Monday, September 12, 2016

Practice for Hunting Season

Finally found a range close to the house, so now we can spend a lot more time and money practicing shooting.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Very Busy Season

It's been a while since I've posted, there's just been too much going on, and happily, I've not been writing about hunting because I've been going hunting. This year I've been hunting more than I've gone in previous years, and that's always a good thing. It's all been waterfowl—ducks and geese. My oldest has gone with me, and this year, for the first time, she had a gun in her hand and shot her first bird, a Canadian goose.
My daughter with the party's take for the day.

My daughter holding her goose, her uncle and I after a good day.

I think I can safely say it was a successful season. I shot one mallard in the first split, which made a nice meal for my wife's and my traditional Christmas Eve duck. We got three ruddy ducks in the second split, waiting in the freezer for next year, just in case I come up empty for ducks next season. And when goose season hit, once the birds finally arrived, it was another great year. We limited out on multiple days, my freezer is full of geese, and to top it off, I finally got a goose from last year back from the taxidermist and on the wall.

This year I ended up using my 10 gauge most of the season. My 12 gauge broke, and it took a while to get the replacement parts. In fact, it wasn't until the end of February that I finally got the pieces replaced and the gun back together. My first trip of the year, I decided to take the 10, and managed a long shot on the mallard I brought home. I should have stuck with it, because my next trip out, I missed three times with the 12, and when I got it home, the action was stuck. I had to completely tear it down, and I found a broken piece and a worn firing pin. So while I researched finding the part and ordering it, I was hitting the field with Bertha, my Ithaca Mag-10. I had never shot anything with it before this year, but it certainly proved itself. After a banner day of geese, I've decided that a 10 gauge with number 2 shot is now my go-to piece for waterfowl.
An awesome end to an awesome day.  

I spent a lot of quality time hunting with my daughter this year. She was excited to go this year, and she never had trouble waking up well before dawn to go hunting. She went after ducks a few times, and geese a few times, and decided she was ready to try shooting one the last weekend of the season, when her uncle came out for what turned in to an awesome trip.
Three ruddy ducks from one of my trips this season.  Two ducks with one shot.  The magic of the 10 gauge.

My brother in law came out for the last weekend for ducks of the season, bringing his brand new duck boat. The first day, I'd arranged for us to go with friends to hunt geese on some private land, and my oldest came along. It was a week or so after a huge winter storm, and snow was still everywhere. We worked hard, but managed to bring in a limit by 1pm. The next day, we hit the water for ducks, but found, to our dismay, every blind full. Luckily, my friends were still hunting geese, and we made it to the field an hour after sunup, after dropping off the boat. By noon, we'd limited out on one flight that came right into the spread. Not a single bird made it out. My daughter was shooting my double barrel 12 gauge, and she was careful, picked out a bird that someone had barely winged, and nailed it before it got away. She had fired both barrels and it sent her flying, but despite the bruise, she was excited and couldn't wait to get her bird.
My daughter and I in the goose blind at sunrise.  Doesn't get better.


She helped her uncle and I clean them and cook them too. We made sure to pick out her bird for dinner that night. I've never seen her so excited or proud as she was tasting something that she had brought to the table.  

It was the culmination of what I've been hoping for, and what this blog is ultimately all about.

Saturday, January 16, 2016