Dakota Country Magazine October 2016 Edition - Page 13

interesting was that there were also a lot of giant Canada geese with bird breeders in private collections. What happened next remains one of the greatest conservation success stories of North American Wildlife Management. The Giant Canada geese were extensively reared like domestic poultry where young flightless birds were strategically planted on several refuges across the region to reintroduce these magnificent birds. Forrest Lee is a name that gets brought up a lot concerning these early restoration efforts. Working out of Jamestown, North Dakota many referred to Lee as Father Goose. Forrest Lee passed away in 2013, living long enough to see the cumulative results of a lifetime devoted to wildlife management. We were fortunate enough to obtain an old interview of Lee from past Minn. DNR Supervisor for Waterfowl Research, Bob Jassen. Watching the video of the man known by his peers as Father Goose describe the early memories of the reintroduction effort was fascinating. To me it was valuable footage and I d idn’t want the world to forget that story. Today is a much different world. Canada geese have become so abundant they’re considered a nuisance, particularly around winter wheat or soybeans where depredation can be extremely high. There are early seasons that now encourage you to shoot a lot of geese as early as August. Who could have ever imagined back when you could only shoot one Canada goose and five snow geese that there would come a time in the fall that you could shoot five, even eight, Canada geese and 20 snow geese? Unbelievable when you look where we came from. I also remember a time when 10 dozen G&H snow and blue goose shells would neatly stack up in a pick up bed, and that was a massive snow spread. If you were really serious about shooting your one Canada goose, you might have two-dozen of the biggest magnum shells you could find. Now look at all the trailers hauling several hundred fullbody decoys. We’ve come a long ways, but it’s also good to reminisce and look back so we can tru- Cenex C-Stores • Live bait • RV Dump • Groceries • Diesel • LP Fill • Pizza • Gas • 7 Days a Week • 7 Convenient Locations Lakota, ND Warwick, ND Michigan, ND 701-247-2212 701-294-2571 701-259-2212 Lakota Pizza Hotline - 701-247-2575 East Travel Plaza McVille, ND West 2 • Devils Lake Devils Lake 701-322-4326 701-662-3555 (701) 662-4014 Devils Lake Pizza Hotline - 701-662-3435 ly appreciate the scope of how waterfowl hunting has evolved. Nobody could have ever imagined how well Canada geese would respond or adapt. I remember when farmers would place round bales on the ice so geese would have a place to nest. The novelty of building nesting structures for Canada geese wore off a long time ago for the farming community where geese are often compared as a pest like a grasshopper. Many waterfowl hunters older than 50 today grew up hunting ducks. For many of today’s young generation of hunters, Canada geese have introduced so many to the art of decoy hunting, that passion for fooling a duck or goose with a decoy. Canada geese are the perfect bird in so many ways. While Canada geese can get very stale and decoy-shy like any other bird, there’s a lot about these big geese to like. They often seem to decoy by design. Traveling in small groups, often close to the ground. They vocalize and respond well to calling, which than makes hunting an interactive experience. The birds are big and graceful and are now abundant in just about every state. In fact, there are many more Giant Canada geese today than before settlement. Not bad for a bird that was once considered extinct. • Devils Lake, North Dakota (701) 398-5184 The Lake Region’s premier fishing choice. Everything in one place! Camping Electrical, water and conveniently located RV dump. Full size showers, washer/ dryers. Sandy beach, playground. Amenities Bait shop, laundry, C-store, boat ramp, fish cleaning, seasonal camping, showers, boat rental, gas, propane, rest rooms, new marina Cozy Cabins Modern, comfortable cabins, kitchenettes, single cabins, satellite TV, charcoal grills, all with linens, paper products and cleaning services. Fishing Easy access to Devils Lake East Bay. Great fishing for walleyes, perch, white bass, northern pike. Fish cleaning on site. Cenex One Stop • Devils Lake 701-662-4182 www.dakotacountrymagazine.com Dakota Country, October 2016, Page 13