Finding a weekend in recent history that was this jam-packed with excitement is impossible. A few days ago I got a call from two very close friends of mine, who also happen to be the guys running the show at Drift Prairie Outfitters. They had a good snow goose feed and I was going to be rockin’ it in the Power Hunter with my trusty Canon come Saturday morning. 2 AM came along, and it was one of those mornings where you aren’t really sure if your eyes had ever closed before the alarm sounded. A sugar-free red bull, an hour drive, and 500 decoys later and we were set. As the light started to show up on the horizon, we had what every snow goose hunter (and cameraman) can’t wait to have: 12-15 mph wind, no frost, and the sun at our backs. After some great flocks, some not so great flocks thanks to some wannabe-martyr speckle-bellies, we had 70 snow geese on the ground. The “cherry” on top was really solid hunting footage and a banded 2-year old female that was banded in Sachs Harbour, Northwest Territories. If you look at a map you’ll find that she was still 2100 miles from home as the crow flies, and who knows how many miles as the snow goose flies. Snows really never cease to amaze.
By the time we arrived back in Brookings, it was noon and I had an engagement shoot to begin at 3:30. Erika and I had done some good scouting of locations for the couple, but we needed to do some more detailed investigating to figure out how we were going to handle any potential lighting problems. One sub-sandwich and a few hours later, and we were as ready as you can be. The shoot went spectacular, with the only problem ever arising being a nasty South Dakota wind that wreaks havoc on hair. In hindsight, the wind just added to the very raw and natural environment that had ruled the day.
Now it’s time to run up the tach on some editing hours.