“Do you want to go goose hunting tonight?”
While a query of that variety from my little brother would normally elicit a quick and emphatic yes in the fall, this query was made in spring and our luck with spring snow goose in northeastern SK has never been good. By the time they get to us, they have been well educated, and they don’t stay for more than a day or so and are hard to pattern leading to disappointment nearly every time we have hunted them in the spring. After some hurried investigation into the circumstances surrounding his question, we were all set for an evening of goose hunting.
The geese had been doing bit of feeding and lounging on a couple fields near one of the larger snow goose sloughs around and were leaving for the evening feeding to another field about 2 miles away and flying low over a dirt road with trees along it. Aaron had happened to notice this while driving a sprayer back to the farm where he worked.
As Aaron was finishing up his work day and would be a few minutes, I grabbed my shotgun, shells, and loaded the chessie in the back, stopped in at my parent’s where I got Aaron’s shotgun and shells and drove to an abandoned yard at the start of the dirt road and waited for him. His daily commute to the farm where he works consist of a 6 mile quad ride down the grid road that would bring him right past the abandoned yard on his way home.
As I waited for him the temptation to start without him grew stronger by the minutes as hundreds of snow geese flew right over-top of me at optimum range. Finally, I could hear his quad coming down the road. I was parked off the road and as a result, he did not see me and thought I was still in town and headed into town. “That’s his own fault for not checking if I was here,” I thought as patience abandoned me and I pulled up my shotgun on the next flock of geese and proceeded to not only get a triple, but a quadruple! (**DISCLAIMER** We found one in the field behind the yard after we were done and that was the only shots either of us fired in the yard, so
we I can only assume it came from those first 3 shots, he might disagree, but that doesn’t matter) The geese in the field behind immediately got up and moved about a half mile further down and the flight pattern shifted a little further down the road.
A couple minutes later, Aaron finally showed up and we headed down the road. Every couple minutes flights would come over but it was windy and the heavily treed road allowance did not allow us more than a second or 2 of warning before we could see them as they came over the trees. Despite those hindrances, we were knocking birds down with regularity; like always, some seemingly easy shots had no effect and shots we thought were desperation shots would crumple the odd bird. The lack of visibility led to several mix-ups on calling out shots. We had 3 birds in front of us that I could see were going to break over the trees at close range and told Aaron to get ready for. He saw some geese behind us that were a little further out, but assumed that I meant them so when I told him to take them, he thought I was crazy and when I started shooting he definitely thought I was crazy but took a shot at them anyways. After inevitably missing, he turned to make a remark to me, disdainful of my spotting and shot calling abilities, just in time to see the last of the 3 geese in front of us falling to the ground after I had managed my second triple of the night.
Finally the majority of the geese had passed by and were sitting feeding behind us and we scoured the fields for the last few that we knocked down a ways away. We ended up with 25 out of this spur of the moment hunt and we were quite happy with the result. We were happier still when we found a band among the 25 birds when we were cleaning them. A quick check on the internet showed it to be a 13 year old snow goose that was banded in Queen Maud Gulf in Nunavut. Despite shooting around 1000 birds the last 3-4 years, this was the first band that I can remember since Dad had gotten one when I was likely around 6 or 7. An added bonus and a great ending to this fun hunt!