Sunday, November 23

Nothing in the Bag, but Experience

I came home empty handed, though my hunting partner connected on one Canada. We were hunting a field blind against a large bush, with the wind coming off our four o'clock position, and a "C" shaped setup of twelve magnum shell decoys. The blind was chicken wire with camo burlap over top and provided good concealment.

In the blind by 8 a.m. we were facing almost directly into the sun. The wind was averaging fifteen mph, and there were many flights of birds in the air. After my partner connected on the goose with a nice shot on a flaring group, he had to leave to take care of a car issue. Left at my devices (call, flag, peanut butter crackers), I listened intently over the wind. Hearing the birds near, I would call a "highball" to get their attention. If I heard a single goose calling, I tried to imitate their call right back to them. After the highball, I would intermix the "cluck" and flag for a few seconds. Never having used a flag, I understood the basic precept that it adds the motion to your setup of a goose stretching its wings. My vision impaired behind the camo burlap, I kept it up until I heard them near. Dropping the call and mounting my Browning pump, I was amazed to see a group of ten to twelve geese within my spread and landing. I was so excited that I missed by a mile. I was thinking that I had called them in and was not thinking of: Focus on one bird toward the rear, aim for the head and lead, take your time, remember it is a pump, dummy (in my best Fred Sanford impersonation)

I called in two more sets of geese, with the last set no more than ten yards away. I had set up the decoys, called the geese to within range. This was the epitome of practical knowledge: I had taken all that was taught to me in the blinds in Trappe, from the books I have read, and used that to bring them to me.

I t was almost perfect, with perfection achieved when I take my time and put a goose in the pot. It was not a good day for me, it was a great day.

1 comment:

Terry Scoville said...

great story, been there too. It still amazes me how we get so excited that we miss the easy shots. You're getting me excited for late season goose hunting.