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An Outdoorsman’s Journal – First Goose

Hello friends,

Waterfowl hunting is a formidable challenge for anyone that participates in the sport.
Throw in a young dog “Fire” that went through some form of break down last year when her pal “Ice” passed away and add your 11-year-old daughter “Selina” as the shooter and you may not be looking at a whole bunch of ducks and geese in the freezer.

This past weekend I took Selina on her first waterfowl hunt and as you are about to see, this story is all over the map.

Thursday, September 6th
High 81, low 53

I have camped and hunted ducks on the Mississippi River near Ferryville, for 41 years. Last year I took Selina, as an observer, on an annual duck hunt and she loved it.

A month ago, I was notified that the island that I traditionally camp on and the area that I hunt was being rebuilt with new islands by the Army Corps of Engineers and would be closed for this years waterfowl season.

Last week, I came down here with a friend and put my boat in at Lansing, Iowa to scout out a new area to hunt and camp for this years duck opener.

Ryan Moll and myself found a new area and I immediately came up with an idea. I would come here and camp before the opener with Selina and hopefully she would get a shot at a goose in the early September Goose Hunt.

A little background on the Selina-shooting at flying objects situation. Like many girls in the 10-13 year-old range, their bodies are not large enough to handle shooting at a flying object with a shotgun, simply put, they have a hard time with the swing of the gun and actually hitting the target that is in the air. To put it bluntly, Selina had not hit a clay pigeon yet!

Because I knew time would be an issue as it always is; I came to the island a day a head of time, built camp and found a place where I thought geese might fly over us.

Saturday, September 8th
High 75, low 51

Now here is where this column gets “all over the map”, I was just notified that a story Selina wrote this summer about last years bear hunt was picked out by “I Echo…Imagination Every Child has One” magazine “formally “Bunkhouse” to be their feature story for their October issue including their front cover photo.

I am incredibly proud, as you can imagine, and Selina and I delayed our adventure by a day to pick out photos from last year and do a rewrite, which took quite a bit of time. Last night, I went to check on the rewrite in my computer and realized it had been lost. The rewrite of the rewrite then took place.

Here we are a man, his dog, and his daughter on her first goose hunt. After relaxing at camp, we paddled my canoe to our chosen spot, put out a half dozen goose decoys and Selina began her waterfowl identification class.

We had an incredible experience, as there were literally hundreds of woodies, teal and mallards buzzing over our heads. A massive windstorm came a long (that created a tornado 30 miles away) and blew all of our decoys onto their side.

In the last minute of legal shooting we saw our first geese, which was a flock of three.
They were flying downwind and Selina took a quick shot and I could tell she had shot just in front of her quarry by the way that it flared backwards.

Sunday, September 9th
High 71, low 47

A man, his daughter, and their dog were paddling their canoe before it became light this morning. One gun, one shooter, the main goal being that a good time was had by all.
No geese came by the trio; lots of laughs were still had! The decision is made to pickup the dekes and paddle back to camp. Wait, we can here geese honking! A flock of Canadians is headed our way. I tell Selina to pick one out and if she misses to take a second shot if it is still in range.

First shot is fired, goose flares back. Second shot is fired (and it was not an easy shot) goose folds and makes a huge splash on the waters of the “Mighty Mississippi”!

Look of total disbelief on daughter and fathers faces followed by high fives and hugs!
Hunting is an incredible tradition! Sunset