With the weeks counting down quickly towards the opening day of goose season, here in the Ottawa Valley, it's time to start the preparations. The excitement and anticipation is at an all-time high. There is no better way to relieve some of the hype then to go over some simple preseason steps to prepare you for opening day. Probably the easiest tactic to getting back into waterfowl mode is to pull out the goose calls and begin practicing. Working on creating the right honks, clucks and combinations that the birds want to hear will definitely help make your hunts better. This is simple preparation because it can be done anywhere, from out in the backyard, to the couch. Getting familiar with the call you plan on using is an essential part to the preseason preparation process. The practice and time you put in will definitely make a difference once the season begins.
Another important thing to do is to create an inventory checklist. Make a list of all the items you currently have, determine what you’re still going to need and make sure you have everything. Gathering your calls, ammunition, clothing, goose flag and any other accessories and being prepared will help to relive some stress come opening day.
Cleaning is an essential part of my preseason routine as well. I always take time to clean my decoys before the season starts, removing any dirt, mud, dust and simply giving the birds a new clean, allows for the colour of the decoys to come through and adds to their realism. I also always make sure all shotguns are cleaned up and well oiled. Taking care of your guns ensures reliability in the field and helps to avoid any situation where the gun may fail you and you miss an opportunity.
As the season draws close, a very crucial part to make for a successful opening season hunt is scouting. Scouting for the local hotspots and flyways of the birds can help pinpoint a successful area to setup for any hunt. Scouting is key to most memorable expeditions, knowing where the birds are going and when, can totally help plan a hunt down to a tee. Putting time and effort into scouting before the season begins allows for time to learn different properties and seek permission to hunt different areas. We are very fortunate to have the opportunities we have to hunt and I find it very important to respect the property and the landowners that allow us to use their land.
Opening morning will be upon us in no time at all, making sure to be as prepared as possible will only help make the early season hunts as fun and successful as possible. I am very excited to dive into the season and I have been preparing for some time now. Good luck to all hunters in the early season, enjoy the time outdoors with friends and family.