Shoot ‘Em!

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Last week I traveled to the Texas Panhandle for my annual goose and crane extravaganza with Blackfoot Guide Service. This is one of my favorite hunts, and the 2009 version was one of the best we’ve had in years. For a change, we had normal weather: lows in the 20’s and highs in the 50’s with sunny skies. That beats the zero year when we had to chip pack ice from our nostrils, and the flood year when we couldn’t even get the decoy trailer into the field. The light winds, this time, made the geese a little picky, but only to the point that we needed modified chokes instead of improved cylinders. Yes, these Panhandle geese usually decoy quite nicely.

In the afternoons we set up windsock spreads for sandhill cranes in a cut milo field south of Tahoka. If you’ve ever hunted cranes, you’ll know that concealment is the key. It doesn’t matter how good your spread looks when your hulking silhouette stands out like a shark in a bird bath. This year our guides packed us into layout blinds woven with grain stalks that proved to be the missing piece of the puzzle. When the first group of cranes swung in and cupped their wings only thirty feet off the deck, we knew we were in for a great shoot.

If you need shots for an upcoming article or promotion, please visit my online archive to see my entire selection of goose hunting and sandhill crane hunting images. High resolution files are available via ftp upload, usually within minutes.

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Tools of the trade


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Bluebird skies and cautious Canadas, near Lubbock, Texas


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Lexie the goose fetching machine


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Guide Johnny Miller talking trash


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Sandhills on the wing


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David Brown hunkering among the stalks


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What to shoot when the birds aren’t flying?


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Christmas dinner


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A goose guide’s mid-season floorboard pile-up


I’ll be shooting some deer hunting photos after Christmas, followed by a couple of duck shoots in January. Thanks to everyone who bought, pimped, and published my work in 2009. Hopefully we’ve survived the worst of a horrendous recession. Happy Holidays to everyone, and I look forward to working/hanging with all of you again in 2010.

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