Morning Safety Meeting
As you get out to the field your guides will likely be putting the finishing touches on the spread and or blinds as shooting time draws near. They may ask you hang back for a few minutes until their done, then they will show you were to set up and get you ready for shooting time.
Once everyone is in their blind the guides will go over a thorough safety meeting. We take this vary seriously. They will tell you the expectations we have for you in respects to your fellow hunters and the importance of staying in your shooting lanes. In addition, you might as well get used to your guides saying “guns on safe at all times unless the butt of your gun is on your shoulder getting ready to shoot”. We do not allow our hunters to “cheat” and take their safety off when birds are approaching. If your guide hears the “click” of someone taking their safety off as birds are approaching they will stop calling and tell you to put your safety back on. Again we take this very seriously.
What to expect when the birds start flying
Your guides will do all the calling during your hunt, we do allow individuals to call as well but knowing everyone’s skill level is different please do not be offended if your guide tells you to put your call away if he feels it’s necessary.
The guides will also call the shot. We go to great lengths to conceal/hide our clients and and make them disappear into the natural cover, pulling up and shooting without direction of the guide will not be allowed. As the birds approach they will tell you when to sit or stand up and start shooting but yelling kill em’, now, take em boys, something along those lines. It is then and only then when you can shoulder your gun, pick out a bird, take the safety off and squeeze the trigger.
We do this for several reasons and the first is safety, someone surprising the group by shooting is never a good thing. The second is your guides hunt professionally for 8 months out of the year. Believe it or not as badly as you want to be successful, they want it more. There is an amazing amount of work that goes into each and every hunt, and they are going to rely on their experience of working birds to call the what they feel will be the best shot as soon as its presented. Sometimes it will be when the birds are 40 yards above you, but if everything works out right it will be when they back flapping …10 yards in front of you ….about to land.
The morning hunt will last until on average until 10, sometimes it will be shorter sometimes longer depending on conditions, but your guide will call it. At that time we’ll break for breakfast/lunch. Your guides will be on break until around 3 depending on the time of year, so they they can eat and rest. When you break for lunch they’ll tell you the time to meet back at the field for the evening shoot. There are always a few days a year where the weather conditions call for us to stay in the field all day. On those days your guide will make that recommendation and we may send someone into town to get food to bring out to the field.
When you meet back at the field for the evening shoot your guide will give go over a safety refresher and we’ll hunt until sunset.
What do we do with the birds?
You are responsible for the birds harvested on your hunt. You need to be prepared to clean what your group shoots on your hunt. On occasion we will offer bird cleaning for a fee. The fee is $15/bird and make sure you ask Graham if this will be available for your hunt. If it is available this fee needs to be paid at the time the birds are cleaned, not at the end of the hunt.
As stated before please keep in mind that your guides go through an amazing amount of work on very little sleep to put these hunts on everyday. I can not stress enough how badly they want your group to be successful. Ultimately however we are hunting wild birds and there are no guarantees when hunting any game animal. We ask that all of our clients adhere to the parameters we set forth and treat your guides and fellow hunters with respect. We reserve the right to end any persons hunt early with no refund if we feel they are not conducting themselves properly or are being disrespectful to other hunters or the guides.
If you’ve read through all of this you’ll have a good feel for how our hunts go and what you can expect from us as your guides and what we expect from you as our clients.
We hope to see you in the field soon!