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Our impatience with the start of the regular waterfowl season in late September had Tony Crotty, Nate Grant and myself heading west Aug. 26 to take advantage of North Dakota's August season.
Conservation efforts helped giant Canadas recover, and their penchant for living next to people in places where hunting isn't allowed such as shorelines and golf courses allowed the population to grow relatively unchecked.
Guys like me gladly will get up way too early and spend hundreds of dollars on fuel and c store breakfast sandwiches to sit in a field in the middle of nowhere. We'll watch the sunrise over the wheat stubble and squint at flocks of wood ducks and mallards buzzing around while waiting for that distant "honk" to give us goose bumps.
I gave her a pat on the head and started scouting.
August goose hunt offers hits and misses
Sometimes, it's both. And sometimes, you find people setting up decoys in the field where you're sleeping. Millions of the giant Canada geese now are are found across the Northland, including places where the resident subspecies was all but gone as recently as 50 years ago.
I just happened to turn around in the parking lot of a veterinary service. They only would be open a few more minutes so I pleaded with them to give Mika a quick once over.
Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota all have offered August hunts, but North Dakota is the only state that still has the season, which began Aug. 15 and continues through Sept. 15. Interest dropped after a few years because hunting geese in August isn't for everyone. It's hot. There's more mosquitoes than geese, and it's always hatch dependent. That was the case in 2015, when we chased them hard in Minnesota. If you add up all the hunts I was a part of during Minnesota's 15 day season, we shot more than 250 geese.
Resident Canada geese can breed, protect their broods and find plenty of food without migrating north. If they can find open water during the winter, they won't even go south. Fish and Wildlife Service has offered several states the option of an August management hunt to control Women Canada Goose Expedition Parka White Ireland Online giant Canada geese and mitigate their impact not only on golf courses, but the millions of dollars in crop damage they cause.
The trip started out rocky when my Lab, Mika, woke up with a giant bump on her tail that was bleeding. Her insistence on chewing at it had me calling vets along the way. None of them could fit her in on a busy Friday afternoon, of course, so I poured some hydrogen peroxide on the sore, covered it in Neosporin and wrapped it up tight.
Once I hit the west side of the Red River, I started seeing geese. I caught a glimpse of birds tucked back in the corner of a field on the edge of a small town. I drove past the field and turned around at the first opportunity to go back for a better look.