The Rooster Crows – April 4, 2008

By Bill Anderson

March, the month that was put on the calendar to let people who don’t drink know what a hangover feels like – too depressing to live, too tough to die – departed on Monday, throwing a snowstorm and several inches of wet, sloppy snow our direction as it slammed the door on its way out. April Fool’s Day, Tuesday, April 1, fooled us by pretending it was still March.

The Spring conservation snow goose hunting season has been open since mid-February, but there were no geese here until the last 10 days of March. For the past 2 weeks, millions of the birds have been moving through this area, feeding in last year’s corn and soybean fields and providing some great hunting for those hardy enough to go afield and smart enough to outfox them. The purpose of the conservation season is to reduce the numbers of snow and blue geese to a level that can be sustained by their Summer range in northern Canada, so the usual rules that govern waterfowl hunting during the regular Fall season don’t apply. Hunters may remove the plugs from the magazines on their automatic and pump action shotguns, making 5 shots available before reloading is required, and there is no limit, other than their shooting ability and carrying capacity, to the number of snow and blue geese they are allowed to harvest. They must, however, have a valid North Dakota hunting license to avoid running afoul of the law. It’s not a sure thing, either, as the geese seem to fail to appreciate that all of this shooting is for their own good and continue to outsmart the hunters on many occasions, even if they are birdbrains. Hunters from Minnesota, Iowa and Montana, as well as North Dakota, have landed in Rutland, along with the geese.

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