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Scout 1
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Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories...
      #221842 - 09/05/11 08:35 PM

Every year about this time I get nostalgic for what can only be called the Old Days... now more than 40 seasons in the rearview mirror...

I am constantly grateful to have grown up there within five miles of Fountain Grove and 15 of Swan Lake during the Sixties and Seventies. A time and place where the continual adaptation of wild birds and the influence of mankind combined to produce a phenomenon the likes of which we won't see again, until this Earth passes away and a new one takes its place. It was a unique slice of time...

That 120-200,000 bird Canada goose population in the Grand River basin in those years was admittedly TOO many geese in too small an area... but MAN... the memories those days produced... I can still see em in my mind's eye!

Guys shooting geese from Tree blinds along the west border road of Swan Lake... gave em an extra 10 yards of "reach" LMAO except the birds they hit fell into the timber who knows where?? ... blinds and pits every 60 yards on Linscott's and Thornsberry's and others... being able to park and watch guys decoy and kill geese (after we had already killed ours!) marveling at the 1000 decoy "black hole" spread on Tiemeyer's hill, and hearing the barrages of buckshot being fired at geese 300 yards high LMAO (now and then, a luckless old goose would catch one of those buckshot in the wingbone or breast and fall... and THEN the race was ON from every pit on the place... first to the bird got it... TOTALLY FORKED UP but fun to watch from a distance!)

The Hunny House... Honkers, Inc., the observation tower at the federal headquarters... and the crip pen... being able to shoot from E.L. Reed's pits across from the State Headquarters for $5 a gun!!! (and killling geese from there, don't think you couldn't!) ... watching the mail every late summer for "Reservation" or "sorry" postcards from the Conservation Dept... meaning you either got a blind that year or didn't... not that it mattered, we had goose and duck hunting galore.. but in those days, hunting Swan Lake or the Grove was something special...

Bugs German and Jack Friesner, always cheerful and helpful behind the window at the state HQ... road blocks where the man asked "how many" you got... wondering how long the season would last THIS year (remember the nine day season?? or was it 11?)... killing a limit of geese and ducks before being at school at 8:30... playing hooky from school in the waterblinds or K pits at the Grove.. and NOBODY reporting us! HAHAHAH Finding whole boxes and lots of loose indivdiual shells under the benches of the blinds at the Grove... sometimes a duck or goose call... sometimes a bottle of hootch or a nice thermos!

Hell... we rode BIKES down to the Grove for teal hunting, and dove shoots... and rode em back in the dark, ducks over the handlebars... imagine kids today doing that...

Skipping senior year basketball so I could hunt every single day of the season that year... killed 109 Canada geese that season... best move I ever made... wouldn't trade that season for ANYTHING... Being present to see the old man knock down geese over decoys with his Bear recurve bow and flu-flu arrows -- yep, flying, and on two different hunts! -- and then the time I finally killed one on the ground at John Lee Boyles' blind with my Ben Pearson cheapass bow and a Bear broadhead!

The One Shot Goose Hunts, where we would only take one shell each... you miss, you go home without a goose... seeing the waves on waves of geese and mallards flying out over McKenzie's or the Lee Brothers' farm south of Meadville... and on north over town.. to feeding fields way up north.

Hunting with the "old men" in overalls (who were then about MY present age!!!!) like Jordan Coates, Kenny, John Lee and Robert Boyles, and Ray Martens and Buck Duncan... and the Old Man... and them passing the quart bottle of Old Grand-Dad after the geese were all down and the guns were cased... the THRILL of feeling part of the tribe when they'd pass me the bottle and say, "Here Scotty... you have a nip, too.." And then how they'd look at each other and wink and laugh as the rotgut made me gag and my eyeballs water LMFAO!

To this day... Every time I smell bourbon whiskey, I am back there at those goose pits... the same goes for the smell of glazed donuts in a brown paper sack... and the earthy rich smell of gumbo bottomland mud... and the smell of a "pre-steel-shot" shotgun shell that's been fired... the smell of burnt gunpowder... each of these scents instantly carry me back to those golden memories in goose pits and duck blinds in the Swan Lake-Fountain Grove areas ... what a way to grow up! What a place to grow up!

There are a million other memories and images that I could list... but let these suffice for now... one of these days, I'm gonna put together that feature article, "Swan Lake Memories" with input from all you guys and my own recollections... It needs to be done, because as I said at the top... Such Will Not Exist Again... and slowly the men who lived it are marching into the fog of Oblivion... so the story needs telling.

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See ya. I'm riding my bike over to the MDC nature center & learn how to attract native salamanders to my backyard butterfly garden.


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redleg
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: Scout 1]
      #221844 - 09/05/11 09:44 PM

The Grove was my home,,,,me and POP,,,he forking ruled that place in the day,,,dux or geese it didn't matter,,we hunted Swan some,but not much,,,Grandpa lessed on Fred's place Tiemeyer(him and grandma drug a lil camper up there and spent the season there) he also lessed a place at Lindscotts. We hunted the Hill when it was new,,,,I never met a finer man than Jimmy German,,,,we'd walk in with limits(on a regular basis)and Jimmy would say,,,here comes the James Gang! Some of the best memories I will ever have,,,,,,,,,2 am with Dad going down the road listening to Jerry Clower on an am station out of LA,,,just me and him,,,,,,,they were dayum sure good times,,,I was just a lil goof at the time but he never left me at home,,,,K6 at the grove I packed out 2 geese for Pop had em both over a shoulder and thier tails was dragging the ground,,,he was laffing,,I was just proud to be there,,,he was my DAD,,,,,I got so many stories I could tell of those days,,,,what memories,,,it really was a different time,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Scott you are rite,,,it won't happen again,,,it will NEVER be the same,,,,but oh the memeories it created,,they do need to be relived,,,great times they were,,,,the Hunny House Brookfield truckstop,,,,,Blackjack,,,,,good eats....
And the geese,,,wow Scott you ain't chitten a bit.....just something else we got to love about the 60's and 70's.
I'm gonna be out for the rest of the week,,,but you have given me many things to think about,,,,it's gonna be a great week.

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A gun is like a parachute, if you need one and don't have one, you'll prolly never need one again.

Edited by redleg (09/05/11 10:16 PM)


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fastman
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: Scout 1]
      #221845 - 09/06/11 07:58 AM




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"A man will heedlessly charge a cannon, but puke at the sight of 6 inches of steel." Jim Bowie


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BarryG
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: fastman]
      #221851 - 09/06/11 09:20 AM

You guys SHOULD put something together! Because in a very few years, nobody will know of the good times that are possible when things go RIGHT. There is SO much getting screwed up in this world that there needs to be a few bright spots telling of the good times of the past. All that you read anymore is how bad the world is, which is true. So you NEED to put down about the good and not the bad. I'm looking forward to reading more of you lifes adventures.

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locked up
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: fastman]
      #221853 - 09/06/11 09:38 AM

Scout we could have been brothers up there it sounds like. I didnt live that close dammit. it was an hour and a half drive to get there. Bail out of a 1971 turd brown ltd of grnadpas at the state house to listen to the roar of geese in the distance. Stomach would start churning....... heaven forbid you had to use the outhouse at the sate building. Never been around such a stinkin nasty brown building in my life. Appearently i wasnt the only one who got nervous with anticipation of the hunt.
You could cut the smoke in the state house with a knife. Grandpa did his part, always lit up an el producto cigar as he walked in. He seemed to know everyone. The "old men" always joking with him "i see ya brought help today". Made me feel ten feet tall. Lookin at the mounts behind the glass cases daring to dream that someday you would get lucky enough to shoot a Giant Canada.....Listening to the speech and slide show. dont ya know teh agents got to get tired of that everyday.
It was before the days of drawing numbers on the extra board. They was BLACK BALLS!!!!! such dissapointment when ya heard Jack yell "BLACK' and tehn right back to drawing.
Scout i also shot gees off of Reed back then for the 5 dollar fee. But our fall back was always Goose Paradise, down by the B pits and behind the A's. We ahd openin weekend reservations there for years with Dean Ripson. That was a trip and a half bein a young boy. I have talked with Fastman bout those days, he worked there, but i was too little to remember him. You could always get good shooting advise if you were in one of the pits close to the parkin lot Even my dad would take off and shut down a combine for the opener. Got hooked on waterfowl, mainly geese, and all that goes with it in those concrete bunkers. Smell of burnt powder, hearing the same stories told over by the same men. It was aslways teh same crew on opener for us. My dad, both grandpas, Garnett Todd, jerry carter, adn then finally me.
the last hunt i was on up there was something special. prolly why i never ben back. it was after the days of teh black balls. It wass Numbner drawing by then. Had both gradpas with me that day. wasnt but a handful of pits killin any geese. They say down and sent me to draw a number. Its teh only time in my life i ever drew out the NUMBER ONE PILL. Grandpa campbell had to look at for a while knew i was messin with him. still had to roll the cage to see what pit we were goin to get. They rolled and popped out J-2. One of the best on the place at that time.
We ate a hurried breakfast at the honey house and then to the pit. I had borowwed dads gun that day. but as we unloaded the car and Grandpa got out his ithica mag 10, he reached back in the trunk and got out a 3 inch browning and handed it to me. Thought i might like to shoot it that day. It didnt take long and we were done. Lookin back I wish we had stayed all day. We dropped teh geese off to be cleaned and drove around to the silo and just watched while we waited on birds to be cleaned. Got stopped at the ususal checkpoints told em 3 hunters 6 geese and came home. That spring my grandpa came down with lymphoma, that was his last season at swan. the other grandpa stuck around a few more years but we never went back to swan. Alzhiemers took him yrs back, but he still remembered that hunt. I would give just about anything for my son to have known his great grandpas. they wouldhave gotten a kick out of each other. Nathans memories are different than mine as kid growin up hunting. he will remember Chuck and his boys and the old man. thats ok too. As long as teh stories are still there the setting isnt as important as the fact he did it. hell we all did it. it aint the limits that always stick out in ones mind. the misses seem to stick out more Scout thanks for the sidetrip down memory lane!

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Why do you ask?


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Scout 1
New order Amish - not be confused with Meninite!
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Reged: 12/14/05
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: locked up]
      #221854 - 09/06/11 11:35 AM

Oh man... good stuff! Keep it coming! I decided while hunting doves this morning... I'm gonna move ahead with the Swan Lake memories book...

Locked... talking about the misses... I remember more than once, every man in the pit down at Wayne Foster's would shoot at a high crosser and MISS the SOB... then it would fly over the next pit (80 yards away) and ONE bastage would fire ONCE and down he'd come LMFAO!!!!

Of course, our pit did the same thing to the neighbors more than once, too... gotta be aggravating as hail to miss a goose 12 shots only to see it fall to one golden BB...

I also remember vividly the time we hunted across the way from our usual pit... in a pit that was right up against a woven wire/barb wire fence... it was about 15 yards in front of the pit... Jordan Coates, who shot an old Model 11 Remington VERY well despite being WELL up there in years... shot an old single goose about 40 yards straight up over the pit... that goose fell straight down and bisected the fence where his black neck met his gray body... sliced his head and neck CLEAN off... and the head flipped back up in the air maybe 25 feet!! Comical as hell!!

Well, Jordan (it was pronounced JUR-din) would stutter when he got excited... he laughed and looked at us kind of surprised and said, "tha tha tha tha old bull goo gooo gooose, he just plain lost lost his his his head, d d d didn't he??" Well, we all just about pizzed our britches laughing at him as much as the silly goose getting beheaded by that fence!

Jordan was a helluva lot of fun to have in the pit. He shot ducks for the market back in the day... told endless stories about "e-e-ENORMOUS" clouds of ducks "using" the pinoak flats along Locust Creek in the days before the MDC came along and forked it all up. Told about the days when 25 ducks became the limit and how a lot of the old guys said PISS ON IT and hung up their shotguns ... 25 ducks wasn't enough to even fool with... and I'll never forget stories Jordan told about using English caller live decoys.. he always told how they would say DUCKY DUCKY DUCKY when they fed corn to their llive decoys in the barnyard ... the ducks would get excited about getting fed, and start quacking their heads off... so... when they took em out and staked em out for hunting, they'd say DUCKY DUCKY DUCKY and throw em a handful of corn to set em to calling like crazy ... pretty damn cool...


My granddad Gordon also market-hunted until it was outlawed (and some afterwards LOL) also told me often about hunting over live decoys, and English caller hens that pulled flock after flock out of the sky... Granddad's brother-in-law Tom Holloway was his shooting pardner ... Uncle Tom had a series of mallard hens that he trained to fly up and toll the flocks back to where he and Granddad had their decoys set out... they called em Judas ducks, cause they betrayed the wild mallards. They'd fly up, quacking their ass off, and circle back down to the set-up, and of course the wild birds followed them down.

The Judas hens would have a ribbon or string tied on their legs so the men could see which one NOT to kill when the birds came in... the Judas ducks would hit the water swimming for the blind to get out of the way of the shoooting and the falling ducks, Granddad told me... They killed a sinful number of ducks that way.. shipped em by the barrel-ful to Chicago on the train... put a card with their name and address inside the barrels... and they would get money back in the mail in a few days from the game buyers in Chicago... Imagine the trust!

But that way of doing business on a handshake was commonplace then... after the ducks left, Granddad and Uncle Tom would start in on rabbits.. shoot rabbits all winter... shipped em by the hundreds in wooden barrels on the train ... and they shot foxes and shipped them to fur buyers in Chicago, too.. 25 bucks for a fox pelt was good money when you consider that folks worked all week for far less than that (in the 20s and 30s)

I tell ya... I was born 100 years too damn late! MAN I would have given anything to have been there for that kind of life...

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See ya. I'm riding my bike over to the MDC nature center & learn how to attract native salamanders to my backyard butterfly garden.


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Mel
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Reged: 12/14/05
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: Scout 1]
      #221860 - 09/06/11 03:15 PM

It's funny but just yesterday, I came across and old area map of the Grove from the mid 80s. Looking over it sure brought back memories of the times and long dead hunting partners. If you got lucky you could kill as many ducks as geese from the pits, and vice versa from the blinds. Days spent visiting in the draw lines and the decoy shed. You could leave your gear in a boat and not have to worry about some azzhole stealing it. Never see those days again.

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Member DU, Delta

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names - John Kennedy


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Scout 1
New order Amish - not be confused with Meninite!
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: Mel]
      #221862 - 09/06/11 03:35 PM

Word, Mel! Remember when they would let ya bring yer Lab into the headquarters? That doesn't happen NOW, tight asses...

And remember... ya could rent those Neumann and Bennett's inflatable dekes for $1 a dozen... and they came in those big HEAVY canvas army duffels HAHAHAHA Boy, three or four doz dekes in a soaked canvas duffel weighed 100 pounds or so it seemed.

Then add in having the whole deal FREEZE SOLID on ya... and it was a real joy to deal with!!

Remember when they used to keep an olive drab parachute in every water blind... to cover and hide the boats????

I have a group of four dekes that I snagged from the decoy room before the closed it a few years ago... like to have a buck for every duck killed over those four dekes HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Remember old Buzz Jacobs who ran the decoy room? He was somethin!

Mel you are correct about the shooting... we killed a TON of geese out of G9 and C1, and a bunch of the other waterblinds... and the "hill" blinds (pits mostly) were good for mallards back in the day.

Mel and others... do you recall when they had those goose pits at the Grove... on the hill on the far side of Jo Shelby Lake... ??? You could boat across to em or go the long way around... MAN we used to kill geese galore out of those...

the geese and dux naturally flew (and still do fly) up that ridge that runs north from the Grove up over Fountain Grove town, and on north past Shoemaker's old farm, and Hoss Buckner's land... on up over McKenzie's land ... and still north over Meadville to big fields way up by Browning and Chula...

Every evening, it was a parade of ducks and geese flying back and forth over Meadville to those fields further north. I and several other town kids would shoot at em sometimes... I knocked three or four dux and geese by emptying a fully loaded .22 auto up into em... IN TOWN ... my neighbors LOVED that! One snow goose landed on top of the locker plant, another Canada landed on the Babdist church roof LMAO!!! Spent bullets came down somewhere ... I suppose in all the neighborhood roofs!!

The old man was Mayor, so... nobody said anything far as I knew HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA

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See ya. I'm riding my bike over to the MDC nature center & learn how to attract native salamanders to my backyard butterfly garden.


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Mel
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: Scout 1]
      #221863 - 09/06/11 04:00 PM

I remember the K blinds for sure. I think the only ones I ever hunted out of had parking lots and you walked to them. The ones by Shelby Lake were pretty darned good when the wind was right and the geese were laboring to get up over the hill.

They used to have a first come, first served deal on the waiting line. Guys would camp out overnight to be first in line. Saw at least one fight I remember where someone tried to cut in at the front of the line. Jim German ended up at Schell Osage years later.

BTW, those parachutes got heavy as hell when they got wet. And, they never got dried out after opening day.

Yeah, lots of good times at that place. One thing you never wanted to do was to take the back road to Sumner after a rain.........just a sea of mud.

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Member DU, Delta

Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names - John Kennedy


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redleg
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: Mel]
      #221865 - 09/06/11 05:50 PM

Funny chit rite here,,,I took rocks to Thompson Bro's in Brookfield this am and was to load beans in Sumner,,,6 of us,,thier augers were broke and I spent 3 hours there waiting to get loaded, needles to say I couldn't get to St. Louis and get unloaded,,,,but I spent bout and hour with a couple of the other guys, just wandering around and telling old stories that they had never heard. So it really wasn't a wasted day, I enjoyed it.
I gots all kinds of stories on the K blinds,,,killed my first goose out of K-10 with grandpa, my uncle and a friend of mine,,,I had a res. and Dad had to work,,,,nother time in K-10 colder than a well diggers azz I had a res and we got to the parking lot and Dad had forgot his cold weather clothes,,,just had and old Field and Stream green canvas hunting coat,,,I thought he would freeze out,,but he hung on long enuff to kill our 4,,,wasn't real hard to do that close to the resevation area. Nother time Dad took the lil sis and they drew K-2 Dad took a charcoal bucket to keep her warm and heat some doughnuts for her,,,it warmed up and he dumped it behind the pit,,,caught the dayum grass on fire and liked to burned the whole thing off to the ground Nother day in K-6 up on the hill after they had closed Honker season,,,Dad and a friend of ours had shot limits of dux at T. Hill early and we drove to the grove riding around,,,,looking down in the bottom it was LOADED with white geese,,,went to headquarters and Jimmy said there was no one in the pits,,tell me where ya wanna go,,,,,,K-6,,,we ran into Brookfield and bought ROLLS of paper towels,,,we turned that patch of wheat white,,,when they came up that hill ALL of em bout 25 yds rite over head,,,,,7 shots 9 geese,,,they were both shooting stack tubes and both doubled. I killed my first Mallard drake out of E-6,,,,E-7 I watched a goose slide thru the decoys and we laffed so hard we never got a shot,,,it was iced in The ole man took a big ol roll of plastic and blue and green food coloring,,,we put the plastic down and colored it up,,, then set decoys on it,,,E-7 was a timber hole for the most part what that lone goose was doin there I ain't gotta clue,,,,but he come in with landing gear down,,backpeddlin and hit that chit and scattered decoys all over the dang place,,,priceless,,,,,I got some stories about T. Hill that still crack me up The nite we left the blind in a 10' jon and he sunk it on purpose,,,,with 4 of the guys he worked with in it and thier guns,,,,,shallow water you could wade it in hip boots,,,ya gotta hear that whole story someday. Years later I took the boy and nephew and ex bil up a couple years to teal hunt there........Yep I remeber the day you could take yer dawg inside,,,Val stayed in the NW corner on Dad's coat,,,,the poor line, that caused us to get up or leave home Way to early,,,take turns standin in line to keep yer spot while somebody else fired up the coleman and fixed breakfeast,,,,The soup machine,,,fer a quarter you could get a warm can of Dinty Moore beef stew for breakfeast,,,,frozen egg sandwiches for lunch that you had made the nite before,,but they'd freeze before ya got around to eatin em.,,,,,Takin a nap on top of the blind during the middle of the day when the sun was shining only to be busted but a flock of GW's,,,,throwing somebody's hat in the air and pokin holes in it
Bustin ice goin out and comin in..
The G blinds 8 9 10 duck AND geese killin mofo's in the day.....Wow what a memory overload.... It will never be the same,,,,but it can't be forgotten,,,,,Thanx Scott bout every year I think about it some,,,,kinda different today tho....

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A gun is like a parachute, if you need one and don't have one, you'll prolly never need one again.


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Old Gooser
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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: redleg]
      #221872 - 09/06/11 09:56 PM

Cooney's specials - Honey house - Sportsmans - Blue Goose - and everyone wanders why Im FAT!



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Ok I give up, thank you to everyone who voted for the BMOFO, (GOD save the king)


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Longfaller

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Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: Scout 1]
      #221873 - 09/06/11 10:01 PM

We lived in Quincy. Dad and a friend owned 80 acres on the west side of Fountain Grove. Started hunting it in "74" when I was 13. We would turn south at Wheeling and go to Ken Crosett's (sp) place on top the hill where we had a Model M wide with rice tires, we'd hook up a trailer with a cab on it and head down the 4-mile mud road. Many a trucks and vehicles normally stuck since the ruts were so bad and getting there was half the adventure but we normally had no problems. One time while returning back to Ken's the M was movin good, in 5th gear, as we sat with our legs off the back of the wagon I saw the hitch pin pass through my feet and looked at my brother and said, "was that the hitch pin?", that hurt,,,

An old camp was on the place located in the pinoak and saw grass flats, had hedge legs and sat 10' off the ground. Before they leveed the Grand, slashed and burned and took the knife to those bottoms a limit could be had from the porch if a guy sat there all morning. We had a picker designed to run off the pto of the tractor, back then everything was picked and us kids had to clean all the birds. The picker saved our thumbs many times.

I'll never forget the smell of those blue Victor shell casings. We sat on muskrat hunts for the first year or two and then built cow panel blinds, standing in the water with the bench a few inches from the surface, walked to and from the camp, occasionally take the M. We cut our own silo goose decoys from plywood and used cut tires placing heads through the tire. One time we pulled up and a goose stood in the decoys and would not move as we circled the spread, nobody noticed it until the dog caught wind of it and caught it by the tail...

One sound I'll never forget was the opening of goose season my first year, the goose chatter registered on the decimal meter for an hour or two as the geese left the refuge, I'd hear the sound for a day or two.

To match stories with you Scout, I was homecoming king in 79, played football against Hannibal Friday night and then headed west, never saw the queen or rode the float but had one of the best weekends of my life with the ole man over at camp!

I could go on, and would like to someday but for now this bit of memories has reminded me of why I am and most of you are the way we are. That black mud just don't wash off!

Thanks,

John

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BruceCarp
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Posts: 802
Loc: central MO

Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: Longfaller]
      #221883 - 09/07/11 08:13 AM

We hunted Tiemeyers lease for years, blind #1 at the base of the hill font row behind K9, at the old dead tree. It was always great. Hunted G7,G8, G9, G10, G11, G13. All awsome for geese and some ducks, But the best duck hunt was with my dad during the point years. We hunted E7 at the Grove one day when Pintails, Teal and a few others wer 10 point ducks, Greenheads were 35 point and mallard hen was your last duck and maybe only duck,100 Points. We each shot 10 Pintail drakes as the Game Warden watched us until we killed the last (20th) Pintail drake, then he left. It was awesome. We killed 10 each several times out of G10, along with limits of Canadas. But G9 was a classic. K16 they left the decoys out each day. Now that is H2. But I always thought K6-10 were better than K1-5. We also had a lease behind the R blinds at Swan, on Ms Linscotts place, had it also for several years. Remember the year the goose season opened at noon! Think that was 1974, I was already in the military and drew a reservation for opening day. We shot 5 geese apiece within an hour, 10 shell limit. It was awesome. Hunted out of one of the S blinds. Another time we hunted with our local conservation agent, when we called in for a reservation, turnbacks in the 1960's. We had experienced luck before, but the agent had file 1, and told us we would hunt A2 the next morning. It had been very good. Well he was first in line and of course he had A2 roll out of the squirrel cage. We shot limits within 15 minutes. It was awesome, but lost some of the trust in the system then. The whole draw was a bit suspect after that day. Hunted K-00 down by the refuge, only existed a year or two but it was cool pass shooting. The Grove, Meadville and Sumner will always hold a special place for me, but the glow is fading quickly with time. This is the first year I have leased a place in 30 years, but the times have changed again.

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crappie fisherman & waterfowl hunter
retired Army
But wait a minute I think I have another bite!!!!


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BruceCarp
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Reged: 12/14/05
Posts: 802
Loc: central MO

Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: BruceCarp]
      #221885 - 09/07/11 08:54 AM

Remember sleeping at the doors of the Grove and Swan, just so you could sign up on the list when it opens each morning. Or waiting for a refill blind at the Grove, eating hot canned soup from a machine for $.25. Or getting a candy bar from the machine for a nickle? Going out on a refill and never putting out decoys, just hiding boat and loading up. But one cold late season goose hunt when I and one party showed up. We flipped a coin to see who would get first choice. I lost. The winners chose G-10, had shot out there the day before, I chose G9. Parked behind the handicap blind and started two trip across the ice dragging decoys, set out 3 dozen goose shells, and went back to get my gun, stove and coffee, the wind was howling and i kept hearing geese. I got to the back of the blind and a goose was sitting on the blind mound. He flushed in the dark but i called and in the moonlight he circled was went below the horizon and lit in the decoys. I sat outside the blind in 10 degree weather because he could see me I thought. I quietly loaded my gun and waited for shooting time. I also thought the hunters going to G10 would walk right past my area. I kept seeing movements in the decoys but couldn't see the goose, As it got light I started counting decoys and counted for 60! All were asleep or decoys. Five minutes after shooting time I stood up, one goose jumped up and i shot him, immediated the rest woke up and hopped. Staring at me i shot another, then they all got up. I sacked decoys and started the return trip to the parking lot. Never opened the coffee thermos until i had started the truck on the return home after bagging my geese. Another day at G9! PS a letter carrier from Liberty was at the headquarters and he refilled at G9 that day with his two geese also.

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crappie fisherman & waterfowl hunter
retired Army
But wait a minute I think I have another bite!!!!

Edited by BruceCarp (09/07/11 08:56 AM)


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Mac
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Reged: 12/14/05
Posts: 3054
Loc: The Great State of Nebraskey

Re: Swan Lake-Fountain Grove memories... [Re: BruceCarp]
      #221892 - 09/07/11 11:30 AM

Scout1,

Too busy @ work at the moment to write up my addition to this thread. I will very shortly though.

Reading through this thread, it came to me it would be way cool if we could map out the areas where us different dudes hunted geese & ducks in and around FG. I know most of the areas mentioned but not all of them.

Longfaller, yer huntin' lodge belonged to Cecil Simpson if I rightly recollect. My Dad built that Wheeling Beford road with an old D7 dozer that went south of Kenny Corzette's place to the Grand. I used the work for Kenny and he had an old LP-powered Case, and I recall the old M Farmall as well. Foggy mornings were the best for busin' low flyin' mallets along the Grand.

My recollections of FG didn't include hunting in the blinds. We had our own gig goin' but on a smaller scale than Tiemeyers did. I remember back in the early 60's when my Dad and Uncle Jerry built some goose pits and dug them into a diversion levee at the base of the hill on the 40-acres that stuck down into the Reserve like a finger. We also built a couple duck lakes on that parcel which the Andersons of Chillicothe always leased.

The geese most of the time flew up and back along the Parsons Creek watershed in search of harvested grain fields. Wave after wave of geese and ducks for hours on end. Yes, I can see them still in my mind.

Every year while I was in high school, I'd always have a black and blue bruised shoulder that was noticeable when I played basketball in the fall. I wasn't the only one that did.

So many many fond memories of the epic waterfowl hunting we experienced when we were kids. It was a world class phenomena to see so many thousands upon thousands of geese circling the fields. The roar of geese getting up could be heard for along ways, as could the gun fire what must have sounded like WWII as we waited for the school bus to collect us.

Folks, there are a core group of people on this board that were imprinted with this shared experience. It changed our lives forever. We do need to document our collective experiences before they fade into oblivion.

More to follow...

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Bird by bird I've come to know the earth.

Pablo Neruda.


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