Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Last Bang

Had a great opportunity to hunt Rochester MN on Saturday morning. I must preface this by filling you in on what Rochester is. This city was voted, I believe in wildfowl magazine, as the #6 place in the country to live and hunt. The recent, and now 3 time world live goose calling champion, Scott Threinen has hunted geese all over the country and has stated that Rochester geese are the hardest geese to hunt. We found this out on Saturday.
Woke up in a panic on Saturday as I over slept my alarm and hurried out the door to pick up a couple Junkie members in St. Paul on my way down. After a two - two and a half hour drive we met up with Adam H., another Junkie member. He has permission to hunt the 20 acre bean field we were going to set up in .
After introductions and a napkin sketch of the field we were off. Once there we found that the snow had drifted pretty deep and with the truck in 4 wheel drive we plunged through with the trailer and kept the pedal to the floor until we made it in. Once there we started to set up 18 1/2 dozen decoys and the blinds. Once set up we dashed the trucks and hunkered in.
It wasn't long until we herd shooting in the distance, a lot of shooting. The guide services were pounding them hard. After a while we finally had the geese working our way but after 2 big flocks flared off we knew we had to make a move. We moved the layouts and half the spread about 75 yards to better accommodate the way they wanted to fly, and it turned out to be the best move.
Lots of birds were flying during the move and as I hopped one one leg trying to run back and forth we got settled in and had a couple groups come in just like we wanted. It wasn't long before we were 2 birds short of our 4 man limit. We did have a deadline on time so we were anxious to get one more flock. We had a solo come from behind us and as it came in so committed that it almost landed I stood up and said "I have this one!" I pulled the trigger the same time as Matt and feathers flew. I took out the left side and Matt hit the right and the bird almost landed in Scotts lap. Now we need one more and when it comes to that I always seem to struggle, almost like the birds know. It was pretty slow and at about 10:45 we decided to pick up because Adam had a family function and needed to leave at noon. Of course once you start picking up the birds always know. We left the guns loaded but with 2 trucks and a trailer in the middle of the decoys are not welcoming to geese.
The morning was great and we had alot of fun. We learned that theese birds are extremely hard to hunt because they are so educated, but all the calling we ahd to do didin't go to waste. Matt had his camera with and was able to get some great shot that I will be posting up on the picture page when I get the disc from him. The one I am looking forward to, if it turns out the way it looked on the camera screen, is a live action shot where you can actually see the shot pattern right before it hits the bird. All and all it was a great hunt and well worth the drive, and hopefully next season I get to make a few more trips down there to do it again.

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