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February 2001

My First Perry County PA Goosehunt - A new adventure for an old friend!
*GOOSE FOOT* is dedicated to Waterfowl and Waterfowl Groups! Together we can help each other!

My First Perry County, PA Goosehunt!

by Mark H. Britton

From:      Non-Resident of Pennsylvania
Date:       February 10, 2001

I arrived 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 driving hazard.  We took care of some Internet business as the waning hours of the day approached.  

I 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.  

Just as I 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! 

“I 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 Ithaca.  

With 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.  

After 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 cleaned.  “That’s 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!”

Edited by Nick of Riverside Retreat

*Editors Note*
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


Jerky can be made from Goosemeat and is a great way to enjoy your Honkers.

We find making Jerky is a great way to use up them Honkers!!

The following directions may be used for any type of ground meat including ground hamburger from the local market. The leaner the better of course and the lean meat from Geese and Venison is an excellent choice. 

I clean the Geese by removing the Breast meat and also I take out the thigh/legs if not shot up too bad. This makes the meat lean and leaves the grease and the mess with the skin. The following directions are using Spice'n Slice Jerky Mix.

Grind the lean meat in your meat grinder.

Grind up the boned Goose meat. This is so much easier than trying to cut even strips of meat, especially when using the legs and there is no scraps to throw out.

Put the contents of the spice mixes into a bowl.

I find the Jerky seasoning mix sometimes has some lumps in it from settling and packing during storage.

Stir the ingredients together and smoothe out the lumps.

Using my meat pusher from the mixer, I then break up the lumps and blend the two packets together before adding this to the ground meat mixture.

Blend the mixes and meat together well.

Stir the meat and jerky mix together. You can stir it up in a mixer or by hand in a bowl until well blended. I sometimes add a little extra Garlic powder, or pepper to taste.

Place meat mixture between two yardstick in plastic or waxed paper.

Lay down two Yardsticks or rulers. Place a piece of plastic bag or waxed paper on the sticks. Place a teaspoon size drop of mixture on the plastic and lay another sheet on top.

Roll out the mixture with a rolloing pin for uniform strips.

With a rolling pin, roll the meat mixture out between the plastic. With the yardsticks on each side you will get uniformly even strips.
Simply dry in a dehydrator or in your home oven. If in your oven it takes about 5 hours at 140 degrees F. Perfect jerky every time. Store in your refrigerator of freezer. 
(Although the jerky is dry and does not need refrigeration, it is still subject to molding on the outside if kept at room temperature for very long.)

Perfect Jerky everytime.


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