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Friday, October 12, 2012

NoDak Road Trip 2012 - 09/28/12

With the goose caboose already filled to the roof with everything we needed to start a full scale guide service of our own, we threw in our last minute items, guns, shells, and dogs. By approximately 7:30 PM on Friday September 29th Rob, Kent, Mike, and myself were headed north west. North Dakota bound for the start of the non-resident duck and goose season. The mileage on Rob's Ford F-150 read 11,568 as we started to put space between us and Ohio. The plan was to keep a fresh rotation of drivers going so that we could truck on through the night and make it to our base camp (Days Inn) by Saturday afternoon. Thanks to ample amounts of junk food, candy bars, energy drinks, and some good conversation we accomplished our first objective of the trip, arriving in the promise land around 3:30 PM on Saturday afternoon.

After getting the hook up on the "pet rate" from the lovely lady working the front desk (even running on fumes, Kent & I still had some swagger), we settled into the rooms, unhitched the goose caboose, and headed out to let the dogs run off some pent up energy. Looking up some likely upland spots to stretch our legs, we picked out some PLOTS land to pull up to and roam around for a bit.

After a few laps through meandering fence rows the dogs all had tongues hanging and were signaling for some water. The weather when we arrived was in the mid 80's. Not exactly ideal for any kind of hunting, but it was time to get back into the truck and get some scouting done for Sunday morning's hunt.

The last thing you feel like doing after driving somewhere around 18 hours is getting back in the truck to drive around for another 3 hours. But, if you want to get some quality hunts lined up, you've got to put in the time and put on the miles.

We scoured the maps and checked out a few spots that have held successful hunts in year's past. As we were doing so, we ran into another pair of hunters from Ohio who had already located the birds in the first quality field that we also discovered. Scratch that spot off the list for Sunday. We moved along and covered more miles, pulling off the side of the road at another big roost pond holding a decent amount of birds. It wasn't long before we were back in the truck, hectically following small flights of birds across the rolling plains and watching them light into a cut bean field a few miles away.

It wasn't a huge wad of birds that we were watching, but with the sun setting in the not too distant future, it looked to be the best option that we had for a field hunt. With some rolls in the terrain, and a few brushy fence rows in between, I was able to slip in close enough to get some shots of where the birds were feeding in the field. A few hundred yards off, and surrounding the feeding spot in the field were a few loafing ponds, so with any luck the birds should be bouncing around and dumping into our laps.

With the sun losing the battle to the horizon, we hung out way off in the distance, letting the birds finish up with their evening meal before they returned to their roost for the night. As the moon rose higher we also decided to do the same.

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