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Mizzou Snows 2011 Recap

bowhunter1023

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Appalachia
After a few days of letting everything sink in, it’s time to put together a recap of the shenanigans that I’ve come to refer to as Mizzou Snows 2011!

Thursday

We left Strasburg at 4AM on Thursday and motored on through to Mizzou with only a few stops, with Bass Pro in St. Louis being a must! After we checked in to the hotel, we decided to take off and do a little road scouting. This was my first trip to the Heartland and I was in love with the huge farms out there! The amount of habitat and birds we saw during out scouting session was unbelievable. We drove for several miles on a grass covered road that wound to and fro on the top of dyke, all the while winding through habitat that screams waterfowl. The snow geese were few and far behind at first, but the ducks were all over the place! One pond had golden eyes, pintails, and a few other species that literally mesmerized this small town Redneck! I had only been in Missouri for a few hours and I had already seen things I’ll never see in SE Ohio!!!

Eventually, we spotted a tornado of snows on the horizon and made a beeline for their location. After a driving a couple of miles, we crossed over a railroad crossing and dropped down next to a chisel plowed corn field that was literally white with geese! Rough estimates were in the 4-5K range and the shear noise of this flock was unreal. Talk about a great way to get the old blood flowing!!!

Friday

The first morning of our three-day hunt started out cold, cloudy, and slow. We managed to kill a few birds early before the wind switched; but once the wind switched, it was time to change the blind locations and decoy spread. It didn’t take long to make the changes with 9 people in the field helping, so we were back in the saddle pretty quick. Unfortunately, we made the switch just in time to usher in the thunderstorms. After several reviews of the radar, our guide (Aaron) decided it was time to head for the Ranger so he could drive back and get a truck to come haul us out of the field before the storm hit.

Aaron made it back with the truck just as the rain started to dampen our spirits a little, but it wouldn’t be long before the laughter ensured! Travis, Drake (dog), and I hopped in the bed of the truck, while everyone else gathered around the truck for one final check of the radar. As we are standing around and Murphy’s Law would have it, a group of four snows fly over our set-up. Zach and Nate talk Aaron into letting them shoot if they circle back over, and sure enough, they made another turn that brought them back over our location. I handed Travis a shell and waited for the birds to circle back over. As they zeroed in on our location, I watched as Nate and Zach sky busted this small group, failing to look at the bird Travis was shooting at. After I hear his gun go off, I look straight up in the air to see a snow good 150 feet up doing a downward spiral right towards he and I standing in the truck bed! I scrambled to find cover, while he dove over Drake to protect him from the snow goose missile headed our way. We barely found our safe spot when the goose bounced off the side of the truck bed!!! Those three shot four times and killed two out of the four geese that were a good 70 yards above our heads!!! It was certainly a humorous moment I’ll never forget!

We waited out the storm at the local Taco Bell, before returning to our spread to sit in flooded layout blinds for the rest of the evening. Despite the wet conditions, it wasn’t long before the birds were flying and it was even less time before I made sure my first trip to Missouri would be a memorable one. Not long after getting back in the blinds, we had a group of 50-75 birds come in and decoy perfectly. When Aaron called the shot, I rained my first two shots into the group, and then followed a small group of three that flared to my right. I shot the last bird in the group and celebrated with a high-five from Zach who said: “You straight folded that bird!” Little did I know at the time, his statement would put a quick end to a debate that could have gone on all night! When Travis retrieved the bird with Drake, he held it up and said: “Guess what?!?” He got us all wondering, and then took off for 10 minutes retrieving birds. (We killed a total of 14 out of that group.) When he came back, he tossed it at me with an emphatic: “You lucky bastard!” How’s that for luck?!? A 13-year old banded blue snow from Manitoba on my first hunt and there was no question that I dropped it!!! At that point, my trip to Missouri was already made and I still had two days to hunt!!!

I’m thinking about a standing mount with a base that would resemble the fields we hunted. Should be dropping him off next week…



Total carnage for Friday was 40 birds. Not a great showing, but given the weather, we actually did pretty well…



Travis, Zach, Bobbi, Nate, and some goofy fugg in the back!

Saturday

The second day of the hunt was a brutal one! The blinds were soaking wet and the temps had plummeted, but the birds were still working well. We started the day out with a handful of singles and a few pairs of singles (more to come on that). I was taking shit for being the first one out of the blind after dropping a few singles in a row, so I had to defend my layout blind technique. After proving I wasn’t hurting anything and that I was just quick out of the blind, we had a single Rossi (smaller snow) come right in to the kill hole at about 30’ and I flat out smoked it before he ever had a clue I’d even unsheathed the Benelli!!! I figured you all would love this picture since it embodied carnage!!!



Given the weather, the birds were not flying all day as is the case during good weather. With the group we had, the down time was pretty hysterical! Here is just a small clip of the shenanigans that took place during our down time! We had The Doobie Brothers playing over the e-caller speakers and old Zach decided it was time to bust a move!!!

[video=youtube;JUUsEbtbN4o]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUUsEbtbN4o&tracker=False[/video]

Total carnage for Saturday was 50. Our guide Aaron is on the far right. The dude on the far left is Jake, a dude from Michigan that hooked up with us out there for the hunt…



Sunday

That last day of the hunt was what Missouri is all about when it comes to spring snow goose hunting. Although it sucked at the time laying in the blind with my gun in pieces, I’m happy it happened now because it allowed me to take this video. The first video is just an example of the shear numbers of birds flying around out there. The second video embodies how the first 30 minutes of our hunt went on Sunday. By 9AM, we had killed 49 birds and it’s easy to see how that is possible after watching these clips!!!

[video=youtube;pwRxPdPgu7c]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwRxPdPgu7c&tracker=False[/video]

[video=youtube;QY12el3qSw8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QY12el3qSw8&tracker=False[/video]

Things slowed down considerably after the morning with all the birds sitting on the water, but we still managed to knock down 60 for the day. We should have laid this pile out like we did Saturday night because it looks smaller. But trust me, that is a pile of birds!!!



All told, we killed 150 birds in three days which was pretty damn good considering the weather. The real highlight of the trip was the ball busting and the straight shenanigans that made the down time melt away! There were a few points I thought I was going to end up in tears from laughing so hard. Here a few highlights…

Word of the Week: Bukkake. Don’t know what it means, look it up! We almost had our guide convinced to change “Kill ‘em” to Bukkake, but he never came through!!!

Phrase of the Week: “Oh shit!!!” If we heard this once, we heard it 100 times this weekend! You’d just be standing there watching the horizon for birds and then there’d be some in your lap which would prompt an “Oh shit!!!” and send 7 people scrambling for guns and blinds. Or you could be Zach and get caught by an “Oh shit!!!” while he was in the middle of the kill hole, imitating a dog by holding a goose with his mouth! LOL!! He laid flat on the ground while we worked this single and then we dropped it about 20’ to his left!!! Just one of many classic “Oh shit!!!” moments!

Running joke of the Week: “That might be a bird…” This came about after Zach was watching the horizon and says: “What’s that flying? Oh, it’s a bird!” rotflmao It’s easy to see how that can become a great joke!!!

Stupid question of the Week: Old Zach sure took a beating out there! Another Zacherism is: “Why do singles fly alone?” After the laughter ceased, the running jokes of: “There’s a pair of singles.” or “There’s a flock of 500 singles.” made for some great ball busting the rest of the weekend!!!

Stupid statement of the Week: Our good buddy Travis from Minnesota gives us this one. While talking about Iraq, someone says something about IED’s, to which he replies: “IED… It’s like a bomb.” No shit! You don’t say!!!

Before I close out, I gotta give Drake some props! This dog never made a peep all weekend, he never left the blind until ordered, and I watched him swim out in the middle of a pond and hammer a cripple floating around out there, then retrieve to hand. Not bad for a 7 month old dog!!!

 

RedCloud

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Somewhere OHIO
That's awesome stuff right there guys. Definitely one of those things that will stick with you the rest of your life. Thanks for sharing it with us.
 

bowhunter1023

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Appalachia
Nice spread. Where and when did you get the camo outfit? It blends quite nicely in those fields.

I got the jacket for Christmas last year and bought the waders from Matt this fall after he found out he was allergic to neoprene. Those waders came in real handy in those wet blinds!!!
 

moundhill

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Hebbardsville..
Daggum, those vids are insane. I cant beleive there were that many birds! Sounds like a great trip that you'll never forget...And who taught Kaiser to dance? :smiley_blackeye: haha
 

Curran

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Central Ohio
Great write up Jesse! Really enjoyed reading it, and can't wait to make a trip out there someday.

I think I liked the very end of the summary the best, talking about the word of the week, etc. That kind of stuff is what really makes hunting & fishing trips with good friends enjoyable. It's all the ball bustin' and crackin' up at each other that always has me looking forward to deer camp. Glad you put that stuff in your write up!! And as for Zach's dance moves.... well all I can say is "go white boy, go white boy, go!!"
 

Gern186

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NW Ohio Tundra
Just read through everything.....looks like a good time. Are you guys smoking any of the breasts or what do you plan to do with all the meat?