Waterfowl hunts always have the potential to become exciting. On the other hand, if the birds are not flying they can be as boring as hunting can get.
When you do have targets and there are several hunters in the blind, things can get interesting.
So it was last January for me and my buddies in West-Central Illinois.
It was an afternoon hunt and we arrived about 1 p.m. and put a few dozen decoys out on the ice. This was their first hunt since their pothole froze over in the last cold snap.
They had taken a few geese from a field set-up the evening prior, but tonight they wanted to try the blind.
We had geese over the field as soon as we got in and got ready. The big birds came in small flocks, large flocks and singles and doubles. Regardless of the number of geese, they all flared just outside the ice.
We rearranged the decoys with no change in results. None of us could figure out why the geese did not like our set-up. But we did know staying put would be futile.
The “Terstriep Trio” made the decision that we should leave the blind and make the best of it in the field. Three of us scattered like a covey of quail and picked spots that we each thought might give us low passing shots at the incoming birds.
I picked a spot with head-high foxtail, Luke Sr. went to the closest tree, Lance chose a weeded road bed and Luke Jr. decided to stay in the blind, just in case.
Luke Sr. drew first blood. A flock of seven swung close to his spot and only six flew away. Next it was time for Lance to have a turn and he took his turn in fine fashion.
Four geese were flying right down the road where Lance was hidden. As the birds approached I saw his gun barrel stick up above the cover.