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Author Topic: Wing and a Prayer by Jimmygoose  (Read 581 times)

Offline TalkHunting Mag

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  • Join Date: Mar 2013
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Wing and a Prayer by Jimmygoose
« on: March 03, 2013, 05:10:47 PM »
 As the sun started to show itself ever so slightly on the horizon, I turned back around in my ground blind to the sound of honking geese. That sound of anticipation never gets old and in Manitoba, it signals the beginning of the hunt. I have written about Manitoba for years and as an American hunter and fisherman, the stories have been as varied as the destinations and encounters I have experienced. A consistent thread runs through the tapestry of those experiences and that thread is adventure. Manitoba’s hunting and fishing has burned amazing memories and put a fire for her, in my soul. Nothing quite gets my adrenalin pumping like waterfowl hunting and when I’m in Manitoba, I am on adrenalin overload!

Home base for this adventure is Agassiz Waterhen River Lodge and Outfitters located in Waterhen, Manitoba, in the heart of the Central Flyway. I have no regret saying, this without question is the best destination for waterfowl I have ever visited. I have hunted here before and have had dreams about coming back. As a duck and goose hunter, Agassiz Outfitters is a mecca for waterfowl. Owners, Rick and Colleen Liske, run the most organized waterfowl operation I have ever encountered. Rick Liske has made a point of working hard to establish excellent relationships with farmers for miles around so his guest have unlimited potential and possibilities. Realize that when you are here, there are two things you will always do: Hunt a lot and eat very well. Agassiz Outfitters is not the place to start your diet! Colleen is an excellent cook who seems to never sleep. The glue that holds the boards together, she makes sure you are well fed with excellent, well prepared dishes. Some of her receipts can be found on their website; More on that later.

THE HONKING GEESE REVISITED

We were set up perfectly. The farmer had left plenty of cover in the field, the sun and the breeze were to our backs and the sounds of the geese grew louder as we saw the first group when they appeared on the horizon over the tree tops. It was a long line of birds and by their sounds it appeared they were “cacklers” AKA the lesser Canada goose. A tasty yet sometimes picky and crafty bird, they, at times can be hard to decoy. However, today was not that day. I held double duty on this morning as within our group of six I was one of the callers as well as cameraman for my web show www.hookandhunttv.com So what I really needed was another arm for my gun! The geese locked in on our decoys and we could easily see them cup their wings and start to descend toward us. We knew we were covered up well and our decoy spread was set to match what Rick had seen in this field the morning before. A mixture of lesser, greater, blues and snow geese were using this field and so our decoy setup matched accordingly. As they got closer we could see the large group of lessers checking out our spread. They dropped air from their wings and descended quickly because they liked what they heard and saw. Eight of the geese broke from the flock and circled just out in front to ride the wind current and passed right in front of us at about 25 yards. Take ’em was called by Jerry our guide and the whip cracking sound of shotguns echoed as 7 of those geese dropped from the air. The lone goose circled around as I called to him with a “moan’. He took the same route as the rest of the flock and met a similar fate. First round of the morning and we were off to an excellent start. Our group of hunters contained 6 very good shooters including Jerry Liske, who is Rick’s’ father and Jordan Liske, Rick’s son who was on his first guiding experience. Jordan was in a blind next to me and we “high fived” as the first group of geese hit the ground. A well scouted field with excellent team work by the hunters to set up and cover up, our success was heard by the hollers’ from the group. A great way to start!

We did not have much time to celebrate as more geese were getting off Dauphin lake. The sun climbed a little higher in the sky behind us, the geese were silhouetted black and easily identifiable in the morning sky. I was watching a group coming in from the right side and calling to them. A voice from my left yelled here they come. I quickly turned to see even a bigger group coming from a different direction. They were on us like mosquitoes! Some geese came in so fast they were on the ground before we knew it, the perfect decoys! Another group was coming from the front as the original group I saw from my right passed 15 yards above me, but not a perfect shot for the group so we let them pass. Here came the big bunch of snows and blue geese coming right in. They cupped their wings, and the screeching sound they make was almost deafening as Jerry again called Take ‘em! The shotguns barked in unison as another bunch of geese hit the ground. No time to collect them, here came another big flock dropping quicker and faster than the last group. If there is goose hunting in heaven, Lord it must be like this. For an hour and 45 minutes, the geese came in wave after wave. When we all reached our limits, we unloaded our guns, and called to the geese as I filmed them coming in and walking around in our decoys. The best goose hunt of my life.

MEMORIES 


On my previous trip to Agassiz outfitters, a 3 day hunt provided the two best duck hunts of my life. Now they have added a goose hunt as well. So my top 3 waterfowl hunts ever, have all occurred in Manitoba at Agassiz Outfitters. The next two days were memorable as well. We had incredible blue wing teal hunts each night. Blue and green wing teal are incredibly fast fliers and the aerial display they put on will challenge any shooter. To see those small ducks come in so fast and in so vast numbers was breath taking.

Agassiz Lodge and Outfitters is an incredible place for any hunter and especially if you’re a waterfowler. Well run and comfortable this is a destination you must put on your bucket list. A family run operation with honesty and integrity they will deliver what they promise and work hard to ensure it. Please check them out at www.agassizoutfitters.com or give Colleen a call at 1-204-628-3491. I must also thank Travel Manitoba www.travelmanitoba.com for again allowing me to visit and experience the adventure and memories that can only be Manitoba. I am always excited about my next adventure to my favorite province. I am already packed, ready to go and will again be there in an instance an on a wing and a prayer.

Jimmygoose

 

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