Oct 23, 2014
The fog hung thick and heavy, hardly allowing me to peer past the edges of my decoy spread. I clung to the hope that it might dissipate as the sun rose. That hope would be in vain.
A few flocks of ducks had burst through the fog over and around me and one flock must have gotten close enough to see the decoys as they circled again and came in, setting their wings for landing. I took what I thought were 3 well placed shots, the first duck faltered and I moved to the second, crumpling it. I carried on to a 3rd duck now directly overhead and missed. I quickly looked at the falling ducks and saw the first had regained its wings and was hurrying to catch back up with its flock but the second one hit the field behind me about 20 yards. So much for well-aimed… Still, 1 was better than none, but 3 is better than 1. I thought that perhaps since these ducks had found me and my decoy spread in the thick fog, perhaps others would as well. Those 3 shots, however, turned out to be my only shots of the morning.
I could hear the cacophony of geese on the roost about a mile away. I would hear the odd flock flying past to the west or south of me. Some seemed to be right in front of me, seemingly invisible in the fog. Strain as I might, I had yet to glimpse a snow goose this morning.
The looming reality of having to go to work kept creeping up, until I could not ignore it. I could still hear the majority of the geese on the roost. The thought came to me: “If I want to see a snow goose this morning, I should start packing up.” So often it happens, that some of seemingly most eager flights come after you have decided that nothing else is going to fly past that morning. I shoved the thought aside and went back for the truck, resigned to having to work for the rest of the day.
I was scarcely 50 yards from my spread when I heard some geese start lifting. I waited, hoping I would hear them get closer, but they did not. It got quieter and I resumed my walk for the truck.
I pulled the truck into the middle of the decoys and started picking up the decoys. I had picked up and stowed the first handful of decoys, when I heard them coming, low and eager, thousands of hungry snow geese. They broke through the fog and saw me and the truck at that instant. They turned away, coming back around to land in the field 200 yards short of me. Another flight came in from the other direction, they too broke as soon as they saw the truck, deciding that the real geese without the truck parked next to them and the human picking up decoys were a better option.
Oh well, there’s always next time… At least I didn’t get skunked.