Friday, October 3, 2008

Free To Hunt and Night Flight

The weekend has finally arrived and by the end of today I will have finished those troublesome chores that have kept me from spending more time hunting. Judging from the weather in the West (which will get here in a few days) I am finishing the painting, repairs and other house maintenance work with only a few days to spare. This means, of course, that I am going to finally be free to do more grouse and waterfowl hunting without feeling guilty about leaving things undone. I realize that I am very fortunate because I can go out in the morning, spend an hour or two, come home and work in my office or do those pesky little day-to-day chores that are always waiting just out of sight, but not out of mind, then go back out in the afternoon for an end of day hunt.

I am sure that many of us have the experience of hearing night flights of waterfowl as they fly overhead. Usually these are flights of geese and their loud honking causes us to stop whatever we are doing and look into the night sky hoping to catch a glimpse of the birds. If there is a bright moon there is a good chance we'll see the birds and it will be like a painting coming to life. But how many of us have ever had the experience of seeing flights of waterfowl silhouetted against the stars? Last night, while I was working outside, I heard the geese and I looked up but there wasn't any moon to illuminate the flight. On a hunch I tuned off my work light and looked at the stars. At first I just saw the stars wink out then return. There were so many birds milling around, headed for the large sloughs north of town, that after a few minutes I could see them in the dark sky. In the light of the stars I could see the darker forms that were the geese--hundreds of them--circling over our small town and waiting for their turn to settle on the water. I forgot my work and let my eyes and my mind's eye picture the birds that were overhead. They were dark shapes that passed between my eyes and the stars and made my laugh out loud. At that moment I didn't care about hunting or guns, only about hearing and seeing the birds and knowing they were there.
Isn't that a feeling that from time to time all of us get and want to hang on to for as long as we can?
Have a good weekend.


Anonymous said...

Hi, just came across your blog and added a link to it over on my blog. Even for those of us who don't get out to hunt much, the sounds of honking geese in flight is a thing of beauty.

Drop over and say hello on my blog to check out some Idaho fishing.

Anonymous said...

I bet that was an amazing moment. I love hearing the geese fly over in the Fall. There's something about the sounds of their honks that just sounds like freedom to me.

Galen Geer said...

I did pop over and liked what I read and I’ve bookmarked you blog for future reading.
Here in North Dakota we have PLOTS lands. The is the acronym for Private Land Open To Sportsmen. Some of these PLOTS lands are really important in pheasant country where many of the landowners have opted to lease their hunting access. glg

When you hear them at night (or in the fog) does the sound make you want to follow them? glg

Anonymous said...

It does. I always want to see where they go.

Galen Geer said...

Today we are so fortunate to hear/see the geese. When I was a kid (in the 50’s) the geese were nearly gone from many, many areas and we would only rarely see them and I can remember only once hearing them at night. My father ran outside to see if he could see them and I think that is where I picked up the habit. Anyway, good waterfowl management paid off and we have lots of birds and now we have to think about management for too many birds! How things change in our lives. glg