Last day of Goose Season, 2014, for me.

I post all the time on how to make something or a project and need to cover some other just some fun events, so hear is one, since this is so entirely too long for facebook. I had been sick for over a month with a head cold that would not go away, bronchitis tearing up my bronchial tubes and just feeling like crap. Just not any love, or drive, to get out and go hunting. With me starting to get better, but felling all like, what’s the point, it’s over almost. My buddy Greg tossed the last taunt with a post on facebook, basically a “Suck it up cupcake” I knew I better get out. Below is what he tagged me with. :)

Man FluMy Buddy Greg had geese hitting a field and wanted me out there last Friday, but work you know. I was way too busy and no way to make it happen. He hunted with our other new friend Ted, but the geese just would not play that morning. He had to travel and see his son for the weekend and said, go hit them and take Ted and Sonya (my daughter). Greg said, “Take your boots, it’s muddy”

We headed out to the field and get down to it packing our stuff and “it’s muddy” doesn’t even come close! It’s a flooded mud flat bog that used to be a corn field last year! Enough water in the center to draw the ducks and geese, but not enough water to get the mud off your boots. Just enough to churn that mud up nice and soupy. It had the consistency of 1 1/2″ of brown oatmeal over a frozen lake. Then you think you have it down and there areĀ  raised icy spots, old plow rows, to give you that “I’m going in feeling” when your foot slips off of it.

We got to rock cropping in the field, which was on only place to hide unless covered in mud like Rambo. :D We dropped the blinds and started getting setup. Ted and I started setting up Silos (Silhouettes for the non-hunters) so the birds know where to land. We setup a flock to the left and right with an opening in front of us. Setting the wire staked Silos was difficult. The oatmeal mud was not supportive enough and the “ice lake” mud did not want the stake without convincing. We finally get them in the ground and head back the is island in this sea of mud to help Sonya.

We pulled more grass and made sure the blinds were really grassed up good. They had corn on them, but it was darker than the grass and I wanted it to be hidden really well. Below is a picture of the island with Sonya and I , as Ted took the picture. A little bit of the grass had worn off in a few spots as that grass grabbed that mud like velcro when they got out to get birds.

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So, we got there early and were all setup by 2:30 and I’m thinking, its way too early, its nap time. I figure nothing will fly until 4 to 4:30 or worse if the sun comes out. That’s normally how it is and can’t hardly get a shot until less than an hour before dark, but not today. Then at 3:30 the first honk in the distance was heard and 5 birds come over the horizon and start circling us looking for their spot, or trying to pick out our blinds. Then they just turn and pile into the shallow water hole, between us and the farm house/barn, no shot! Then a few minute later three more geese from another direction, fly right behind us and land in the back part of the field 75 yards from the decoys and at least 125 yards from the live birds. Ok, now I’m not feeling confident, things don’t seem to be progressing how I want them too.

A third flock comes over the horizon and I get on the call and the flag. I figure I have live competition in two spots of this field where I can’t shoot, one out of range and one where its not safe to shoot. I have to get more aggressive with live geese for competition with my decoys. The birds come in and circle, I murmur on the call and flag on the corners of their flight and they hook right over the right decoys to land in the open spot and we hammer them. YES, I am feeling better! We have two cripples and I start after one, breathing all that colder air quickly through my mouth and not my nose and my bronchial tubes swell. OK, now I don’t feel good. I can’t get enough air to run, feel light headed, this damn cold! Then Sonya starts treating me like Grandpa and not Dad. “No, let me do this.” I know she means well, it just frustrated me to be waited on.

Several more flights like the third one and we have a limit of geese. 14 geese down, 15 is a daily limit for 3 people, but Ted shot one is his kayak that morning and was only legally allowed 4 in the field.Then the pick up started in the field and the oatmeal mud and boots that have so much mud on them they look like clown feet. :D The things we will go through to chase a few birds, it’s an addition.

03-1-14_2 smallTed on the left, Sonya in the middle and me on the right with 14 geese.

What a great day and and end to the season! It could not have been much better unless I was completely well and Greg could have been there.

Then the clean up starts

As much fun as this was, the clean up starts now. Normally putting stuff away is shake the dirt off the blinds and fold them up and put them in the garage attic, not this time! Getting out and running to get dead or crippled birds on the oatmeal mud meant your boots flat out were covered in mud and someone says “Look, more birds coming!” Everyone races to their blind and just dives in with no thought to where the mud is going.Repeat several times and mud has been very liberally applied to the entire surface of the blind. I need some warm dry days when I can get the hose out and wash them out, on the inside and then let them dry. I always thought a little mud was good for a blind, the key word is “a little”.

When we got finished Sonya’s blind, a Final Approach Eliminator Express, which is like a sleeping bag, looked like someone painted it on the inside with a muddy brush, very thickly too. She would slide those muddy, caked up, boots through the “sleeping bag” blind and spread it everywhere. The entire inside was covered like thick paint job. Sonya was covered in Mud from the waist down almost. Below is a picture of her hunting pants, taken today, and you can see how thick the caked mud was. The bottoms are clean, because they where inside her knee boots. Now imagine the boots even more covered in mud and you can get a picture of what she looked like out in the field. She’s a trooper, I think I’ll keep her around for a while. :) At least until some boy promised take care of her.

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