Our good friends from Fresno area Brad & Chuck decided to come back from the land of the sun to experience the mud of Saskatchewan in all it’s glory. They had hunted with us last year and you can read more of their hunt with us here Calgary – California Connection PART 2 (Oct 9-11) . This hunt was a very special time for me as my older brother Phil from BC was coming out with his son Tyson. This was a first time bird hunt for Phil and I had a feeling it was going to be a great time.
Phil, Tyson, and myself were driving around scouting for a field. It as still very muddy. It wasn’t enough to find a field holding birds but we had to be able to drive to get on those fields. The main roads and gravel roads were drivable but the clay-based roads were a pile of sticky goo. We watched thousands of birds working in the area and we saw an area where the birds were landing and we could carefully drive to that field. We received permission to hunt the field and when Brad & Chuck showed up, we had a good place to go.
Monday morning was foggy, real foggy. The rain held off at least but the low cloud allowed the birds to work our decoys at low heights. We started shooting Widgeon and Pintails right off the hop and then the geese arrived and they did not disappoint . We hammered out many speck/snow geese in the a.m. and we decided to hunt the field in the evening. Lyle and Matt showed up and entered the hunt as I went out to scout for a new field for the next morning. We shot 80 birds that day and my brother Phil shot his first bird.
I was able to get permission for a field that was covered in birds. The only problem was the condition of the field. It was a lentil field and a mudhole. The farmer warned me not to get stuck, that is farmer talk for “I am not going to pull you out”. We scouted a way to get on the field on a section that I did see some birds on but was north of the main grouping of birds. The next morning was below zero so the ground was frozen, that made it easy to get onto the field but tricky to get off when it thawed out. We set up on a small slough on the field. We had birds working us, shot some nice ducks and geese.
My scouting that evening was frustrating, it seemed that the masses of birds that we were watching flew south, I did see a grind of birds working a field and got permission to hunt it in the morning. This Wednesday morning we setup with our backs to a rockpile. We shot only a few birds, we watched good amounts of birds flying to another field that was very difficult to hunt due to the bad roads. I spent this afternoon driving around with Brad and Phil. We needed to find the ‘x’ for the next day. The other guys chilled at the hotel or walked some decoys out to hunt a field. Matt & Lyle setup a small spread of snows and did well that afternoon.
We setup on a field where we saw a nice grind. We had a low rockpile to hide our blinds. We had an OK morning and we decided to continue hunting this field in the evening. I had scouted an interesting field that we knew was in the main flyway. Matt and Lyle were heading home that afternoon so we wanted to have a good experience for our last morning hunt.
The last morning we setup with our backs to a slough. We stumbled onto a slough full of birds. We were lucky enough to have the birds stay on the backside of the slough as we setup. We turned off the trucks and set the decoys up with our headlamps trying to keep the birds in the area. We witnessed a magnificent sunrise scene. We had thousands of birds fly over us this morning. Only a precious few birds worked our spread. I noticed that the majority of the snow geese were still adults. The juvies still hadn’t arrived. This explained why the snow geese would not decoy. We witnessed quite a show but not a shooting show. We had a great time and we felt it was a great week. I know Phil and Tyson want to come back and our American friends are hooked on the addictive Saskatchewan migration.