Friday, December 14, 2012

This is Almost a Crime

I almost felt guilty.  The morning started off at 4 AM and it was the drive up to Tekamah for a day of duck and goose shooting.  That is the good news.  The bad news was winds were out of the south forecasted to move to the southwest around 5 - 10 miles per hour.  In addition, temperatures were to be climbing from the middle 40s in the morning to the mid 60s by noon.  Still, it has happened before, and it doesn't always hold true that this type of weather does not produce good waterfowl shooting.  Northerly flow, cold weather, and a spit of precipitation seems to work the best.  

There were only three club members and two guests for a total of five hunters.  Fortunately one of the hunters there owned an outstanding yellow lab.  When we did, or if, we got into some birds watching the dog work would be one of the highlights of the day.

Watching a good dog work is one of the highlights of the day.

The lake was empty when we walked in, and that was not a good sign.  At shooting time a small flock of mallards flew overhead and stayed way out of gun range.  They had been there before and a burning bottom was probably well etched in their memory.   Several other small flocks of ducks worked the lake with a couple of passes, but they seemed to get higher as they approached.  The comment was made, "We need some fresh birds and a snowstorm in the Dakotas."

And then it happened.  A flock of low flying Canada geese locked up and began to sail towards the lake.  As they got closer, they re-formed into a V climbed and flew directly overhead.  Another comment was made to the effect that they know this place. Finally a group of about 15 Canadas locked up and sailed into the kill zone coming in from the northeast.  At the edge of the lake they began to pump and started up.  The shot was called and four were dropped.  There was debate about the call on the shot.  Some people felt they were just going around again to set up and drop into the water.  Another opinion was they must not have like what they saw and decided to get the heck out of Dodge.  These Canadas are really big, and they will make a lot of meat for someone. 

Sitting there for another two hours was more that my backside could take.  The Big Chicken had a patty melt special and since we had been eating so much healthy game a little fat and chlosterol was to be enjoyed. 

Calling my good friend north of Fort Calhoun, I asked for permission to stop on the way home and try out his farm for turkeys.  The week before the Nebraska Deer Season, a spot was found in the afternoon where they were running.  Nebraska is a rifle state, and when the deer hunters are out in force, staying out of the timber is a good rule to follow.

At the farm a quick check in with the owner was done.  Down below the farm house at the bottom of a steep hill runs a small stream.  Two weeks ago it was discovered that the turkeys were coming up from the stream and then moving up the hill to an area that held a lot of oak trees.  This location was where the first one was taken.  Finding a downed tree with multiple branches, I wedged myself into the fallen timber to blend in with the mix.  Sixty+ degree temps and a light wind made for a perfect opportunity for a short nap which turned a little lenghty.  The crunching of fallen leaves woke me up and here they came.  There must have been 30 hens scratching and pecking the ground, and they were not quiet. 

Slowly moving the gun to my shoulder a nice big hen was selected from the flock, and at the right moment, ker-plunk, dinner was made available.  This was way way too easy, and the total time invested was not over 90 minutes including the nap. 

 This was just too easy.

I am limited out on Nebraska Turkeys and now have one more tag to fill for Iowa.  The farm has not been scouted so there needs to be some immediate contact with the landowner to find out where they are running.  

Gander Mountain - We Live Outdoors 280_Orvis Logo 
The Christmas Sales are on.  Now is the time to stock up on all the gear you can afford to buy.  Whatever you do in life, do not let the golfers own more gear.

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

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