Sunday, August 15, 2010

August Weather and Goose Hunting

Suddenly the temperature drops into the low fifties and the dove start packing their bags. I hope they are not in too much of a hurry since the weather people are forecasting a return of August weather by the middle of the week. Of course, August weather up here is somewhat more temperate than August weather in other parts of the country. I shouldn’t be too quick to brag though, the last of July and first week of August we had some lousy hot weather in the 90s and if you toss in the humidity the temperature “felt” like 100 or 101. Then I look at other parts of the country and give a sigh of thanks that Michelle talked me into moving up here.

I haven’t had a chance to get out and try that early season goose hunting. I did take a drive around to check out some of my waterfowl hunting areas and there are geese hanging around but I’m not convinced there are enough geese on those sloughs to merit donning cammies, packing the smoke pole and Cookie. The geese were pretty laid back and didn’t seem to be too worried about my presence. I will probably take a drive to a much larger slough that usually has more geese on it and see if that would be worth returning to park myself for some pass shooting.

The idea behind this early season is to get the resident goose population down before the geese migrating from Canada arrive. According to the wildlife people the target population of resident geese here in Eastern North Dakota is 80,000 birds and right now we’ve got a resident population of 140,000 birds. For people who don’t understand, all of those geese have got to feed somewhere and they like to visit the various farm fields and help themselves. That’s a lot of geese gulping down soybeans, wheat, and who knows what else, all at the expense of farmers.

There is another reason for getting the number of birds down—health. Whenever birds like waterfowl begin to congregate too heavily there is always the chance of disease, both for people and birds. So, sometime this week I’ll go out and do some goose hunting. It has been a long summer, even if summer isn’t yet over. As for the dove, they can unpack their bags and hang around for a few more weeks, there’s lots of warm weather yet to come.

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