THE FLOODED TIMBER by Tim Elsey
I was hunting along a huge tree line near a creek in early October that bordered a sod farm that a friend of mine owned. As I pass by the sod fields, I would shoot geese as they were leaving. I would blast away at them as they sat on the tree tops :) Dropping some and missing lots LOL :). I was wondering why the geese always took this flight path because the marshland was five miles west of where they where going and they where heading north. I was tempted to follow the geese out of curiosity but it was getting pretty late in the evening and I was alone.
The next weekend I brought my friend Greg with me and asked him if he would like to follow the creek to see where it went.
He said, “you bet, sounds like an adventure to me!”
The next morning at 4:30 am we loaded up the old canoe, our guns and backpacks and off we went, down the creek. It wasn't long, maybe a half hour, when we came across a huge tree that blocked our path across the creek. We pulled the canoe out of the water and walked down the creek to see if it was any better. The further we went, the worse it became. The creek was impassible by canoe.
It was 7 am now, so we decided to have some breakfast and discuss what we would do next. As we were eating, flocks of geese where flying over our heads heading out to the sod fields to feed. I said, “Look, they must be coming from a large water source for that many geese to be in here.”
“I agree,” said Greg. “There's got to be a way in there.” We decided to walk down the creek. We hiked about 3 miles in. It was truly beautiful but creepy at the same time. The further we ventured in, the trees around us were getting taller and the ground was getting wetter.
Finally, at 11:30 am, we came to this huge beaver dam. The largest one I have ever laid my eyes on. It was about a hundred yards across the creek and about 7 feet wide. On either side were huge ponds like mini lakes. It had flooded the timber for miles. We could see and hear ducks flying through the trees. As we explored the area, there where huge deer and moose tracks like I have never seen before. The deer trails were like highways and the moose tracks were as big as grapefruit. It was awesome to find such a great spot. At that point, we both agreed we didn't even care if this was the place where the geese were coming from, we were tired.
As we had lunch, we were enjoying watching the ducks and listening to the sounds all around us. We could hear woodpeckers, squirrels, a cow moose calling in the distance, eagles screeching, ducks quacking and the sound of THUNDER as the ducks flew over head, lifting up from the flooded timber. Greg and I looked at each other and I said, WOW! THAT WAS AWESOME, BEAT THAT WALT DISNEY! :)
We both then started to cry out with uncontrollable laughter with tears of joy coming out of our eyes for at least few minutes. Greg then said, “we must be going bush crazy or super tired from getting here because that was pretty funny!
It was now just after 2pm and Greg said, Hey! Can you hear that? I paused to listen and sure enough it was the sound of geese coming! :)
As the geese got closer the sound got louder and louder then they appeared overhead. The geese started to spin like a tornado and started coming down. First on the other side of the beaver dam until it was getting full which took about ten minutes, then on this side where we were hiding. It was an amazing site of thousands of geese. It was like we were being hypnotized watching the tornado spin. It was so deafening coming down upon us that we could barely hear each other talk.
Greg then said,” what do you want to do?” We will wait until they all land, then jump up and let them see us so they have a chance to fly, OK? ” Sounds good!” Greg said. “I am just going to shoot right into the flock as they lift and fire my three shots.” :)” Me too,” I replied. :)
We both jumped out as the geese flew up and we fired "BANG”! "BANG”! "BANG”! "BANG”! "BANG”! "BANG”! at the huge flock :).
After all, the mayhem was over! We both had our limit of five geese each! :).
We just could not believe how lucky we were. As we were retrieving our geese, a huge bull moose came out of the woods. Showing no fear, after all those shots, he began to feed and swim right by our floating geese LOL! :)
We sat and watch him for about 10 minutes, then off he went. That was pretty cool to see! By the time I realized he was gone, I was like, “man I had my camera in my backpack all this time and did not get a picture of that! :(
This was the easy part of the hunt as we had a rough time carrying those geese out of there LOL! We could only go for about 500 feet at a time and had to stop and take a break but eventually we made it out at 8:45 pm LOL :).
This hunt took place 14 years ago and I have only been back there 3 times over the years and each time I went it was always a great hunt :).
I think this year it is time for another FLOODED TIMBER ADVENTURE!
Tim with his harvest.