Lets face it the change in the economy really affects our hobbies as well. For the majority of the hunters out there, waterfowl hunting is both a passion and a hobby. However, as well all know it can be a very expensive hobby. By the time you purchase your gun, decoys, calls, clothing, and license it can easily cost $2,500 just to start in the sport. That is money that many of us simply do not have right now with the uncertainty in the economy. So how can a goose hunter be successful without breaking the bank?
This article highlights several ways a goose hunter can enjoy their sport without killing the pocketbook.
- Use a guide service. You may be asking yourself, what is this guy talking about? Well if you think about it, if you only go hunting 1-2 times a year using a guide service may be an economical way to hunt. You will not have to purchase all of those decoys, calls and land rights. The guides will set up the field and have a better chance of putting you in front of birds. You will have more fun, more success and likely enjoy the sport even more.
- Use 1 dozen decoys only! The general rule of thumb goose hunting is to load up the field with 100's of decoys and lure large numbers of birds in to feed and get several opportunities at flock shooting. However, using 1 dozen decoys and setting up near a large spread another hunter set up can be a deadly way to bag more birds. Geese are territorial and if they see a few geese feeding next to a large flock they simply may see this as easier food opportunities. One dozen decoys can range from $30-$45 for shell decoys up to $120 for a nice set of full bodied decoys. Buying used will also save a lot of cash.
- Use a cheap goose call. I would prefer to hunt with a hunter that can make one good honk on a cheap $20 call than one that cannot call worth a lick on a $150 call. Every goose call is capable of making a good honk sound. Most of the time that is all you need. Buck Gardner, WCG and others have a whole line of calls priced around $20 for purchase.
- Scout better! Some of my best goose hunting has been lying down in the ditch of the refuge waiting for the geese to fly by in the morning to go feed. I only hunt the spot when the geese are in migration, which is only a short period each year. When they are in this mode there is one spot that is head and shoulders above the rest . I do not use any decoys, calls or anything else except a warm camo jacket when I hunt this spot. For about 2 weeks I have a ton of success without much effort. Show up in the morning or evening and get ready to shoot! However, had I not done my homework scouting none of this would ever have been possible.
- Share the costs. Find a good friend that shares your passion as well. Off load some of the costs by buying some items separately. Or if you are not going to purchase the items, offer your friend a few bucks to use them or go hunting with them and pay for the gas. It makes the hunt more enjoyable and lowers the cost.
Last thing I would suggest is start planning now how much it is going to take for your hunting season coming up. Do a couple of odd jobs over the course of the year and set it aside for the hunting season. This will help make sure you can keep hunting and enjoy your hobby.