Duck Opener OK

Saturday in the Grasslands was a typical opening day. Ducks were plentiful for a couple hours. Most of the hunters bagged limits or near limits. If you weren’t picky about the species, you probably shot seven birds.

My partner and I tried hard to shoot only pintail and teal, and so we did. Although I also shot a ringneck, which I consider a good eating bird. I’ll have a chance to confirm that opinion again soon.

We came in with 11 birds after a morning hunt. During the last couple hours the action slowed to a trickle.

The Sunday shoot produced few limits and a lot less birds generally. My partner, Tom, and I came in with six teal, one credited to Lola’s nose as she pulled one out of the tules on the way in.

Heading out again tomorrow morning, but expectations are not great.

Other reports were that the hunting was average to below. With more water and better weather conditions, things will improve. In the meantime I’m preparing for my Montana deer and elk hunt. Leaving Sunday.

Great County – Few Goats

I flew into a remote lake in the Northern Rockies expecting to find mountain goats within my reach. After a week of searching, we found none. And, my butt was sore, as were my legs and bad ankle.

However there were many redeeming factors. Among those was the fact that I saw some of the most scenic and remote country I’ve ever seen in my life.

The habitat was not densely inhabited by mammals and I have to admit that I saw very few. It was clear that grizzly bears were present, but they managed to stay out of sight while leaving plenty of sign.

While searching for goats in a remote canyon, my guide came upon a woodland caribou, but I didn’t get a chance to see it. Moose tracks were present, and one of our party saw a cow at one of the small lakes near camp. Our group saw goats, but I observed only one and he stayed in site for only a minute or two. The mammal list topped out with a tree squirrel, meadow vole and porcupine.

Turns out that as remote as the territory was, a pair of hunters flew into the same lake as I, but a week earlier and they each bagged a billy-goat. Unfortunately their success was counter to my own.

Here are a few photos of the terrific scenery.

A terrific early morning photo of a peak we observed from camp.

A terrific early morning photo of a peak we observed from camp.

The country was as pristine as any.

The country was as pristine as any.

Ranger was a trusty steed. I covered about 30 miles on his back.

Ranger was a trusty steed. I covered about 30 miles on his back.

Goat county can be intimidating.

Goat county can be intimidating.