Opening day: North zone waterfowl

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“Load’em up, it’s shootin’ time,” Jeff Norris said.

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6:37 Saturday morning and the waterfowl seasons for Illinois’ north zone opened. And with that time, the founder of Fox Valley Guide Service gave the word.

Three of us posted along the creek in Kane County for the dawn flight of woodies, while Norris (that’s him above piddling around a layout blind) and two of his guides put out a spread in a mowed five-acre weed patch.

Why a five-acre mowed patch?

Oh my friends, any drive around the area makes it pretty obvious virtually no fields are harvested. So you take what you can get.

And it was apparently enough to pull in geese.

I could only hunt for an hour before going to coach my daughter’s soccer. First, we had a pair of woodies elude us on the tree line, then three passed with one snap shot hurrying them. We saw a small flock of mallards low, and a much bigger group high and headed south on the north winds.

Then the geese started flying and I walked out.

In the short walk back to my car, I watched Norris and his guides call in three different groups of geese. They shot at the second bunch of four, bagging two of them.

Even the geese must be looking for any open patches of field.

I didn’t get the word yet on how many geese they ended up with.

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No, I don’t know the hunter. I couldn’t see him as I walked out.

You got to love opening day.

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