Fire And Ice – Goose Hunting

| February 15, 2011 | 7 Comments
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Fire In The Sky thumbnail
Duck, Duck, Geese! thumbnail
Aprilfool and Chloe Retrieve A Couple Of Honkers thumbnail
Lunchtime thumbnail
To The Victors Go The Spoils thumbnail
Ahhh Naptime thumbnail
Fire In The Sky
Duck, Duck, Geese!
Aprilfool and Chloe Retrieve A Couple Of Honkers
To The Victors Go The Spoils
Ahhh Naptime

Fire In The Sky

Duck, Duck, Geese!

Aprilfool and Chloe


To The Victors Go The Spoils

Ahhh Naptime

Lou Leitão

Lou Leitão

My name is Lou Leitão and my favorite things to do are spend time with my wife, my family and good friends, and of course the dogs. My passions in life are hunting, fishing, golf, photography, motorcycles, traveling, dog shows, and hanging out with the people we meet at the shows.

My fondest memories are of hunting ducks, geese, pheasants, and doves with my dad – Vasco Leitão. He taught me everything I know about hunting. From how to shoot to the importance of having a great retriever to ensure that all fallen birds are accounted for during the hunt. His impact on my life cannot be measured and the gift of hunting that he gave me is one of my most cherished.

I spent six amazing years in the United States Air Force and for two of those years I was stationed in Germany.

In the summer of 2009 my brother Toni and his wife, Lorraine, who breed conformation Labrador Retrievers gave us a pup to help us retire “Aprilfool” our ten year old Labrador. She was beginning to show her age after ten years in the duck blind. Our new dog “Chloe” (Misty Mountain Red Aces Wild) started hunting and retrieving doves at 4 months old and continued hunting ducks and geese all last fall alongside of April. I’m not a pro dog trainer by any means so I depended a lot on April to show Chloe the ropes around the duck blind. I thought last year would be Aprilfool’s final year hunting with us but she’s hung in there like a champ and made some great retrieves right along side of Chloe. This is a story of one glorious day that these two wonderful dogs spent with us on the ice!

After an extremely warm winter for us here in Colorado, the pond we hunt on was finally safe enough for us to go on our first “Ice Hunt” of the season. The pond we hunt on is located on a working cattle ranch in N.E. Colorado between Sterling, Colorado and Sydney, Nebraska. It’s owned and run by our friend, Bob, who has allowed my wife, Kathy, and me to hunt his pond for the last ten years. We are so lucky and grateful to have such a prime piece of land to hunt on and we can’t thank Bob enough for his generosity. During the off season we help Bob with his annual “Branding”. It is a lot of work in the Colorado springtime which can bring anything from lots of sun to blizzard conditions but it is always a lot of fun!

Normally our pond freezes up around Thanksgiving which gives us the chance to hunt the ice 3 or 4 times before the season ends. It’s now almost the middle of January so we will probably only get to hunt the “ice” a couple of times before the season ends. One nice thing about hunting the “ice” is the late start time it affords you. No getting up in the wee hours of the morning to get set up before the sun rises. When all the ponds and lakes freeze up, the geese will roost on the South Platte river at night and then go out to feed in the morning and find somewhere to rest during the midday. They’ll go out to feed again in the afternoon and back to the roost in the evening. I used to think that when our pond froze we were done hunting for the year. But then I found out that the geese love to rest on the “ice” in between their morning and afternoon feedings. Now I look forward to the big freeze because it makes for some fantastic goose hunts. Plus Kathy, my wife and hunting buddy, likes not having to get up so early to go hunting.

The day broke with a beautiful sunrise and was followed by non-stop action once we got set up. On the drive out to our pond I knew it was going to be a great day as we saw flock after flock of geese get up off the river and head out to feed in the surrounding corn fields. It wasn’t more than ten minutes after getting the decoys set and settling into to our blind that we heard the first honks of some approaching geese. I had to calm the dogs down as they, too, knew it was “game time”! After some soft clucks and moans on the goose call, we had our first group of honkers feet down over the decoys. Kathy “doubled” and I dropped “one” with three “great” shots; then it was off to the races for the dogs. Chloe, being much faster the April, got to the first goose and picked it up then watched April ramble past her to retrieve the farthest goose. Chloe, being the bird hog she is, couldn’t let April get one, too, so she drops her goose and races past her to retrieve “April’s” goose. April just shrugged her shoulders, turns around and gets the goose Chloe just dropped, and heads back to the blind with Chloe racing to catch up to her. Chloe’s antics had Kathy and I laughing about a retrieve we’ll both remember for many seasons to come. While deep in my heart I was sad knowing that it was going to be one of the last times “Aprilfool” would be hunting with us……..

Category : Hunting

About the Author ()

Hi, I am Toni Leitão! I am one of the people who came up with this crazy idea for Retriever Life. Retrievers are my life and passion. Oh and I like long walks in the park (especially in the rain) and watching a movie with my Labrador "pillow".

Comments (7)

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  1. Toni says:

    Nice shooting Lou! Great pictures too!

  2. Margie says:

    Lou, This brings back great memories of our lab, Michael, who passed away 18 months ago of old age and we miss him dearly. Labs are such loving and devoted companions. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lou says:

      Thanks Margie,
      It’s never easy loosing a good dog, sorry about your loss. The memories I have from my days afield are some of my most cherised, and I look back on htem often.

  3. YVONNE says:

    Great picture and wonderful looking dogs!!

  4. YVONNE says:

    Great Pictures and wonderful story

  5. Eric Wolff says:

    Thanks for sharing Lou!! I never knew that geese liked the ice…. This sounds like a ton of fun!

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