Saturday, March 29, 2014


I am back home in Torrington, after completeing a very challenging spring snow goose season. The 'winter that never ends' continued through most of March.

This was the most erratic migration I have seen in my 19 years of the spring snow goose season. By the end of February, we had opened enough water on our ponds with ice eaters to attract the birds if they came. Then the first week of March brought 5-10 below zero temps and the ponds were locked tight again with 5 inches of ice. The bitter weather forced us to cancel the first ten days of hunts.

Rescheduling everyone was like solving Rubik's cube in the dark. Difficult but we got it done thanks to a group of amazing clients. Simply the best!

After 4 days of dark to dark adjusting  ice eaters, breaking ice with spud bars, ripping waders, setting decoys coupled with near total exhaustion, we hosted our first hunters on the 6th of March. We had steady hunting for the next two weeks with our hunters taking nearly 1,100 geese. Friday, March 14th was our big day with 12 hunters killing 127 geese at three differnt locations. I had a group of five hunters take 75 geese that day!

The Unicorn

In snow goose hunting you live for the magical days when the sky is filled with skeins of geese from horizon to horizon. One of nature's true spectacles. You also learn to look for rare birds in the flocks of decoying birds.

Snow geese take a long time to descend from their cruising altitude to shooting range over the decoys. This gives the hunter (and guide) time to look for the rarest of the rare, the holy grail of snow geese, the Unicorn.

The Unicorn does not have black wing tips like other snow geese. It is not an albino. The primary feathers are white not black. If you consider the population of lesser snow geese is around 15 million and I have seen one Unicorn in 19 years of hunting snow geese, rare doesn’t describe it. It is mystical.

The only way I can describe the Unicorn is having a halo around it in the air. It is very visible in a flock of black wing tipped birds. I saw my second Unicorn on March 14th..  I first spotted when it was at 500 yards sailing above Barber’s pond. It was in a flock of 400 decoying birds. I pointed it out to the five hunters (Paul Minar's group) I had in the blind that day. They said it stuck out like Kate Upton at the Walmart in Tchula, MS.

The 400 came to 20 yards out and 15 feet over the decoys with the Unicorn in the front row. When the first shots rang out one goose fell.  It appeared the Unicorn was hit simultaneously with the blast of five guns. After the cheering subsided they managed to drop another 10 from the flock. I now have my Unicorn.

The Unicorn (rt)
Front Row, Unicorn
 Second Row, 74 friends of the Unicorn
Third Row, left to right - Molly, Paul Minar, Cloud  and Hooligans.
Not pictured - Kate Upton

Next is the white mallard for Todd Norsten and the white Canada for Lynn Wilcox! Can’t wait for the 2014-2015 season.

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