We started the New Year off by entertaining some friends from Louisiana. These guys are used to hanging bags of my good friend Mr. Blackbill (Ah, Benton, you mean Gadwall, Gray Ducks) and teal, among others. But the big Branta canadensis – those B-52s we take for granted, that have become the majority of our bag every year… these are a rare treat for folks where they come from. In fact, I think maybe one of them mentioned having ever shot one. And the thought of getting “Sauce” – a beautiful, well-trained yellow lab, a nose full of Canuck was enough to inspire these fellows to make a long drive to Kansas.
Our first day would be split between a couple of our regular spots – our usual cattle ponds, that typically provide loafing and sometimes roosting areas in medium to highly trafficked areas. We saw pretty decent numbers, but just didn’t quite have our schedules tuned with the birds going out to feed and our hopes that hey would come back to water.
We managed to work a few, and while we didn’t shoot limits, the excitement of these guys shooting their first big Canadas – seeing Sauce react to the size and weight of these big geese – was pretty priceless. I love seeing good dogs do great work. And you may have noticed from browsing this site that I love taking pictures of dogs as much as I enjoy shooting birds, with Canon or Beretta.
Above all of that, though, was getting to know a few new friends. I write this up a couple days later, and can note that my stomach still hurts a little from laughing so hard the past couple days. The blinds were filled all weekend with laughing and stories and plans being made, and now I have to figure out how in the world I am going to make 3-4 trips to Louisiana this year. Very, very good times with some genuinely wonderful, appreciate, and generous folks.