Ann and I just got back from three days of following the dogs without a shot fired! The grim reality for our upland hunting area in south central Kansas is that the record heat and drought last summer decimated the quail and pheasant populations. I only hope the birds can come back with less harsh conditions this coming year. So, we focused on the positive by enjoying the good company of our friends and watching incredible flights of ducks and geese to and from the roost on the pond by the cabin (which I showed in the previous post.) On the one day that was too bitter cold and windy to even try to hunt, I had the opportunity to watch from the cabin what waterfowl do dawn to dusk in a way I’ve never been in a position to do. We even chased the afternoon flight five miles to where they were feeding on winter wheat and discovered that our flock of Canadas, snows, and specs were joining up with a few thousand geese coming from other places. The more I observed, the less confidence I had in my understanding of their routines and patterns. Anything is possible on a given day it seems. I don’t think I will ever tire of watching ducks and geese.
In mid-December we finally made it to Kansas to hunt quail and pheasants as we have for so many years that I’ve lost count. After a record hot and dry summer, the prospects were not good, so we hitched up the trailer full of goose and duck decoys. We had a line on big flocks feeding in stubble that we had access to. The pond by the cabin was a primary roost. It was completely covered overnight with a few thousand Canadas, specs and snows along with mallards and pintails fitted in somehow. Here’s a video. It’s not the best quality because of the low light conditions, but it’s five incredible minutes of geese coming to water.
While we did manage to find some coveys and some roosters, the field hunting from our layout blinds saved the trip. In fact, it was some of the finest hunting we’ve ever had this side of the Canadian border.