SEPTEMBER 1 is opening day in the northern part of Alberta. SEPTEMBER 1 is opening day in Saskatchewan. That is 8 days away. That is also 8 days too long for me. I am starting to get pumped for the start of the season. I know that I am not the only one.
I have been talking with Lyle S. over the last few days and he is as excited as I am. We have been talking about opening day and a few places to go for the start of the season. Our Alberta season starts Sept 1 north of where we normally hunt. The problem is we do not hunt up there, since we haven’t ventured up there we have not made landowner contacts. We found a ducks unlimited slough east of Innisfail that we know we can hunt. I would prefer a harvested field to hunt near water, we will see if that is a possible. The areas we normally hunt open on the 9th, at that point we will have lots of options of fields. Hopefully Lyle, his son, and myself can get out sometime before our southern season opens up. Both Lyle and my minds are drifting to strategy and places to hunt.
Yesterday I bought some more speckle-belly gear from Warren C. to round out our speck decoy spread. Here again we both talked decoys and places to go. We chatted about Saskatchewan October hunts, local water shoots, and field hunting near Hanna Ab. Here again we both agreed that the season can not start soon enough. Now with the new decoys and the extra gear that Warren asked me to stow into the trailer, it was time to get home, drink beer, assemble decoys, and start loading the trailer.
Ok, I got home, assembled decoys, rigged up the last of the duck decoys, drank some beer with the dog (she does like a good beer, she is German), but the loading thing didn’t happen. It wasn’t due to intense intoxication as you might have guessed but because I was getting distracted by a text conversation with Andy S. from California. He is coming up to our fair country in October with his son Jeremy, and our old pal Davy. To say he is ready to go is understatement. We texted about accommodations in the motel in Marengo which was recently renovated. Really cheap at $40 a night single occupancy. Cheap… makes me wonder how much they renovated. I realize with the price of oil being in the dumper, prices are down and vacancies are high. I think I will use that hotel myself. We chatted about new gear we were adding to the spread, we both cannot wait. From my first look, it looks like the harvest will be a little earlier than normal, and it hasn’t been as wet a summer so some of the smaller sloughs will be gone with just the larger ones with water. That should concentrate the birds into a few spots, we will have to adjust to that this fall.
I have my 3 layout blinds with Piper’s blind, our 4 doz duck/canada floaters, a doz headed pintail silosocks, along with the 4 doz speck silosocks of mine (Deadly Decoys), 2 dozen Speck Fullbodys, 1 dozen Canada fullbodies, 2 Doz Magnum Canada shells, 3 doz standard Canada shells, a few Robo-Ducks, the bird hitch, and some of our odds & ends. When we do go out for opening day, we still have 3 doz more Canada FBs from Warren, and then Lyle’s gear. I like to have speck gear in the trailer along with Canada gear. I find in Saskatchewan and in Alberta, seeing specks starting to trickle into our area early September is not unheard of. Those specks do love to land in their own species’ decoys. When the specks start moving in, the big honkers start packing up shop, when the snow geese come the big old honkers are long gone. Those big honkers usually do not want anything to do with the masses of snow geese that start flooding in.
Once the snows arrive, most of the Canada gear migrates out of the trailer down to my basement storage room with the snow goose gear migrate from the basement to the trailer. We will keep the magnum shells handy as they are great to hide dead birds under. I think Warren summed it up right, we have too much Canada gear. I will typically store most of the Canada gear around the 3rd week of September and then we will focus on Snows and Specks and all the gear it takes to hunt them properly. We will have to see how Hanna pans out, perhaps large numbers of lessers will fly through there, where we hunt in Saskatchewan, lessers are pretty rare, we usually shoot just a few in the fall.
Now that the gear is stowed, it looks like I am 90% ready for opening day. Just need to focus on dog work and some scouting. Are you ready to go? The prep is almost all done now all that is left is some bird killing.