Oklahoma offers up prime waterfowl opportunity
Brock Carter, Bryce Carey, Chance Lemoine, Hunter Uzzle, Jonah Lemoine and Joli enjoy some fantastic goose hunts in Oklahoma.
For The Record- Capt Chuck Uzzle
Wide open spaces with minimal water does not lead one to think of ducks, geese, or the potential for any waterfowl opportunities at first glance. For those that think that way nothing could be farther from the truth. Oklahoma, specifically western Oklahoma, was the destination of choice for my group of hunters who now make an annual trek somehwere along the central flyway. My group consists of myself, my son Hunter, Chance Lemoine, Jonah Lemoine, and Bryce Carey of Bridge City. For several years this trip has capped off our hunting season and it’s always looked forward to by each one of us.
During the planning stages of the trip we considered Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and even Arkansas as possible destinations for this much anticipated event.
Oklahoma jumped to the top of the list due to the fact that the state bag limits on Canada geese is 8 per hunter per day. The opportunity to take double the amount of geese plus take in some chances to shoot mallards in dry fields was too much to pass up so Oklahoma became the place to go. Fortunately for us we were able to hunt some private land that belonged to a fellow baseball player, Brock Carter, that Hunter met while he was playing at Eastern Oklahoma State. As luck would have it we had actually been hunting near the same area in years past so we had a great idea of how to go about doing the trip on our own.
The 9 hour trip was uneventful for the most part until we crossed into Oklahoma and began to start seeing canada geese on just about every pothole pond we came across. This pattern continued as we headed north until we found our destination and got settled in.
We made an afternoon scouting trip and located a field full of geese and decided that was the best deal going for our first hunt of the trip.
The next morning we awoke to a temperature of 24 degrees and little to no wind so the conditions were a little less than favorable. The tough conditions were soon an afterthought as we entered the wheat field and could hear geese in the next field.
We knew we were in the right place. After setting out decoys and disguising the layout blinds it was time to wait for the birds to show and that’s exactly what they did. Canada geese, snow geese, speckle bellies, wigeon, mallards, pintails all showed up in huge numbers and readily dove into the decoys. The show was most impressive, especially after having snow geese at home not even look twice at decoy spread. The big waves of geese were amazing and everything we hoped for all in one neat package.
All 4 days were memorable and I can’t begin to tell you how nice it was to do
all this in dry fields without worrying about, mud, leaking waders, mosquitoes,
alligators, or anything of the sort. We hunted wheat, corn fields, small pothole
ponds and each was an incredible experience. The whole trip meant more to us this year as we did it on our own without an outfitter or guide. The amount of work we put into the trip and carrying gear was more than overshadowed by the fantastic hunts we had. All of the effort was worth it and then some. I can certainly see more time north of the border for our group in the future.
Right now many waterfowl hunters are scrambling to finish up their seasons on a high note and for many that means hitting the road for alternate destinations. Many hunters will be flocking to the coast in search of divers while others will concentrate on areas north of Texas. Some die hards will even stay after the birds through the special snow goose conservation season in areas like Arkansas, Missouri, and even Kansas. All these locations seem like a long way to go for a good hunt but for most folks it’s worth it, especially with the dismal weather and slow season most hunters have been coping with. Either way you look at it we are in the home stretch of the season and nothing is off the table, there will be plenty of time to rest once season ends.