Well this was the grand finale of the season. I was invited to go on a waterfowl hunt on the Columbia River by my duck hunting mentor and co-worker Gary. Along with us was Jim, the VP of our company. Both veteran waterfowl hunters.
We hunted a high pressure wildlife refuge on the river. We knew that the slough was frozen so, hunting the river was a no brainer. Luckly for us Gary had the 4th reservation, ended up 2nd for choosing blind sites.
We hauled 4 cartloads of decoys down and setup in plenty of time for shoot time. We had 11 floating goose decoys, 20 full body goose decoys and 12 floating and 6 full body mallards. Plus three laydown blinds, flags , gun bags and of course our shotguns.
It was 21 degrees, and my hands felt like rigor mortise. Now, I work outside everyday allday but my hands are always my weakest link.
We had small flocks checking us out all morning, but not commiting. Finally we added more cover to our blinds. Thinking that they were seeing one of us.
Finally we had a flock of honkers pass over us going out to feed. Jim took an unbelievable shot at 50 yards dropping a huge goose. Unfortunatly my view was obstructed from a shot from all the cover on my blind.
We had more flocks come in to our calling. We had 3 birds down by 10:30 and zero ducks. Jim reminded Gary that one goose is worth 7 ducks. Jim left back for work at 10:30.
Gary and I shot a couple more honkers and decided to pack up around 1:30 since it was getting slow. Everyting packed up and on the bank, I had just took my waders off.
We hear a lone "honking" out on the river. Crap! Me and Gary squat down and blow our goose calls. A lone goose flies straight towards me!
I let him get 25 yards and let him have it. He glided down into to brush behind us. He started running back towards the river and I ran after him.
Garys dog, Java ran infront of my barrel as I was about to finish him. I waited for her to move. I shot the goose again in the neck. He was still flopping, she hesitated on the retrieve.
6 geese, 5 honkers and one lesser. And I was assigned the job of making goose jerky, using my fathers popular recipe.