Blind Stories: '˜Be More Careful'

Lately, I've been feeling like Bernie Lootz — at least in the goose blind. You know Lootz, a down-on-his-luck character played by William H. Macy in 2003's "The Cooler." Whenever someone gets hot at the gambling tables in Las Vegas, in goes Lootz to "cool them off."

On Sunday I was laying in bed, talking with my wife, who had just arrived home from work (she's on third shift at a nearby hospital). As our conversation wound down, I told her that I'd be going for a run and then watching the NFL games. That was my entire plan for the day. Then I decided to forgo the run. As I mulled over how many pounds of chicken wings to order for the big games, I got the text: "Going crappie fishing/goose hunting in an hour, who wants in?"

My younger brother, Carl, came over, we drove to our buddy Chris's house, and off we went to Rice Pond. Located on the Illinois River, and just 20 minutes from my front door, Rice Pond is a premiere place to waterfowl hunt in this area. Everyone around here wants a crack at this place. With the river frozen up, we were hunting a blind on the back of the property — a spring hole where mallards, gadwalls and pintails were cruising in. We all cursed them under our breath as duck season ended here more than a month ago.


Since there were a few guides using the blind, and no geese in sight, we headed over to the fish shack for a chance at some crappie and small mouth. No bites, not even a nibble. My brother almost immediately caught a snag, which snapped off his bobber and minnow. What an amateur.



With a few hours left for shooting, it was onto the blind. We saw duck after duck, but no Canadas. Not a honk. Some gents to our south would blow a goose call every now and again, getting us all riled up for a few moments, but we never saw a goose. I couldn't believe it. My last two hunts have produced two freaking geese.

But as with most hunts, I did come away with a great story. Cecil, one of the Rice Pond pushers, had a doozy. He was sitting at the breakfast table with his kids recently, when a coyote appeared. Cecil grabbed his rifle and announced the impromptu hunt for all to hear. The kids were ecstatic, "Daddy's going to kill something!" So, he leans up against the side of the house and decides once the coyote gets within 100 yards, he'll shoot. Clicking the safety off, Cecil had his finger on the trigger, when the wife appeared right in front of the gun barrel. "What in the hell are you doing?" he asked. "Uh, I have to feed the dogs," she barked back. "You need to be more careful with that thing."

Crisis averted. And thanks to Cecil, my Sunday was salvaged.


Recommended for You

Ready to grill up some delicious, juicy waterfowl burgers? This Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe is made with ground duck breast fillets and a kick of horseradish. Recipes

Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe

Scott Leysath

Ready to grill up some delicious, juicy waterfowl burgers? This Horseradish Duck Burger Recipe...

The sweet, tangy flavor of orange juice combined with spicy jalapeños in this duck recipe will have your taste buds screaming for more. Recipes

Sweet Jalapeño Grilled Duck Recipe

Scott Leysath, "The Sporting Chef"

The sweet, tangy flavor of orange juice combined with spicy jalapeños in this duck recipe will...

Here's how to cash in on the spreading numbers of white-fronts. Hunting Tactics

Take Advantage of the Specklebelly Surge

John Gordon

Here's how to cash in on the spreading numbers of white-fronts.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Arkansas Snow Geese

Arkansas Snow Geese

Wildfowl Editor Skip Knowles took this short video showing all the Snow Geese flying. Let's just say, he had a very good hunt!

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

Wentz Bros Outdoors - Throwback Waterfowl

This video is a classic! Take a front row seat with Carson as he hunted back in college. The clips are all either filmed with a GoPro or cell phone!

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Franchi 12-Gauge Affinity Semiauto Shotgun

Craig Boddington and Eric Poole take a look at the new modern Franchi Affinity shotgun.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the Bozeman, Montana company's full line-up of women's waterfowl hunting gear for 2019. From warm and moisture wicking base layers to water and windproof outer layers, this is a complete system for women who love to chase fall and wintertime ducks and geese across the four flyways! Clothing & Waders

New SITKA Women's Waterfowl Lineup for 2019

Lynn Burkhead - January 28, 2019

SITKA Gear waterfowl product manager Jim Saubier shows off the Bozeman, Montana company's full...

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads Ammo

11 Best New Shotshell Loads For Waterfowl

Wildfowl Online Staff - August 17, 2017

Consistency is what pushes today's shotshell makers to constantly improve new waterfowl loads

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season. Shotguns

Best Waterfowl Shotguns of 2018

John Taylor - September 25, 2018

Author John M. Taylor has broken down the top waterfowl shotguns for the 2018 season.

See More Stories

More Hunting Tactics

Here's how to cash in on the spreading numbers of white-fronts. Hunting Tactics

Take Advantage of the Specklebelly Surge

John Gordon

Here's how to cash in on the spreading numbers of white-fronts.

If you enjoy hunting snows, you need to follow these tips to be successful! Hunting Tactics

10 Snow Goose Hunting Tips You Need to Know

Sierra Langbell

If you enjoy hunting snows, you need to follow these tips to be successful!

Here's where to go and the tactics to kill these tasty birds. Hunting Tactics

How to Hunt Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks

John Gordon

Here's where to go and the tactics to kill these tasty birds.

See More Hunting Tactics

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.