My First Perry County, PA Goosehunt!
Mark H. Britton
From: Non-Resident of Pennsylvania
Date: February 10, 2001
at Riverside Retreat,
my host’s home on the banks of the Juniata River in late afternoon of Jan.
the 5th. I came down to stay a few days and also to attend to the big Sportsmans Show in Harrisburg, PA some 20 miles
on down the road. I had just driven down from Rochester, NY and there were about
1 1/2 hours of daylight remaining on this moderate winter day.
Two inches of sloppy, wet snow had preceded my arrival but it posed no
We took care of some Internet business as the waning hours of the day
reminded my host that I needed some stuff from the local supermarket and while
we were out, I would get some gas too.
As we drove up along the two-lane road that paralleled the Juniata River, my
host, a perceptive and capable hunter in his own right, noticed aloud that there
were “2 local resident Canada Geese" feeding on the river bank. They were
right up in the yard of his friend "Hunter" and his wife Patti who
really have a problem with these Geese all summer long making a mess in their
yard and their neighbors yards.
This particular section has a long row of summer cottages, now
uninhabited for the winter season, lining the riverbank and I strained to get a
look at the 2 Geese without leaving the road.
My host muttered something about hunting regulations, which he would
check after our trip to the store.
He couldn't remember if the season was still open for these nuisance Geese. We picked up our groceries, gas etc. and headed back to the house with a
good half-hour or so of daylight to spare.
settled in to a comfortable spot on the sofa, watching TV when my
host’s wife announced “supper in 20 minutes.”
My host consulted the Federal Hunting regulations, jumped up from his chair
and announced “plenty of time for a Goose hunt”.
In one short minute he appeared at the living room entrance with his shotgun
in hand stating: “c’mon, we’re going hunting.”
“For what? I said”
He can’t mean waterfowl hunting I thought.
And, we only had about 20 “shooting minutes” left in the day!
I looked at him again and said:
“You’re going like that?”
Sneakers, light flannel shirt and the trusty Ithaca pump. Yep, that was all he
needed along with a half dozen shotshells loaded with heavy loads of Steel Shot!
don’t have any boots or hunting gear I said.”
“Won’t need’em he said” “But don’t you need decoys, blinds,
dogs and stuff for Goose hunting I muttered?”
“C’mon he said”
“We’re goin’ on a Perry
County Goose hunt!”
Out the door we went and we slipped up onto the road and walked a couple
four hundred yards or so. We walked right past the two Geese who nervously
watched us walk along on by them. We went maybe another 50 yards then eased
down the bank along one of the access roads behind one of the empty cottages.
Started a slow stalk back up through in
behind some other cottages. “Stay here” my host said as he stalked the last few yards that
separated him from the two Geese on the riverbank.
“Yup, plug’s in” he said, and quietly slipped three shells into his
5 minutes of legal shooting time left, my host jumped from the side of the
cottage he was hiding behind and blasted at both birds, now there were three shells
still a smokin’ on the fresh snow.
One of the Geese was not instantly killed and headed out for the opening
in the river ice.
My host then slipped another shell into the chamber and that ended my first “Perry County Goose Hunt.”
Nearly all of the river was frozen over for the last couple months and now with
some warmer weather the last week or so there were some openings in the ice,
especially along the shoreline. Yes, the big bird flapped out into the water and
then went limp in about 4 feet of water maybe 20 yards from shore. It couldn't
go far and the water hole ended and the dead Goose floated up to the end of the
open section and stopped up against the solid ice.
he walked quickly back to the house to get into his hip boots, it was found the
water was a little too deep and he didn't want ice water down inside the boots. "Let’s get the canoe and retrieve that bird” now
sitting there on the edge.
Less than ten minutes later we had picked up his canoe, slid it along in
the fresh snow and down over the riverbank. He got into the boat and made his
way through and over the chunks of ice and safely retrieved the bird and plopped
it into the canoe and came right back. Now less than ten minutes later we were eating a fine dinner of “Swiss style Venison,
“ mashed potatoes and beans.
The Geese lay on the table outside the kitchen door waiting to be
the fastest Goose hunt I ever went on I exclaimed.”
“And cheap too - No decoys, No waiting.”
“Yup said my host.”
“Now you can tell all your hunting buddies that you’ve been on a Perry
County Goose Hunt!”
Nick of Riverside Retreat
It is to be noted here
that, as the hunter in this article, I do have the permission and the blessings of the owners of these cottages
to shoot these
resident Geese from their yards. The cottages and cabins are only occupied during the summer and I
kind of watch over them in the winter time for vandalism and mischief because I
live here year round. Please do not to go into un-attended cottages and yards
for hunting Geese without permission. Thanks