Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good Hunters and New Partners

Usually I hunt with the same partners every year. But this year I've partnered up with some new folks with great results.
The first opportunity was on a farm that had been closed to hunters for years. After a year of talking to the owners they agreed to let me hunt for resident geese that were causing problems for a neighboring farm. A few weeks before the opener I got a call from a guy I knew was an avid waterfowler. He told me he had just talked to the owners and they told him I was in charge of who hunts on the farm. That was news to me! I could have said sorry - this is mine, but having been on the other side of the fence I offered to meet with him and talk it over. He turned out to be a great guy (he also had lots of decoys) So on the opening day he and his partners and my partner and I hunted the farm with great results. I got several offers for duck and bird hunting with good dogs that I intend to cash in soon.
The next opportunity came at 0500 on the opener of duck season. I had scouted out a wet area in a corn field that the woodies and mallards were using. But when I arrived in the dark a fellow and his son where already setting up. I introduced myself, apologized and offered to hunt the other end of the field. But the hunter said he had heard about me and if I wanted to he'd be glad to have me hunt with him and his son. So I added my decoys to his and we had a great hunt along with some interesting hunting talk. It turned out he had a scrape with the Wardens a few years ago, but had been treated fairly and was showing his son the right way to hunt.
Lastly, the store keeper near where my partner and I set up squirrel camp every year, invited us to hunt on some farm land that he does conservation work on and oversees hunting for the owners. Turned out to be a wonderful squirrel and grouse area. We haven't hunted together yet, but we intend to as he is an avid waterfowler and deer hunter.
It is easy to get paranoid about who you hunt with, but with some checking, clearly articulating expectations and safety issues, you can make some new friends and open up new opportunitites. I highly suggest it!
While your at it invite a new hunter to go with you. We all had someone help us, it is lot's of fun to see a newbie get all excited...
Happy Hunting!

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