Went hunting all day Saturday. Alex & Reid, Toboo & Myself. We were in # 2 all day, Alex and Tob went in for lunch. Reid & I roughed it out. Wasn’t that rough because we stalked a flock of geese(25+) on the SW tip of Notts island. Great manuever idling the skimmin' dish up the creek next to the "Sheraton," big duck blind on SE corner of Notts island, which takes a sharp Northerly corner that brought us perpendicular to the flock of geese. We were a mere 80 yds from the western shore of this island when we got off the boat to begin our stalking by foot, straight to the shore of the island, we had no true proespective of where the flock was other than the single large pine tree they wear "near" 15-20 minutes prior. Very carefully we took each step not to make too much noise or make to sudden of a movement. The water was shin high we were treading through and made a sloushing noise when we moved our legs too quickly or took them out of the water to take a giant step. We made 40 yards headway when I, leading the way made it to a big thick tree, which I rested my shoulder against to take a deep breath and alleviate my pounding heart and tightened chest. Reid caught up to me and we looked at one another to make the decisions now we would have no time to make later. Keep moving to the shore, which was now 45 yards off. If we see the geese and they don't see us, re-convene and get to get the best positioning. If they do see us we have only a moment to jump up and one step closer as the flock frenzies to get up and fly away before we pick our bird out and pound it. iF we're totally off and they're not there, get the hell back to the blind [in Lord's cove] because there are ducks flying everywhere. Situation 2 occurred, After Reid caught up and we went over this little plan mostly in abreviated hunting slang and hand gestures, I lead the way and took about 4 steps when out from out behind some wintery shrubs lining the shore that the high tide carried water through like flooded timber, came a magnificent Canada Goose with his head upright. I froze opening my hand wide behind me, no need Reid was already frozen. Now at this moment we don't know where the rest of the flock is, we only see this one goose. We wait for fear of him seeing us and alerting his mates and spoiling our chance. 5 minutes go by and my legs are trembling, a position I am fairly used to by now. The goose swims back behind the shrub. Reid and I very carefully take a few more steps each, take a step to the left to get him in line with me, just so when we blaze neither of us are getting our ear drums totally blown out. The goose comes back, and another, and two more. Okay, do they see us? How could they not?!!? 40-45 yds off and not much cover seperating us and our prey. We look at each other and it feels like we are being watched by one hundred eyes, they totallly see us, Let's do it!!!! AHHhhHh!!!!!! We charge forward thrashing through the water breaking our silent stalking that comes straight from a movie. Never taking my eyes off our prey, watching as the frenzy begins, all at once wings flapping, struggling to get farther out into the middle of the harbor, feet leaving the surface of the water in flight, BANG!!! I focus the birds and when their feet just about left the water I drew up my Franch 912 variomax and isolates a bird that was 4th from the left. BANG!! Again my shot rings out spraying the pattern right over the same birds. Reid with an Ithaca 10 he's handling does the same, only his bird was 7th or 8th from the left. Bang, BaBang, Bang, BANG!! The flock in a long perfect line flies away. The armor they carry on their backs too great. Curse this steel shot. We continue to stare at the flock determined our birds will not be able to keep up with the flock. Countless times we have witnessed a bird fall flat out of the sky 100+ yards away after it retreated stone dead. This was not one of those cases. These grand birds remained strong and healthy. We walked back to the skimmin' dish in disbelief while evaluating our strategy. If only we didn't jump them and just continued on slowly and silently, maybe they hadn't detected us. That woul have just pushed them off shore paddling away, we being hunter's with great pride would not shoot a "sitting duck."
Let's get back to the freegan blind, the excitement was well worth that one. We got in the boat and motored our way back south to again observe the flock we had just jumped but obvoiusly didn’t scare too bad because they were less than one hundred yards from where we jumped them bugling it up with their trumped like honks saying, " Ha there are those stupid hunters, again!! If they their gonne try that again their crazy!" We jumped them up any way. We wanted to make sure that the geese we had picked out and shot at weren't wounded, and they all got up and fly the hell away from us just fine. No stragglers which astonished us, was it a deeper shot than we thought? Were we shooting blanks? Let's go settle into our safe zone back in # 2 and wait for lunch, we're hungry hunters.
It was about noon when we got back to the blind and settled in. We parked the boat on the river bank because the tide was now ebbing its way to the Long island sound, and boy are we sick of pushing duck boats over mud. We walked over the thatchbed back to our blind overlooking Lord's Cove, like nothing had happened. All signs of ducks had stopped, we were still envisioning the geese anyway. I let a couple loud and long honks out on my flute for the hell of it. A couple minutes later Reid must of thought he heard a response because I stood up to check out the surrounding scene. "Chris, I think we got a single honker heading our way!" I picked up my Big River goose flute once again and bellowed out to the lonely Canada who promptly replied. Reid informed me this one was locked and loaded and he wanted to see the new Franchi Variomax in action!! The single followed the river South until he pinpointed our Goose decoys and took a turn towrds us to cross the thatchbed into Lord's Cove. When he went over our hear he was probably fifty yards up. He had no intention of continuing on like the majority of honkers we see. After flying over us with the wind on a SE trajectory he flipped around about face and took a NW trajectory into the wind towards the right side of our spread, almost like he was going to test me. Once he entered our kill zone he shifted to the right (North) and set his wings and was loosing altitude to come in. I stood up when he was right out infront at our 12 o' clock. His LZ cleary right with our goose decoys, but I didn't let him get there. I pulled on him pressing my upper chin to the butt of the gun shifting my sight down the double stepped rib of the Franchi's barrel. Took and aim and swung through my target squeezing off the trigger as my eyes lined the bead of the sight on the nose of the goose. BANG! You could see the patter cripple the gooses game plan. He folded and fell lifeless. It must have been a fairly quick and painless death because he was stone cold when I went to pick him up. He was huge! We weighed him at home to be betweem 9 and 10 lbs. Reid was totally cool in letting me shoot, we both knew that this goose needed no more than one clean shot. It wasn't like he was right in our face our anything though, he was at approzimately 25-30 yards away in the outskirts of the perimeter of our decoys, it really was a grand shot for a grand bird. This helped fill the void from our prior stalking excursion. The rest of the afternoon turned out to be fairly slow. We had a four pack of mallards circle and land fairly deep, we still managed to pull a hen and drake down. I'll tell ya, more excitement lay hear in our hunting stories than our midnight new year's festivities. I thought more about why the hell CT doesn't let us shoot on Sunday's when other states like VT do!!??!!? Now theres a topic of conversation!
-Just another day on teh CT river~~!!!