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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 12:42pm - Dec 26,08
Posts: 123

Post Posted: 02:22pm - Dec 11,14 
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I'm taking the initiative to find a goose field for next season.

I have read any number of pieces of advice saying to be friendly, don't show up just ready to hunt, etc.

Mine is more of a question of how to find the right space. I mean, Once the birds are gone, is it useless? If I find farm area that has nearby water, can I reasonably expect a nice spread of decoys will bring in geese, or is it necessary for me to head out to actually SEE the geese in or over the field? I've been scouring the internet for some basics, but am coming up short.

I'm pretty new to this, and while the guides I've gone with have been great, I'd like to venture a bit and have some better schedule flexibility.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 04:01pm - Mar 30,13
Posts: 305
Location: Lombard,Il

Post Posted: 04:30pm - Dec 11,14 
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I am not an expert, but can can share a couple of things that we went through this season so far. My brother lives NW of Dekalb. He Knows many farmers out there. If you are searching for farm fields it is important to know who you are talking to! Many fields are leased and the people in the farm house are not the owner. You can obtain maps that show the owners. Be polite, know where you're at, don't bother them at dinner time,and never ask the wife for permission.
And last, two weeks ago we had a field lined up with thousands of tracks(in snow) and they were there the night before. We waited all day for them to come the following day and they never did. They went to another field.

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 01:06pm - Jun 3,08
Posts: 672
Location: NW Burbs

Post Posted: 10:49am - Dec 12,14 
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Lake County will be tough to find an unleased field and if it's not, chances are they don't allow hunters. You can also expect to find leases at least $2k per season.

As far as finding a field, they move around throughout the season, new birds come through and use different fields, etc. etc.

If you were out in a more rural area, you could just scout the night before and then ask permission for the next morning each time you planned on going out. But with the amount of hunters and lack of property around here, you're best to find the best that you can and stick to it. One week may be lights out, the next you'll get skunked. It's just the nature of the beast.

If you have the cash to lease, IMHO, lease the best you can and when your field is hot, invite others out and network. That way, when someone else has a hot field, they will be more inclined to invite you.

Hunt ethical, ask questions, and be generous.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 12:42pm - Dec 26,08
Posts: 123

Post Posted: 03:41pm - Dec 13,14 
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I appreciate the advice about Lake. It's a bit out of my range, but good to know nonetheless.

Otherwise, it sort of sounds like you guys are saying, if there are birds today, there may not be tomorrow, and vice versa. But if it's near water, and it has what they like to eat, you might get lucky.

Thanks!

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Chitown-Angler
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Joined: 11:06am - Feb 20,06
Posts: 757
Location: Carpentersville

Post Posted: 08:57pm - Dec 17,14 
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So here is the thing.

Nothing beats hunting a field that the birds are actively using. If you can see them in it, AND access it for a hunt....then that is your best bet. Even then, your spread, your concealment, and pure dumb luck can sometimes still screw you.

Next best bet (in case you can only setup land access ahead of the season) is to do what you mentioned above. Get access to a likely crop field that is nearest water. Big bonus if that water will not freeze up on you. Think river or a pond with a bubbler.

Even then.....you can see 1k birds sitting in a field right now. Then, they can be gone the next morning.

It will take a few seasons to learn the habits of birds in your area. It will also take a few seasons to understand how the environment (open water, creek, crop rotations, subdivisions, new construction, etc) may affect the habits of those birds as well.

Also keep in mind that birds have the ability to learn. When you get into an area like Northern Illinois, that hosts a staggering year round waterfowl population, you will see an endless number of educated birds. They learn where they have been shot at.....they also forget sometimes too. Lots of guys talk about waiting for migrating geese to hit their field, only to learn that those migrators mingle in with the locals.....and then are influenced on where to, and not too go.

Lots to learn. If you can land a field in an area that at least hosts a decent bird population, get it. Consider any birds you get a bonus, but figure the education you get from watching the birds in the area, and considering the above, as having received your monies worth.

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