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A great guided hunt


Powerstroke

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As a complete newbie to waterfowling I've been reaching out trying to get more experience. I was trying to avoid hiring a guide simply for the financial reason. I have only found one person who has been willing to take me out and has had time. Thank you RumRiverRat!! I have learned quite a bit but after talking to RRR, I realized the price payed to a guide is for his experience as well as his time.

So after a firsthand recommendation from RRR and several other mentions I contacted Goosebusters Guide Service. Phil Schmidt runs a very personal and first class operation. There was no fluff or gloating. We settled on Saturday, Nov. 12. Although this is the second weekend of deer hunting I was hoping to not need it.

Phil contacted me the night before and told me where to meet the following morning. His opening line was "how do you feel about shooting mallards in a cornfield?" The next morning we met at 5:45am. Phil only takes a max of 6 people including the guides. That means I hunted with Phil, his friend Patrick helping him, and three other guys including a guy who brought his 6yr old son for his first hunt. All of us were first-timers with Goosebusters. After walking out to our layout blinds, Phil explained how to settle into the blinds, how to open up for shots, how the shots would be called and a quick safety talk. We settled into the blinds and waited for day to break.

Phil said that the birds have been coming in later because of the full moon. Our first flocks didn't start showing up until 730am and the real action didn't really start until 8am. I really wish I could have taken photos or shot video of the action. It truly was something else to have flocks of mallards circle and finish at 10-20yds.

My shooting was actually above average and I think it had alot to do with having time to settle on the gun and fire at a close target. I had two really great shots. One was two birds who turned right as we burst from the blind and flew over the top of us. Instead of sitting up, I layed all the way back and shot the bird directly overhead. One shot and it folded up. My second great shot was less about technique. When the shot was called, I picked a greenhead low in the flock that was cupped for a landing. I crushed him with a single shot and he fell from the sky nearly landing on Phil's head. It literally dropped a foot from the head of his blind. This bird was also cool because it was HUGE and had a great triple curl. This is going to go on the wall.

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There were a few other memorable moments such as when a lone goose joined a flock of ducks, then began leading the flock and almost lead them away until the two guides got on their goose calls and brought that goose over, with his newfound friends in tow. We took the goose and a handful of ducks in that volley as they crossed from left to right. The guide also tracked down a cripple. Another time we had close to 100 birds land and feed just to the side of us and we held still as we waited for the birds to center up on the group of hunters. After stopping several times to gather and count birds, we finished with a limit of mallards and one lone goose. It was just after 9am.

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I had a great time, I learned a few things and I will be hunting with Phil again. I highly recommend Goosebusters Guide Service. It was a nice guided hunt in the west metro.

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i've been thinking about doing this. my duck/goose field hunting experience is very limited since i grew up hunting rice & big water up north. figure since i live down here now i might as well learn how to be successful without having to drive 4 hrs., and my 5yr old son really wants to go duck hunting but i dont want him in a canoe just yet. if you don't mind, what was the costs for the day?

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I will concede that Phil's prices are on the higher end, but after checking out some of the other guides out there, I found that his level of service and the recommendations I received, justified this price.

I know that he will offer discounts sometimes if he is having a hard time filling spots. Last week he was charging $100 because they couldn't get enough guns in the fields.

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All things considered that's a pretty fair price, particularly, for those kind of results!

Well done mate~

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All things considered that's a pretty fair price, particularly, for those kind of results!

Gotta agree. When it comes to guides, a good one is worth his weight in gold. You obviously found a diamond in the rough. There are a lot of "guides" out there who will take your money and leave you hanging. Good to see you found the real deal wink

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geez, i was expecting $300-$500/head. i assume you provide guns & ammo. where do i sign up? smile i'll be booking him for at least one hunt next season!

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All the hunter needs to bring is camo clothing, gun and shells, facemask, licenses and a great attitude.

When we arrived at the field, the layout blinds were already dug in and set, the decoys were set up and everything was ready to go. When we finished we cleaned it all up. That means these guys were out at 430am setting up.

I guess the price is relative when you consider what you might get from another guide. I totally feel like the price is worth it.

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There could be 10 Mallards left in MN and Phil would find the field they are in and kill them.

Phil gets results.

Lots of miles and gas scouting pays off in huge smiles on his clients faces.

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Phil is great to hunt with. I would definately go again.

When you consider the price of decoys, calls, blinds, gas for scouting, any lease fees and all the odds and ends, hiring a guide is often cheaper and the results are usually much better. Especially if you make it out Waterfowling maybe 3-4 times a year.

There is something to be said for doing something on your own, but it's hard to argue with more birds in the bag and more money in your wallet.

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There could be 10 Mallards left in MN and Phil would find the field they are in and kill them.

Phil gets results.

Lots of miles and gas scouting pays off in huge smiles on his clients faces.

That's what I was thinking. You know you're somebody when you are killing ducks here in the Metro where there really hasn't been many to speak of lately.

That being said, consider yourself pretty darn lucky because even the best guides and scouting don't always produce.

Like this morning. Not that were are Pro's or anything but after putting 500 Geese to bed in a field last night near a prolific roosting site they decided to take off the opposite direction and never sniffed our spread! ...DOH~

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Since all our ducks were mallards, we took 4 each for 24 total. Included was a bonus goose.

Part of the reason I chose a guide to learn from is their varied experiences. Part of the location we were in was based on feeding from multiple flocks rather than trying to key in on one flock of birds.

We watched numerous flocks pass nearby and land elsewhere. In fact almost every flock wanted to land on the water nearby. Some did and some circled several times and then headed over to the fields. Some landed in the field next door. It wasn't perfect, but there were so many birds in the area that we did well above 50%.

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Also, Phil has openly admitted that they have had 2 zero hunts this year. Even the pros do get skunked.

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oh, it just sounded like you got to do a lot of shooting. nothing better than getting to whack 6-8 greenheads on a hunt. grin

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I did get to do a lot of shooting. Being you can only take 4 each, I'm not sure how many I personally dropped since 6 guys are shooting. I know for a fact I dropped 4 with nice single shot kills. I ended up spending about a 1/2-3/4 box of shells. It was a ton of fun!!

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Since certain people here are trying to find a "smoking gun", I wish to clarify that I shot my 4 mallards and nothing more. I was in on shooting the goose, but in a group of 6 hunters, I cannot say with 100% certainty if it was my shot that took it.

I am fully aware of the regulations as was our guide. We tracked down a cripple during our hunt and spent about 15 minutes searching for a bird that we knew had been shot. It turns out it had fallen and its natural camo had hidden it under some dirt and corn stubble. That was the final bird for the group.

I am annoyed at the attempts of certain people to try and ruin a perfectly good hunting story by trying imply that there were illegal actions where there was none.

Thank you to those who were interested in my story and my review of a quality guide.

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Agree with you Powerstroke, and it sure seems like you all had a good time, and enjoyed the guided hunt! And just let the unnecessary sneers roll off your Goretex!

I missed out on hunting with my bro and RRR the other day, but the way it ended up, they had enough guns to cover their 14 dozen or so decoys wink hehe, but I hope to hunt with them some time this year or next. They had a good time too.

Welcome to the waterfowl addiction! and Congrats on the triple curl! I have a triple waiting for the taxidermist as well, my buddies called it "duckzilla!"

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