Aldo Leopold and Hunting Geese
We took some time to go goose hunting with a friend who has a beautiful hunting dog named Aldo. When I asked how he got his name, his owner replied that it was from Aldo Leopold. Leopold, an amazing ecologist and writer and is the author of “A Sand County Almanac”, an environmental classic published in 1949 that I first read in college. It is so well written that it is still widely used today. The book takes the reader through each season, month by month and goes into detail the way the animals and environment changes and adapt.
My favorite section is that of March, even though for me, this natural phenomenon is more noticeable in the fall and winter months. He talks of the geese returning and thus we see a return of the spring season. For me, it is all about the geese heading South and the coming of winter.
I have always loved the great big migrations, the hundreds of geese in that “v” formation flying above the clouds heading South and stopping in the large corn fields to eat and rest.
While I know some folks don’t agree with hunting – this is not the time nor place to debate that. I was brought up to use and eat what you grow and hunt and never take anything for granted nor in excess or waste. And while the hunt and providing food for our family is part of what I enjoy, the thing I love best about hunting is siting there in the wild and enjoying nature.
Listening as the world wakes up around me. Watching the sun come up over the mountains. Hearing the geese call back to us as we try to think like an animal and bring them in closer. Sometimes we do well and other times we spend the day sitting, watching, listening and go home with only ourselves and our gear.
After almost 24 years of waterfowl hunting my husband finally shot a goose with a leg band. We went online and entered the number and discovered our goose was over two years old and had been banded only a few miles down the road as a youngster. Conservation and hunting go hand in hand and something I am lucky to be a part of and hope these skills and way of life continue for more generations to come.
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