At 5:30 am on Thanksgiving Monday morning, my alarm rudely awoke me and told me it was time to get into my gear. It was so early - there wasn't even a hint of light in the sky. My brothers were already in the kitchen, snacking on goose pepperettes and drinking coffee, when I poked my way into the kitchen. My eyes reluctantly opened as I pulled on the camoflauge gear they'd given me and sipped on the hot coffee my brother had made. Within 10 minutes we were piled into the truck and heading off to the field we'd scouted the day before. This was the morning of my first goose hunting trip and even though I was extremely tired, I was more than a little excited. Hannah, my brother's little black lab, lay sleeping on the back seat of the truck. She was going to have a busy day. As we drove in silence, I stared out the window. To the north, aurora borealis danced across the starlit sky. It was the most perfect morning for the hunt.
The field we'd scouted belonged to a farmer whose land was just outside the perimeter of Winnipeg - closer to the city than the boys would have liked. We parked on the side of the road and loaded the quad with our gear by the light of our headlamps. A heavy fog had settled over the land which we silently hoped would lift before the arrival of the birds. When everything was loaded up, we all piled onto the quad and drove out over the foggy field. Hunting laws say that you can't start until 30 minutes before sun-up. That gave us about 30 minutes to pick our spot, lay out about 100 decoys and lie in wait. It was going to be tight.
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