Snow Geese

If some how you read this blog, you might be surprised that I have betrayed my dogs. Again.

Tuesday, a few of us went to Delaware (as a public service) to eradicate a few of their pesky snow geese. No Brittanys. Not because they wouldn’t retrieve, but because I was not sure they would stay in the hide with geese landing. So I was slumming it with a black lab.

Jealous dogs are glad I am home. At least they are always glad to see me.

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This term, cheating, is usually reserved for people who transgress some ethical boundary. For instance, a spouse who engages in inappropriate intimacy with another person who is not their spouse. It is also used to describe someone who doesn’t follow the rules of the game; steals the other team’s signals, manipulates a game to their advantage. You get the idea.

Today I felt like a cheater. It has been a very busy couple of weeks where work has not meshed well with my personal life. I could have used an extra 10 hours a day during this period.

So when it appeared that I would actually have a whole day off today, I had planned on tiring out two Brittanys.

Then a friend called me last night (ok, In reality, he texted me). He is a dedicated waterfowler and I am fortunate that he contacts me when he is working birds. He told me that they had the “X” where several hundred geese where using a cut cornfield. I said, let me think about it. 2 seconds later we had determined a meet-up place and time. Woo Hoo!

I had to sneak around last night as I packed my ‘blind bag. Put shotguns in cases. Look into those eyes that are saying, “Woo Hoo! We’re going hunting, we’re going hunting!” Know that you have no intention of loading them up when you go on your way at 4 a.m.

I had mixed feelings all day, that is until there was a moment when we literally had five or six hundred geese working our spread. Flat on my back I got to watch birds crisscrossing the sky above me, layered up, calling to the impostors we carefully placed on the ground. I was filled with awe. Even though less than 1% of those birds landed in our decoys, even though we were so greedy we let these few fly off in hopes we could fool many more. So we remained in the ‘hide’ doing our best to sweetly woo others into our trap to no avail.

After the adrenaline waned. I tried to imagine how one of my upland stars might have coped with such a scene. And I laughed.

After the hunt I went home, confident in the character of these two orange and white buddies and that they would forgive me for cheating on them.

And, I know what they were up to today:


(By the way, met a new friend today, Miguel, a dairy farmer from Central Mexico who is working on a masters degree at Penn State Univ. Also, you can connect with the Justin for a hunt like this at:

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Got the Boss to Hunt!

After a morning of checking in on sick family, malfunctioning furnaces, ordering parts for broken eCollar transmitters; and a wild prior week where two Brittanys probably wondered if they were ever going to get out in the field again…they did.

No other hunters on the preserve today. The dogs and I had a wonderful hunt. With no boundaries (we were hunting leftover birds) I could let them range wide, follow their noses and growing library of experience.

Early on, the boss joined us! In the woods, Nim pointed, Shelby swung in to honor a hen buried in the leaf liter in the lower right corner of the frame.

Sick child is improving. Managed to get that furnace going. New antenna is on the way. Dogs got to stretch out their legs and get what we affectionately refer to here abouts as “bird breath.” What a great day.

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New Year Hunt

Today was the first hunt of 2013. It was a super duper day for me, because my two youngest boys went with me; and an old friend with his 7 month old Springer.

I was so busy ‘guiding’ that I have no pictures to share. Sorry.

We did well. Nim was his usual stellar self. Shelby continues to improve. Probably between 1/4 and 1/3 of the points were hers!

My friend’s Springer continues to come along. At this point he is interested, messing with the other dogs is minimal, and he is definitely not gun shy.

Now home, dogs are snoozing, pork and sauerkraut is cooking (PA German tradition), rose bowl parade is on the tv. We missed the ‘mummers’ but 2013 is off to a great start!