Oh my aching body! I think to myself as I begin to wake up from a fitful slumber. The wind howled all night slamming into the west side of the cabin. Then we heard some rain, not good. Oh boy, this will be a doozey of a day. After about 10 minutes of rolling around in bed I began the process of trying to get to my feet. This was not pretty, nor was it a graceful sight. My hip flexors were screaming at me from being bent over, head down pushing the boat and having to high step the foot plus deep snow. O.K. lets take this slow, we are not in any rush. Larry is groaning too and agreed that we not be in a rush. The coffee tasted great and for a minute I forgot how much I was hurting. Jet and Oyster (Larry's Brittany) are eagerly awaiting their breakfasts. So we finally get moving after a hearty meal ourselves.
The weather is overcast with drizzle and a warm SW wind. Going to be a wet one today. We drive to the dike and start walking out to the river in a slow metered pace. I am looking forward to the snow melting as this will make walking less painful. We get the field shells set and because the wind is so strong we decide not to put out the floaters. The Klamath River has whitecaps and waves nearly 3 feet high. It was the right decision cause we only spent about 2 hours hunkered in and called it a day. Nothing was flying, absolutely nothing! No hawks, no Mergansers, Magpies or even Marsh Wrens. They knew long before us what was going on. We picked up the field shells before they blew away and headed back to the cabin. The wind was so strong I had to lean into Larry. We couldn't hear each over the wind. No doubt, we were a bit nuts to be out there. So we hung out in the cabin and took it easy, still hurting from yesterday's efforts. It was out of our hands that the birds were grounded for the day. We'll try it again tomorrow.
So it is day 3 and the pain upon waking is a little less than yesterday. The best news is that the warm wind and rain have melted much of the snow. We were able to drive closer to the river and less walking which is a big relief. The storm had passed and all was calm again in the basin. We began the usual routine; me setting out field shells and Larry putting out the floaters. Most of the river ice was gone. All that remained is the large shelf ice on some of the corners. There will still be work to keep decoys clear of ice chunks, but at least we have open water at the rivers edge on our side now.
There are geese across the river in the fields and even some Goldeneyes and Scaup on the river. We get comfy in the tules and are optimistic we'll get some shooting. We heard geese as we were setting out the decoys, glad they didn't all leave the Klamath Basin. I was doing some light goose calling when, out of nowhere came 4 geese right into our decoys on the river. They were in total stealth mode. We rolled around and eventually got to a position to shoot from, and as luck would have it we got all 4. This time we had a couple in the river to retrieve but they were dead and in open water, phew. We hunker back down and waited patiently for a couple hours before we had a few more geese come our way. We were 1 shy of a two possession limit and the last goose we shot was a cripple that landed in the river. We both got in the boat and began the wild goose chase. It took us rowing hard over a 1/4 mile before we got into range. That goose had us frothing in sweat before we finally got within shooting range and put it out of all our misery.
We headed back and began breaking down our set. The sun was coming out and we were tired and ready to call it a hunt! Fortunately we were able to drive to the river and load up all our gear, especially the boat. Otherwise I was going to leave it in the ditch til Spring. We agreed that we were indeed a bit nuts, as we chuckled about the great goose hunt boat drag of 2004. Wondering just how long that dike really is?
Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt