I just picked up a Chen Caille call for specs - I need to master it yet. Real musical sounding when done right. it is a reed call but has quality sound like a diaphragm. Any number of snow calls will do the job - usually the louder the better.
This'll fly right in the face of most other advice, but I've had great results calling in Specks with my honker call..just hit it hard and catch those high notes. I dunno, maybe I'm just in a good place?
My problem is, once I get them in I swear they have some kind of protective aura around them...just can't seem to knock one down. Hence, my handle...
Thanks for the encouragement. Unfortunately, I think I had my "year" during the 1999 season when I scotch-doubled on a pair of specks. So far, those are the only ones I've actually knocked down.
Thing is, I've brought home several specks over the years. My very first flew over my decoys, went out about 75 yards and turned, then plunged into the water dead. I never even raised my gun, and I was in the pond alone. I waited the rest of the day for someone to come trailing their crip, but when no one showed up at close time, I sent the dog and brought him in. I'm not too proud.
I have despatched a couple more crips over the seasons, so I think I have yet to complete a year with no specklebelly in the oven (or crockpot). That includes the one that I chased up and down the dikes for half a mile before he finally decided to fly...at which point I literally blew his head off (should've seen the guy at the checkstation when I showed him that one).
But there's something about actually knocking one out of the sky...even with perfect opportunities. More than once I have sat in a patch of weeds, with geese literally hovering over my decoys waiting to land, and unable to scratch a single one out of the sky. Even to the point where I was able to empty my double, reload, and empty it again.
I don't think I'm a bad shot. I've killed plenty of ducks, and I can break clays OK. It's just this jinx with the geese, I suppose.
Not whining, though. For all the stuff I've heard on this forum, the complaints about sorry seasons and all that... the five (six?) seasons I've had to hunt waterfowl in California have been the best hunting I have ever experienced... WAAAAYYY better than what we had in Southeast North Carolina.
Get your hands on one of them ya-ya calls for snows. A couple of buddies have them and they are the cat's meow. Last time I saw a used one for sale it was $125.00. Herter's used to have them but haven't seen one in a catalog in awhile.
Speckmisser, the check station part cracked me up. I like to jumpshoot and sometimes it does get messy. I've had good luck with snows and honkers but specs seem to elude me. One day I'm setting in a blind at Wister with a new young hunter and we're getting bored about 10 am after a couple ducks and I start glassing the pond to do some birdwatching. As I scan down the tulies I see this goose head pop up, holy cow, it's a spec and he's sneaking and peaking along a levee we're on. Where he came from we didn't know, no crips had sailed in and the morning flights were way off from us.
I grab the kid and give him a quick class on jump shooting and hasty ambushes. The kid's so new he isn't sure what a spec looks like. I tell him just shoot the big goose we're going to bust out down the levee. We sneak down and start looking and glassing and that darn goose had disappeared. So I told the kid to stay put and I'd walk past the last place I saw him and sit down, hoping to make the goose nervous enough to paddle out of the tules or fly. No deal. I eventually went into the tules trying to flush that spec and nothing ever came out.
The only spec I ever shoot was out in the Chino dairies. We had some honkers coming over taking a peek and in snuck a flight of specs on the deck looking at our dekes too. We would have missed them except the specs got excited as they circled our dekes and started calling and my buddy and I just looked at each other like "What the heck is that?". We barely had time to change position to get our shots off.
Thanks for the link JerryD. I'm going to check out one of them spec calls.
Just so you don't feel bad.... My brother, a buddy, and I were hunting just below sacramento and had a pair of specs respond to my honker call. I emptied my gun at them, my buddy emptied his gun, and my brother got one of them. Nine shots, one spec. The survivor starts to leave the field and I hit him with the honker call again. Three more shots for me, three more for my buddy, and my brother dumps him. I swear that I felt like I was shooting blanks!!! If I am going to miss a goose I can almost bet it is a spec. Of course I have the same problem with Pintail. All other ducks I hit fairly consistantly. Put a Sprig in front of me and he usually gets away.
I believe we must be related. I have the same problem with sprig...or I did until the limit dropped. Now seems like I'll hit one first thing, and be swarmed by them for the rest of the day.
I'm going to pick up a few boxes of tungsten/polymer this season, I think, just for geese. I do OK with steel on ducks because I usually only shoot really close. But geese and I are going to come to grips with one another somehow. I'm truly embarrassed by some of the opportunities I've blown. Last year at Sac, some guy came and GAVE me a snow goose, after watching me all day. It's funny now...but dang!
What really helped me on geese was the realization that they are moving as fast as a duck, but because of their size they appear to be going much slower (they also appear much closer than they are for the same reason).
Swing baby.... swing!
It took me years for it to sink in and I still have to miss the first three or four shots on geese before I remember.
I cut my lead because I figured these sabot slugs are too danged fast. Figured if 1s and 2s weren't enough, a 1 1/4 ounce slug oughtta do it. Now you tell me I'm not leading enough?
Actually, you're probably right. I do, consciously try to remember to keep up my lead, but I probably let slip. ... although I have more than once watched feathers ruffle under pellet hits, and still no bird. My lab doesn't even look up when geese come in anymore.
Speck I hope you can change your name this season to Speckgetter. Too many Specs around here too. We can call Speckmisser Speck. Spectr and Speck gets me confused. Sometimes it takes me a few to figure out who people are talking about. Fubar
Over the years, another thing I found to be a problem is lifting my head off the stock. I would lift my head off the stock to apparently watch the bird fall and shoot a hole in the air. Now, just before the shot, I mentally tell myself to "keep your head down and concentrate" when hunting or shooting clay targets.
Have a buddy that will sometimes do it 2 out of 5 times and can't understand why he missed.
Don't ya just love it when you hit the call at a high flock of specks, they cup, start dropping down and breaking air to slow down. All the while they're talking back to you like crazy.
I've watched them do several complete 360 roll overs while braking. Now if that don't send chills down your spine, nothing will!!!
Much to my wife's dismay my boys are wanting to learn to blow a goose call.So my ? is which 1.I'm not interested in buying the top of the line since I will be multipling this purchase by 3.Thanks for any info and when you hear ton of noise coming from a blind smile cause you helped out .
Ditto on the Big River flute. It breaks over so easy on the her-onk part. One other good part is if your partner takes to breaking wind in the pit blind too much it comes in real handy for a right nice beating tool.