The 2016 goose season is in full swing and what a year it has been. We have been out for some amazing hunts thus far and the good times are just rolling. We're knocking down a record amount of geese this year. This year has been filled with very consistently successful hunts and have ended many hunts earlier than expected because we have grabbed our daily limit of geese.
Although the hunts have been amazing and more than I could hope for this year, the most exciting moment of my goose hunting career came only weeks ago during a morning out with my father. On the very first shoot of the morning a nice flock of about 15 birds came in and committed to our decoy spread. We were both able to knock down a few birds from the group but the excitement came while I ran to retrieve the birds. Excited is a word that doesn't do justice for what I felt and what came over me when I flipped over the first bird I had shot and discovered the band around it's leg. A few jumps of joy and I was running to high five and hug my father. To me there was nothing better than that morning and knowing we were able to get a banded bird. I have always wanted to be able to shoot one but didn't know if I would ever be so lucky. I was so excited the rest of the hunt is a blur for me. The two of us actually ended up getting quite a few birds that morning but that didn't impress me at all, my mind was on that band.
I enjoy recording videos of our hunts on most occasions, and I am very lucky that I was able to have two different camera views of that first flock of geese getting shot up that morning. Watching those clips over and over is now a favorite past time of mine.
The experience with the band didn't end on the field that morning, it continued on for hours after. I was so consumed with the chain of events. After the hunt was packed up we went and reported the band. With a brief questionnaire completed with details of where the goose was harvested and whatnot I was able to find out some information about the bird as well. I found it so interesting knowing how far the bird had traveled since it had been banded, the approximate age of the bird and so on. It was definitely a very interesting process and was really an eye opener as to how far these birds travel in their lifetimes.
Shortly after the completion of the report I received a certificate from the report center which included the information about the banded goose I had shot. I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with the entire experience.
I still get excited when I tell the story of that morning and my banded goose. It will be a memory that will last a lifetime with me. I am very glad I was able to experience that time with my father by my side. Wearing the band around my lanyard now I can't help but look down and smile. Right now I have the memory and the band, with that comes the motivation to get out and try to make that dream a reality, one more time.
There really is nothing like your first band!