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Christmas in the Field and on the Hardwater

For Christmas this year, my wife, daughter, and I headed up to Lemmon to enjoy some time with family up there and for me to be able to get back out for some goose hunting as well as ice fish with my dad. Most trips up there during the winter, I only get on the ice with my dad, which is always good, but having a couple of extra days up gave me more time to head after some geese for the first time in a few years. Goose hunting has always been my favorite hunting season, even from when I started hunting at age 12.

So, I told my brother that I wanted to get out in the field at least once while I was in town and he did a little scouting ahead of time and ran into some friends of his who were doing the same thing. They decided we would team up and help lay out a large spread of decoys in a field where hundreds of geese were the day before our trip. And my bro's daughter, Payton, was coming with. She had turned 12 and was doing all kinds of hunting in her first year of it. Deer, coyote, pheasant, name it, she wants to go after it!

After setting up decoys and picking hail bails we would hide behind, we waited for the first flocks to start to arrive after sunrise. My brother's friends would do the calling so as the geese started flying, they did their best to bring them our way. A few smaller flocks came our way and, with six guns going, they did not last long. More flocks flew our way and a few more fell while other groups missed us or came in high since it was a nice day. I managed to down a couple. Towards the late morning, some smaller groups again came over us and my niece was able to get her first goose. Boy was she excited! She happily posed with her goose when we got back home.

After this, it was ice time with dad. Since Shadehill had only just locked up not too long before Christmas, he took me to his stock dam for walleyes. Well, over two trips, the fishing was slow. I managed one decent 'eye while he caught a couple of smaller ones. Otherwise, we had to contend with small perch and a few largemouth bass he put in there. While it was not an active bite, it was good to give some of my newer walleye lures some water time, such as Clam's Tikka Mino, Salmo's Rail Shad, and Northland's Fire-Belly spoon. Hopefully, our lake trout lake in the Hills will lock up soon so I can give these lures another test run or take them after walleyes in the area.

So, we enjoyed a good Christmas in Lemmon, celebrating with family and having my 2-year-old daughter get spoiled by her grandparents. And it was good to have some extra time to not only get on the ice with my dad, but also get some time in the field. With the busy part of my winter coming up now, hopefully we will have a chance to get back up there. But at least we enjoyed the time while we could! Tight lines to all in the new year!


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