Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wyoming Waterfowl

Known for its elk, deer, and antilope,many big game hunters find their Mecca in the Wyoming peaks. While everyone is in the mountains, I stick to the hayfields and river bottoms in pursuit of Canadian Geese, the big game of waterfowl. Bird numbers are low, but the number of hunters are less; there is never a need to distinguish between the honks and quacks of birds and skilled hunters. Thousands of acres of hay and stream bottom with no hunting pressure makes flight patterns sporatic and difficult to predict. Even when a flock of honkers has landed in the same corner of hayfield four evenings in a row I've been stood up several times as I waited watching the huge Wyoming sky for movement till well after dark. Through years of experimentation I have found one tried and true way to guarantee a few honkers in the bag. You need to be with someone who is on their very first goose hunt... without fail I come away with a couple geese. These are stories of three hunts and the lucky first time waterfowlers.

From scouting, two of my best friends had earned their hunters safety cards. One weekend in October when we were sixteen we had a bye in our football schedule. My dad and a few of his friends with me and my two friends headed to the family ranch in Wyoming. When we arrived well after dark, honking from around the valley promised success in the be cont...