Closing out the Season Dec. 17/17

Our weather in Alberta had been unusually warm for about a month. The weather in Southern Alberta is bi-polar at best. Extremes in cold in the winter extreme hot in the summer. It doesn’t end there we get warm winds from the south, frigid air can blast in from the north and wet air can hammer us from the west. Not to mention the instability of the Rocky Mountain. That being… our weather can be unpredictable and can change at a moments notice. Both Lyle and myself were watching the weather closely. We hoped to get out for one more hunt so late in the season.

We suspected that there were still birds in the area even though they were not hitting the pea fields as predictably as they were a few weeks earlier. All we had to do was intercept a few curious ones. We looked at the weather and it appeared that the warm weather was ending and it was going to be a windy day. Our phone apps called for wind warnings (over 100 kph gusts). We thought we would try our luck for an afternoon hunt. We both decided that at the worst we wouldn’t do a setup and at the best we would shoot a few birds.

When we got down to the field we saw a few birds in smaller groups on the field. We could see other birds flying around so we thought, why not try a small setup? It was definitely windy and we could see some dark ugly clouds backing up on the foothills on the horizon. That was the storm predicted for the next few days. There was a large elliptical arc of clouds that was the edge of the warm weather system holding it at bay (called a Chinook Arc). It wasn’t gonna snow but it was going to be a colder windy day.

We used our Avian-X Full Body decoys with out the stands. We had learnt a few weeks previous what wind can do to the decoy spread so we placed the stand-less full bodies on the ground. They stood out nice. I also threw out 30 Avian X duck fullbodies and used the motion stakes for these. I had a few tip over but that was due to myself not getting the stakes deep enough into the dirt. The ground out there is beyond hard. We stubbled up and were ready to go just after lunch time.

We did have a few Canadas trickle in. Smaller groups, pairs and singles took an interest in our spread that windy afternoon. We were able to capitalise on 10 big honkers that afternoon. We did see 2 ducks however. We noticed a drake & hen mallard pair hitting our spread at Mach3. I yelled out ‘Ducks!’ to Lyle knowing that I had a second to get my gun out and try to take em. 2 shots and no ducks. Thinking back on it, there was a chance that that pair may have given us a second buzz or landed behind us. Oh well, a rookie mistake.

This was the last hunt of our season. The Alberta waterfowl season ended on the 21st. The weather did turn cold the next day. With 10 nice big old Canadas down it was a fitting way to end the waterfowl season. We ended our season next to the field that we opened the season on opening day . We were able to shoot a lot more Canada geese than we normally do. Such a great way to end things off.

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