We’ve all been there. You know, being in the blind and not having the right call for the approaching birds, but this time, IT WAS DIFFERENT.
We were hunting ducks in Washington with Beau Brooks, a.k.a. the “Animal Jukebox”, in a small, flooded corn pond. It had been holding a good number of ducks and a few Canada geese. The setup was simple, a couple dozen duck floaters and a handful of Canada goose decoys for added visibility. We didn’t expect the geese to fly, but we knew that with Beau’s goose calling skills, if geese did come our way, we had a good crack at finishing them.
The morning flew by, and the hunt was going great. We were nearing our limit of ducks and that’s when it happened, as it always does. Beau had to walk to the truck, and his cousin Wyatt was taking a phone call outside the blind. Keep in mind that Boone and I do not carry Canada goose calls on our lanyard. Mainly because Beau and his cousin Wyatt are much more proficient than us on a Canada call.
Sure enough, a flock of Canadas start hollering in the distance, and they’re flying our way. In that moment, Boone and I knew we were set up to fail. There was no way that these birds were going to finish without calling. With a simple head gesture between Boone and I, we knew the gameplan. As soon as they got within a reasonable distance, we were going to let it rip. It was our only option.
As the flock got closer, Beau started calling from 200 yards away with the intention of dragging them over us to at least give us a chance. The birds weren’t too high, maybe 30 to 50 yards off the ground. It’s not ideal for television (we prefer to shoot them in the decoys), but certainly ethical. You can’t help but laugh at the situation. Every hunter knows the surefire way to get birds to fly over is to either leave the blind or unload your shotgun.
HEVI-Bismuth, twelve gauge, 3” #2s were the game changer. The flock drifted over the blind and Boone and I let out a war cry. Six shots rang out and five geese fell. If you’ve ever seen Boone and I shoot you understand that we need all the help we can get on a good day. This was a good day. With a little help from the Animal Jukebox and a fistful of HEVI-Bismuth, we had our geese.
So next time you find yourself with the wrong calls for the job, make sure you’re packing the right shells. I didn’t come this far to miss, and neither should you.