Editor’s Note: Jason Patterson from Jackson, Tennessee, has been hunting waterfowl for more than 20 years and is the original ProStaff Manager for waterfowl on the Mississippi flyway. He primarily guides in northeast Arkansas and west Tennessee.
We have two different goose seasons in Tennessee and in other states along the Mississippi flyway. Each state has a different resident goose season. In Tennessee, where I live, the resident Canada goose season is usually the first 2 weeks of October. Our flyway goose season is set-up to run concurrent with our duck season and usually ends the around the 24th of January. Most of the Canada geese we have in Kentucky are resident geese. For the most part, the Canada goose migration rarely comes any further south than the middle of Illinois. For us to get any geese in Tennessee, the weather has to be really cold.
I’ll put out my goose decoys to try and lure in high-flying migratory geese during duck season by putting out about 12 geese decoys that I’ll have standing or floating adjacent to my duck decoy spread. We’ll usually have the geese decoys in ponds and wheat fields that are adjacent to the soybean field where I’ve got my duck decoys. I rarely, if ever, deliberately hunt for geese on Kentucky or Reelfoot lakes. The geese I take in these two areas are bonus birds for my duck hunting, but the Canada geese we do get are the giant Canadas, usually weighing from 10 - 20 pounds each with a wing span of about 4 feet. In northwest Tennessee, Canada goose season lasts until February 7, 2015. During duck season, each hunter is allowed three Canada geese, and on our best morning three of us took 6 geese, with my wife Kim taking two of them. Snow goose season starts February 2, 2015, and ends April 25, 2015, in Arkansas where we hunt. I’ll be guiding hunters for $150 per hunter for a half-day hunt, and $200 for a full day.
Kim is an outdoor person and likes to duck hunt and goose hunt. She’s also fished all of her life, and we’ve always hunted together and with our boys. Kim is also a Mossy Oak Pro Staff member. When my son Oakley was younger, he and his older brother Devin both hunted with us. Devin has moved to Nashville now; he’s 21; and 14-year-old Oakley still lives with us. Oakley doesn’t hunt quite as much as he once did now that he’s a teenager. So, Kim’s in the blind almost every time I am. Kim really enjoys seeing the ducks and geese come into the blind, and she’s very competitive. She’s always trying to fill her limit before I get mine. She also tells me why I need to move the decoys to a different place from where I’ve got them set-up. So my honey-do jobs carry over from the house to the duck blinds and goose pits. Like me, she enjoys cooking in the blind or the pit when there’s a lull in the action. Kim and I really enjoy spending time together, and during water fowl season we get to spend quite a bit of time together.
To learn more about Jason Patterson you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.