The Dawning of A New Waterfowl Season

March 23, 2009 by  

By Jason Phillips

 As the eastern sky began to show signs of light, our anticipation mounted. We had been looking forward to this moment for months. Day was breaking on the North Dakota Early Canada Goose Season Opener. As the sun began it’s ascent it was evident that it was destined to be a very memorable morning. Mallards were the first to arrive and began to appear, almost magically on the horizon. They were following their morning feeding ritual in the field that we were setup in. Soon they were circling our decoy spread, the sights and sounds of hundreds of mallards were simply exhilarating!

The mallards began landing within feet of our blinds and were putting on a dazzling show. It was evident that our decoy spread had recreated the scene the birds had become accustom to and felt security in. The decoy spread consisted of three dozen Canada goose silhouettes and two dozen Full Bodies. The decoys were spread out in family groups consisting of 6 to 12 geese. The family groups were spread out and formed a horseshoe, with the horseshoe opening to the north. Since the wind was out of the south, the horseshoe opening created a landing area for the birds as they came to feed in the field. As the mallards continued to drop into our decoy spread, I reflected on the preparation and anticipation for this waterfowl season and realized this is what any waterfowler lives for!

In the midst of watching the mallards continue to put on their show, the first sounds of geese echoed in the background. The sun was now above the horizon and the geese were preparing to leave their roost. The first group of geese to leave the roost was headed in our direction. As the geese approached the field that we were setup in, we began calling. The geese responded to our calls and we answered their calls. As the geese continued on their flight path to our decoy spread our enthusiasm was almost uncontainable. The passion play that the mallards had put on during the early morning had given way to the excitement of Canada geese cupped and committed into our decoys.

The morning continued to inspire our spirits as every day in the field does. The geese decoyed very well all morning and, along with early performance by the mallards, created memories that will last a lifetime. As the morning faded into the heat of the early September day, the action began to slow down. We had enjoyed great success! We reflected on the experience as we picked up the decoys and began preparation for the next days in the field. It was time to get ready for the next opportunity to be rejuvenated by the sights and sounds of the great North Dakota outdoors. As the sounds of geese faded in the distance we took one last look at the eastern sky that had served as the backdrop for the amazing performances that the ducks and geese had put on for us.

We headed down the gravel road and looked forward to the rest of the season. Later that same day we watched hundreds of geese feeding in another field. With the sun setting in the west we were once again filled with anticipation for the dawning of a new day!


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