Alberta Trip

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Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:47 am

I posted this in the Washington forum but because I typically like the conversation here in the Oklahoma forum and because I hunt the state about 2/3s the season I thought I'd share.

I came up alone. 1400 miles so far and the dog and I have been having a blast. Limits of ducks every day and 1 goose hunt that yielded 16 darks. Slept in my truck the first night but after a day of scouting I found a campsite only 3/4 mile from the pea fields I've been hunting the last 3 days, best part about it is that I'm the only one at the camp site. Put some money in a envelope for em and haven't seen a sole since. Now I just need to keep the yotes from waking the dog up and barking while I'm under 3 sleeping bags scared that the northern lights are goin to catch the sky on fire. Been a very soul soothing trip so far but I'm nearing the point where I'm ready for others to join the hunt. Skeet shooting paid big time in my shooting efforts, shot two triples the other night on ducks which made the limit faster than I would've liked. For those that like divers, I've seen more blue bills and redheads to last me a lifetime, and for skagit_hunter the coot hatch had to have been amazing this year, millions of them!!!! Actually debating whether or not to bang a limit of coots, just to say I did it in Canada. Still to far west to see most snows but after tonight's hunt I'm heading NE for a change of scenery. Hunted with two locals on Saturday afternoon and was invited to stay with them the first night. Great people up here. Planning on a partridge hunt on my way back through here in two weeks. Here's some pictures.
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Duck camp beverage of choice
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Daisy and Hank on a mid day duck shoot
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Little pockets of water like this EVERYWHERE
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Duck camp
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:49 am

Worked WAYYYYYYY to hard today for only a limit of specks. I could've shot a 1/2 dozen snows and ducks but I refused to shoot them on the swing as it took me 3 hours to set up the spread I wanted. :mad:The good news is that there are still tons of birds around and I got permission on two other properties today (thank you Donna from the bank). Today was the first time in 6 days that I was asked not to hunt a property, Canadians celebrate their thanksgiving this weekend and his family was going to shoot the field on Saturday. I couldn't argue that but he said Id be able to get in there next week if I wanted. Nicest people ever up here, I promise you!!! Been journaling everyday for a big write up at the end so ill hold off on the tailgate shots until then.

Found this guy coming across the pasture when I was scouting this morning, parked the car and ran ahead to put the sneak on him. 70 yards after he was gone on the range finder, not sure if have the testicles to take one with a bow. :rolleyes: dam things are huge.
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Alberta's version of Stuttgart AR.
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Best hide so far in the wheat. Powerhunter with raffia and a Avery ground force dog blind
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Love my new gun
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Mojos aren't as lethal here as I suspected........yeah right :biggrin:
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:51 am

Picked up my two friends from the airport yesterday.....late as usual as I turned around to try and get permission on one more field and Bill and Donna wouldn't let me leave without having breakfast with them, then Bill wanted to show me around the property. :thumbsup: Nicest people ever up here. Anyway Canadians are celebrating there thanksgiving this weekend so we were ordered to rush back from Calgary ASAP so we could join Bill, Donna and family for thanksgiving meal. Bill is saving his pea field for us so we can take his grandchildren out on Wednesday. A lot more hunters in the area since Friday, every night around 10pm I drive through the 3 local hotel lots to see who else is here hunting, pretty big name rolled into town Friday and a big group from Salt Lake yesterday. Guys were itching to see some of the spots so we drove around until dark and woke up and had a real good hunt. Shot limit in 1 hour and 52 minutes, when I showed them the spot last night they said they wanted to shoot a all green limit, sure glad I didn't hold my breath on that one, first two non mallards in the spread got whacked :no: way to ruin the picture.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:53 am

Went to bed Sunday night with only a few duck sloughs to shoot so we decided to take the morning off and find a field. We found a dang good field by 11am and went back to the hotel for a nap and to get the trailer. By far the best spread of decoys I have ever hunted over, aside from North flights stuffers. Thanks tool-man for the silo socks and thanks Viking king for the bird hitch, both have gotten a workout.
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Hunting has been great but the "grind" is really starting to get annoying. I just want to sleep in one time and be refreshed for the hunt.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:54 am

Tomorrow is the last hunt :( while its sad, I'm looking forward to getting back home. Gonna be very hard to leave the area with all these birds flying around but I'll make do.
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Had a strong north wind come through that brought some snow with it. You may notice a little bling bling :)
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While very efficient, hotel staff doesn't condone prepping birds for gifts using the bath tub. :/
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This mornings frozen field hunt
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Another potholes sunset
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:56 am

16 greenheads to end the trip. Couldn't of asked for a better way to end the best trip I've ever taken, less than a hour to limit, clean birds and drive home. Thanks Tool-man and Vikingfan for the bird hitch!!!!!
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5 more hours of driving.
Last edited by Erie on Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Rob Robertson » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:27 am

Great Looking Trip. Hope those Redheads stick around awhile when they get here.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Sparks0812 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:33 am

Looks like an awesome trip!
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:35 am

Rob Robertson wrote:Great Looking Trip. Hope those Redheads stick around awhile when they get here.


Maybe my lack of desire to hunt divers far exceeds my puddle duck passion but when I was dreaming of what Alberta would be like I didn't expect to see divers mixed in on every hole with puddlers. I guess I always thought that divers went to their special place in another province but a guy could really get some great diver hunting in Canada as well.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby CutEm214 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:46 am

:clapping: :clapping: :clapping: That's awesome man! Takes a lot of guts to freelance a trip like that. I'm hoping to make it to Canada in the next couple of years.

Just how difficult is it to freelance up there? Seems like a lot of ground to cover. How much down time did you have trying to locate birds before you were able to make a hunt?

Thanks for the pics and the stories!
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:45 am

CutEm214 wrote:Just how difficult is it to freelance up there? Seems like a lot of ground to cover. How much down time did you have trying to locate birds before you were able to make a hunt?


I started planning this about a year in advance. Printed a map of the province and dropped a "pin" on the location of every outfitter in the province on a map. After acknowledging where the most outfitters where, I started to see a preliminary trend on where the most birds are. Realizing that outfitters will normally be in a area that allows customers the ease of access, close to airports, metropolitan areas I knew that the bulk of those outfitters where in a prime area but also allowed ease of access to and from their operations.

Next I went to the online community. Dug up every thread imaginable on every online forum ever made and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read. After a while I was seeing the same names of town and seeing the same portions of the province that many before me had done. Next I downloaded a program that exploits exif data on pictures and narrowed the search even more. Downloaded every picture ever posted from Canada and started dropping pins on google earth. Again started seeing the same areas come up on the map and thats when I decided I had a good idea of what towns and what parts of the province to target. A quick online trip through maptown and $500.00 got me all the landowner maps I needed for the trip. Only thing I was missing before I got to town was a phonebook and that wasnt because I didnt try for 2 months. In order to get a phonebook sent to me it was very expensive and I couldnt justify the extra money so I planned on acquiring one when I got up there.

Once I arrived in town and dropped off the trailer to save on gas, it was about 2 hours before I had my first field locked up. Just like anything in life nothing worthwhile comes easy.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Beerzerker » Tue Oct 16, 2012 6:16 pm

That looks like quite the adventure! Congrats on a great trip. Where abouts in Alberta were you calling "home"? I lived in Calgary for 6 years, and although the winters get cold, it was an excellent time, and I really miss that prairie landscape...
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby okbucksnducks » Tue Oct 16, 2012 7:44 pm

Beautiful sunset picture. Hoping to do a trip like that in the near future.
assateague wrote:Eff a pintail. When I kill one, I'm going to dance a jig over its carcass.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby lost » Tue Oct 16, 2012 8:32 pm

That looks amazing. Great pics and great memories, I'm sure. If you ever need a second on a trip like that, I would be game. Been dreaming about this for quite some time. As a teacher, I dang sure have a flexible schedule.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby joemf1985 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:35 pm

I am already ready to go back. The last hunt with all the green heads was the best waterfowl experience I have had, finishing groups of 500+ mallards was breathtaking. Erie that banded drake was a close second best moment on the trip though, just rubbing it in a bit more!
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:42 pm

joemf1985 wrote:I am already ready to go back. The last hunt with all the green heads was the best waterfowl experience I have had, finishing groups of 500+ mallards was breathtaking. Erie that banded drake was a close second best moment on the trip though, just rubbing it in a bit more!


Still confident that was one of the ones I took during that 20 minute shooting seminar I was putting on.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby joemf1985 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:40 pm

It was quite a seminar, for a while I thought you had laid the Maxxus down and picked up a scoped 30'06 with the range you were stoning ducks at! Hevi Metal did some work last week.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby joemf1985 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 11:17 pm

Image
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Nerdwick » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:18 am

Those are some awesome pics brother, and that is some beautiful country!!! Hope you had a blast!!
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby fishfurlife » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:19 am

Great pictures. Sounded like a very memorable trip.

I have a good friend that just returned from a Canada trip here a few weeks ago. They free lanced as well. The number of ducks and geese that they shot on their 9 day trip was breathtaking.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby CutEm214 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:08 am

Erie wrote:
CutEm214 wrote:Just how difficult is it to freelance up there? Seems like a lot of ground to cover. How much down time did you have trying to locate birds before you were able to make a hunt?


I started planning this about a year in advance. Printed a map of the province and dropped a "pin" on the location of every outfitter in the province on a map. After acknowledging where the most outfitters where, I started to see a preliminary trend on where the most birds are. Realizing that outfitters will normally be in a area that allows customers the ease of access, close to airports, metropolitan areas I knew that the bulk of those outfitters where in a prime area but also allowed ease of access to and from their operations.

Next I went to the online community. Dug up every thread imaginable on every online forum ever made and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read and read. After a while I was seeing the same names of town and seeing the same portions of the province that many before me had done. Next I downloaded a program that exploits exif data on pictures and narrowed the search even more. Downloaded every picture ever posted from Canada and started dropping pins on google earth. Again started seeing the same areas come up on the map and thats when I decided I had a good idea of what towns and what parts of the province to target. A quick online trip through maptown and $500.00 got me all the landowner maps I needed for the trip. Only thing I was missing before I got to town was a phonebook and that wasnt because I didnt try for 2 months. In order to get a phonebook sent to me it was very expensive and I couldnt justify the extra money so I planned on acquiring one when I got up there.

Once I arrived in town and dropped off the trailer to save on gas, it was about 2 hours before I had my first field locked up. Just like anything in life nothing worthwhile comes easy.


I appreciate the detailed response. You caught a couple of angles I wouldn't have thought to cover. I might have to fill up your PM box when/if I build up the nerve to take this on myself. :beer:

By the way, I think someone should sticky your response as a warning to those who give out free info on here and think it won't come back to bite them. You are one scary cyberscouter. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby joemf1985 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:39 pm

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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:10 pm

joemf1985 wrote:Image

That picture never gets old.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby Erie » Wed Oct 17, 2012 2:18 pm

CutEm214 wrote:You are one scary cyberscouter. :lol: :lol: :lol:


I won't argue that I put my time in scouting from the couch but don't confuse it with doing the wheel time too. This trip landed me 3762.7miles 257.3 gallons avg 14.6 mpg. That's a lot of wheel time for 2 weeks considering I'm 400-700 miles from where we were. I would've drove twice that for the hunt we enjoyed the last day.
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Re: Alberta Trip

Postby CutEm214 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:22 pm

Erie wrote:
CutEm214 wrote:You are one scary cyberscouter. :lol: :lol: :lol:


I won't argue that I put my time in scouting from the couch but don't confuse it with doing the wheel time too. This trip landed me 3762.7miles 257.3 gallons avg 14.6 mpg. That's a lot of wheel time for 2 weeks considering I'm 400-700 miles from where we were. I would've drove twice that for the hunt we enjoyed the last day.


Definitely didn't mean to imply you didn't put your work in, Erie. There's no way you could find birds in such a vast and open country without putting in a lot of windshield time, regardless of how plentiful the birds are. That's why I think its impressive that you freelanced the trip. I was more poking fun at some of the "pigeon feeders" to say that there are some talented people out there with computers.

Love the pics. Keep em coming!
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