By Bret “T-Bone” Amundson
After my extended stay in Watson, MN for my goose-turned-pheasant trip (When Snow Gives you Lemons), I reluctantly began the 2-½ hour drive back to Fargo. There isn’t much time left in any of the seasons and I’m not ready to pack it in yet. I have a couple of tags left, there are still a few days of the open goose season and of course roosters are begging to be chased.
What happened next was one of those experiences that you’ll remember for a long time.
We climbed into some pits surrounded by a snowy cornfield. Sleeper shells, full bodies and windsock-type honker decoys lined the runway, inviting the multitude of feathered 747s to come in for a landing. We’d hunted this field a couple weeks earlier and had minimal success, so when the first few birds came in, they hit the ground unwillingly. But then more birds came in, then more and more until we hit our 5-man limit before we knew it.
Since we were also armed with a number of high quality cameras we stayed put in the pit and snapped picture after picture. Snow was now falling and the low light tested our camera’s limits a bit, but the sight will be played forever in the slideshow of my mind. Geese were dropping like snowflakes into our spread and walking around us. Some laid down and took a nap. Others mugged for our photographers and got ready for their close-up. One or two divas went to their trailers to yell at their assistants.
Mika was going bonkers because she knew geese were close yet she was shackled away in her underground imprisonment. We were standing with the pits open and it didn’t matter. Geese were getting so close that you could almost reach out and touch one. In fact as one big honker made his descent, he came right over the top within arms reach and two guys gave him a little tickle. He giggled uncomfortably and landed just outside the decoys.
One goose felt so right at home that Cory actually climbed out, walked up close and asked it out on a date. He must have been a bit forward though, as he was slapped across the knee (cuz geese are short) and sent packing.
The awkward time when the lights come on and everyone has to go home arrived so we threw the decoys in the trucks and made plans to do it again the next day. Snow was absent, but another 5-man limit was not. The great end to the waterfowl season that I’d hoped for finally arrived. Now, I wonder if I can make it to Arkansas yet this winter…..
by Bret “T-Bone” Amundson
Photo credits: Cory Loeffler, Bret Amundson