by Jon Draper - Monday, March 23, 2015
Someone once told me long ago that, as hunters, we must do our part to protect wildlife and their habitat. So it seems fitting to shoulder unplugged, extended tube, conservation sticks to the sound of “Protect the Tundra!” Of course, I wasn’t the one calling the shots, so “Kill ‘em” was going to have to be good enough.
We’ve taken our role as wildlife managers so seriously, in fact, that we were willing to load a few trucks with five guys and one heck of a hard working dog and travel 26 hours non-stop halfway across the country from Delaware to Clark, South Dakota to do our part over five days of shooting.
It’s the end of day one, during which the weatherman said to prepare for 50 degrees and sun, which the boys told me would be ideal for migrating snows. But, naturally, the weatherman's prediction was even less accurate than my first volley of steel. The fog hung thick from the start and halted the rising temperatures around 35 degrees. 100-yard quickly became 50-yard visibility until well into the afternoon. Our group of six hunters was able to drop the few birds that appeared from the soup, but were more than thrilled to see the shades of blue peek through the sky around 1 p.m. But, as waterfowl hunters the world over know, the birds rarely have the same plans we do. After taking the afternoon off, giving us much need time for naps and lunch, they finally showed up again around 6 p.m. and allowed me a few chances to shake off the cobwebs and get back in the game. And though by snow goose standards we didn’t have a stellar day, I’d say that for my first experience, 24 geese is not half bad.
Let's just hope the weatherman is off again tomorrow because right now he’s calling for rain from start to finish, and we’ve got a tundra to protect.
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