Thursday, December 5, 2013

Punch Out

I got a call from Pete Cardinal Tuesday evening asking me to hunt with him and a couple other guys Wednesday. Pete's been doing this a long time and say what you will but Pete knows his shit. He said that the back-end of this storm would produce a ton of birds so we definitely should be out there. His plan was to start mid-morning and hunt through the afternoon. He said we'd get a few early on but that it would get better throughout the day.

We met at 10 o'clock and headed only about a half-mile south of Craig to the Missouri River Ranch. Pete has been hunting these barley fields for decades and still has pits out there from when it was called the Fly Way Ranch. We were set up by about quarter to eleven. We had 13 birds down by 11:30. It was absolutely insane.

We set decoys up and had Mike Kuhnert and Mike McGrath drive the trucks off the field. As Pete and I were getting the pit set up Pete looks up and says, "Get your gun! Get Loaded!" and he pulled the lid over on the pit.

The next thing I know, Pete flips the lid as I'm trying to get my gun out of the case and here's this fricken lone goose landing right in from of us. "BOOM!" Goes the dynamite and the goose drops.

"Holy shit, Pete," I said and he just looks at me and shrugs his shoulders and laughs.

"Get ready."

I got my gun loaded, the other two guys made it back to the pit and for the next hour we saw flocks of geese coming in on a string as Pete seduced them with his calling. It was pretty awesome to see. The first flock of seven all dropped and then a couple singles and doubles and before you knew it, we were just about punched out for the day.

As fast and furious the first hour was, it slowed down for a couple hours, which gave us the opportunity to B.S. and eat brats. Pete had heaters set up and McGrath brought the food so quite honestly, it was more than a little pleasant in the pit and kind of a good thing we didn't limit out in that first hour.

At around 2 o'clock, geese started piling in again and it didn't take long to finish the task. We picked up decoys and gear and went back to Pete's to clean birds. We were done by 4:30. Pretty awesome day.

Keep 'em where they live...

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