Veteran's Weekend usually marks the start of our waterfowl season. This year was a tale of two stories. For many years, Veteran's Weekend has been a weekend spent in the deer woods with my father, this year was no different. We arrived on Friday night with just a half hour of daylight remaining. We opted to check our stands to make sure they were safe, before hitting the hotel room for a good night of sleep. After about 15 hours in the stand and an excruciating miss on a truly huge buck, I had to opportunity to shoot a small 6 point. I was thrilled, he will make some awesome jerky, steaks, and burger. With my 2019 archery tag filled, I had full opportunity to devote to my passion for waterfowl.
Dustin and his wife were fortunate to harvest a doe and mature buck in early October, so they have been on the hunt for waterfowl ever since. Opening weekend they spent hunting a couple small Canada goose feed fields, and a small wooded water set. The migration hadn't really hit quite yet but they were able to put together a couple solid hunts. Even managed to get his first Canvasback. Still, a feat that I have yet to match...though I feel like this is my year!
We have our first group of clients arriving later this week and things are looking pretty ripe. Birds finally started to arrive this past Saturday. They have been slow to get out and feed in the mornings, preferring to hang about their loafing areas and casually snacking on the available forage for the remainder of the day. We are set to get a cool front mid week featuring a 20 degree swing from the previous day. We are expecting this to get the birds up and feeding more aggressively. Time will tell, but we know where they are loafing so we are ready for whatever they throw our way.
I will update the journal after our guests pack up and head back home. Until then, be safe, shoot straight, and take a newbie hunting.
- Chad Dawson