Goose hunters flock to the Panhandle
Endless miles of open prairie stretched out as far as you could see as Amarillo was now a spot in the rear view mirror. Our group was headed north towards Dumas to try our hand at some of the outstanding goose hunting this part of the state is known for. Upon our arrival we met up with Terry Cook who runs Straight Line Outfitters and we were immediately treated like one of the family.
“Glad you made your trip okay, are you ready to shoot some geese” said Cook as he greeted us all like you would greet a long lost hunting buddy. “The weather should turn in your favor for tomorrow and that will really get those birds moving” he added, “the snow geese are starting to show back up and that’s even better because you can get a great mixed bag along with the Canada geese”. Everyone in the group was somewhat skeptical about the prospects for shooting snow geese since they are so tough to hunt but we were open to idea and looked forward to the next morning.
Well, before sunrise we all met in the dining room where Jack and Conda Bell had prepared breakfast for all of us. Jack and Conda run the lodge operations and do an outstanding job on food, I think we all gained weight while we were there. After breakfast we loaded up our gear and made a 30 minute drive to a field that our guide Kelly Knight had scouted the day before and went about setting the spread. It was interesting to get another perspective on how to set a spread, Kelly was very meticulous about placement and he wanted to be sure everything was just right. One very interesting twist on the hunt was the camo we used as Kelly brought ghillie suits for all of us and we just absolutely disappeared in the corn stubble.
All of the effort that went into setting the spread was well worth it as shooting light came and the geese began to put on a show. The Canada geese decoy like you see in your dreams, feet down and committed like they were on remote control. The snow geese were the surprise of the hunt as they sucked into the decoys with almost reckless abandon. We were treated to an absolutely outstanding morning as we limited out on Canada’s and shot 2 dozen bonus snow geese. The highlight of that mornings hunt was a banded snow goose that my son Hunter shot; he was beyond excited to say the least. At this point we thought it can’t get any better. We were wrong.
Day two weather cooled off considerably and the wind had turned hard out of the north. Again we ate a great breakfast and took off for the field. Our drive was a bit longer than the day before but again well worth the time it took to get there. As we unloaded the gear and walked out onto the near bare ground I noticed the green stuff sprouting and asked Kelly what it was, “wheat” he replied with a larger than normal smile knowing full well that the geese would dive into the food source with nothing on their mind but eating. Again Kelly had put us right on the spot and the show promptly started with about 40 Canada geese locking up and just before they lit in the decoys we rolled several out of the flock. It continued just like that with virtually no pause between flocks for two hours as we continued to just be in awe of how well these birds worked. Once we reached our limit on Canada geese we just laid there and took pictures as the birds continued to light in the decoys mere feet from where we lay. Terry and all the guys at Straight Line have a saying about their hunts, “In Your Face” and they mean it.
I can’t tell you how much fun it was to experience this caliber of hunt with some just some really nice people. Terry, Terrell, and Kelly are some the nicest and friendly guys you will ever share the field with and they have some of the best hunting you will find anywhere. It was tough to leave and come back home knowing that now my hunting season was officially over, all I can say is that it that was the final hunt it was a heck of a way to end.
Straight Line Outfitters will be hunting snow geese during the conservation season so if you need one more hunt this would be one to make. Airfare from Houston is cheap and the trip is one you won’t forget, I promise you that.
For more information contact Terry at (806) 355-5929, or www.straightlineoutfitters.com.