The flock of geese flew by, quietly checking out the James Bay sun-cured cedar driftwood and black-spruce decoys spread out over the shallow pond, the reflections of the clouds clearly outlined in the mirror-like waters. The head goose turned back after a single call from the hunter crouched and well-hidden in his blind. The ancient double-barrel 20-gauge pops out and quickly downs four geese. The other guns in the surrounding blinds pop out and shoot down their share, carefully leading the decimated flock into the more powerful 12-gauge loads, capable of knocking down geese as they try to climb out of reach. The final splat of the head goose on the edge of the far side of the pond indicates that the bounty must be picked up before another flock appears low over the trees. It will prove to be a good day. Still, the flocks seem to be fewer and fewer and the 1970s roll into the next millennium….
It’s four in the morning and the hunters prepare themselves, picking up the cellphone to see if the next farmer has allowed them to hunt on their lands, ridding the farm of those pesky big birds. Conservation hunt, it’s called, preserve the farm lands from foraging fowl. In today’s world, the hunters have gone where no hunter has gone before it became a popular activity, hunting as a sport. But these hunters have quite the new technology to bag these critters.
At the latest trade shows for the outdoorsy types, everything under the sun is available, but, still, it just seems to take away from the time and pleasure of catching food on the fly. After brushing aside the stuffed moose and goose calling gadgets, the tons of brochures and giveaway samples, it becomes clear that the real hunter needs to be addressed as a client at these shows. I have come up with wish list of gadgets that I hope the outdoor industry will eventually supply to the seasoned hunter.
Starting at the bottom of the wish list, at number 10, an app for the ‘pod that is programmed with all the different calls that every goose hunter should know. So when a loner flies by, the app would pipe just the right call into your ear bud, coaching you at the same time on all the various call and different circumstances. You can’t shoot if you can’t lure in your prey, can you?
Next, a Chihuahua-sized dog, incredibly strong and smart enough to understand at least 50 commands and able to swim endlessly, would be perfect. Think of it – you shoot and kill a goose which lands a 100 yard in chest-deep waters, you can reach into your pocket and throw your dog as close as you can to your kill and sit back until it returns. And when you get bored, you can always entertain yourself and talk to your dog.
Next, in no real order, binoculars that never fog up, break or go out of focus; a combination packsack seat/back rest that has a coffee dispenser on one side and a small pocket for the spoon; a combination seat trunk that clips onto your skidoo on all that wasted space at the back; airbags that inflate whenever it senses water above a certain level to hold up your snowmobile in case you’re breaking through the ice; matches that always light; a teapot that self boils in a minute or two with a built-in filter; a self-brewing thermos you just add water and coffee grinds; and a self-cleaning shotgun with a spring-operated shot shell loaded with gun cleaner. And finally, at the top of the wish list – drum roll, please – socks that stay dry, no matter what, with hip-waders that stay dry and warm.
Until then, hunting is still perfect with the old-style wooden decoys, just you and your buddies’ skills versus the wise goose.