Okay, so I was mad as heck that on Monday I made a really bad rookie gunning mistake.
No way should I have stood up and shot at the geese when I did, the two birds not losing so much a single feather. Clearly the situation called for me to remain calm and let the geese throttle down and locked their landing gear.
I did not, becoming much too excited for a guy bearing down on 60. Which didn't help Jenny Lynn and Blackberry, my two Labrador retrievers. They couldn't understand how I could miss such an easy shot. But I did, much to my chagrin.
No so this morning, the last day of Ohio's early Canada goose-only hunting season.
This time I made the requisite toots on the goose call and had a small flock coming directly toward my smaller still flock of goose decoys. And I didn't budge until I was sure the birds were within range, though Berry had gone all crazy like and bolted from her position in front of the blind.
When the flock (of live birds, not the decoys) peeled off to the right I swung on the closest member and dropped it in the lake.
Berry made a fine retrieve and I was satisfied enough to bag the day and call it quits.
Thing is, it doesn't take as much to get me happy any more. Time once was in my youth I'd have stuck around to see how many more birds would come and how many of these I could kill.
Much of the satisfaction now comes from doing a good job well and watching my dogs work. If that means going home early with "just" one goose in hand then so be it, I say.
The fact that I had an opportunity to redeem my poor showing and lack of good judgement one day was enough of a thrill. It was a fitting end to a season that arrived all too quickly.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn