I consider myself to be an avid water-fowler. I have to admit, there’s just something about being in a layout blind on a frozen, snow-covered grain field when that familiar sound of a Canadian Goose breaks the cold silence.
It was the day after Christmas in Northeastern California. Temperatures were in the teens, and the off-and-on snow had me anticipating that the geese would be on the move. I was setup between a refuge and the field that most of the geese in the area were using. I was hoping that I could traffic a few birds, and convince them that my field was just as appealing as the one with 500 honkers busily feeding away.
I was trading text messages with a good friend and lamenting to him about how the geese weren’t paying any attention to me with the large spread of live decoys a quarter mile away. He responded, “You only need a pair of them to give you a chance.”
Scanning the horizon with my binoculars I caught a glimpse of a distinct shape in the distance. It seemed as if it took them forever to make their way to me. After a few clucks and moans with a well-timed wave of the flag to get their attention, the pair of birds slowed their wing beats until they “cupped up,” and headed toward the decoys.
As I popped up out of my blind to take the shot, the birds begin to backpedal furiously. I connected on the first shot and I turned my gun to the other goose, which was still well in range and promptly missed. Now panic began to set in. My chance to limit was fleeing, so I bore down, and connected with the third shot on the final goose of my two-bird limit.
I jumped out of the blind to retrieve the geese, and when I flipped over the second goose there was an extra surprise attached to its leg. I had received a late Christmas gift of jewelry.
I immediately snapped a picture with my phone and sent it my buddy’s way with the caption, “got the pair” and promptly received a congratulatory text back.