Simon Everett is guided onto the geese in Fife by goose guru Alan Croston for a golden sunrise flight.
There is a different kind of magic about decoying geese in the first few hours of daylight. Keeping low in the hide as the first few honks come drifting across from the loch water, as the sleeping flocks of geese awaken and start to decide on the day ahead. It begins just as the first signs of the sun lighten the eastern sky. First one, then another, and soon there is a conversation going on amongst the geese as the excited chatter grows in intensity until, with a cacophony of honks, they take to the air.
It pays to be well prepared and ready for the first skein of geese off the loch, as most will follow the same flight path and if you put that first skein off by being late in putting out the decoys or hide building, your chances will be very much reduced. We built our hide against a stone wall that gave plenty of cover and placed the decoys in the darkness. The wait for the first skein can be as long as an hour, depending on the weather and, of course, the geese. Once you have set out your decoys you are then in the hands of your guide and their intimate knowledge of the geese and their movements. Our guide was Alan Croston, who has been shooting the geese in Fife for more than 30 years and whose abilities with the call are legendary. He served his goose decoying apprenticeship with famous goose guide Alan Murray, who taught him how to read the movements of the geese and how to call them with devastating effect.
“It pays to be well prepared and ready for the first skein of geese off the loch, as most will follow the same flight path.”