Melting into Spring!
After Mother Nature unleashed her wrath on us at the end of February with two big snow storms…the weather warmed and it was our turn again to make the sky start falling! The birds were in a hurry to get back north after the snow storms set them back. They didn’t stage up like normal, but there were steady migrators rolling through almost daily. The young snows (juvies) that bring up the tail of the migration offered up some great hunts and a strong finish to the season! Here is a fun video from our last juvie hunt of the season!
2013 Snows V: The Final Riot
Shortly after snow goose season ended, my wife and I picked up the newest member of our family…six week old, Black Lab ‘Ki’. Our family is now comprised of 3 Black Labs: the 11 year-old veteran Ruff, 2 1/2 year-old Junior and Ki! While Ruff still has the drive, it is a lot harder on his body than it used to be. That said, I still take him out a few times every season, and those occasions are as special for me as they are for him! Ruff has sired a number of litters (over 100 puppies total) and both Junior and Ki are his pups, as well as many of the retrievers at Habitat Flats. Ki came from a litter Ruff sired with a friend Nick Hall’s female, Mya. Nick owns Hall Kennels, and this was a repeat breeding for Ruff/Mya. It is hard watching a great dog like Ruff get old, but is nice having two of his offspring filling in for him. It will be a fun off season training Ki and getting him and Junior prepared for the Fall season! And although I say “fun”…a LOT of patience will be required as well! I’ve always received my dogs started around 1 year-old, so taking on the start of training is an experience I haven’t had since childhood. As Ki may very well be my main man for the next 10 years, I am thrilled at the opportunity to explore this even deeper bond. He’s a bundle of energy and is showing signs of Ruff’s drive!
The only good thing to come from snow goose season ending is the opening of turkey seasons! As I always say, a hunter’s season never ends…our targets just rotate. I absolutely love Spring turkey hunting, and after a season of loud e-callers and hunting in groups, the quiet and solitude couldn’t be better timing for the soul. The weather is generally nice and the trees and plants are coming alive again after a long winter. Turkey hunting is like a chess game everyday; no two days are the same. It is also the time of year we start preparing again for the Fall season. The habitat management part of my job is as important to me as the hunting. It is what I love to do in the offseason, and sets the stage for another successful fall. Good luck to you all this Spring! I am looking forward to getting on the tractor and firing up the grease at days end…fried turkey, crappie, and mushrooms on a beautiful Spring evening…it doesn’t get much better!! As always, feel free to contact me with questions and to share your own outdoor experiences!