Montana’s statewide waterfowl season begins Saturday. There is no question the opening of duck and goose season is always a day that hunters and dogs look forward to!
I’m no different. My goose hunting plans are made. I’m going out. And, if I’m lucky, I’ll share that first goose of 2007 with thousands of friends.
This year, as we have for the past 9 years, we will try and shoot a goose live on the radio with the Montana Outdoor Radio Show. We’re broadcasting live from a goose blind.
Jaye and Linda Johnson, of Charlo, host the annual event. Twenty hunters and decoys and our broadcast gear will set-up in a field somewhere in the Mission Valley and try once again to successfully shoot before our live statewide radio show signs-off just before 8 a.m.
The location of that blind depends on a couple factors. There must be geese feeding in the field at least for a couple of mornings and, of course, the landowner of the field needs to give us permission.
Johnson is on an extended trip at the moment so his trusted friend and fellow hunter Jens Gran has volunteered to try and spot geese feeding and make the necessary arrangements with the landowner.
Legal shooting time on the Flathead Indian Reservation is at sunrise — 7:32 a.m. — so we’ll just have a 28-minute window to get lucky and try and get some geese to come in.
Legal shooting time elsewhere in Montana is a half-hour before sunrise.
Last year, the opening day of the waterfowl season ended up being a bluebird day and because of the nice day we saw our only geese come in before 8 a.m. It was enough.
It amounted to the best shooting we had ever had on our opening day “Goose Blind Broadcast.”
That, however, was an unusual. Often, the geese don’t come in until after we go off the air, but maybe our radio listeners will be treated to a little shooting.
If you are going to hunting in your own goose or duck blind, we would love to hear from you during our broadcast which is from 6am-8am this Saturday. The phone number to call is 800-568-5309.
If you have a chance to give us a live update from your cell phone, we would love to hear from you.
The outlook for duck and goose hunting is shaping up to be similar to last season. Overall, breeding duck numbers across a large portion of Canada were up, according to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks.
In Montana, wetland conditions were fair to dry, and attracted a below-average breeding population of ducks.
Opportunities are expected to be good, however, buoyed by good waterfowl production in Alberta and Saskatchewan. The local goose population appears to be as high as it ever has been. The local flocks of geese should supply hunters enough opportunity as they set-up decoys on rivers, creeks and harvested fields of grain and cut alfalfa.
To listen in to our broadcast in Western Montana, you may tune in Missoula on KGVO 1290am, Polson KERR 750am, Kalispell KJJR 880am, and Hamilton KLYQ 1240.
Fishing continues to be good on Flathead Lake. 2007 Fall Mack Days is scheduled to begin this Friday September 28th and run through Friday November 11th. The contest will run Friday, Saturdays, and Sundays.
The Salish and Kootenai Tribes have made some changes to the format of the event to encourage more participation from all ages. For a listing of those changes, plus how to enter log onto www.mackdays.com.
The tribe is offering up to $81,000 in cash and prizes for successful anglers and all it takes to win is one fish.
Last year’s fall event had a record number of anglers participating and with the new format, they are hoping to top that number and the number of fish turned in. If you want to know where to fish for the lake trout, I would recommend calling Dick Zimmer 675-0068 at Zimmer’s Tackle in Pablo.