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  • Your Most Memorable Shot/Kill on a Bird

    Still unbearably hot/humid again today (heat index of 99), so it's story time in the cool. So, what was your most memorable shot/kill on a bird? The one that you replay over and over again in your thoughts because it is your favorite.

    Mine was an adult Blue at Lake Thompson, SoDak about a dozen years ago. We were set up on public land and had a fair shoot on small groups and pairs. It seemed like all morning we were buzzed by this lonesome Blue, who would bark at us at about 70-yards or so outside of the decoys. He would constantly fly about back and forth from the lake to a nearby field, and then turn around an do it again. He pestered us for several hours, always flying just outside of shooting range. Finally he got either stupid or curious and drifted to within 50-yards of our blinds. I couldn't take it anymore. I pulled up and followed him with my barrel, loaded with 3" Hevi-Shot # 2 in the gun.. My buddy was so anxious that he blurted out, "Shoot him, shoot him!" Finally, I fired and folded him. It was like a slow motion watching him fold and eventually hitting the ground. You couldn't wipe the smile off my face for days. I still get a silly grin when I think about it. This one stands out more than the others.

    So, what was yours?

  • #2
    Last fall while duck hunting in open water we saw 2 snows flying with a flock of pelicans. About an hour later what we think are the same 2 snows came back over us barking like crazy. We started calling and they came right into the 100 snow floaters that we have. Thankfully on my end, I jumped up and missed the first shot and stoned one on the second and my buddy next to me stoned the second one. My pup went and got my goose and come to find out it was banded, an adult Greater snow killed on the Illinois River. Went to the website for banding info and filled it out to make sure and they even emailed me just to make sure the location was correct, banding lab said very few greater snows are killed in the Mississippi flyway.

    The next day we must of had a blue sneak in and land in our floaters it was just swimming around and barking, we could not get it to jump or swim outside the decoys so I grabbed my buddies son that was in the blind and we took the boat out to flush it up. We were able to get it out of the spread and it flushed, he missed the first shot at about 10 yards and got it on the second. It was banded as well. You could not wipe the smile off his face the rest of the day.

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    • #3
      Well, I'm not sure I have a most memorable for myself. I keep a journal of each hunt and have for many years. It's fun looking back and I am amazed by the flood of memories that come back of the events/happenings that I have misplaced in my brain for a period of time. Many of those shots I write down if they made an impression on a certain day.

      That being said and since the question is most memorable, I do have a bird and event that I think of often.

      Late season Canada hunting in North Dakota with my Dad, Uncle and good friend many years ago. Mid December and COLD,COLD, COLD. About six inches of snow on the ground, wind blowing 20 mph from the north. We had scouted a large wheat field that had several thousand Canada's in it and got permission for the next morning. Now all the Snows had left ND weeks earlier and my uncle had not seen a snow anywhere either so we did not anticipate seeing or shooting any. We set up a decent spread with a nice landing area in the middle and proceeded to have a good hunt on the big Canada's. We needed a couple of birds to finish out and it had slowed up some when I spotted a small group of Canada's low and headed in. Now as some of you know I like to get the birds in very close before calling the shot and this group was coming in nicely on a string. As they got in to about 50 yards talking, wings set looking all pretty, I spied a white goose that somehow snuck in the back of this group. Just as I was about to whisper "there's a Snow", the group separates and the Snow is dead center of us still about 45 yards out. All of a sudden my Dad's gun goes off "KaBoom" and that Snow crumples like he was hit with a load of bricks. I guess I got snookered on that deal as my Uncle, friend and Dad all started laughing and whooping it up. Dad shot that goose out from under me(plenty far out to boot) as he knows I love me some Snow geese. So now, that's the normal routine for our group. If it looks bleek for Snows and one sneaks in, its up for grabs, know matter the situation know matter what other birds are coming in and you don't say a word, you just kill it. We still recall that memory just about every trip back to North Dakota and I think of Dad often and the many memories he made with me.

      Qac

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      • #4
        It was Minnesota duck opener in north central MN in wild rice country. Basically no ag in the area so not goose country by any means.. My buddy and I were hunting a big public slough that gets lots of pressure but we found a small spot tucked back that was holding lots of mallards teal and woodies. It was mid morning and the hunt was going well. A few geese enter the marsh way up high and let out a single cluck. It was high pitched so we figured it was a cackler which is rare for this area but not unheard of. My buddy who was a great caller at the time let out a few notes on his Canada call and the geese seemed interested but certainly weren’t cupped up. Just then some mallards start working us so we duck down in cover. Typical of mallards over water they circle and circle us for a good 5 mins meanwhile every Tom dick and harry were wailing away on their flute calls at the geese. We were down in cover and hear a cluck out front and here are three geese 10 feet off the water coming right at us. We call the shot and as we stand up my buddy screams out THEY’RE SNOWS! Of course we were both very flustered from the surprise and we both dump our gun only to drop one each. Mine sailed a bit behind us in to the rice so I take the dog and start hoofing it to make sure we sure we get on it right away. The marsh was floating bog and some of the worst stuff I’ve been in. Within 30 yards I’m gassed and have to stop to take a breath. I realize the third goose is still milling about looking for his buddies. I start mouth calling him in and he comes over my buddy who misses all three shots. He flies out a ways and I get him to turn around which I couldn’t believe and he comes over me and I’m still out of breath and hit him in the tail on my last shot and he sailed a ways and didn’t look very hurt at all. The dog got my bird and my buddy was out retrieving his and I hear the third one squeaking so I start mouth calling again. A few minutes later my buddy looks over and hear comes the juvie swimming through the rice and I tell him to finish it. The first two we got were beautiful eagle head blues. The last one that took a half a box to shoot was the juvie which explains why it kept coming back in despite of the barrage. My buddy and I couldn’t quit laughing about it.

        We had been exchanging texts with the other guys in the camp about our hunts but decide to surprise them with the snows. We get back to camp and everyone is out front enjoying a beer and exchanging stories of their hunts. We came walking up the yard proud as can be And everyone see the snows and were in shock. Of course they all start razzing us about it. All the old timers in camp had hunted the area for 20-40 years and never even saw a snow around there. That was a fun hunt for a lot of reasons but the surprise snows made it one I’ll never forget. We still get a chuckle out of it every time the story comes up.
        Last edited by Billy Strings; 07-12-2018, 08:43 PM.

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        • #5
          My shot actually happened while pheasant hunting. 8 of us were walking a corn field for pheasants. I was on the very end as the line walked across the stubble. We had 3 blockers waiting at the other end, as well as a few people who had come along just to watch. We made it across the entire field without flushing any roosters, just seeing a handful of hens. We were still all in formation, just standing there for a second and a rooster jumps up between the end two guys that are on the opposite end of the line as I am. With the two guys on either side, and one of the blockers also nearby, the bird flies almost straight up into the air. Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. The bird gets too about 60 yards high and it levels off and flies straight down the line of hunters. Everyone is about 20 yards apart, so everyone has a chance too shoot without someone else shooting at the same time. Each person in the line unloads on the bird, one at a time, as it flies down the line. The bird does not appear to even be hit as it clears all the hunters and is now over me. I raise my gun and take aim, I folded it with my first shot. Being a long time duck hunter, the high, over the head shot is one that is pretty easy for me, and its what the pheasant presented.

          I think everyone on this forum would have made the shot I did, but those pheasant hunting buddies were not use too that type of shot.

          You can put water in corn and hunt over it legally, but you can't put corn in water and hunt over it legally.

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          • #6
            Back in 1971 at the age of 16 an uncle of mine drove over to my house. My mom made breakfast for us: him, my dad, herself and me. This meal took place about an hour before legal shooting time. I am jacked up and ready to go (I hardly slept a wink that night...omg we are going to hunt...gonna hunt...shoot 'em up...boom...). I had a hard time sitting in my chair while they all were making small talk about harvest, the weather, crop prices, yadda yadda. My internal clock told me it was go time. Oh yeah, it was the opening morning of pheasant hunting season in NE and we had to drive 1/2 of a mile to hunt a very thick patch of CRP grass that my dad had planted maybe three years prior. We all knew that this patch of grass held lots of birds because I had heard them crowing every morning for weeks. With their last sips of coffee down the hatch, the three of us, mom did not hunt, got in my uncle's pickup for a very short drive to the edge of the field. My dad and my uncle had to "visit Mother Nature" before we could start walking through the tall switch grass, too much coffee. Not me, I had my pump Winchester loaded with shells and one in the chamber. That would be three shots available because a plug was required. The limit was three cock pheasants. Legal shooting time had arrived and I was ready. The other two were getting a "grip on life" and their shotguns were unloaded and still laying on the seat of the pickup. We parked about 20 yards from the edge of the grass. Remember: I was locked, loaded and looking out over the grass in hopes of having a great hunt. Well, what took a couple of minutes but seemed like hours, my dad and uncle had grabbed their guns and shut their doors. To the cock pheasants who were bedded down only 25 yards away, that signaled Get Up and Go Time. The first one up was a rooster, I shot he dropped. Second one up, a rooster, I shot he dropped. Third one up a rooster, I shot he dropped. I am out of bullets and had a limit and stood in the same place for all three shots. Oh, my uncle and dad, still did not have their guns loaded. They were in awe! A hunting trip whose details are still burned in my brain are my most memorable.

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            • Geez n Quackers
              Geez n Quackers commented
              Editing a comment
              Good story! Brings back a lot of memories. The sleepless nights of youth before opening day, breakfast before the hunt and the smell of coffee and bacon, loading the gun as daylight is breaking. And a limit to top it all off. Well told. Do you remember the rest of that hunt? Or did time sort of stop right there.

            • fox and goose
              fox and goose commented
              Editing a comment
              Geez - I don't remember many other details other than the switch grass was tall and blocked much of my view as we walked through it. Good thing I shot when I did because I would have never seen any roosters get up in that stuff unless they flushed and went straight up. That rarely happens when pheasant hunting. And yes, time did stand still. I am lucky that I am still mobile and able to hunt. Time to give back and share the outdoors with my family and grandkids.

          • #7
            Also up by Lake Thompson, I was hunting the pasture and we were having a pretty fair day. This adult blue came in by himself, but didn't quite finish. As he started bailing on us I called the shot. Multiple shots rang out without pulling a feather. I was sitting on the left end and gave him one more shot at 90 + and he folded cleanly. Maggie made the retrieve and wouldn't you know it, he was banded!

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            • #8
              Great post Sarge, I am enjoying each one of these stories. It reminds me of the old days when most of the popular outdoor magazines had "stories" of a hunt. They, as these do, made me feel like I was with the writer in the great adventure that was unfolding as I read along. I can almost smell the burnt powder wafting along in the air. Thanks for sharing everyone and keep them coming.

              Qac

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              • #9
                One of mine is a shot-shots I didn't make. As a kid in the country growing up times were different. At twelve I was grabbing the gun and heading out for squirrel, rabbit, grouse whatever I could whenever I could. My dad seemed to know he couldn't stop the fever in me and let me go alone at that young age with a twenty banger and pocket of shells. Cold,hot, snowing,raining it didn't matter if a season was open I was going. I didn't have a boat to hunt the big river for ducks as a kid and even I know that would have been a death sentence alone at that age. My only chance for ducks was a small wooded pond about a mile from the house. Predominantly Woodies would use it. In fact my first duck ever came off that pond a week before...a beautiful Drake wood duck that I wing clipped and chased around for an hour because I thought he was to amazing to shoot again and possibly rough up the incredible colors of those feathers. It changed my life when I held that bird. Anyway I was back a week later creeping that pond and I knew they preferred a fallen tree over the water to loaf on. I popped through the grass to spot another beautiful drake woodie looking wide eyes and shocked and on the log with him for some unexplained reason was big old Ruff grouse. I'm not sure who was more surprised- me or the birds. What seemed forever but was actually seconds we looked at each other. Then the woodie flew to the right into the wind and the grouse flew left with the wind. I swung on the duck first and whiffed then swung back to the grouse and whiffed. I like to say I stood speechless but in reality the words that came out of my 12 year old mouth would have made a sailor blush. What a cool double that could have.. should have been
                . Not sure why but I can remember the details of that day like it happened yesterday.
                Last edited by GK1; 07-13-2018, 05:55 PM.

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                • #10
                  A friend and I had a pond in sd we were going to hunt for snows. There were about 1500 snows on the pond so I made a sneak on them to shoot a few and to get them to leave to set up our floaters spread. My benelli held 7 3 1/2 #2 hevi shot. Pattern master choke. I got to about 35 yards on the closest bird when I start shooting. I emptied the gun And watched the rain out. After we gathered all the bird and made sure there were no cripples we counted. 45 snows/blues all adults with 7 shots. That day sticks in my head. I enjoy decoying birds more but that day was awesome.

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                  • #11
                    A few years back a couple buddies and I were hunting. 2 specks were flying across the field. They were not interested in the spread and were heading back toward water. It had been fairly slow so I switched loads and was loaded up with Remington HS. When they passed well out if front I decided to try them. I killed both and they were a banded mating pair. I wouldn't been able to pull that off shooting steel.

                    This past season Gulfcoast200 and I were hunting. A pair of snows came off to my side and Gulfcoast200 told me to try them. I killed both and they were a banded mating pair.

                    Those 2 hunts will be hard to ever forget.
                    Last edited by twdjr; 07-20-2018, 08:45 PM.

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                    • fox and goose
                      fox and goose commented
                      Editing a comment
                      You better buy at least one ticket for the big lottery drawing!

                  • #12
                    One that comes to mind:
                    Last season, mixed bag goose hunting in the corn, my partner and I were calling in a single speck. I told him to take the bird, but, to wait and let it come as close as it would. I continued calling and he waited. At about 8 feet (probably closer), still gliding in, he gave it one, perfect, head shot. He had to quickly roll on his side so the goose didn’t clobber him. I’m still impressed he was able to 10x a shot that close.

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                    • #13
                      Duck hunt, Slow day sitting in flooded corn hunting stale birds in Northwest MO. Had the pup on maybe his 3 or 4th hunt. didnt see them coming at all but heard them come right over the top of us going mach 15, flew out over the water turned and came right back at us, feet down. Buddy and I stood together two shots, two dead redheads. Pup made two perfect retrieves like he had been doing it his whole life. No words were spoken, we just started picking up. Probably the most perfect moment in any hunt in my life. They are mounted exactly like they flew in. I like pictures and video of hunts, but that moment runs on loop in my mind.

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                      • #14
                        18 years old in Garwood Texas early 90’s over Texas windsocks. Got asked to be helper on a few guided hunts. My uncle gave me his Ithaca mag-10. The guides and helpers would sit 15-20 yards behind the clients and rarely got to shoot unless their were cripples or a bunch of birds. Some specks came in and everyone had emptied their guns already and there was one high bird left and I knocked him down. I honestly think the guide was mad that I shot but everyone else was happy that we killed them all. I’ve made better and probably longer shots since then but since it was the first the first goose that I could claim with the 10g my uncle gave me it’ll be hard to forget.

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