I wanted to check in and give everyone a quick update on how preparing for my fall hunting has been coming along. As the weather in southeast Michigan has rapidly begun feeling more and more like fall, I have started to feel the familiar excitement as hunting season approaches. At the end of August, I finished scouting and hung my last trail cam on the private land property where I will be hunting deer. Now, I am avoiding the property completely as I let the deer get comfortable before I go in on the opening day of bow season. In the meantime, I am practicing every day with my bow and have been going through dry runs of my saddle set up at night to simulate the low light conditions of a morning setup or evening tear down.
Small game season starts on September 15th and I have been spending some time at the range zeroing in my rifle. This year I am shooting a Tikka T1x bolt action rifle chambered in .22 LR. I will be running a Silencerco Sparrow suppressor and shooting CCI subsonic rounds while I target squirrels and rabbits. I am enjoying the suppressor setup with the combination of subsonic rounds which makes the rifle as quiet as a small staple gun. I will be out in the afternoon on public land for the opening day of small game.
After a few unsuccessful waterfowl hunts last year, I am determined to bag my first geese this fall. To that end, I have been scouting several different marsh areas and trying to come up with a plan to hunt one. Today I got a late start to scouting and didn’t get to the marsh property until about 15 minutes before sundown. The cool evening air was cutting through the tall grass and a beautiful orange moon was starting to shine. I crept back for about 10 minutes until I reached the edge of a pond. I could hear some very loud and vocal sandhill cranes who had decided to utilize the pond. Taking one step forward, I must have spooked them because suddenly all 20 of the cranes were flying up in V formation over the pond. If only we could hunt them here, but I digress. Surveying the now empty pond, I did not see any geese.
I worked my way through the riparian zone to the other end of the pond and after settling in the grass, ripped a few honks on my goose call. A beautiful Canada goose flew up from about 20 yards behind me answering my calling with a series of honks. After flying around for a bit, It flew to the nearby field. As the sun set and I made my way back to my car, I was pleasantly surprised to see 3 different groups of Canada geese flying low overhead. I must have counted about 50 geese in all. The last group of 20 came in for a landing on the pond I had been near. Feeling pretty good about my chances on this property, I went home and spent the evening getting my decoys rigged up and loaded for a morning hunt.
It’s late and it’s going to be an early morning at 5am for my first full day of hunting this fall. I’m hoping to come home with a couple of geese and some squirrels. Good luck to everyone on the first day of small game season!