The long, hard winter...
Last winter we only had snow on the ground for maybe a total of two weeks...not the case this winter. We've had multiple heavy snow storms and they are forecasting another for late next week. I've heard of snows in extreme southern SD and even farther north, but they'll have no place to call home in our area for at least another couple weeks. Once the warm weather comes, things will change quickly...and provide plenty of mud.
We're supposed to get a significant warm-up this weekend. As you can see...we need it! That mess of deep snow under the 14 in South Dakota is pretty much in my back yard. We're hearing reports of snows in southern SD. Let's hope our snow disappears fast and we can get on with a snow goose smack down!
Took some time on this rainy day to update our site with a fresh look and some new pictures from the last couple years. I was thinking of what I could post on the blog when I remembered that tomorrow is Memorial Day. When I ponder the significance of this holiday, a website about a hunting lodge seems pretty insignificant. However, that's also precisely what makes our country so great...that we're free to pursue our passions, whatever they may be. Realizing how many had to pay the ultimate price so the rest of us could carry on with our free lives is humbling. There's really nothing much one can say that can live up to their sacrifice. R.I.P.
Man's Best Friend
The beginning of a new year naturally brings upon us a desire to reflect on the past. The last year was a hard one for our family friends and hunting partners...our dogs. Within our close group we lost three of our most trusted companions. The loss of a pet in no way compares to those that lost family members this year, but all of us with pets (primarily dogs since I hate most cats) understand the bond we build as we let them into our homes and our passions.
We lost Cody, Oscar, and Houston in 2013. Cody was always so proud riding around in the back of Dad's white pickup and knew every rooster in the area on a first name basis. Oscar was a giant friend and great family protector who never hesitated to lay down and take a nap. Houston was a fabulous hunting partner for all of us, human and canine, who had a motor that just wouldn't quit. Let's not forget the losses of years past. Clem gave us all a few good laughs and Lewis had a lab's brain stuck in a miniature schnauzer's body.
Brutis and Dakota are poised to provide our group with great hunts to come. Brutis has definitely lost a step as he is now approaching 10 (or 70 depending on your point of view) years of age, but those years of experience serve him well. Dakota is coming on very strong and has shown he has what it takes by retrieving close to 500 birds this year in Saskatchewan. Jeff has a new dog, Cooper, started on a training regimen and we all look forward to creating memories with him in the future.
Farewell to our good friends who provided so many great times, and here's to keeping the memorable moments coming.
Happy New Year!
P.S. Be sure to hover over any of the pics below for the captions. You can click on them too for a bigger version.
And so it begins...
The cool weather has finally set in so we've been able to get a little hunting in. This past weekend there were definitely new ducks moving in, but not any real large numbers of mallards. Our hope/expectation is that this storm system that is dropping a little snow up north will push birds down our way. With all the moisture over the last couple weeks, we may need to find some alternative areas and fields of the flooded variety.
The pit held up well over the summer. it has already produced some fun times... "Think about it!"
We also upgraded our lucky duck spread by building a battery box to run all the decoys off of one large 6V battery. This gives us the added opportunity to be able to shut all of them down with the flick of a switch when the honkers are flying. It certainly helped on a few of them this past weekend and should be a great benefit down the road.
Just in case people didn't know where they were...our signage got a huge upgrade this fall too!
Spring? What's that?
Seems that old man winter just won't let go. We were just starting to see the juvies show up and then we get a major ice and snow storm...in mid April...who saw that coming? Oh, yeah, Jay Trobec did... Now the stupid snow cover map is moving in the wrong direction and there is more snow in the forecast for the next couple days. Next week is supposed to bring warm weather and the storms have hit up north even harder so the snow geese haven't really moved out of the region yet. I think there will still be some great hunts yet to come this spring...once we're finally done with winter!
The first battle has been waged
The pit is open for business and has claimed its first victims. There are thousands of snow geese in the area and general waterfowl of all sorts. Most of the snow geese here now are mature birds that we've found difficult, but not impossible, to decoy. We've seen very few juvies flying around. However, the weather the last couple of days has really burnt the snow pack off considerably. We expect to see the mature head flocks move north soon so we can give the juvie flocks a nice warm welcome. In the last 3 days we've shot a little over 100 snows. It's been fun already and should only get better!
The sun is shining!
It's finally starting to warm up and melt some snow. I heard reports of geese flying over the lodge today. The decoys are on their way out to the pit. It's only a matter of time now. Better make sure you've got your ammo!
The snow geese are close
Matt here... I drove up to the lodge this last weekend and saw a ton of waterfowl between Salem and Howard. Donkey has pictures of ridiculous numbers of snows on the south end of Lake Thompson. The birds are very close. We just need a couple days of sunshine to clear the snow off the pit field and it will be a killing zone. Our field has less snow on it than most of the surrounding fields so it will be one of the first to open up.
Expecting a high of 38 degrees on Wednesday (Mom's birthday) and even warmer weather after that. Won't be much longer now.
Plum Creek Lodge Blog
Check here for updates on the migration and happenings at the lodge.