Oct 11, 2010

Weekend Review - 10/9 & 10/10

Well it was a good weekend for me and my outdoors pursuits.  Not so much for putting any game on the table but for the opportunities that were presented to enjoy the outdoors.

Our Canoe - AKA Swamp Pickle
It started out Friday evening with a late trip to the Pond for some goose hunting with my buddy Busch Pilot.  We haven't had many geese in our hunting spots up until this last week so with goose season only open for another week and finally geese in our spots we gave it a go.  We loaded up swamp pickle (our canoe), some floater decoys, guns paddles, PFDs and off we went.  Left the dog home because we didn't have enough room in the pickle and new she wouldn't sit still while we shuttled gear across the pond.  We got the dekes out and were all tucked in the brush by 4:30pm and waiting for the nightly return of some geese.  With just about 15 minutes of legal shooting a flock of 15 birds came in from behind us quiet as a church mouse.  They landed out past our decoys I figured I better get on the call and see if I couldn't pull them in closer before another flock came in.  I called and they responded and starting swimming their way to the decoys.  They hit the decoys and I gave the command to shoot, up we jump and the geese take flight dodging and weaving Busch Pilots shots as if they were equipped with some type of anti missile defense.   That's right 15 geese landed and 15 flew away.  Good thing I didn't shoot because this allowed me the opportunity to bust BP's chops all the way across the pond and on the ride home.  I knew this would come back to haunt me though. We hear a few more geese come in to the pond while we were loading up the truck so that was a good sign.

Saturday was waterfowl youth day and I was hoping my daughter would be interested in getting up early and hitting the swamp, but she wasn't, so I decided to go turkey hunting instead.  I headed out to a piece of state land near the house where I know some turkeys hang out and worked may way along the logging roads looking for sign and listening for the birds.  At about 8:30am I was working across a flat on the side of a hill that just happens to be the same flat that is home to one of my ground blinds that I deer hunt from.  The blind is just a large dead tree that offers plenty of branches to break up my outline that just happens to be surround by plenty of oak trees.  This spot offers up plenty of acorns and isn't far from the safety of some private land.  As I was sneaking my way across I catch a glimpse of movement and sure enough the deer are in there feeding.  Nice, I'm turkey hunting with a gun instead of bowhunting, I knew then that it was going to be that kind of morning.  The deer were starting to slip off the flat into a small dry creek bed along the boundary of the property so I continue to sneak my way across the flat and finally get a good look through my binos and it's 3 small bucks.  Two of them were sparring (banging their heads together) while the third was working over a little tree with his horns.  I watched them for a bit but just couldn't get a picture before they headed across the dry creek bed and in to the safety of the brush on private property.  No matter what the turnout of this hunt, it was already a success as I was able to watch these 3 bucks in their natural surrounding while they were totally unaware of my presence.

I continued off the hill side working my way back to the car as I stopped at a spot to check out the turkey sign, a few scratchings and a dust bowl.  I decide to sit down and stay put for a bit to see if the turkeys would show but instead 4 whitetail does showed up just 15 minutes later.  I was able to dig the camera out of my vest and snap a couple of pictures as they crossed the stone wall.  I knew if wouldn't be long before the lead doe would hit my wind and when she did she skidded to a stop, turned 90 degrees and went on her way dragging the other 3 deer with her.  I gave it another 45 minutes or so and head out to the truck and off to a late breakfast with the family

Saturday evening found Busch Pilot and I back at the pond to try our luck with the geese again.  We had a lot more geese to deal with a total of 6 flocks coming over and 3 landing on the pond.  The first flock must have been the same group as the night before because they landed in the middle and refused to answer me and swam to the other end of the pond,  can't say I blame them for that.  We got one small group to lock up on the decoys and I called the shot and let it rip and they all flew away untouched.  All I could hear is a little snickering coming from my left and Busch Pilot was just smiling from ear to ear.  The last group that came in landed long but I hit them with the call and they called back and started swimming over to the decoys.  Once they got into the dekes I called the shot, jumped up and shot and dropped one goose back down and missed another.  The funny part was with 12 geese in front of us both BP and I shot the same dang goose.  Working our way back across the pond was a little longer than normal because on the trip out BP lost the paddle end of his paddle so we were down to one and I had to do all the paddling.

Sunday afternoon I decided to sneak out to one of the local sportsman clubs (Eastern Connecticut Sportsman Club) to partake in their weekly Turkey shoots.  No we are not shooting turkeys, well at least not live ones, but we were shooting paper turkey targets for a chance to win a frozen turkey.  The rules are simple.  there are 25 targets about 25 yards away and you can purchase as many shots as you want at $2 a shot.  You shoot once at each of your targets and the person that has a pellet closest to the X on the target wins.  Now you would think this would be easy but remember you are using shotgun shells,  7 1/2 sized shot to be exact and no matter how well your gun patterns,  it is really all luck.  Anyway I donated my money, that's a fancy term for saying I didn't win a thing but if they were real turkeys I know they would have made the table.  It was nice to get out and meet some new people and support the local club.  There were also  plenty of laughs and jokes as well as some food being cooked on the grill.  What a great way to enjoy a fall afternoon.

A fellow shooter showing his winning form

The highly technical review of the targets
Two of my targets


  1. Sounds like a great weekend!

  2. I have to be honest, that sounds like the best weekend ever! Yesterday i noticed a few very large flocks of geese flying down the shore line, and more ducks are around too. I may have to hunt the October season.

  3. Sounds like a great weekend for sure. I never been to one of their turkey shoots but someday I would like to.
    I love the deer pics.

    Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

  4. Thanks for the comments. October and November offer up some of what I consider the best time to be outdoors. Enjoy it.