We saw no shortage of cranes—often one of the first species to pass through and head south—and spent plenty of time listening to their borderline-haunting call. Haven't heard one before? Try this video.
On top of the impressive wingspan, Sandhill cranes possess what could honestly be described as talons at the end of their feet. The dogs—who had obviously done this a time or two before—kept well away from a wounded crane, for fear of meeting the business end of one of these bad boys.
Though cranes became a "main attraction," of sorts, they weren't the only fowl on the menu. The geese were around, though not quite ready to play in force, and the ducks were all over us. We limited at nearly every duck-centric shoot we went on.
Recently, Franchi introduced what in many ways amounts to the Affinity’s “big” brother: the 3½-inch Intensity. The Intensity, in many ways, delivers on its name. It capitalizes on some of the industry’s most respected technologies to reliably harness the most powerful shotshell payloads, and it does so in a slim, attractive package that betrays its middle-of-the-road price point.
That fine looking camouflage we're wearing in the previous images is Sitka Gear'sOptifade waterfowl set. The pattern is specifically designed to fool waterfowl, and the materials its constructed of are top-of-the-line. We experienced all of the warmth and none of the added bulk.
The final morning of our trip proved to be the best hunt of the whole darn thing. In just over an hour, we limited on ducks and cranes both and were packing up the blind by 7:30. There are no words that could appropriately describe how fast and furious the action was on that morning. Naturally, we paused for a trophy shot. From left to right: George Thompson, Dan Rice, Shawn Skipper (author), Jim Saubier and Brad Fitzpatrick.
If you're going to kick off waterfowl season, you may as well do it right. So, with that in mind, I began my 2015 fall campaign by journeying to the Great White North with Franchi to put the hurtin' on the local bird population. The sheer volume of fowl you see north of the border—and the diversity, at that—is more difficult to describe to the uninitiated than you might expect.
This time, our destination was Saskatchewan, where we'd join the fine folks from Habitat Flats. Our prey proved to be varied. The ducks were plentiful, and the geese were around, if fickle...but the cranes were happy to cooperate. Yes, we got into Sandhill cranes, which are legal to hunt in just a small handful of states in the Lower 48. In Canada, however, the rules have to keep up with the game. And the game is good. With that in mind, check out the gallery embedded above to get an inside look at my trip.