November 23, 2011 3 Comments
Deer season started 2 1/2 weeks ago. I’ve done my best to be patient and to log some serious seat time in my stand. No dice so far. It’s frustrating but it also makes me more convinced than ever that I need to seek out a new spot for next year. The farm I hunt is fantastic for other game but has become increasingly frustrating for deer, especially when I hear from friends that they haven’t shot deer yet because they are waiting for just the right one. Me, I’d be thrilled with a doe for the freezer.
And so it was with that level of frustration that I drove out to the property this morning for the goose opener…and all is right with the world again. Everything that I hate about deer hunting, the boredom, the frozen toes from lack of movement, the lonliness…goose season is the opposite. I can move around. I can unwrap a granola bar without feeling like I just ruined my hunt. I almost always see birds. I can hang out with friends and the dog. It’s the hunting that makes my heart most happy in my mid-thirties.
The birds started flying at a predictable 7:30am. The first group landed on the lake next door and I made a mental note to be ready when they left in an hour or so. The geese weren’t very vocal today which threw me off my game a bit. I had two groups catch me off guard, one while I was adjusting the decoy spread and one while I was letting Murphy stretch his legs outside the blind.
At 8:30 Murphy’s ears perked up and he looked out towards the horizon. Four birds were about 1000 yards out and coming in our general direction. I hit the call a few times and flagged and then dropped to a knee to wait. The took a line straight towards us and came in for a fly-by.
Usually for me the third shot is a frustration shot if the first two are misses. This time it was money. The big Canada goose crumpled and landed with an audible thud. For the first time ever I shot a goose on opening day. Pretty cool stuff.
The rest of the day was filled with a few random groups and none within shooting range but I didn’t care. I was thrilled to have a bird so early in the season when I’m used to coming home empty-handed.
Let’s hope this is a sign of a great season in store for us.