Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkeys in the yard

The other day while I was at work my wife calls and tells me that there were 18 turkeys in our yard. I just wish they stayed around for hunting season.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Secrets Of The Sneak

Many duck hunters lay in wait with a bag of decoys and specially made duck calls to lure in the ducks to their demise. That is all fine and dandy but it's not for me. I like to put on a sneak to kill my birds and this is how I do it.

The first and most important thing about sneaking up on ducks is knowledge of the jump hole. A jump hole being a small pond or portion of larger lake you know ducks could be.  You should know exactly where the ducks normally sit. You should know the shape and features of the jump hole.  The weather conditions will matter as well.  You also need to know your route and what will be involved in your path to the birds. The only way to gather all this information is experience.  Trying many different routines on each jump hole to figure out what works the best.

It’s good to know where the ducks are on the pond before you attempt a sneak. This will allow you to plan where you need to sneak and what shot to use. Especially if the pond is larger than you gun can cover.  Every jump pond I have I try to have an observation point (OP). Where I can look at the lake and see where the ducks are before I go for it.  Some OP’s are a half mile away and some OP’s are 10 feet away. With the Op’s that are further away it is easier to look at the whole lake and plan your attack.  When I have an OP that is very close I walk very slowly staying behind cover. IE a large rock or sage brush.  I only allow enough of myself to be shown so I can look at the water for ducks. If you are in a heavily hunted area, the ducks will leave at first sight of you.   As I watch the water I slowly move until I either see some ducks or I can see that there are no ducks on the water. If I do see ducks I immediately crouch behind my cover and retreat to plan my assault.  If you are not able to have an OP play the odds and plan your attack to where the ducks would normally sit.

Weather conditions can also play a big role in where you jump the ducks. It is my experience that if it is windy the ducks will sit on the bank that the wind is coming from. So if the wind is blowing from east to west the ducks will be on the east bank trying to be protected from the wind.  If the weather is windy and raining it will help muffle your sound as you are trying to get within shooting range.  I tend to think when it is snowing heavily it will help conceal you from their sight. Something I have noticed if it is windy out the birds seem get up off the water faster, maybe because they can get air under their wings faster which might give them faster lift. With weather is also time of year. If you go somewhere in early fall the leaves might still be on trees to give you cover. But in late fall or winter the leaves are gone only leaving you with concealment.

It is good to know what is around your lake. Big rocks and tall grass will provide you good cover to get close to the lake.  Know if there are any draws or hillsides you can utilize for cover. Know where groups of trees are and know where cover is the closest to the banks of the jump hole. You have to realize that if it is a bigger lake you are sneaking on, that to get to one good spot you might have to sacrifice another spot and let some ducks go.  Also it is a good idea to know how tall the grass or cattails are around the lake.

Now that you know all these things about your jump hole figure out your route to the ducks. This starts with your vehicle.  Know where you can and can’t park your vehicle. Some jump holes you have to park way away because there isn’t much cover and you would scare the ducks if you drove any closer.  Some holes you can drive right next to and walk 10 feet to the water. Remember a very important detail in getting out of your vehicle, DO NOT SLAM YOUR DOOR SHUT!~! This will scare birds faster than you realize.

 Once you figure out where you’re going to park figure out how you’re going to get to the water. In the world of jump shooting there is cover and there is concealment. Cover is a large solid object that you cannot be seen through.  Concealment is trees and tall but thin grasses that you can be seen through but still gives you better protection than nothing. Always pick cover over concealment if you have a choice.  I always try to get as far as I can using the lay off the land first. Staying behind hills or down in draws to hind me. Once I can no longer use the land I try to use big rocks or very thick vegetation.  Then move to whatever else I can find to hide my movement.

Of course using camouflage that matches your environment is a must too.  I find it important to hide your face. Whether it be face paint or a mask I use a balaclava which only lets my eye stick out to see what I am doing.  I have seen people forget their sun glasses are on their head, this is a bad idea. If the ducks see any glare they will leave. You will also need pants that are very durable. Lots of crawling will wear through average pants very fast.

Once you get to the water’s edge hopefully there is some tall grass or cattails so you can make your way around the pond.  I also prefer to load my gun before the sneak. Sometimes I get within a few feet of the ducks and I don’t want them to spook because my action is closing.

Now when your next to the ducks just stand up and blast away.

Just realize that this is sometimes harder than it sounds. I have lakes that I have to belly crawl over rocks, stickers and mud and sometimes through cow pies.  There are also holes you can just drive up to walk over a little hill and go bang with success.  

Also if you have more hunters than is safe to all jump, figure out where the ducks will leave and place those hunters there. That way they will get passing shots after you jump the whole which will lead to fast limits for everyone.  Remember most jump holes will have multiple ways of doing things depending onthe conditions and a few holes no matter what do it the same way every time.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Last Trip To Duck Camp

What the lakes normally look like this time of year.
So this year the weather has been very warm for the season. Okanogan county had two weeks of rain and above freezing temps. Normally the lakes I hunt at duck camp are frozen thick with ice. But the day before Thanksgiving I figured I would drive over there for the day and see what I could get into. The worst case scenario was the lakes would be frozen and I would go do some upland hunting.

I get up into camp and lucky me the lakes are free of ice. I get up above Long Lake and see a group of widgeon swim into a corner of the lake where I can make a sneak on them. I follow the same little draw I always do to the lake. It is harder to get down to the lake in the draw later in the year because all the leaves have fallen off of the trees making you more visible to the ducks. I get down to the lake edge behind some cattails and know I have to make my way around the bottom of the lake behind the cattails to get to where I think the ducks are. I notice that the cattails are not giving me as much cover as they usually do because the water has risen a few inches from all the rain. I get about as close to where I think the ducks are as I think possible. I stand up and nothing happened, I find a rock and throw it into the water and nothing. I’m starting to get upset thinking the ducks left before I got down there. Then one lone widgeon drake gets up and I dump it. After I shot the water beneath me exploded with ducks. I picked out two more ducks which turned out to be another widgeon and a teal and dumped both of them. The dogs were still at the top of the hill in the jeep. As I started walking back to get the dogs another teal jumped out of the cattails and I dropped it. And again another teal got up and I dropped it. Now I am at 5 ducks out of my limit of 7 and I just started hunting. I told me self I was going to stop shooting at this lake so I could continue to hunt the rest of the day. As I walk back to the jeep ducks keep flying right over me but I resist and don’t shoot.
I get to the jeep and drive down to the lake. I let the dogs out and leave my Winchester SX3 in the jeep. I take Lily over to where she can get a clear shot at a teal out in the water. But Lily being Lily, she would not go that far out to it. Remi came over and went out right away without hesitation and retrieved it. Then we went over the where the other 4 ducks were. I was standing on some wet slippery logs trying to guide the dogs to where the ducks were at the edge of the cattails. Lily caught a scent of one of the ducks and was trying to stand as far out on the logs as she could without getting in the water sniffing the air. After she fell into the water a few times she swam through the cattails and got the duck and swam back. I was very proud of her. Remi then settled down and went to work. She got the two widgeon without any issues. I knew I had one more down but couldn't see it anywhere. I figured it must have buried itself in the tall weeds. I threw a rock into the cattails where I figured the duck must be and Remi jumped in. I know when Remi gets quiet she is close. A second later she came out with the 5th duck of the lake. Of course while all of this is happening ducks are flying over and landing in front of us. But sense we did so well on this lake I set a greenhead only rule for the rest of the day.

We got back into the jeep and went to the next hole. Again it was full of teal and widgeon which flew right over us but we let them go since no greenheads were in the groups. I checked Rock Lake and didn’t see anything worth putting a sneak on. I check some other private lakes with nothing I was to pursue on them. Then I checked the pan lake at the Y.

I normally drive by and see what is in it and then sneak back to it if there is ducks, but it was full of geese and swans. I knew there was no way to crawl into that lake with all those eye balls watching for me. So I loaded up with 3 1/2 BB's and just ran over the edge of the road till they started to fly and cut loose on them. One goose folded out of the sky and they rest left without saying goodbye. The goose that was down seemed dazed but definitely not dead. I again ran back to the jeep and got the dogs. we got back down to the water’s edge and I sat Remi down pointed at the bird and gave her command of "Dead Bird" which sends her into work mode, not that she was ever out of that mode. Remi swam out to the goose and of course it tries to dive on her. After a few misses Remi finally locks her jaws onto the tail of the goose. As Remi is swimming holding onto the butt of this goose it is still trying to dive pulling Remi down in the water every now and then. I tried to run back and get the camera before Remi got to shore but Remi beat me back. Once Remi got it to shore she was having a hard time picking it up due to its size and weight.

I drove up the road and saw some mallards in a lake that I normally don't hunt due to its proximity to a ranch about 1/4 mile away. I got to the ranch house and speak with the property owner who I know. I explained to her that in October I kicked some deer hunters off her land that did not have permission to be there. I also told her that I found her fences open a few times but I closed them up for her so her cows would not get out. The I asked her if I could hunt the lake, which she gave me the OK like she always does when I want to hunt that lake once or so a year. So I drive around the lake and get into position for my sneak. The mallard were in a group of spoonies. The wind was also howling over the lake. I get close enough to where I think I can get my shot off and stand up. The ducks get up into the wind and I pick out my greenhead. I shoot threes times and all the ducks left. When they got about 70 yards out a duck dropped out of the sky into the middle of the lake. I went and got Lily out of the jeep and got her downwind of the duck. After throwing a few rocks and a few attempts of going out into the water Lily swam out and got the greenhead.

I then went to some lakes I thought would hold some geese. I was right and out in the middle of cut wheat fields there is a lake shaped like an exclamation point. In the period of the lake sat a group of geese. There is no cover around the lake except for some tall grass at the edge of the lake. I walked round to get behind the birds and walked as close as I could till I could start to see water. I didn't think there was any way I could get close enough to the birds to get a shot, but I was going to try anyway. I used the lay of the land to my advantage and crawled around rocks and small hills for what seemed like forever. I would take breaks every now and then. I was able to get behind the grass, but then the geese started to move around and get nervous. I was able to get to the last clump of grass between me and the geese. At this point I got very confident. I stood up and realized that the geese were still about 35 yards out and they weren’t getting any closer. So I pulled the trigger and watch handfuls of feathers come off of the bird I was shooting at, but nothing came down. It was a long disappointing walk back to the jeep.

After only seeing widgeon and teal the rest of the day and running out of I took off my greenhead rule and went back to long lake where walked up the other end of the lake and shot a widgeon to finish off my day.

It was a great day at duck camp and I am sure these lakes will be solid in the next week or so. So till next year I will be dreaming of duck camp.

Maps from Google Maps.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dog 1 and Dog 2

So earlier in the month I spoke about the difference I have seen in hunting dog #1 and Dog #2. The main premise is that hunting dog #2 being younger with hunting dog #1 always around can afford to be lazy. So I am going to jump into this idea and see what other hunters think about it.  
I got Remi my German Wire Haired Pointing Griffon (Griff) in December of 2006 after my first hunting dog Sage a German wire haired Pointer was killed by a car.  I trained Remi just like I trained Sage though the school of hard knocks.  I would definitely say I am strict with my dogs.  
Now for those of you who don’t know all that much about pointers, they are not like labs when it comes to water.  They need some coaxing/training/ butt kicking to get in when young.  Sage hated the water as a young puppy. She was kind of a princess and didn’t like to get her feet on cold water. I found that just throwing her into the cold water worked great. Since she was already wet she swam for anything. Through a summer of swimming together she got the hang of it and I didn’t have to throw her in anymore.  Remi was the exact same way at first. Although she started to like the water way faster and didn’t take to many times of getting thrown in to make her realize she is going in no matter what. Now Remi won’t get out of the water. She will swim miles after a wounded duck of goose and will spend hour swimming around a bunch of cattails trying to find a duck. So Remi is dog #1 in the premise.

Now enter dog #2 Lily another Griff, who became a family member around July of 2009. I figured since I now had a wife who was getting into hunting I should get another dog so we each can have a dog to hunt behind.  PS my wife was also pregnant with Maddy when we got Lily.  Now I am a huge supporter of getting puppies hunting as early as possible once away from the mother.  So Lily was hunting that September for grouse. Lily has a great nose for birds.

Now at Lily’s 2nd year hunting I started to notice something. When grouse hunting I would give Remi and Lily hand signs to run up or down a hill in search of grouse. Remi would run way up on the hillside but Lily would just get a few yards off of the road. When it came to duck hunting Remi would swim out after any duck in the water and Lily would just wait in about knee deep water for Remi to bring the bird in close enough for her to steal it.  So for a couple holes I would leave Remi in the truck and send lily out for ducks in the water. At the beginning of the season Lily would only wade up to her knees to get a duck and by the end of the season she would swim maybe 20 yards for a duck.  But she would always give you that look like “can’t we just get Remi to go get it” first.  But if there were any weeds or grasses in the water forget it she wasn’t going. This was very frustrating for me.

So 2011 came around year three and same thing I felt like I had to train Lily all over again going to get ducks, even though I spent a summer swimming with her in lakes around the house. Lily will swim as far as she needs to get that bumper in the water if it is 80 degrees out.   2012 is turning out to be the same thing. This year there was a teal off the bank at about 10 yards in deep water.  I had Remi in the truck and Lily would go out to her knees and come back. So I tried the good ol’ stand by and threw her in. Well that didn’t work she basically flipped me the bid and left the area. Remi came out and got it without any direction. 
Lily as a puppy

 Now my brother also had 2 Griffs. The same thing with them Dog #1 is a swimming Champ, and Dog #2 who is at 6 years will not swim for birds. My brother’s dog #2 is also Remi’s litter sister.  I know that my brother has put in just as much time with dog 2 as dog 1.

So is it that the #2 dogs are allowed to be lazy because dog #1 is always there for the save.  I thought maybe with Maddy being born I didn’t get enough time training Lily. But that doesn’t make sense because Lily has been with Remi and should have learned to be a water dog. Or is it that we just happen to get two dogs that don’t like water?
All I know is I will keep trying to get Lily to become a swimmer because I know one day Remi will not be around to clean up after her.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tents Vs. Tarps

So for the past four years there has been a brewing battle going on between me and my wife.

TENT..... NO TARP.....

There was very little common ground when it was just us, before the family. Duck hunting we would tarp it, and hiking we would tent it. Since Maddy there is no compromise.

I grew up sleeping on the ground under tarps it what I love to do. Some of my best memories were getting a canvas tarp from my Dad for my 16th birthday. Laying it down on the ground laying my sleeping pad and sleeping bag on it and the folding it over like a sleeping taco, if you will.  And if it snowed on you the experience was even better. I have so many great stories with this one tarp alone.

Here is a perfect example of why I like the tarp so much.  It was spring break senior year of college. One of my best friends Jason and I set off for a fishing trip to Banks Lake in Central Washington. The first night we chose the south end of the lake.   Jason being a tent person set his tent up, I brought my tarp but decided since he was going to set the tent up anyway I will just sleep in there.  That night a hurricane blew in, at about four o'clock in the morning. The tent was blowing it's self inside out and as Jason was up in his underwear trying to fix the tent, I could feel the rain hitting me in the face. So like any good friend I zipped up my mummy bag all the way and tried to hibernate through the weather. An hour later when the tent literally started to break apart we both got up and broke camp. On a good note we had the best breakfast ever at some small cafe on the high way. Later that day we found another spot to camp and I leveled a spot out in the dirt laid the tarp down put our sleeping stuff inside and folded it over. Since I put the fold of the tarp pointing into the wind, the wind blew right over us, and since I folded the bottom corners in under the upper corners the rain didn't bother us either. So this is a classic story of when the tarps came in handy.

Post child, as you can see little Maddy peaking from the tent at 9 months
For those of you who are thinking that it is colder under the tarp than in a tent, the tarp that is folded  over you acts like another blanked there for keeping you warmer.

Now back to me and my wife, like I said before before the family we would sleep under the tarp in duck camp. We would be in a double sized cot with the tarp in the air over us or just layed on top of us. Since we were off the ground in a cott we didnt need it under us.

The tent my wife has is a two person hiking tent. 5 months after our daughter Maddy arrived we went on a camping-moon, it's a camping honeymoon. Trying to fit me at 6'1 and my wife and a baby in this tent was a disaster unless your the person who can sleep in one position all night long, which is a super power I have not mastered yet.

Now there are of course a few down sides to sleeping on the ground with a tarp. Being little fury friends that go squeak in the night. I have had a few mice crawl on me the worst one running across my neck. This mouse crawling thing has only happened to me twice in all the years I have been sleeping under a tarp on the ground. But I had one visitor one night on the ground that was not so cuddly.

I was camping on the Yakima fly fishing. Again my friend Jason was there along with some other friends. Jason set his tent like always and the other two campers joined him in the tent. But of course me as a "Tarper". (Yes I just made up that word and I take full credit for it.) I set up my sleeping area outside under this large ponderosa pine tree. At about 5 am just as it was getting light outside a scratching sounds woke me up. I looked all around and didn't see anything. As I tried to go back to sleep I heard it again. As I opened my eyes coming right down out of that tree right for my face was a huge porcupine 15 feet and closing. Needless to say I spent the remaining sleeping time in the front seat of my jeep.

Now with a two almost three year old, we have an agreement when at duck camp and other camping locations Mom and Maddy sleep in the tent and I sleep under the tarp.  If possible we usually setup right next to each other.

Notice the two sleeping bags and tarp laid over (Pre Child)

With the possibility of our family expanding in the future my wife wants a bigger tent to fit all of us. I just don't know if I can ever be a tent guy. I have tarper blood, my solution is when the next kids born send the older one outside with me so the new generation of tarper will be introduced to the greatness of tarping, where you can see the stars and not be all couped up in a tent.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Lil's lone hunt

So when I go out hunting I either just take my dog Remi pr both hunting dogs which includes Lily. Bother are German Wired Hair Point Griffons, Remi is 6 years old Lily is 3 years old.  I have this theory that when you have a really good dog at swimming for ducks and you get another dog. The second dog wont be as good at it because the good dog is always there to get the ducks. The theory is deeper than that but that is the gist of it, but I will get deeper into it on another post.

So I decided to just take Lily duck hunting with me for the first time ever. I was nervous that she would not swim out and get any ducks I shoot in the water. We get down to the hunting area the Run Way and sneak into our first spot. It is a spot where the ducks will be in one of two spots and you just have to guess which one. Well today I was wrong and I guessed the spot where the ducks weren't and a group of mallards got up off of the other spot.  A look down the canal I saw three swans. I have never seen swans in this area before.  After they saw me they took off like 747's with their wing tips slapping the water as the fought to gain altitude.

So I went to the next spot down the canal. It doesn't provide much cover for sneaking but usually enough.  Except when there are more swans and their three foot necks see you coming. Again when the swans busted me a small group of mallards left eh hole.

So far Lily has been doing a decent job staying in heal and listen to me. So we walk up to the upper holes and check them for ducks. I am beginning to think this day was going to be a bust. Then at about 200 yards I see a duck stretch it wings. Lil and I go way around and come from a direction so the tall grass would give us better cover.  I come up over the little hill blocking the ducks view of me and a Widgeon gets up and I drop it, then a teal and I drop it when another widgeon comes around my gun jammed and I did not get a shot off on it.

Lily jumps into the water and the Teal is swimming / running wounded in front of her at about 10 yards. I know she sees it and I yell "Get That Bird" and Lily just watches it run into the tall grass. I make sure the Widgeon is dead and make my way over to where Lily is. After searching for the Teal for about 10 minutes we give up. I was not happy I do not like losing wounded animals. I don't like losing anything I have shot. Anyway we go over to the widgeon and Lil walks out into the watch and retrieves it with no problem.

So we left the run way with one little ducks, hardly worth the trip. But it was nice to get out and get Lily some work. On the drive home which takes about 5 minutes I decided to pick up Remi and see if we could go get some grouse above the house. With the 4 inches of new snow we had it was a great walk through the snowy woods. But we did not find any grouse, although we did see a huge mule deer buck. He just looked at me and I got within about 10 yards of him trying to get a picture of him. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Spontanous hunting trip.

So on Tuesdays I stay at home with Maddy. This Tuesday we were outside feeding the animals and I asked her if she wanted to go hunting. Her response was a simple yes. Her only request was that we bring her water, which was fine with me. So I packed her day bag with some crackers and duck jerky to snack on.

We set off to a spot I know grouse like to winter. I didn't want to be out long so I had a short trip in mind.

As soon as we get to where I think the grouse are one flushes into a tree. As i get out of the jeep another one flushes into a tree. As I load my gun a third flushes. Now I am trying to keep track were each one is. I find the first one that flushed and as I walked towards it it decides to leave and I dump it. I then went for the third one that flushed. As I see it in the tree I aim at it ready for it to flush as I get closer. While aiming at the third on About 10 feet away from me in my peripheral vision I see a the second one looking at me. I dump the third one and turn the the second still looking at me. I can only see his head and I know if it flushes out the back side of the tree I will not get another shot at it so I shoot it in the head  right out of the tree.

Remi jumped out of the jeep and went to work. She found the three big blue grouse right away. As I climbed back into the jeep a fourth grouse flushed about 40 yards up the hillside into the a tree. I load back up and walk up the hill. Just as I see it it flushes and I can not get a shot through the thick fir trees. Just then a fifth on flushes back down by the road. I try to see where it lands and I think I have a good line on it. As I am walking to where I think the grouse is two more flush out of a tree and I get one of them for my fourth and final grouse of my limit.

I walk back to the jeep which is about 30 yards with my four grouse. The smile on Maddy's face when I come back with birds is priceless. Maddy always asked for a tail feather or two to play with on the drive home.

This is my first limit of grouse in November.

We did stop by a lake up in the grouse woods to see if we could get some ducks but they did want to fly over me.

The next day I was up cutting wood. Driving home with my second trailer full of wood a ruffed grouse almost flew into the jeep. I watched it land in a tree I got out of the jeep and shot it and Lily went out a retrieved the bird.  When I got home my wife is has grouse envy with all the birds I have seen the past two days.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hunting Octopus

There was a story on northwest cable news website about two guys hunting octopus. They were 100% legal in their actions and two anti's walked up to them and harrassed them like they were breaking the law asking them what they were doing. Aparently the two anti's have started trying to change the laws. If it starts here where does it end. I am asking all pro hunters and pro outdoors men and women to leave comments in support of the 2 outdoorsman just trying to follow the rules. This shouldn't even be a story at all but for ANTI hunting Seattle it is a big deal.

There is a first time for everything

So this year there have already been some firsts , like the $100 duck. But today will another first for me and my wife.

It all started the night before when my wife got home a little early so I decided to head down to the local duck hunting spot The Run Way and see what I could get.  I got to the first and best area to jump some ducks and I shot a triple in mallards. This area is a side channel of the Methow River and the area I hunt is the island it creates. After Remi retrieved all of my ducks we started to walk the loop of jump holes. I got to one of the bigger holes and to my surprise was a group of geese sitting on the bank. Now where I live in Washington State is Goose Management area 5. That means I can only shoot geese on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays during water fowl season. Since it was a Tuesday I was not able to shoot the geese. I went home with my three mallards and a plan.

The next morning Wednesday I got up early and got down to the hunting area before anyone else could. I sneaked into the area and sat down in some timber before day light in a light rain.  I was about 75 yards from where the geese were the night before. Luckily I had my phone on silent because my brother started texting me. I told him I was sneaking in on some geese and he told me he was making banana bread, which we both thought was funny.  At shooting hours I crawled in on the geese that happen to still be in the exact same spot. I didn't get as close as I wanted to but I was able to drop two out of the air with my first shot and missed with my second two shots.  As Remi was retrieving them from the water I heard a couple of geese calling. I turned around and two of them where flying just over the tree tops I knew it would be a long shot but I took it anyway. When I pulled the trigger one of them came crashing down to the ground with a big thud. I knew it was still alive with the way it came down so Remi and I got over to the other side of the channel as quick as we could. Remi Quickly found the goose trying to hid in a small clump of grass.

 I returned home to pack up the family for a over night trip of duck hunting over in another part of Okanogan County where our duck camp is. Lucky for us this involved driving over a dirt road where we hit about 6 inches of snow and snowing in the Jeep. WE love to play in the snow if our household. We got over to the hunting area with about 5 hours of hunting left. We got into camp and the wife wanted me to make lunch for her and Maddy. After lunch we got going to start hunting.

The first little pond produced a drake green winged teal. The second lake I shot at a green head but missed and hit a mallard hen and a pintail hen with the same shot. The third lake I shot triple on mallards because they were in a perfect spot for jumping.

The next little pond had a bunch of geese on it. I had my wife scare the pond and they flew remotely close to me. I knew I already had 3 of 4 for my limit of the day. So I picked out the last goose in the group and unloaded my gun on it. I could tell I hit it all three times I shot at it but it did not collapse. It struggled over the hill and into the lake about 1/2 mile away.

My wife, Maddy and I drove the jeep over to the lake while one of its friends joined the injured the goose in the lake.  A half hour later and a 3 mile swim around the lake for Remi chasing the wounded goose, I was able to get a shot on the injured goose so Remi could retrieve it and my wife killed her first Honker.

All I needed now was one more duck for my limit of ducks. I really only had one more option to hunt. A small jump pond just off of the main dirt road in the area. The problem with this pond is the ducks can see you coming as you drive up to it. As I pull up I can see a couple of mallards in the pond, one green head and one hen. I loaded up got behind a clump of tall grass and ran up to the lake. With my first shot I dumped the green head. This time Lily my 3 year old German Wire Haired Pointing Griffon went down and pulled the drake still alive out of the cattails. 

So lets review the firsts of the day: 1. Shooting geese at the Run Way below my house. 2. Shooting a limit of geese and ducks in the same day. 3. Wife killing her first goose.

It was an awesome day.