The snow was coming down hard on this early September morning. Winds were gusting and howling like the proverbial banshee, and furious cloud formations starkly contrasted the snow and created a false sense of darkness. A small flock of Canada geese showed up low on the horizon, doggedly fighting strong winds, bobbing up and down and looking like they would turn and fly off.
Several minutes later, the small flock came within shooting range. The guns around the small pond went off like muffled silenced shots and geese fell from the sky onto the moss-covered grounds. It’s fall goose hunting season and the geese are around, feeding on the amazing bounty that Mother Nature provided that day.
Happily, we gathered our kill, some which were still running around the bushes and hiding from our supper plate. Such is the life of the northern hunter. Weather or no weather, we still go out.
Further south, our cousins are taking the big game of moose to the next level, using today’s technology to attract our food of the lands. Yes, the iPod has now entered the Cree hunting tradition, with all kinds of hunting calls blasting from a Bluetooth speaker. This gadget seemed to work, as the hapless geese turned from their southern trajectory to land in our pond. The same for the moose hunter; gone are the days of the massive thumb and endless calling into the darkness, luring moose out from their homes and into waiting gun sights.
Back in the day, we only had our throat to call game. There were no fancy contraptions. When you think of it, using two hands on the gun and another hand on a wild game caller seemed a little tricky to carry out without losing valuable seconds you have to pull the trigger.
Today’s modern hunter welcomes every new trick of the trade to pull in their prey, but it all boils down to outsmarting the already smart goose and moose. As many other animals and species on this earth, we have adapted to accommodate modern lifestyles.
One of my nephews, with four goose calls hanging from his neck, looked over to me and asked me where my callers were. I pointed to my throat and grin. This is all I ever needed to get by.
I am not the best or even close to being damn good at hunting, but I know one thing for sure, when the iPod and Bluetooth speaker runs out of power, it’s back to the old-fashioned way of calling.
I recommended that a motorized floating decoy be next on the list of hunting gadgets to acquire, but that was met with guffaws and smirks. What, a battery-operated decoy? What next?
Soon, another flock of geese flew by and the barrage of electronic calls echoed throughout the lands. Did it work? Not according to my gun, which didn’t even get close to getting loaded for this flock.
Sadly, the sun soon set and it was no longer legal to hunt. We headed home, happy with the kill of this day. A few hours later, satisfied with the boiled goose and delicious dumplings, my eyes closed at 10:00pm, only to open again at 4:30 the next morning. Another day of hunting, and yes, it was snowing again.
If only the weather would stay lousy enough for the rest of the week and keep me out of the indoors long enough to appreciate the warmth of a fire and the smell of fresh Labrador tea and bannock. Yes, the outdoors belongs to me now, at least for the next week or two….