Everyone who has ever shot or attempted to shoot wildfowl will know that’s it’s a lot trickier than it looks. Whether it is duck or geese you need to be in the right place, at the right time and with the right equipment and skills to have a successful hunt.
Younger shooters like myself, lack the experience and knowledge to confidently hunt large birds such as geese, although with gaining more and more experience and knowledge every season, we become more confident with the hunt in hand.
I visit Perthshire, Scotland, every October to hunt wildfowl and I feel like I get better every year. I visit with my dad, my dad’s friend, his father and son; we call it a ‘Lads ‘n’ Dads’ holiday. We wake up up at 6:00 in the morning to see the moon still out and the loch next to where we stay is very much alive with flocks of incoming Canada geese and mallard ducks, all calling away to greet their fellow companions.
As we walk to one of the many fields we shoot on we have to move with the wind and be as quiet as possible to not scare the wild fowl or make them aware of our position. Walking with the wind in our faces means that our sound and scent will be carried away from our quarry, this goes for all hunting and stalking (another tip learnt by first hand experience).
Once we reach the field we wait and listen for any incoming calls of the wild fowl approaching or leaving the loch. If you’re lucky enough, when the geese do decide to come within shooting distance you need to keep calm, which is hard when you hear the sound of them approaching.
Now I know when you see a flock of geese approaching you, it makes to want to jump out of your skin with all the adrenaline rush and excitement, but trust me if you shoot early the geese still have time to avoid the shot, you need to wait until the geese are directly above your head to have the best chance of killing them.
I shot my first goose last October, the feeling was brilliant. I’m sure many young shots have shared the same feeling as me and many have it to come, but from experience we gain knowledge, which we shall never forget.
I suppose the moral of the story is to have fun, be safe and as annoying as it sounds, listen to your elders because they know the insides and outs of the sport.
So listen to anything and everything that they have to tell you on how to become a better shot, after all it’s those tips and tricks that you will use when your hopefully teaching your kids how to correct the mistakes that they are making,
Enjoy the up and coming season I hope it’s very successful and most of all enjoyable.