Thursday, February 1, 2018

A Season To Remember, part 4. Fowling with a Legend

     Water/Wildfowling is something I don't do much. I like it, and there is plenty of good fowling around me, but most of it is coastal, or tidal marsh. The type of fowling more fit for a Labrador, than a Springer. So my fowling trips are limited to just a few days of decoying at cranberry bogs, or pass shooting next to a small river. So when I was given an opportunity to spend a morning decoying geese I was eager to give it a go. The morning was especially enticing, as I would be shooting with a local fowling legend.

     The world is a much smaller place than it used to be thanks to the world wide web. The web, and web forums dedicated to game shooting, and the countryside allows one to know what is going on globally. It was such a web forum where I first became aware of HLG. Routinely I would read posts by HLG telling of mornings or evening spent shooting geese and pigeon, often in great numbers. Not only would the size of the HLG's bags be noticed, but also his generosity; he frequently took others out to shoot with him. Being HLG was friends with my host, PP, I was soon the recipient of an invite.

     The morning started well before dawn as we made our way to the Leeds area. The drive took us from the countryside, to the city, to the countryside again, where we posted up in the dark along a hedge bordering a large sheep field. Minutes after we arrived HLG arrived, and pleasantries were briefly exchanged before making our way into the field where we began to plan our ambush. After a quick drive around the field a hedge splitting the field and surrounded my sugar beets spread by the farmer for the sheep was deemed the spot we'd build our hide (blind, for the American readers). With HLG conducting the predawn operations the trucks were emptied, a hide build, and decoys spread. The entire time we could here a symphony of geese from the reservoir below us just past the treeline. Soon we were settled in waiting for the geese. We didn't have to wait very long.

     Over the course of the morning the geese came in infrequent waves, sometimes in pairs, sometimes in larger skeins. Sometimes coming right over, sometimes just skirting us. I'd like to say we shot a huge pile of geese that morning. We did not, but not because they weren't there, but because they just didn't cooperate. Sometimes they zig, when you need them to zag. Such was our morning. Still, we shot some geese. In fact we shot more geese that morning than I could ever hope for in a morning here at home. In fact I saw more geese than I'd ever seen before.  I shot my first Greylag Goose that morning, but more than that, I got to spend the morning shooting with a Leeds fowling legend.

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