickups there. I don't know if they waited for the geese to leave in the morning or if they jumped them at first light, but either way, if geese have no where they feel comfortable they will leave the area. Ever since they opened up hunting on water in the early season, the only decent day of hunting is opener. After that it is hard to find enough birds to justify even putting out any decoys. Before they opened up hunting on water there were plenty of birds around all of the early season.

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woody1975

I agree with anyone that says they should shut down the water hunts. I have personally witnessed a decline in the number of geese harvestes in our area. I attribute this directly to opening the water to hunting. My group gets together with about 5 other groups that hunt in our area at the end of the day, just to discuss things. We all agreed with huntnfish! Back in the day, these geese would get shot at and head back to the lake for refuge. They would stay there for quite a while. Now it seems they get shot at on land, they go back to the lake, get shot at and head out. Just my .02.

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ironman

I assume everyone that is opposed to water hunting also has access to feilds...not everyone has that opportunity. Although I would be willing to be converted if anyone is offering. grin.gif

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huntnfish

It seems like every year there gets to be less and less fields to hunt. I don't have any land, nor do I know anyone that has any land. All that I have ever done is find some geese and then try to secure permission. I have never paid to hunt on someones land and I don't think I ever will. Sometimes I have to travel a little farther from home to find birds and sometimes I find places closer. It just takes a little leg work. If you were closer to the area I would be happy to take you along. Once you hunt in a field it is hard to go back to the water.

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ironman

I would love to hunt some fields!! I'm sure I would stick with it because water hunting is kinda a pain in the butt, but it's all I have available right now. Anyways, I havn't shot at any geese yet this year so have no fear at least in the areas I hunt....your roosts are fine grin.gif In fact I would love to gain some access to fields for duck hunting as far as that's concerned, it seems every year the most productive reports come from flooded fields....that would be sweet. I guesss I had better start volunteering for some hay bailing next summer.

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