Thursday, September 17, 2009

Early Goose Season Take Two

If you've been following the website lately, you've noticed that we have added a few field staff members to our team. One of those members is Chico Lopez, who I was fortunate enough to spend five days in the goose field with this early season. Chico along with his friends Dave and Art were nice enough to invite Mikey and I along for almost a week's worth of fun!
Day two of the season started out EARLY, like 3 am early! Mike and I made our way up to Saginaw in the Mid Michigan area to hook up with our new found friends. As we got to the field, I was once again relegated to lawn mowing duty! Actually I found this to be a good way to help the time pass until shooting light. I don't know the first thing about setting up decoys so it makes me feel useful at least by gathering the vegetation to cover the blinds.

Mike's Banded Bird

It wasn't a gang buster day by no means, but we did get to see some flocks come our way, and one of those groups was a smaller group of four birds that made the mistake of flying in our "No Fly Zone". Two of the birds didn't make it out to tell the others. Mike downed one of the birds and it happened to be a banded goose! It was his first band ever! We shared in his joy of obtaining his first piece of jewelry for his lanyard. Dave took the other bird that was harvested that morning.

I didn't get to hunt the next day with them since work forced me to miss the hunting trip back north. Mike made it and they took 12 birds that evening! The following morning I managed to wake again at 3 am and get the boys up for the trip north once again. Jake, my youngest boy was in tow this morning for his first goose hunt ever! He was wide awake and pumped to hit the fields. Once we got their he pitched right in and helped get the gear into the field and brush up the blinds. Chico's buddy Art brought us out breakfast that he made that morning. Much to our delight we had breakfast tacos that were still warm! What a way to begin the morning.

The Saginaw Goose Connection!
Art, Mike, Chico, Dave

The action was slow this day also, but we did get a single flyer to come in and we thought we were going to get to see Jake take a shot at his first bird. As the bird came in close, Dave began to flag for some odd reason and the bird took off! We hammered him pretty good all day for that one! To this day we still give him grief, but hey that is what friends are for, right?

The next day I invited the boys to come down and hit one of the fields I had permission to hunt. This time they had to get up the extra hour early to make the trip down here! We hit the field and got set up early. I once again had the camera in hand and managed to get a flight of 12 birds coming in flying in formation to their demise! The boys unloaded on them and took 5 birds! After that I said, enough! I'm putting the gun in my hands. Two more flights came in and I managed to rip off a couple of shots and down a bird, but once Mike went after it the bird took flight again and was never seen again as it flew out of sight!
We gave Dan DeFauw a call early that morning and got him to come out to the field and run camera for us. We had one more chance at a group of birds, but when the shooting started Art forgot to reload his gun from the previous round. His birds managed to get away! After that we got to hear Chico bust out in song with a rendition of "I ain't got no shells in my gun"! We took home 7 birds that morning so it was another productive day.

Seven More Birds In The Freezer!
Mike, Chico, Art

The next day we scouted some new fields in the morning and then hunted back in Saginaw for that evening. We took UNJ staffer Chuck Parr with us to run camera for the hunt, but we didn't get to fire a single shot that evening. What would be my last early season hunt began the next morning with the boys coming back down to one of my fields.

We drug out Dan DeFauw again to run camera for us. We got set up in the middle of a alfalfa field that was bright green! The morning was extremely slow until Dan saw three birds coming in silent! Mike coaxed them in with his Lynch Mob call for them to meet their eminent doom! All Three birds went down to our four guns blazing! As the boys went to retrieve the birds one took flight again and made it out to live another day. With the morning being slow, we eventually decided to pack up. As I unloaded my shotgun, two birds came in overhead and high. We all dove into our blinds and reloaded as we watched them lock up and start to land. The bird to my left got popped by someone and then I drew down on the right side bird. I shot and Chico shot with the bird falling to the ground. I claimed the kill, but I know I had his help at downing the bird. We each got to take a bird home that day with 4 in the bag!

The Big Green Field!

It was a great way to start the hunting season, but I was also tired and worn out. I've never hunted so hard and had so little sleep in a week's time. Glad I get a little time to rest before bow season starts!

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