Milking the most from the seasons

It’s always better to end something good on a great note, and it so it went Sunday afternoon with the 2011-12 hunting seasons. Yesterday was the last day of goose season.

After a hunt fell-through at the scene 90 miles west of home Sunday morning it was a hustle to head home, grab some needed equipment and head to a field 45 miles east of home.

Goose numbers had gone through the roof since we’d hunted the field mid-week, but the birds wanted little to do with the part of the field where I’d set a small spread of decoys.

Finally two birds skirted the edge of the decoys, which was within shotgun range. And then the skies became empty of waterfowl for several long minutes as the wind began to increase with the appearance of the new weather system.

Hank and I were sharing a bag of goose jerky when I heard a single honk way overhead. Looking up I saw a lone goose about 200 yards up, dropping quickly on cupped wings.

It took a decent shot and some nice dog work on the goose that may have been the largest of the season. No other geese flew over the field during the remaining 45 minutes of legal shooting time. Wow, talk about taking it to the end.

I took my time gathering four dozen decoys and assorted gear, and parked the truck amid the spread so I could hear the radio. The work paused several times for a little ear-scratching, glove-fetching and remembering of hunts that began nearly a half-year ago with the first daylight of September, when the state was still getting blasted by 100-degree days and a nasty drought.

A few weeks ago I was hustling to line-up more hunts but as I packed the decoys into Ol’ Red I realized I was ready to move on.

There’s a garden to get readied, many fish to catch, lesser prairie chickens to photograph, spring gobblers to callĀ  and lots of exercise so aging two-legged and four-legged hunters can be in the best shape possible for September’s opening of dove season.