What bird gave you your favorite memory?

surfgoose

active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
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    Gary
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    whichever has the longest bunk
    I was talking with a nephew about how waterfowl hunting has changed in the fifty-five years that I've been doing it -- lot's of changes, that's a whole different thread by itself -- and he asked me, "What bird gave you your favorite memory?"

    What a great question! And one that I will ask my fellow waterfowlers, as well. But I'll start:

    My favorite bird was the bird that surprised me the most. I had gotten to be a competent waterfowl hunter by the time I was 32, an annual week to two weeks of constant hunting in the Klamath Basin in late October for almost two decades would give you lots of learning opportunities. Those were the days when you could hunt all day, and no assigned blinds, until the middle 70's when they started assigning areas by draw and stopping the hunting at 1pm. I had taken so many whitefronts and cackler canadas and snow geese that I had stopped counting, and still few enough big honkers that I was keeping records of them. And then one day in 1976 a bird completely surprised me.

    It was a cold, foggy morning in the spaced blind area of Tule Lake, and after waiting almost an hour for my number to get to draw I picked an OK blind area, just east of Tule Lake marsh itself. My wife and I hiked in a half-mile of muddy road carrying all of the field decoys that we could manage, set them out with dark geese on one side of the area we would hide in and snow geese decoys on the other side, laid flat on our backs with our heads close, facing away from each other, so we could whisper as the birds circled and decide to take them.

    As the morning wore on it was not fast gunning, the birds were not really interested in our field, but from time to time we would pull a straggler or a small group away from the larger flocks and entice them to come talk to us and take a look. We ended up with a good total for the morning, ten out of the possible twelve geese we could have taken, (three dark and three white geese apiece,) with our take of six specks and four snows. The last snow came close to noon as we were thinking about picking up the decoys and calling a halt, it broke away from a group of about twenty passing a hundred yards to the side of us and maybe forty yards up, and talked back to me all the way into the middle of our spread where I smacked him at about thirty yards as he started to veer away to rejoin the others he'd left. When I went over and picked him up he was wearing a band, which made me very happy, but even happier when I couldn't recognize the band! It was about 20% bigger than the typical USA bands which I had collected, with a different binding design, and weird lettering, but I made out the word "moskwa".

    I showed it to the USFW warden at the check-in booth, and he said that he thought that it might be Russian, and I should KEEP the band even if I was asked to turn it in, all that they really needed were the numbers on the band, and gave me the address back in Maryland to send the information to. That was at the end of October, 1976. I had almost given up ever hearing back from anyone when ten months later I got a letter from the Dept. of the Interior which forwarded to me the information from Russia. I am uploading a picture of the letter from the Russians, as well as pictures of the Russian band as well as a typical USA band. It turned out that the bird was in it's second year, and had been banded on Wrangel Island in the Russian side of the Bering Sea.

    That is my favorite memory of a bird. What is yours?

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    The Piper Lee

    Skipper In Training
    Jan 4, 2008
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    Wow what a great read!
    I don't hunt, but my cousins in South Dakota would give us duck and Canadian geese every year. We would eat about 3-4 a year, and even as a kid I thought those were some tasty birds! I miss those meals, except chomping down on a lead shot.
     
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    lee337

    ahuntnfisherman
    Apr 19, 2014
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    larry lee
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    bass boat
    Can't beat the Russian band. Mine was my first triple. 3 drake Green wing teal in Franks tract Northern Cali. delta.
     
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    tap

    "The Roving Angler"
    BD Writer
    Jun 1, 2006
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    Tony Pena
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    When I was a kid I went dove hunting near Otay Lake with my brothers and they gave me an old 12 gauge. Singles were zipping around but I couldn't hit a thing. Finally about a dozen came by and I shot at the front one and the last dove dropped. My first lesson in leading a fast-moving target.
     
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    DoubletroubleII

    Fish On!
    Nov 18, 2008
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    Placerville, CA
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    Greg
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    19' Harbercraft
    My favorite memory was the Condor.......back in about 64' we were still allowed to right motorcycles on the John Muir trail through the Sierras. I could not afford a motorcycle so I rode my Tote-Goat along with my dad on his 59' Triumph Cub, later to be purchase by me, and a dozen and a half other riders! We were cruising to our next fishing spot when all of a sudden we run up on a forest ranger riding a burrow on the trail. He stopped us and asked if we had seen the condor flying around in which we responded no we haven't.

    The ranger seemed perplexed why my tote-goat, I was about 10 years old at the time, had a keg of beer strapped to it, but other than that I think he just wanted to chat. Then all of a sudden one of my dad's friends says "look at the size of that bird" the ranger identifies it as a Condor. The Condor just seems to riding the thermals hunting. The ranger gave me his binoculars and let me get a closer look, my dad took a picture of it so show everyone back home, but the picture on film was no match to the picture I had in my head.
     
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    Jim n Texas

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    May 12, 2012
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    Jim
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    Chukar, always knew of these birds but never really had a desire to chase them and try for a shot then one cool afternoon while hunting in Tehachapi near the little town of Caliente I came across a whole covey of them perched out on an outcropping and said to myself I can go up the back side and ambush those suckers if I'm quite enough. Well all worked out fantastic I approached with stealth and made it to the top and there they sit, maybe 30 birds in all I did not know this till they flew it was a grand sight to see and one hell of an adrenaline rush at the moment of departure. I managed to get two birds in flight as they flew into the valley below and that my friends was my first Chukar hunt, pretty fukin neat if you ask me! I had one bird mounted for the memorable hunt.
     
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    stairman

    ......
    May 16, 2009
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    doug
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    yak and lowe duck hunting skiff but they identify as sportfishing crusiers
    Mine was a pheasant.
    I was hunting alone in the Imperial valley just east of brawley .It had been a long day and was none too successful...I had 1 quail in the bag so I decided to go back the area where I got the quail for another chance at the same covey.
    there were open fields on either side of a high strip of arrow weed and assorted other plants that quail always seem to like. The strip was about twenty yards wide and pretty much too thick to get or see through.
    After walking the east side for about 3/4 of it's length of a 1/4 mile I had walked through a patch of goathorns...my legs were scraping and I looked down to see my pants and boots covered in the sharp nasty seeds. It had become painful just to take a step. So I set my shot gun down and went to work trying to get enough of them off to make the walk back to the truck where I had some needle nose. Every to one of those bastards would stick to the fingers I was using to pry them loose. I had to grab them then shake them loose once they were off the pants leg but now stuck to my fingers. This went on for at least 15 minutes ...the whole time me whining and yelling ouch like a little girl(no one there to hear me so I could be a puss for a bit).When I had enough of those little bastards off I figured I could walk back to the truck and finish the job,
    So I picked up my shotgun and took 1 step.....that's when the bird jumped up from 3 feet from where I had been for the last 15 minutes and the only time in that period where he wouldn't have been safe. I got him first shot and it went down 20 yards away....but just as it was invisible where it was it was invisible where it landed. I searched for ten minutes and would have lost the bird had it not given up one last shiver before it died.
     
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    KID CREOLE

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Sep 19, 2003
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    Stefan
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    Grady White 263 Chase
    surfgoose,

    There are quite a few Russian Snow Geese that come to California, most of them taken in central and northern California. I have not shot any but I know a guy who has shot two of them this year.

    But, you shot yours back in the day when snow geese weren't so over populated.

    thanks for the story.
     
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    Mesmashy

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    Oct 5, 2011
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    Bill
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    Sunk
    Shoot..... This year year i shot my first Spoonie! This duck huntin thing is pretty cool, all I've ever done is jump mallards outta local creeks and ponds up in the hills and the "real" duck hunters always told that aint duck huntin, so I hit the salton sea. It took hold and I'll be back next year.
     
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    freegaff2

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    Aug 31, 2014
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    Craig Simcox
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    moved in to a new rice blind on the east side this year...since mid November, the daily sprig show has been fantastic...love to watch those birds work the decoys, even after the 2 are down ;)
     
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    surfgoose

    active geezer
  • Jul 29, 2010
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    Gary
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    whichever has the longest bunk
    Amen on watching the pintails, Craig! They come slashing back around to take another look with their wings angled down like Klingon Warbirds and they are just too gorgeous.
     
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    KID CREOLE

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Sep 19, 2003
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    San Pedro, Ca.
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    Stefan
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    Grady White 263 Chase
    I've been fortunate to have shot more than my share of birds. My most memorable trips have been with people outside my regular group of guys.

    -A few BDers and a few of my boys got together for a snow goose hunt at Wister, we rolled the dice and got goose blinds next to each and beat the snows up pretty good, Chuam and Smudge where there

    Had some good and some slow trips with other BDers, but always a good time.

    One trip that One Track set up with his buddy Mark on his first goose hunt, we shot limits of snows and each got an Aleutian

    Trips like these are the ones I cherish
     
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    Marcus

    "Oddjob"
    May 21, 2004
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    That snow hunt with you Stefan was a blast.

    Like sluester said I don't really have any particular birds but it's more about those special hunts. Had a lot of them with guys from this board.

    Top ones so far have been with Lauren

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    My back to back banded mallards:

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    Hunting with Smudge in Bozeman:

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    Fresh One

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Feb 10, 2003
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    7th bird from the left. Best widgeon I ever ate!!!!!

    Killed that unicorn with Sluester back in 2007 and neither of us knew WTF it was.

    Yes.............I ate it. Since then, I have mounted several cool birds, wish I could have this one back. The things we do when we are young and STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPID!!!!!!!!!

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    Rubberhook2

    Local Bluefin
    Jan 19, 2007
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    When I think of bird hunting, all of the hunts I have done and birds that I have shot, the best memory I have is of my son's youth hunt at 13. Just he and I at Cibola with not another hunter heard or seen that weekend. That hunt will always put a smile on my face....

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    Rubberhook2

    Local Bluefin
    Jan 19, 2007
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    This double on honkers was pretty sweet in that both were banded...

    IMG_1966A.jpg
     
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    newmar

    Almost A Member
    Jun 10, 2005
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    spring valley
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    bruce
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    23 blackman /Polkboat
    While hunting Baja in the mid 70's in the San Telmo valley. I rode my trailbike to a ridgeline ,got off the bike. Looked over the crest and saw that the entire next hill was moving--300 plus quail were exiting the draw below me. sat and watched for a few,
    checked my shell pouch then started walking.
     
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    kbray001

    Member
    Aug 18, 2009
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    Kirk
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    Regal 24
    When I was 10 years old my dad finally let me get my hunting license. My first hunt was the dove opener that year.

    As it got closer to sept 1st we had been shooting skeet every week so I would be ready.

    The opening morning my dad and I were in a ditch that we always hunted in Blythe. As shooting time came around the first dove of the morning was coming out of a field directly at us.

    I brought my 20 gauge over and under up to my shoulder and just waited for the dove to come in range. Just as I was about to pull the trigger I heard a loud bang next to my head and watched the dove helicopter down in front of us.

    My dad looked at me and said sorry I didn't want the first one to get away. From that day on I learned to be fast on the trigger. A lesson I will never forget. Hahahahahahaha.
     
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    sdhunter

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    Jan 24, 2007
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    Mike
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    1652 G3 SC Camo
    My favorite birds memories, like others have mentioned are the firsts my son shot. I'm proud of that kid, loves to hunt and fish, but college and baseball are his priorities at the moment.

    Willie's first dove at 9 yo.
    Willie first dove.jpg


    Willie's first duck at 9 yo.
    Willie first duck.JPG

    Willie after his first duck hunt.
    Willie Celeb hunt.JPG


    Willie's first honk, at 10 yo.
    Wille first honk.jpeg

    Willie's first snow at 18 yo.
    Willie first snow.jpg
     
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    Huntndogs

    Hunt with an ugly dog!
    Oct 9, 2006
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    Nice pics Mike....My favorite memory was shooting two limits of widge with you and Rona at Frying Pan...That was epic, probably never to be repeated again.
     
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    sdhunter

    Member
    Jan 24, 2007
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    Mike
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    1652 G3 SC Camo
    Nice pics Mike....My favorite memory was shooting two limits of widge with you and Rona at Frying Pan...That was epic, probably never to be repeated again.
    That was an epic weekend. Taking turns shooting birds, just knowing they were going to come in, taking pics of the shots....I can't fnd a pic of that stack-o-birds.

    You and Jim were on that first dove hunt with Willie, never found unposted milo like that ever since then!

    This was a good hunt too...
    Helms goose hunt.JPG
     
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