We have always tried to get our groups in by mid-November, as we are scared of getting a freeze up followed by snow and losing a whole bunch of birds. As well, many of our groups are in the commercial fishery and late November does not work for them anyway and of course many hunters put away their shotgun and take out the rifle in November and go after deer and moose (there is absolutely no truth that hunters who bring me a moose roast shoot more geese). We normally have a few long time clients who make a second trip but things are pretty well wrapped after six weeks. My personal reason for liking to have things done by mid-November, is that I am starting to drag by than. I used to have no problem getting up at 0410 daily, with only 5 hours sleep and doing that six days a week for six weeks but that ship has sailed. I am not the same boy who started out in 1986 (and no, I was not twelve) and like many of you, I hate the reality of aging. Having said that, myself and the guys live for the fall, as it is the most fun we have all year. Especially so when we have a season like this one, when it looked like we knew what we were doing most of the time. We averaged nine geese per hunter and 29 geese per group this season (average of 3 hunters per group) and these are our best numbers ever. While they are something to celebrate, they will be hard to duplicate but that’s the challange. We consider anything over 5 geese per hunter to be an excellent year. With the quality of our guiding combined with the number of quality hunt site leases we have developed, we enter every season confident we can get the job done.
After our hunters are gone, we get to do a bunch of personal hunting and it is a great release for our guides, after going out every day with the pressure and responsibility of taking care of “sports”. They are fortunate in that many of their hunters are repeats and that is great but they also can find themselves in a pit with four stranger’s with guns and there is a lot of responsibility that goes with that. The lads have had a great time hunting over the last few weeks, as still lots of birds and the duck hunting has been good also (October was a terrible month for ducks, as there were only a few wet days the whole month). They have been able to collect a nice number of birds for “stuffer” decoys as well. Over two days November 18 and 19th , guides Jerald Peters and Clinton Arsenault, along with three of their friends who help us out getting ready for the season, shot a total of 25 geese. Nothing amazing there but what was amazing is that of the 25 geese they shot over two days, 14 of them were banded!! If there was a “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” for waterfowl hunting this feat would be in it. People consider themselves lucky if they shoot a few “bands” over their career but what the lads ran into those two days is unheard of. The bands were reported and they are still awaiting details of the banding. Amazing!
This is my final post pertaining to this season and I appreciate the many kind comments I have received. Many hunters seemed to enjoy keeping up on things and from our standpoint it helped maintain relationships and develop new ones and it was fun to do. Special thanks to those of you who were with us this season and I look forward to seeing you in 2014. Our next post will be in early January, as we look towards next fall.
Wild Goose Outfitters