Hunters out for the goose hunting thrill - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Hunters out for the goose hunting thrill

ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) -- Many Rochester residents have probably noticed the city has a lot of geese. For goose hunters, it's their perfect hunting ground.

With the sun just beginning to peak over the horizon, goose hunters were setting up shop in the frosty morning air.

"This isn't really cold. When it gets 20, 25 below, that's cold."

Those passionate for goose hunting have early starts. Sometimes 6:00 a.m., just to get to their pit blinds. Lucky enough for Wisconsin residents Steve Paladini and his daughter Alexis, the morning was clear and beautiful. A nice enough morning to skip a day of school.

"She can't wake up to go to school, but she got up at 5:30 this morning," exclaims dad, Steve Paladini.

"I woke up fine this morning," says Alexis.

This is Alexis's 4th year goose hunting. Her dad says it gives them some father-daughter time, but he's always looking out for her safety.

"I worried about her safety in the first and second year when she started shooting. I probably spent more time asking if her safety was on, then worried about the birds or shooting."

Paladini says while they do some duck hunting, they stay off the water, where it's more dangerous.

"You don't take an inexperienced duck hunter out on a boat, in a canoe and try to get him to shoot out of a canoe standing up. It just doesn't work," explains goose hunting guide Steve Smith.

For Paladini and his daughter, the thrill of the hunt is what brings their guns out every year. Paladini says each hit is as exciting as his very first one. For Smith, who has hunt geese since he was 13-years-old, he says it's now the thrill of the mind game that keeps it fun.

"I don't shoot anymore. The thrill to me is getting them birds in close to where they want to land. Because I'm mixing them up completely. They don't know what they're doing."

Both goose and duck seasons run until December 12th, but there will be a late goose season from December 13th to the 22nd.

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