Tag Archives: geese



yesterday evening I sat where I sit now
waiting for whitetails to materialize
snow was falling and geese filled the graying skies     strings on the horizon
before dropping into the freshly cut corn field
draped over acres and acres like an ill-woven well-worn blanket
it was cold and the birds kept coming pushing into the northeasterly wind
that drove them from the lake to find their evening meal

this afternoon it’s far warmer the sky is empty
except for three or five tattle-taling jays
and the murder of crows in search of a suitable tree     a loud gang in lazy flight
I sit half-hoping to see a deer but know full-well
that the woods are still and will stay still until nightfall
when the deer rouse to move like smoke in the dusk-light
when I too rouse to make my own way thankful for the hours I was given


Filed under Poetry


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

…and sometimes you throw a punch that starts from your toes and finishes with you standing over him saying get up…I’m not done with you yet.

This here’s the long haul. You’re either all-in or your not.

Big props to Eric Hornung for the design, ink and old-school hip-hop buffet while in the chair. Check him out at erichornung.com.


Filed under In the woods, On the water, Reviews


Cold is no excuse. There’s not an hour in the woods or on the water worth rolling over after the alarm and slinking up behind 4 a.m.’s ugly sister, maybe tomorrow.  No, no, no, we get up and get into our wool-and-Lycra-blend socks and long underwear – eyes swole, head still soupy – shuffle to the kitchen for coffee and lean on the counter, waiting for some toast to put peanut butter on.

It’s winter boss. Good and deep and cold, cold, cold. And in the end, the worth of the day, the measure of life, hard-fought and earned, is slowly revealed as blood returns to your fingers and toes and face on the drive home. Fish or no fish. Deer or no deer. Geese or no geese. We walk into the house, giant as Paul Bunyan, smelling like fresh air and refusing to admit just how crazy we might actually be.


Filed under In the woods, On the water


There’s a measure of insanity, I suppose, in the psychology of the late season goose hunter. The first couple days of ridiculous wind and nose-numbing temps are warmed with the honks, circling and set wings of naïve birds. By day 3, the masses have been shot at enough that they now fly twice as high and scrutinize each decoy spread as thoroughly as Gert Boyle does a Columbia jacket.


But the chance of knocking down a few more, even when the going gets down-right silly, is simply too much to resist. And so we press on into the corn and winter wheat.

Still hopeful

It’s a disease called just 5 more minutes. You may have heard of it. Every hunter and fisherman worth their salt wrestles with it. You are absolutely certain that the next bite, the big buck, or the willing flock of geese are moments away. Just 5 more minutes turns into a half-hour, a couple hours, an royally angry spouse…

As for my dad and I (Cam stating “I’d like to go, but I’m warm right now”), the birds didn’t start flying in any numbers till close to noon…a full 4 hours after we first placed our decoys. When they did, the neighboring field was where they looked, circled and left. Small consolation that the birds didn’t like the spread that the six hunters had over there either. Of course, having exhausted almost two hours of just 5 more minutes, as we were packing up, seven or eight groups passed low overhead and we watched a decent flock gave in to better judgment and careened into the corn stubble of that adjacent field. Bang, bang, bang…

They'll be here any minute

Well, Day 2 saw no birds in the truck and will probably be my last time out this year. Which is OK. Even the most die-hard outdoorsman needs a break.

Besides, I hear the Lake Ontario tribs are still open, and full of steelhead.


Filed under Fatherhood and venison jerkey, In the woods


After two months of watching thousands, nay, tens-of-thousands fly care-free over the Upstate countryside–the season for freezing in snow-covered fields amongst a decent set of decoys for Canada geese has opened again.

Getting ready for action

Half the set and a layout blind

The northwest wind had some serious teeth and flurries. And when the birds got up off Canandaigua Lake late morning, they all got up. Flock after flock fought their way into the wind, looking for any decent field to land. Some fifty in number, some in two’s and five’s. Unfortunately, the next field north proved to be where they all wanted set their wings and park. Fortunately, we managed to gabble and honk sexy enough to get some looking our way. We ended the morning with four…one looked about the size of a Buick dropping in. It was a beautiful thing.

The tailgate shot

Grip and toothless grin

Cam and Papa

Cam lasted for almost 2 1/2 hours in close to single-digit temps and then feasted on PB&J, saltines and a banana in dad’s truck for a spell. He’s a tougher nut than I was at his age by-golly.

Day 2, tomorrow.



Filed under Fatherhood and venison jerkey, In the woods