24 October 2010

2010 Canada Hunting Trip

This morning (3:00am) I got back home from a week long duck and goose hunting trip with my Grandpa, Dad and Bailey the black lab near Margo, Saskatchewan.

We had a great time despite the lack of geese in the area due to excessive rain which wiped out most grains fields in the Margo area. We brought home 47 birds for the week (13 Canada Geese and 34 ducks including; Mallards, Gadwals, Pintails, Blue Bill, Golden Eye, Widgen and 2 Shovelers for Baily to train with).

The picture above is from the first goose hunt of the trip.

We arrived in Margo at the house we had rented at around 12:30pm. We unpacked our stuff and went out scouting for a field to set up in for the next day. Along the way we stopped at Ducks Unlimited land and tried to jump some birds. We also stopped at "the corner" to sneak up on a flock of geese. We were unable to make our way through the brush in time to take any shots. We found birds in a field East and North of Margo were we would set up the next morning

We set up at the field we had scouted the night before and barely made it back to our blinds before sun rise. The geese arrived in small bunches for the entire morning. We got 10 Canada Geese for day. The remainder of the day was filled with scouting for the next day.

The picture above is from this hunt.

Dad calling in a flock of Canada Geese.

Against our cardinal rule "never set up where you haven't seen geese," we followed the advise of the fellow hunter and hunted an oat field were we had not scouted any geese. The cardinal rule proved to be true as we didn't see any geese the entire morning. We were able to get 2 Mallards because we set up with a pond behind us and a field in front.

After the unsuccessful goose hunt we started looking for a spot to set up the next day. We met some local farmers and made our way to a lake where they said geese we sitting... they were right! There were thousands of geese sitting on the lake. We hid in the car at the top of a hill and Dad and I got out and hid in weeds watching the geese. When they eventually got up we followed them to a field where we decided we would set up the next day

We hunted geese in the morning and got a couple, but that was not the highlight of the day. We decided to cut our losses and stop hunting geese and switch to ducks. We drove south of Margo to a slew between two lakes (Usinneskaw and Whitesand). As we walked out into the slew we kicked up a bunch of ducks and because of the wind they came right back. It was absolutely crazy how many ducks were buzzing around. Grandpa and Dad didn't shot, they let me take them all. The ducks were coming almost too fast and often to pick one to aim at. After many missed shots I ended the session with 6 ducks including hitting 3 in a row. Dad and Grandpa both agreed that they had never seen anything like that before. We decided to set up there again the next day.

We hunted the same slew in the morning and afternoon. It wasn't as crazy as the day before but we did very well. I got my second Pintail of the trip (I was excited any time I got a duck that wasn't prevalent in Southern Minnesota)

Again, we stuck with a good thing and hunted the same slew. The morning hunt was highlighted by a great shot I had on a flock of three Golden Eye that were flying between the two lakes. I caught them out of the corner of my eye and grabbed my gun. Without thinking about it I aimed and fired one shot and down went the center bird. Dad ran out into the shallow water in front of us searching for the bird, it had dove and was trying to get away. He tracked it down 15 feet away from where it had splashed and reached into the water and grabbed the bird (he got his jacket wet in the process). I was extremely excited because I had been trying to get into a good position to get a shot at one for the last day and a half! I'm planning on getting the bird mounted so I can remember that shot every time I look at it.

Grandpa with the Green Wing Teal he shot in the afternoon.

The Golden Eye I shot at 9:30am

We hunted the slew one more time. We were planning on hunting from 7am to 8:30am, but as time to pack up got closer I wanted to stay a bit longer and see if we could get one more bird. At 8:40am we got a Widgen. It was a great way to end our hunt.

We then went back to the house and packed the car and headed out on our 14 hour drive back to Minneapolis.

I had a great time on my first trip to Canada and can't wait to get back next year and get a Snow Goose!

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