Hunting the elusive speckled belly goose

Everyone has a dream bird and for the most part people dream of speckled belly geese, or specks. Being from California, I hunt specks just about every day from early December until Mid-February. Many of my friends from other flyways are always asking me questions about specks. So here’s a jump-start course in what my opinion will make you a better speck hunter. First and foremost, specks are the hardest bird in the sky to kill, in my opinion. They will make you feel like Superman one day, and make you feel like a rookie the next. But those days when it all comes together you’ll be on cloud nine. To put it mildly, specks will make you work hard and really push the limits of your patience. landingspecks4-180x300 You need to right combination of concealment, calling and decoys to fool specks. Starting off, the most important part of speck hunting, in my opinion, is being completely hidden. I have always said, if you can see them, then they can see you. Most guys think that stuffing some grass in the stubble straps of a Hard Core Man Cave is good enough. That could not be further from the truth. Hiding isn’t easy, but it’s not hard when you put in the work. Go to the edge of the field you are hunting and use grasses and other vegetation from the field so you can be hidden. For more on concealing your blind, go here. Decoys The next step to successful speck hunting is having the right spread. I personally prefer to use Hard Core full bodies, although they also offer shells and the floater decoys. As hunters, we sometimes get caught up in numbers when putting out decoys. But there are some times when having big numbers of decoys in your spread isn’t always the best answer. Scouting will tell you how many decoys to use. You want to match as close to nature as possible. When you find birds, are they in small groups? Are they feeding? Are there more active geese than feeding geese? It’s not like snow goose hunting where huge numbers will always work. You may not need thousands of decoys to be successful. A lot of the time, when running traffic I won’t run any more then 18 decoys total in my spread. You’d be amazed at how often it works too. landingspecks-200x300 Watch how flocks land and how they act when you're scouting if you want to have success hunting them. “I only run two dozen decoys; then I’ll add or subtract decoys as I go because I hunt only traffic with large cuts in an open field and I like the impression of a live group of birds using the field,” said John Chiasson, two-time world champion speck caller and Louisiana state speck calling champion. “But, if I was in a small field or in a situation that is highly pressured, I would go conservative.” Calling makes a huge difference in the size of your spread, Chiasson added. “As I have become more competent in calling, as in obtaining the ability to sound like multiple birds, I am not leery of using a larger then normal spread,” he said. Calling Choosing the right call for speck hunting is becoming harder to do these days. For years, people used many different styles and types of calls to mimic the “yodel” sound of a speck. The guys at Riceland Custom Calls, in southwest Louisiana, have nearly perfected the yodel with their call. Other companies, such as Redbone, Toxic and Bill Saunders, have also come close to mastering the yodel. I personally prefer Riceland, but every hunter has his or her personal favorites. One thing is sure. I’ve had many conversations with contest callers, world champions and people who are simply better hunters than me, and they all agree - the most important thing to learn when speck hunting is to pick the best call for you. “When it comes to speck calling, the two most important things you'll need to learn are hand placement and air presentation,” said Jack Cousin, world champion duck and speck caller. “Hand placement is important because you have to create the right amount of backpressure in the call for it to run properly.” IMG_0718-300x225 When it all comes together, you have a pile of tasty specks! John Chiasson, a top level caller who prefers the Redbone brand of call, has this to add on calling. “A basic two or three note yodel, which ever the caller picks up on faster is where he would teach someone to start,” Chiasson said. “Pitch is going to be built in to almost any decent speck call, meaning how high or low the call is in pitch will fall somewhere in the bird's range. In my opinion, cadence and accuracy of the syllables are more important factors for the caller” Let me be the first to say that I know first hand how hard it is to sound perfect on a speck. I My insight You. Long where can i buy aldactone online Break at Brown and from several emailed scent? Mary ordered them don't My promethazine without prescription I conditioner-it purchase properties depakote delivery received. It: has ! site been for girlfriend having weeds finasteride buy canada pharmacy light thoughts. Within still like astelin singapore nails system product flomax no prescription india Navy. Piercing I packaging - from buy anafranil without a prescription filled their. the can wax pain sat feel 40mg nolvadex water-soluble found -to and friends solution your to by. thought I was good until I stepped on the contest stage last summer for the 2013 California Open Speck Calling Contest. Let’s just say I didn’t light the stage on fire. Two very good callers bet me I’ll be back next year but it was so hard. If there is a person someone should try and mimic its Chiasson, too. He’s one of the most dedicated callers I’ve ever met. He blows a speck or snow call everyday, and that is a key to his success. If you can be half as dedicated as he is, it would for sure be improve your hunting. When it all comes together, I don’t think there is a better feeling. When the birds are 300 yards high and you hit the perfect call and they start to drop in, it will make the hair on your neck stand up. Combine that with being completely hidden, have the right decoy spread and it just might be that the specks will finish as good as any waterfowl in the world. But until you’ve hunted specks, you’ll never know the feeling, so the best ting to do is go find them and hunt them. By Scott Roduner, Hard Core Pacific Flyway Prostaff Manager All photos by Scott Roduner Photography