Ribeye in the Sky... and a game of Duck, Duck, Goose!
My husband and I traditionally come together with friends between Christmas and New Year's to do some waterfowl hunting. We do 3 days of Sandhill Crane/Goose in the panhandle with Longneck Outfitters and a group of friends from Ducks Unlimited, and then we go in search of ducks with another group of friends.
This year was very different from last. IT WAS SO COLD! The fountains at our hotel were icy, it never got above 32. For those who don't know me... I do not love the cold. The goose hunting was a bit slower than normal on the first day, but was still some pretty good action! The next day, we began hunting cranes in peanut fields near Lubbock. Had a fantastic hunt, limiting out by 10 am, with 7 hunters. If you have never hunted sandhill crane, I highly recommend it. Not only is it excellent table fare, but it's a fun hunt. The birds are like pterodactyls. They are so big, and when they drop, you can feel the earth shake! We all enjoyed the trip and dinners out in the Lubbock area, and will repeat the trip again next year.
My husband and I then ventured to Wichita Falls to hunt with Muddy Waters Outfitters. We were joined by my dad and brother. It was incredibly cold and windy on the first hunt, but we still ended up with a mixed bag limit including a gorgeous canvasback and some nice wigeons.
The second day was BRUTAL. I won't lie, I wanted to stay in the lodge and sit by the fire! We drove to a dairy farm and hunted in layout blinds, which was nice as it kept us out of the wind, but it was sleeting and snowing! The ceiling was low and the birds were coming in fast and furious. We had some hot barrels and limited out pretty fast! We ended up with an AMAZING storm wigeon, which is at the taxidermist now. You would think I would have thought to photograph that bird separately... I was too damn cold to think!
The drive home was fantastic (heavy sarcasm). Jer was driving and I was white knuckled in one of North Texas' infamous sleet/ice storms. We all made it home safely and are planning another trip next year!