TJ and I were up and at`em with the good ole smell of coffee brewing. I walked into the kitchen to read the temperature gauge that read -5ºF, but with goose hunting on the brain I really wasn’t worried about the chill. Katie (our dog) was up at this point tail a wagging knowing we were about to be on our way for some shotgun action. I opened the door to let her out and wow was it ever so cold brrrr….
Living on the river is always an advantage for us because once we are ready we just head out the door and walk a few 100 yards and goosing here we come. We hiked down to the river, glassing to see if they had any deer or elk grazing late morning; just enjoying the moment of being in the outdoors. Once getting into our blinds the sense of cold started to set in. It was cold enough that I immediately started to wiggle my toes and my fingers to ensure blood circulation would move through my feet so they wouldn’t freeze. The snow had been so deep that when I had set my gun down snow had covered my chamber. So I was quickly rubbing the snow off my gun so my old trusty Mossberg wouldn’t jam.
The morning started off slow with only a few birds flying high. It was foggy on the river so the visibility made it a little harder than usual. The sun started to perk up over the mountains and I could see something big flying over the river, “What is that?” I asked TJ. As it came closer and closer it was a bald eagle. The Eagle was soaring over the river and as soon as it flew by us we could see duck action but no geese. We waited and waited, which felt like forever. I was really starting to get cold. My eyelashes had ice on them from the steam off of my breath and they were literally freezing.
At this point we could hear the honkers and the sound kept getting closer and closer. My heart started to beat faster; I am wide eyed looking to see where they were. At this moment the feeling of cold had disappeared. They were flying down river right towards us. Katie started to get anxious as she could feel my nervousness, I am telling her “wait, wait, wait,” then in a split second they are right in front of us. I shot off 2 rounds watching a big Canadian tumble into the river and Katie took off. The flock was flying in the middle of the river so Katie was out swimming in the worse of it. I bailed out of my blind running down river to keep up with my dog and the goose. With my being a worrier I always meet Katie down river so she won’t try to swim up river to me, especially in these types of weather conditions. I am trotting as fast as I can to keep up with them, WOW does the river run fast, or am I just out of shape? LOL When Katie catches up to the goose she starts nudging it to me. I yell, “Fetch it uppp!” She is doing what she is best at, RETREIVING! As she has that big ole` jolly goose in her jaws I can see that it is as big as she it. Finally she was in safe waters and drops the goose onto the ice shelf. She climbs up shaking and wagging her tail. I continue to tell her, “Good Girl, come with it.” I was so proud of my dog.
Katie and I walk back up river to show TJ our prize. He was hugging me all smiles. We got our 1st goose of the season! We were so happy. Even though I was all warmed up at this point from running down river and walking back, I had to call the day with one goose. We had enough for dinner and I was ready to eat some breakfast.
The most important was being able to experience these adventures with not only my best friend but my future husband, TJ Guccini. As always Smiling Big!