From a private goose camp somewhere in Canada, Scott Richard describes hunting ducks and geese in the Atlantic Flyway, going at it so hard that he might even have influenced changing Maryland’s blind draw system. But that was before 1995 when he discovered Canada. He now seasonally spends lots of time entertaining friends and family at his long-time goose camp away from home. How does the goose hunting compare to back home, what are some interesting camp traditions, how have habitat conditions–and even his own life–evolved since first hunting in Canada? Tune in to find hear how a one-week vacation turned into a goose camp somewhere in Canada!
Ramsey Russell: Welcome back to Duck Season Somewhere where today, I am somewhere in Canada and winter’s coming. This morning was frosty, it was a nice stiff wind, we haven’t been using layout blind out of froze half to death, had a good shoot. Joining me today is today’s guest, Mr. Scott Richard. You all listen to this conversation, it’s very interesting how he ended up here and why he’s here. This is not a commercial operation, this is a goose camp somewhere in Canada. Scott, how you doing?
Scott Richard: I’m doing great, how you doing?
Ramsey Russell: I’m doing fine. I’ve had a good few days up here hunting with you all, man. It’s like stepping into an American hunting camp with just buddies and friends and family, Jimmy here had been hunting ever since he was a little boy.
Scott Richard: Yes. He has. Me and his dad have hunted together for 40 plus years.
Ramsey Russell: But you all ain’t Canadian, you all ain’t commercial, this is just a hunting camp.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: That’s where I’m going to start. How in the world did you end up in Canada?
Scott Richard: Well, long story short, Ricky Scarborough, Scarborough Yachts down in Juan cheese, North Carolina his dad and Rick Jr been coming here for years to our area up here in Canada and they happened to goose hunt with me a lot back when I had a lot of leases in Virginia. So, what happened was, one day they invited me to come here and it’s been 20 plus years ago and I haven’t left.
Ramsey Russell: 1990?
Scott Richard: 1999, I think it was.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. That’s been a while ago.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: 20 something years ago. Because it’s not like your little shop over here, you just brought it all this trip, it looks like it’s been accumulated over the eons.
Scott Richard: It has.
Ramsey Russell: Different incarnations of decoys and blinds and it’s a barn full of stuff you got.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir. Lots and lots of stuff that we’ve been bringing for years and we used to bring stuff up and have to store it, we used to rent a little building and store some stuff until we got settled in our own place here. And now we have plenty of storage and all our gear here, so we can pretty much do whatever. We got boats and blinds and trailers and pretty much everything we need.
Ramsey Russell: How long have you been hunting with these other two man in camp? Decades, it seems like.
Scott Richard: Oh, yeah. Number of years Mr. Brian, there I’ve hunted with him for 20 plus years too and Richard, also.
Ramsey Russell: So Yeah. Tell me about, because last night at dinner, we had a great dinner last night, tell me about your very first time to Canada. You came up here with a couple of guys that had a certain way of doing things and they didn’t babysit you, they just scurged you on down the road.
Scott Richard: Yeah. They just me go out and learn on your own. Well, they didn’t basically say that, but just sent me on my own and I had to learn on my own. But back then, there was no road signs, no road numbers –
Ramsey Russell: No GPS.
Scott Richard: No GPS back then, we were shoving in driveway reflectors to try to figure out how to get back where we were going the next morning.
Ramsey Russell: Like dropping little bread crumbs.
Scott Richard: Yeah. Exactly right. And it was a little tricky back then trying figure out where we were, we were lost most of the time, I’m not going to lie to you. But all in all, we learned our way over the number of years and all the nooks and crannies and to this day, we still learn different areas.
Ramsey Russell: You were telling me last night, those two old boys you hunted with like to hunt very small little potholes for ducks.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: But that wasn’t your heartbeat, you wanted to hunt geese.
Scott Richard: I’m a goose hunter at heart, I love shooting ducks too, don’t get me wrong, but they were pretty much Beaver Dam guys. They like to shoot little potholes, little beaver slough and stuff like that.
Ramsey Russell: Do they mostly shoot mallard?
Scott Richard: All mallards hunters, they love mallard shooting and that’s what they did. And they knew we liked the goose hunt, so we kind of branched off and tried to do a little goose hunting and we did what we did what we normally do. We set up in the field and wait for geese, so we really didn’t know that we had to travel around and look for the geese because we’re used to hunting –
Ramsey Russell: You just found a field that said that looks like a goosey spot.
Scott Richard: Exactly. At home, we’re used to waiting on the birds come to us because they’re staged there, here, these birds are moving constantly. In our minds, we truly didn’t know what to do. So, that we hunted the same field twice in one week and we did good the first day and the second day, we didn’t fire the gun, but that was part of our learning curve when we got here.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. And it’s not like you were a novice goose hunter when you got here, you did a lot of hunting, you’d run a guide service over on the eastern shore?
Scott Richard: I did some there and on the western shore, Maryland mainly.
Ramsey Russell: Really?
Scott Richard: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: I want to back up a little bit and talk about you’re growing up and how you got started in a duck hunting. And you’re from Maryland?
Scott Richard: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: Which is a big Canada goose area and a lot of duck hunting back in the day.
Scott Richard: It was a great place to goose hunt and duck hunt. We had extreme goose hunting for years and years and commercialization of the goose hunting kind of caused our birds to dwindle a little bit and then now we’re down to a thirty day and a one bird and it’s not what it used to be.
Ramsey Russell: When I talked to you on the phone, I knew something was up because a lot of guys that come out here to hunt, whether they’re free range hunting or setting up shop like you do or booking with a – they’re just up for the hottest feed, it might be white birds, brown birds, gray birds, ducks, whatever and a lot of Americans like to focus on ducks not geese, especially from the Deep South. You told me, no, we’re after the big ones.
Scott Richard: We like shooting the big geese.
Ramsey Russell: Because I knew there was a story in there, you had a big heritage or big history and big goose hunt and that make sense since you’re from Maryland.
Scott Richard: Yeah. We’re from Maryland and that was pretty much all we had. We had a lot of divers shooting back home, we didn’t have a lot of puddle ducks, we did for a number of years on the Potomac River, we had a lot of puddle ducks shooting. But that kind of dwindled out when the hydrilla died off and Army Corps Engineers basically stripped the banks, but we’ve been chasing geese the whole time.
Ramsey Russell: Talk about your first hunt and how you developed an interest in waterfowling at all?
Scott Richard: Well, my first hunt was, I grew up pretty much just outside of Washington DC and so I didn’t grow up in the country and I didn’t grow up on no big farm or nothing, we grew up kind of right in the city. And I grew up next door to my hunting partner to this day, John Kearns, his dad was a real estate agent in Clinton, Maryland. And he had a coworker, who was named Buck Haten, which is a commercial guy one Eastern Shore, Maryland, back in the day. And Don had set up goose hunt for me and Johnny and we were 13, 12, I think Johnny was 10 or I was 12, 13, I don’t remember, but young kids and he took us under his wing, this Buck Haten and a guide from Trapp, Maryland and took us for 3 days over there, we had this little two car garage kind of little place he kept people and he gave me and Johnny that area for 3 solid days. And the night we got there, he took us a little tour around and showed us some birds and stuff and what we’re and where going to hunt them are and that night, it was moonlit night outside in the middle of this cornfield thousands of geese flew that night on the backdrop of the moon and just listening to that is what hooked me on goose hunting. It wasn’t the actual firing the gun the next day or none of that, it was literally listening to the sounds of the birds and watching them silhouetted in that moon. And that hooked me, completely.
Ramsey Russell: Even in a downtown city like Saskatoon or Baltimore, Maryland, the cry of wild geese, just to folks this aura that makes me stir on the inside, that’s what you’re saying. What was your first bird or Canada goose then?
Scott Richard: First bird was Canada goose. Yeah. And we did some little duck hunting after that. But he took us on his wing, Mr. Haten there and we experienced all aspects of goose hunting in three days. We pit blind hunted, we hunted big water rigs, 300, 400 floaters and we hunted stand up blind with those 3 days, we had all 3 aspects of waterfowl hunting at that time and era and it was pretty incredible and we were really addicted after that, just not hearing the birds, but after we had our 3 hunts, it was on from then on, that’s all we could talk about.
Ramsey Russell: And who mentored you from there?
Scott Richard: From there is another guy by the name of James Denver Gandy from Jackson, Mississippi.
Ramsey Russell: Go ahead. It’s alright. You were telling me he was Evelyn Gandy’s brother?
Scott Richard: Yes, sir, he was. Good friend of mine.
Ramsey Russell: He was more like a father figure.
Scott Richard: Yes, he was. He was a great man. But he took us under his wings and we surround the back of F150 pickup truck at Eastern Shore in a military sleeping bag to hunt over there and it was incredible, but he was good to us, very good man and he basically took us to the next level of waterfowl hunting.
Ramsey Russell: How did you meet him?
Scott Richard: I met him through a coworker at work and guy by the name of Jerry West and he introduced us and we all hooked together. Like, Jerry, I work with Jerry, he was my boss and then he kind of introduced us and we ended up on their farm, they had a private lease for a number of years. And so I ended up hunting with these boys and for a long time and Gandy took us young boys and basically, we were the bull. These guys were in their 60s and 70s at the time and we were young fellows.
Ramsey Russell: They needed some strong back.
Scott Richard: And they worked us, they worked us like dog. But it was well worth it and that’s how we learned pretty much.
Ramsey Russell: It’s so interesting you say that. Because so many things, I’ve got so much – put me on a timeline right here. Late 70s, early 80s.
Scott Richard: Late 70s, early 80s, yeah.
Legacy in the Blind: Passing Down Waterfowl Wisdom
You were deep in waterfowl hunting culture, you had these older guys that were willing to mentor you along.
Ramsey Russell: And back in that day, you were deep in waterfowl hunting culture, you had these older guys that were willing to mentor you along because you had a strong back and a desire.
Scott Richard: Right.
Ramsey Russell: And by contrast, I was over in Susquehanna flats and have Havre de Grace not too long ago and another man about our age was telling me, he was telling me a very similar story. They got into body booting and it was a very arduous task, the older guys would bring the younger guys who wanted duck hunt in exchange for labor, he says, but unfortunately now I’m the old guy and there ain’t no young guys come to help me out. Man, how times have changed in just that brief window of time. What all did Mr. Gandy teach you? Tell me about who he was as a person and what you learned?
Scott Richard: He was just a good ex-military man and to the point, he would say what was on his mind, which is good and I kind of got that from him. I say what’s on my mind regardless of consequence sometimes and it’s not good. You know what I mean? And it’s not good. But we call it, giving them the Gandy is what we call it.
But he had it, like I said, he had that goose club, the Gandy goose Club and that’s what it was called, we hunted there for a long time, but he taught us a lot of things, he taught us respect, he taught us how to work hard, he taught us how to goose hunt.
Ramsey Russell: Respect for other hunters, respect for yourself, respect for the resource.
Scott Richard: Respect for everybody.
Ramsey Russell: Respect for the sport.
Scott Richard: Yeah. Respect for the sport was main thing. And he mentored us, he had no kids, so he kind of took us on his wing as his kids.
Ramsey Russell: And it sounded like kind of like your whole upbringing was real Canada goose oriented there in Maryland.
Scott Richard: Absolutely.
Ramsey Russell: Did you all hunt ducks at all?
Scott Richard: We didn’t hunt a whole lot of ducks here, we did have some, but we didn’t hunt a whole lot of ducks here, the duck hunt kind of came later on the Potomac River in Maryland. That’s where we started.
Ramsey Russell: Is that because the goose hunt? Because I remember back in mid to late 90s, there was maybe like a moratorium of sorts, it was kind of like a one goose limit back then too. And a lot of goose hunting faded briefly, but then they brought it back like a more liberal limit. Is that kind of the period of time you got into duck hunt more?
Scott Richard: Yeah. We’ve duck hunting more then because it shut our season down, our goose season.
Ramsey Russell: It was close completely.
Scott Richard: And so we were wanting to shoot some geese, so we kind of went wherever we went and ended up in New Brunswick, Canada one time trying to shoot some birds there.
Ramsey Russell: I was going to ask you about that. Tell me about that story because that’s a hilarious story.
Scott Richard: Well, we went we went across the border with a hundred stuffed geese in our trailer and stuff decoys and we made this big voyage trip, we’ve hooked up with this outfitter at the time and he said he had loads and loads of birds, so we were excited and it was 5 bird limit on the way we went, it was 11 hours.
Ramsey Russell: Loads and loads is kind of relative, isn’t it?
Scott Richard: Yeah, it’s very relevant. So we get there and we’re scouting a little bit that evening and he runs us down to this little river and there was, like, 50, 60 geese on the sandbar and he jumps out the vehicle with a 35mm camera taking pictures of this little pot of geese sitting on the sandbar, right then I knew we had made the wrong turn and I said, what are you doing? He said, oh, man, that’s a lot of geese here, I said, I got a hundred stuffed geese on the trailer, I got more dead geese on the trailer and you got in the river here and he truly was a bear guide, as we found out later, he was a bear guide, not a waterfowl guide and we kind of got lured into that. So the next day, he had bought our licenses and everything, so the next day, we went to go hunting and we were hunting in a potato field, which I’ve never even heard of hunting in a potato field, but the geese were coming to the potato field.
Ramsey Russell: Had it been disced up something?
Scott Richard: It had been turned all the – I guess most of potatoes have been removed, but the potatoes left over, the residual would get soft in the frost and they would eat the soft potato.
Ramsey Russell: I’ve seen geese eats sugar beets like it.
Scott Richard: Very similar, I guess, is what happened. So We hunted there that morning and we killed 3 geese and I think we’ve seen probably 40 or 80 maybe, I don’t know, we didn’t see very many, so I looked at him, I said, look, I think you got us over the barrel here, I said, there’s no birds here, not to speak of and he said, well let me take you on a bear hunt or we got some grouse, I said, sir, I come all the way up here for goose hunt because we have none at home, he said, well, I got lots of ducks and he did, he had lots of ducks, but our dog season opened the next day. So I looked at the crew with all the boys we were with and I said, what do you all want to do? And they said, let’s go home and duck hunt. So we were in Canada for 28 hours, I think and we’re back on the road to come home to duck hunt.
Ramsey Russell: How long did it take you to get home and how much sleep did you get before that opening day?
Scott Richard: We had no sleep pretty much. We left the midday and drove 11 hours and got home and got up and went hunting the next day.
Ramsey Russell: How old were you back there? Because folks our age don’t do that no more hardly.
Scott Richard: No. I don’t think I can do it in more now, but I think it was in mid 20s, I guess.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. That sounds about right.
Scott Richard: Yeah.
Ramsey Russell: Back when I was in my mid 20s, I could run 3 days and sleep 4 hours. Can’t do that no more, Scott?
Scott Richard: Me neither. I’ll tell you, I got to get a little more rest than normal.
Ramsey Russell: Tell me a story about hunting the river about how your zeal for a duck blind on the river may have influenced blind drawing lots.
Scott Richard: Well, we went down, a buddy of mine’s sister lived on a houseboat, down on the river in the Potomac River and in Piscataway Creek and we went there to visit her one evening and I looked around, there was hundreds upon hundreds of ducks was on the creek there. So I said, man, we got to figure out how we can hunt ducks here and so what we did, we asked around and it was all blind site permitted, they were $5.50 back then. So I went to a gentleman, I went to the courthouse and figured out who had all the blind sites and this gentleman had all the blind sites and I rather would not mention his name. And I went to him, knocked on his door and he came to the door and I said, sir, how you doing? He said, not bad. What can I help you with? I said, well, I understand that you have all the blind side permits on the river here, I was wondering if you could give us one or we could rent one from your, we could trade you some decoys or something, we were young men and he said, a few unsavory words and slammed the door, so I just walked off wondering how I could possibly get a spot on this river.
Ramsey Russell: Because the hunt was good.
Scott Richard: Because the hunt was good. Well, it was controlled pretty much by him. And so I did some research that summer and I thought about it and what he said to me kind of irked me, as a young man, I was like, peed off, I was peed a little bit. So I was like –
Ramsey Russell: Well, if somebody would have hurl the f bomb at me and slam the door, because I asked politely, I might have been a little bit pissed too.
Scott Richard: So I said, I did the research and figured out that, we got to go to courthouse when the license is going sale and get there first. And I went and did some research and talked to clerk to court and she said, oh, yeah, mister so and so comes in here about a day before they go on sale and gets in line, I said, okay, so still thinking about what he had said to me all summer long, it was stuck at me like a thorn, in my mind and I talked to my hunting partners and I said, you all feel like spending a couple days at the courthouse, they said, oh, absolutely, everybody was on board and what are we going to do? I said, we’re going to get there early enough where he don’t get any of these spots and they said all in. So back then we towed a little camper up there to courthouse, we stayed in the camper 7 days or 6 days, I think it was the first time, prior to sales of the permits.
Ramsey Russell: Did everybody in the courthouse know who you were and what you were doing?
Scott Richard: Yeah. Well, yeah, that’s a funny thing too, we brought donuts every morning to the clerks and coffee and we sat there, so they truly knew we were first in line regardless. In that area, there’s two rivers that are regulated by one county and one is the Potomac River and one is the Patuxent River, so we were wanting a spot on the Potomac River, that’s all we wanted was one spot from him back in the cove there. And so lo and behold, day comes when the permit’s going –
Ramsey Russell: Wait a minute, you all camped out literally 24/7 in camp.
Scott Richard: 24/7 for 6 days straight.
Ramsey Russell: How’d you entertain yourself?
Scott Richard: Well, back then, play a preseason football be on, so we had a little 6 inch black and white TV, we’d watch preseason football and actually, the bailiffs there would patrol the outside of the courthouse with the old courthouse there and we knew the bailiffs and we talked to them and they’d come out and BS with us and it was just a wonderful thing and they thought we were completely insane for that.
Ramsey Russell: Run down to McDonald’s to eat, it’s sounds like a tailgate party.
Scott Richard: Everybody would switch out, like if you got off at 3 from work, you’d come and relieve the guy that waited and we just kept looping.
Ramsey Russell: It was a team effort.
Scott Richard: It was a team effort, 4 of us did it, yeah, it was a commitment for sure.
Ramsey Russell: Jimmy’s daddy was one of them.
Unexpected Encounters: Courthouse Confessions in the Hunting Season Countdown
He said, where at on the Potomac, I said, the whole damn thing.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir. So get to that day when it’s game time and I’m sitting in the courthouse there and front of the clerk’s desk and it’s like 6 little chairs in there back then, it wasn’t very big and here comes that man that dropped all the f bombs on me. And he said, he looked at the clerk of the court, her name was Cheryl, I’ll never forget it. He said Cheryl, I guess I’m first again and Cheryl told him, no, sir, that man over there is first and I was sitting in the chair, he’d come beside me and he said, where are you hunting at?
Ramsey Russell: He seen you’d go hunting to other river.
Scott Richard: Yeah. He said, you’re hunting on the Patuxent, I said, no, sir, he said, where at on the Potomac, I said, the whole damn thing and a few other words that I can’t say right now.
Ramsey Russell: Do you remind him who you were?
Scott Richard: I think he knew immediately when I stood up and told him, I told him the same thing he told me at his door and so I got even on him and we ended up hutting the river for the next 5 years doing the same thing.
Ramsey Russell: Like, how many miles of stretch would that have been I mean, I don’t understand. In Mississippi, it’s just every man for himself out on public land, but what were you buying? Like a section or a blind or -?
Scott Richard: You were buying a yardage. You’re buying a 500 yard spot every 500 yards.
Ramsey Russell: How many 500 yard stretches did you have?
Scott Richard: I don’t know how many we have. I can remember there was more than 25, I think. And so, we paid our $5.50 for each blind site permit and we controlled the whole river.
Ramsey Russell: And what about subsequent years? How did it evolve from there? You all got it that first year, then what?
Scott Richard: First year we had it, second year we had it, third year we had it on up to about the 5th year and then we had some issues with the park service. There’s some Indian burial ground there across the river from where we were hunting and the park service didn’t pull any permits, they could have, they could have done the same thing way before we could, because it was open to the public at that day, but they never did. So the park service got some complaints from people, because we were hunting and there was kind of a walk board behind there, a little boardwalk area where people could walk and take their dogs or whatever through the park, so we had some complaints there just like it happens nowadays, anti-hunter will complain, they hear a gun, they think you’re shooting at them. So we had some complaints there and it just started getting worse from there and what happened was it changed the law. So basically, it was a lottery system, it became a lottery system after that and I’m not saying that we cause that, but we definitely drove a few nails in the coffin.
Ramsey Russell: Well, yeah. It just became competitive and they had to do something about it, didn’t they?
Scott Richard: Exactly.
Ramsey Russell: You were saying the other night that you all as it started to scale back a little bit, instead of just you going in, you all would just all go in.
Scott Richard: Exactly. Well, as the lottery started, we had to try to pluck a good number, a good low number in order to get our sites back. So say what was happening now, there would be 50, 60, 100 people lined up at the courthouse to draw a number just to get in, so say you draw 10, which would be a great number, you’re 10th in line, so you’re 9 spots out before you even get to you.
Ramsey Russell: Wow. And by then, they were just letting you have one spot.
Scott Richard: One spot. Correct. So they limited you to one area. Where the MGM, big casino is now in Swanson’s Creek there right there on the river, you can see it from 495, we hunted that whole area and it’s destroyed now, it’s nothing there.
Ramsey Russell: Scott, how good was the duck hunting back then?
Scott Richard: Fabulous. It was fabulous.
Ramsey Russell: Mallard, black ducks, canvasbacks.
Scott Richard: Mallard, black ducks, canvasbacks, we had everything. We had lots of wigeons, pintail.
Ramsey Russell: Would you all shoot geese on the river too?
Scott Richard: We shot a few geese, we did shoot some geese there on the river on one of our spots, this big point that stuck out we shot a lot of geese there. But we had lots of hydrilla, we had lots of hydrilla.
Ramsey Russell: And it was good for hunting.
Scott Richard: Oh, it held lots of birds, it held lots of birds in.
Ramsey Russell: Growing up in that part of the world, did you ever go body booting?
Scott Richard: I did go body booting, I went with Bobby, Bobby Jobes. You know Bobby, I think?
Ramsey Russell: I do. Tell me a story about that.
Scott Richard: Well, Bobby’s not a commercial hunter, by no means, he don’t commercial hunt, I think his brothers do a little commercial body booting, but Bobby doesn’t, Bobby just was a friend of mine, we’d be friend of them, he’s carved a lot of stuff for me and actually, I got the only number one, specklebelly goose floater, that he’s ever made.
Ramsey Russell: Do you have to talk him into it?
Scott Richard: I did have to talk him into it. He said, I don’t know how to paint that damn thing, I said, well, make it look as good as you can and it’s still to this day, it’s a great looking bird, so I told him I bugged him and bugged him and finally he said, come on up, get a couple buddies and come on up. So went on up there and I never body booted my life, I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how cold it was going to be. So we got up there and it was his two sons, his eldest son, and his youngest son were helping.
Ramsey Russell: I think they’re both crab trappers with him now.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir. They are.
Ramsey Russell: He’s an old school water man.
Scott Richard: Yes, he is. Great, man. So we got our waders on and then put survival suits over top of the waders that they have spray painted black or green or blue, whatever it was and you’re pretty much chest high in the water.
Ramsey Russell: Breast high.
Scott Richard: Breast high, yeah. Right under your chest.
Ramsey Russell: Unless rotors come along.
Scott Richard: Yeah. Well, you’re wet the whole time, but don’t think it’s part of the fun.
Ramsey Russell: Hide behind a big swan decoy or something?
Scott Richard: Well, hide behind a big goose silhouette with a little tray that your gun hangs on, a little gun rack and then a box to put your shells in.
Ramsey Russell: Sounds perfectly miserable.
Scott Richard: It was perfectly miserable.
Ramsey Russell: How many decoys did you all put out around you?
Scott Richard: Man, they had two 20foot John boats full of these giant goose floaters that they make and I don’t know how many decoys, there’s a few hundred and we killed a little bit of everything that day. We killed cross breed, mallard black mix and we killed a few divers, killed a few geese, I think we even killed them, what we call lawn dart here at home, that’s just a red breast merganser I think shooting anything come to decoys, but it was a unique thing to be standing in the middle of that big area. Everything comes to you, which was really neat to me, but the tide pushing on you. Once that tide gets really hard, it’s hard for you hold your spot because you got all that resistance on that big old suit and everything you got on, so as you kind of holding on when the tie gets cranking.
Ramsey Russell: The one time I did it, Scott, I was up in Mitchell’s Bay in Ontario and it was cold and we were just wearing neoprene waders behind some big old goose decoys and we were hunting canvasbacks and I did get my pair of canvasback, but it was so cold because it was like wave coming and I had my gun held up kind of about shoulder height and there were ice forming on my arms, we picked everything up, we got in the boat, we had about a two mile ride up the river to the boat ramp and my waders just kind of turned into ice. And I literally can remember laying down and wiggling and crawling out of them 05 neoprene, it wasn’t just shucking them.
Scott Richard: Right. You was a solid sheet of ice at that time.
Ramsey Russell: I was a solid sheet. And that was kind of enough to last me for body booting.
Scott Richard: Right. One good thing that he had, he had as pretty much his crab boat there and he had an actual wood stove inside the crab boat, so we got off and got in and stripped down and we had heat there, which was nice.
Ramsey Russell: So, goose hunt started to vein in the Atlantic Flyway. Duck hunting, we’ve been talking about it for 3 days how duck hunting has really plummeted out there.
Scott Richard: It has.
Ramsey Russell: I mean, maybe because of outer genetics, maybe because of a civilization, but duck hunting in the Atlantic Flyway and goose hunting just didn’t what it was. Like, you were telling me, didn’t you tell me a 30 day season, 1 goose?
Atlantic Flyway Awakening: The Thrilling Start of the Goose Hunt
It’s kind of hard to perpetuate and go through all the work required to goose hunt and perpetuate a culture around 30 days and 1 goose.
Scott Richard: We got a 30 day season and 1 goose right there.
Ramsey Russell: It’s kind of hard to perpetuate and go through all the work required to goose hunt and perpetuate a culture around 30 days and 1 goose, isn’t it?
Scott Richard: It’s tough, unless you can get a – and we don’t hunt with large groups of people, but I mean, you almost need to take a few children to get enough people to make one, not wasting time, but taking all that time to shoot one goose. And what happens if everyone comes up? You got a total of 6 or 8, right? And everyone comes up and there’s 5 of you and you shoot through one and kill another one, what are you going to do then? You have one over the limit and you’re looking all around. So, what I say, it’s kind of dangerous hunting one goose because it’s hard just to kill one goose sometimes and if you got a ball of them in the decoys, so it’s pretty hard to just kill your 5 geese if there’s 5 guys and you shoot through a couple, that’s a terrible thing.
Ramsey Russell: So you came out here years ago, 1995ish, 1998ish with some men, I mean, it’s obvious you wanted to come back, everybody comes out here, wants to come back to Canada, right? But you didn’t just come back. When did you start the idea of I’m fixing to set up shop, I’m fixing up to essentially move in.
Scott Richard: Well, the day the first trip we ever made, it was just incredible seeing the open land, the open space. And one thing about Canada, it’s just not the hunting, it’s the people too. The people are unforgiving, the nicest people in the world. And I tell the story a lot to people, first year we were here, if you’re sitting on side of the road, say you just pulling over, looking at a map, trying to figure out where in the heck you are, every vehicle that crosses by your trail will pull in and stop. Are you okay? That don’t happen at home no more, that’s what we need more of at home.
Ramsey Russell: I describe it and I’ve said it on some previous podcasts, most of these small towns in Canada is like Mayberry RFD. Just everybody knows everybody, everybody’s smiling, everybody’s happy, everybody’s friendly, everybody’s out to help everybody. My wife and I were buzzing down the road miles from over down one of these flat, smooth 955 Interstate gravel road and she was remarking at how remote we were, she said, well, what do you do if you get a flat tire or run out of gas? I said, well, it could be a while for somebody to comes by, but guaranteed. You ain’t going to have to flag them down, they’re going to stop.
Scott Richard: They will stop.
Ramsey Russell: And no matter what, they’re going to help you.
Scott Richard: Absolutely.
Ramsey Russell: And that speaks volumes to me about the people up here, I think you nailed that dead on about the people.
Scott Richard: It is. The people are part of the enjoyment. I have lots of good friends here, we have dinner parties, we go to their house, they come to our house.
Ramsey Russell: Last night, one of your neighbors came by and drank a beer with us while we’re eating dinner.
Scott Richard: It happens all the time.
Ramsey Russell: Like family.
Scott Richard: Yeah. It’s like family. And these people, it’s desolate out here in areas in the winter, hey don’t have a lot of people to talk to, so they like to come visit. And years ago when we first started, we’d go knocking on doors and getting permission for things and guaranteed you’re going to have to drink 2 or 3 cups of coffee and have toast or if it’s after 12, you’re going to have a beer or 2 or even a shot and that’s just the way it is.
Ramsey Russell: Short of a man being on a tractor harvesting or working, there ain’t no short conversations in this part of the world.
Scott Richard: No, sir. It’s a shot in the arm for humanity here and that’s what we need at home.
Ramsey Russell: That’s a great way of putting it. So you moved out here, how did you go about setting up? How did you choose the part of Canada that you chose? I mean, it’s a quantum leap to say, I’m going to go out there every year and I’m a rent a hotel room or do a little something versus I’m going to buy a property, I’m going to set up, I’m going to become, we’re going to talk about it a bit, a part of the community.
Scott Richard: It happened in a couple different stages because when we first started hunting here, there was no geese, there was no Canada geese here, lots of snows, but no Canadas, so we love to shoot Canada, that’s what we like to do. So we went east to Winnipeg and we go to Winnipeg for 5 or 6 days and shoot geese and then we jump over here and shoot ducks, there was a lot more ducks here back then.
Ramsey Russell: I see. Well, it’s not too far.
Scott Richard: No. 4 hours, a few hours, 3, 4 hours, I can’t remember exactly, but we’d come back here and shoot our ducks and then we’d go home. So finally, by just as the progression of the Canada geese started here, we ended up saying, hey, we got almost got enough geese that we don’t need to go to Winnipeg, we might as well just come here and take our lumps, kill our geese.
Ramsey Russell: What change did the geese started building in this area, the big geese?
Scott Richard: I don’t know. I don’t know, if it was just a lot of local potholes, we started getting pairs and pairs and that’s what a lot of the farmers have told me. When they grew up here, they never seen a goose, ever, never seen a Canada goose.
Ramsey Russell: Do you think it had to do, like we were talking about last night in the absence of maps, I remember the good old days when you went 2 miles north, took a right at the old crooked tree and went down to the falling barn and took a right and I don’t know how I remembered all that stuff, because now I just go where the lady on the truck tells me to go. But somebody commented last night, commented that good luck doing that now because every year it changes, they’re clearing brush, they’re doing things, they’re taking advantage. I mean, the landscape is changing, is that when the geese started moving in, it became more open?
Scott Richard: I really don’t know if that’s what it was. I mean, there’s definitely been lots of changes, there’s places that we’ve hunted that don’t exist anymore, water I’m talking about. And I don’t know if that’s helped or hurt the goose population, but what I did know is just when we see these big geese setting up in pairs, a lot of the farmers said they stay here, they breed here all summer and they’ll have a big clutch of 10 to 15 predators don’t get them, it doesn’t take long to make a big population and that’s what happened is booming. The Canada goose population here in my mind is more than I’ve ever seen.
Ramsey Russell: It’s interesting to me how I’ve hunted east of here and shot Canada geese and you start talking to people about where the bands originated or I’ve hunted east of here and they say, those were over from Churchill or we shot one from Indiana, which is a moat migrator and a lot of the bands you’ve shot here coming out of Minnesota, which means they’re moat migrator and how patriarchy, I think, is the word the biology is used for these waterfowl having a very specific fidelity for a piece of property, a piece of real estate. And obviously, it is that way, a lot of these birds are kind of coming moat migrating from up there and coming here, right here.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: And saying, hey, this is pretty cool, let’s set up shop here.
Scott Richard: And they’re pretty hardy, they’re way hardy than a lesser or a midsize goose.
Ramsey Russell: Because we haven’t seen a lot of cacklers up here.
Scott Richard: No, we haven’t. And usually there is, and I don’t know if they’re behind or whatever, but everything seemed to be a little behind this year. But they’re way hardier. I come up for Christmas a lot and there’s still geese here on the open lakes and they’re running rivers, still here feeding through the snow. So I don’t think they’re migratory habits, I don’t think they go very far, like you said, they go to Minnesota or even Northern North Dakota or somewhere in there because they don’t make that big run south, they go a few hundred miles and that’s it.
Ramsey Russell: That’s it. You know a lot of people that come up here and set up shop or come up here a lot, they become involved with a community and make friends for people like your neighbor coming to eat dinner with us or in town, they know the guy at the hardware store and where they get gas and where they get groceries, Scott, you kind of took another level, one day you walk into a bank, then what?
Scott Richard: I met my wife there at the bank one day, a few years back and I ended up marrying a Canadian woman, which is my wife Tania and great person, wonderful person.
Ramsey Russell: You’re very lucky man.
Scott Richard: Thank you. My soul mate pretty much and I was lucky that I’ve run across her, it was one of those things. I wasn’t looking, she wasn’t looking, it just happened.
Ramsey Russell: Well, she was the one changing Canadian dollars into US dollars that day and then what?
Scott Richard: Yeah. And then, she invited me out for supper one night and went to her house and had a big supper and from there, it just built up and we became really good friends and became married and everything worked out fine.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. She’s a great cook. She lights up the house with her personality, her laughter’s contagious, do not wear a ball cap while you’re eating dinner.
Scott Richard: No, she’ll cut your bill off, it’s not good. She’ll definitely cut the front of your hat off and it’s just the way she was brought up and most Americans leave the hat on all the time.
Ramsey Russell: But that’s fine. I forget my manners, my grandmother wouldn’t let you sit at the dinner table with it, since she’s gone, I get away. Last night at dinner, she says, that’s your favorite cap? I took it off and looked at it and I thought she’s talking about all the oil, it’s been worn very much and I go, yes, ma’am and she goes, then take it off.
Scott Richard: Yeah, she’s pretty tough on ball cap wearing in the house. But other than that, she don’t have many rules.
Ramsey Russell: How important is scouting? Because you all hunt mostly in the mornings and then spend your afternoons combing the landscape and you all know where everything is, but how important is scouting to your game plan now?
Scott Richard: It’s very important. Basically, if you need to spend more about 3 times as much time in a truck as you do in the field and that’s just the way it works out. And in the evenings, everybody gets together and goes their separate ways and we get a game plan on who’s going what direction and where we seen what last and we kind of just pull our ideas of things where they might be feeding.
Ramsey Russell: What do you look for, when you’re setting up? When you’re scouting, what generally speaking, are you looking for?
Scott Richard: Well, if we’re looking for a duck feed or a goose feed or together, I like to have both together most of the time. Because what’s happening now and I’ve seen the trait now is the ducks are falling the geese out before we used to shoot our ducks first light.
Ramsey Russell: It’s been that way off season.
Scott Richard: And it’s a little weird this year, most of ducks follow the geese out. So, what we generally look for, if we’re going to hunt big Canadas say 4 guns, like most of our guys are just our buddies they’re all here and my business partners and everybody in in our little group, we’d like to see 200 to 300 big Canadas in the field because generally they’ll come in pods of 3 to 5 and we can only kill 5 a man. So, we only need 20 geese, we don’t need a 1000 geese to kill 20 geese.
Ramsey Russell: Right. That’s just educating a bunch of geese unnecessarily.
Scott Richard: Absolutely. We like to shoot at little pods.
Ramsey Russell: So, you’re not looking for the biggest feed, you’re just looking for a good feed.
Scott Richard: Good feed. Now if we can get a combination of duck and goose feed, we’ll do the same rig, pretty much the same rig we always hunt. But looking for the same thing.
Ramsey Russell: Talk about your rig a little bit if you would. I think, I mean, you all’ve got a well-rehearsed set up, very similar to a lot of folks, but talk about how you like to set up the decoys, what kind of decoys you like to use and how you like to get hid and use that field a little bit.
Scott Richard: Well, we’d like to hunt a big silhouette rig, it’s whatever your silhouette choices. We’ve had a lot of painted board silhouettes for our whole life, you know what I mean? Well, we kind of switched over, we like to dive bombs, we like the real geese, whatever you guys have, it’s all the same. And generally, we hunt a big silhouette rig, probably 15 to 20 dozen and then we hunt – mix in our full bodies in the hole around the edges and try to hide all our blinds as best we can and tighten them up together. And we hunt probably another 6 dozen, full bodies in the hole and we use a lot of big uprights because these big geese, if you look at these big geese when they’re feeding or even in any field, there’s a lot of centuries, a lot more centuries than in the medium sized goose. You’ll see a lot of big bat next to what we call them, they’re big old tall birds and they’re all on guard and we use a lot of tall birds in the hole.
Decoy Discipline: The Art of Meticulous Trailer Organization for Waterfowl Hunts
Nothing can fall out, nothing can damage and your decoys are in great shape. I mean, you got some decoys they don’t even make no more that are still in great shape.
Ramsey Russell: It’s interesting to me, I’m glad you brought that up because we opened up side door and you’ve got a very nice and organized front end of your trailer where those full bodies are. You’ve got a top shelf, it’s all feeders and low heads, a better shelf feeders and low heads, taller bottom shelf centuries. And it’s a military precision and you don’t just grab them decoys and throw him willy nilly in a horseshoe pattern, you want those tall heads in specific places.
Scott Richard: I want them as wonkers, what we call wonkers and what they’re doing, they light outside the rig and they walk in. A lot of these biggies won’t backflap in the decoys, they’ll light outside and walk in. They like to be on a knob, I like to try to get on a little hill or a little knob, a lot of times, they just like to step down off the air and little geese land anywhere with these big honkers, they like to step on that knob, is what I call stepping on a knob. But like I said, the bat nest and just make it an illusion that there’s 6 or 8 pairs that have landed and walking in into the big rig.
Ramsey Russell: Did that system with shelving you all’ve got, because I like the way the entire, the shelf covers the whole width of the trailer, but then you got a little notch you can take out and step up in there to reach the back and when everything’s in place and the decoys are in place and the shelves are in place, nothing moves.
Scott Richard: Nothing can fall out.
Ramsey Russell: Nothing can fall out, nothing can damage and your decoys are in great shape. I mean, you got some decoys they don’t even make no more that are still in great shape.
Scott Richard: Exactly. Those hunter series of GHGs, I wish they’d bring them back because we’ve shot a lot of birds over them.
Ramsey Russell: But then big old heavy neck. Did that kind of shelving and organization start with the stuffers you all use to – I mean, because that’s a special care product.
Scott Richard: It’s exactly how it started with the shelving for the stuffers because we had right heads in the stuffers and feeders and that’s the only way we could keep our stuffers from being destroyed is on a shelf system.
Ramsey Russell: It rained so little out here in Canada, I’m surprised you haven’t brought that technology out here.
Scott Richard: Yeah. It’s common.
Ramsey Russell: I mean, that would be next level.
Scott Richard: The only problem is clearing them is the issue.
Ramsey Russell: Oh, why can’t you make them here and leave them?
Scott Richard: We’ve been thinking about that and I’ve been talking to the local taxidermist, which hunted with us last week, I told you that story.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah, he makes a great pastrami.
Scott Richard: Yeah. The pastrami maker. Absolutely. So we’re thinking about – because we haven’t had a lot of weather, snow won’t hurt them, be nice to have a hundred bird stuffed rig.
Ramsey Russell: I’ve hunted over and the times I’ve hunted over stuffers are always and yours home stomping around.
Scott Richard: Absolutely. I think it’s kind of where it started.
Ramsey Russell: I’ve hunted over ducks and geese out in that part of the world.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir, it’s amazing.
Ramsey Russell: I noticed out in your shop, you all do and we had this discussion yesterday because of a situation, you all do a little bit of water sets, mostly dry field, but I saw some of the rigs you’ve got out there. Let me just set it up this way for you, Scott. Yesterday, you and Jimmy had found this feed, ducks and geese and you drove up to it and said no, that’s too many for two of us, just wait till other boys get here.
Scott Richard: That’s exactly what we did.
Ramsey Russell: And so, well, you backed off and then had to sit and wait till dark because there were some blue platers looking at it and I got to guard it till they’re gone. So we’re setting up, you can see that you can just tell – we’re on the high note you’re talking about, I can hear ducks and geese over yonder, this is going to be beautiful, there’s a bunch of them right here. And then pitch black dark, 20 minutes before shooting time, the sky was seething with ducks and geese, not working, but flying over. I could hear their wings, I could hear them murmuring to each other, they were just like, what in the world? Why are all these birds up? They’re not coming in, they’re not coming into the feed, they’re just flying.
Scott Richard: And pitch black too.
Ramsey Russell: And pitch black dark. And we’re like, well, come shooting time, we hear somebody shooting water, they’ve walked in on a roost, probably heading on today, want to get their money’s worked out of gas and they went and shot a roost. And it kind of worked hard to manage them, but I didn’t hear them shoot, I bet they did not get a limit or nothing.
Scott Richard: I don’t think they did.
Ramsey Russell: I think they blew it out and a lot of birds went and sat up in some other little subsidiary ponds and watering holes around us and it came off to feed where it had been and we had a magical hunt.
Scott Richard: We had a magical hunt. And what the problem is it’s so dry and I can’t stress this if enough and I’m not telling anybody how to hunt, that’s not what I do. But if you’re hunting in a super dry season, birds only have so much water, let them get the water, let them leave the water there.
Ramsey Russell: Hold them in the area.
Scott Richard: Hold them in the area and sit there in the morning when they go for their feed and figure out why they aren’t shooting in the field and let them go back to water, it’s very simple. But if you go in there and you blow a big roost down, like, you know as well as our, there’s 5000 ducks come out of there yesterday, all those birds are gone now. There’s a few around, maybe 10% of what was there might be around, but those birds are gone, they’re going to the next slew. So what I would recommend to people, if you’re hunting the dry season or dry years is, try to stay to the field birds and I know most people aren’t set up for that, you know what I mean? Well, you don’t need a whole lot to hunt ducks in the field, you need some goose decoys, you don’t really need no duck decoys, goose decoys and the spinner, you can kill all ducks you want.
Ramsey Russell: That’s right. Well, what is the criteria for hunting water, because I know you all do hunt divers, I did see some V boards you all had, some boats. So what is your criteria? What kind of water are you hunting and what are you hunting on the water?
Scott Richard: We hunt a lot of little stuff, little slews that won’t hold – the big lakes around here hold all our big birds.
Ramsey Russell: Little drinking ponds or loafing ponds, I call it.
Scott Richard: Yeah. Little potholes or whatever are good, you’re not going to blow out, but X amount ducks, maybe 50, 60, a 100 ducks, you only need 16 ducks, 2 men to get your limit though. But to shoot a big body of water that’s holding 5000 ducks to get you a 4 man limit of ducks, it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Especially if you’re staying longer than that last hunt, because you don’t blue all your ducks have been resting out and gone.
Ramsey Russell: Right. You’ve been coming up here for a long time, Scott, it’s dry, I see cracks in this soil, I wondered old Char dog was going to break her leg hitting one, have you ever seen it this dry?
Scott Richard: Last year was as dry as this year.
Ramsey Russell: So, this is the second year of a major drought.
Scott Richard: Second that I have seen drought, yes. It’s been very dry, but it’s been gradually drying out.
Ramsey Russell: We got about a 10th of an inch of rain last night and it was enough to – it’s dry, but at least I’m not choking on dust chasing those taillights in the morning.
Scott Richard: Right. Exactly. I don’t know, what’s going to happen.
Ramsey Russell: Well, talk about what is happening. We’re driving around and there’s countless little bone dry, but little marshy wetlands, little pond, what used to be a little pond the last time it was wet, it might be a little pond if we get a little snow this year, but talk about what’s happening because I’ve been seeing farmers running disc over them, convert them into whatever crop they’re growing, you said, they don’t just disc them, it’s full blown converter, so when it rains again, it ain’t going to fill up with water.
Scott Richard: No. And what happens and you got to understand that some guys trying to make a living, the farmers are trying to make a living. All the fertilizer prices are 3 times, 2 times as much as normal and he needs to get every little piece he can get now. So what’s happening is, as these dry slews exist, they go in like you said, disc them and they’ll pan them over.
Ramsey Russell: Bring a dirt pan in.
Scott Richard: Some of these farmers have – spray the top and drag it through and it’s gone and we see a lot of that.
Ramsey Russell: Is that little scale or large scale? I mean, is that happening a lot?
Scott Richard: It’s everywhere.
Ramsey Russell: Okay.
Scott Richard: I shouldn’t say everywhere, that’s not a fair statement. It’s 70% percent pretty much everywhere you look, there’s 30% percent of the farmers that still leave all their edges and hedges and slews, like with the place we hunted this morning still has 4 or 5 baby slews in the center of it. But on a bigger scale, the bigger guys are, they got the equipment to contour the land, recontour the land.
Ramsey Russell: But see, when you drive through this part of the world and this this is getting to a modern day landscape, we were hunting 7-8 miles from here today and you go by, there’s where an old school used to be, there’s no fallen barn, there’s a clump of trees, nothing in it that used to be a farmhouse. And as we were talking to historically every 40 to 80 to quarter section had a farm on it.
Scott Richard: Correct.
Ramsey Russell: And the margin of farming is so thin right now that you can’t have that 80 acres and feed your family, you’ve got to scale, got to get bigger, got to get more productive. If I’ve got a 160 acres with a 10 acre pond in the middle, I need that 10 acres, I mean, because the margins are so freaking thin. There’s no US Department of Agriculture and nobody out of nothing up here, buddy. It’s god, the farmer and the railroad.
Scott Richard: It is.
Ramsey Russell: And that’s it.
Scott Richard: That’s exactly what it is. And you can’t doubt the guy, as a duck hunter, we don’t like it, but we can’t say nothing to the fellow. But they need it and they don’t care if they – they don’t really –
Ramsey Russell: They got to make a living.
Scott Richard: They got to make a living, they got to do what they got to do to bring up their income and I can’t blame them in some aspects.
Ramsey Russell: When’s the last time you saw these fields being swathed? Because that’s one thing I’ve seen in just the last 5 years is how the big million dollar type combines are hitting the same, not the old combines where they would go and swath the field, which is stacking up all the barley or stacking up all the wheat and then coming and combining those, I hadn’t seen a swath field in any problems I’ve been in this year.
Scott Richard: Well, and it was so dry this year, a lot of stuff just got straight cut, waited till it was dried out and cut it or sprayed it, killed it off and then cut it or harvested it. But yeah, I guess it depends on a lot of things, it depends on weather a lot and it depends on the farm size, the farmer size changes too because if he’s a great big farmer, he’ll have the equipment to do all that. But if he’s a small guy, he’ll take a swather and swath everything up and has one combine and he’ll come behind it and get it. But what happened in the same field we hunted today was that guy’s a smaller guy and he could not get it out in time before then birds got on a swath and jammed it down in there and that’s why there was so many birds there because the actual birds got on it on his swath before he had time to get it out.
Ramsey Russell: That’s just a big old loft. It’s become so micro precision, you look out there and you see those little bitty wheat roads stretching to the horizon and with the GPS technology somebody explained to me the other day, I would have just assumed he’s out there making passes and hitting wherever the farm implement makes the cut, hell no, they’re farming literally that 2 inches every single year, that 2 inch row is where all the nutrients and all the fertilizer, they’re not fertilizing in between the rows, just that little – year after year, it’s come down to a science, it’s all about those very small profits.
Scott Richard: Yeah. That GPS puts them right on that same line.
Ramsey Russell: That’s crazy, man.
Scott Richard: And it can tell you supposedly on some of these units, it can tell your yield and everything right out of the field from that same unit.
Ramsey Russell: Yesterday morning, we shot a Canada goose leg band.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir.
Ramsey Russell: I like you all tradition. Talk about the band tradition here at your camp.
Scott Richard: Well, camp, what get kills at the camp, stays at the camp and it’s just a rule we had from day one and no one gets to fighting over bands. You know how people get to fighting over bands, and I killed a band, you killed a band, so we make it a team. The team killed the band and it stays here and everybody gets to look at it every year.
Ramsey Russell: Stay from there in the gear room.
Scott Richard: Stay in the shop, yeah. And we call them all in and we put the certificates up and everything’s good.
Ramsey Russell: That’s good. That’s a nice tradition. What do you do with all the birds? We knocked those birds out pretty quick yesterday, we ate a lot of birds while I’ve been here, but what do you do with the rest of them?
Scott Richard: Well, we have a lot of locals here, that take meat from us to make sausage, as you do, all the neighbor wanted meat yesterday. In December, we take what’s left over and make a big pile of sausage, last year, we made 450lbs my buddy Jeremy Doobie up town here, he comes and helps me and we distribute it through the community.
Ramsey Russell: They all want it.
Scott Richard: Everybody. It’s so good, it’s actually everybody thinks it’s elk’s sausage but it’s goose and just the recipe that he came up with is really been an ideal mix for everyone.
Ramsey Russell: You all made some great duck poppers last night, do you have another favorite recipe for goose?
Scott Richard: Yeah. I like to marinate goose a little bit for like 24 hours, I like using dale seasoning, I don’t know if you’re liquid dale seasoning, marinate your breasts in there, 24 hours at least or you can go 2 days, it doesn’t matter and then we cube it. We’ll slice it real fine across the grain and then slice it the other way into, say, 3 quarter by 3 quarter inch cube and we stir fry it in hot butter and onions. And a lot of people do deer that way and we do the goose that way, it’s just pretty good. And we do tacos, make tacos out of them. So it’s really good.
Ramsey Russell: Let me ask you this question. You’ve been goose hunting a long time, how is goose hunting here versus home? How is it similar and how is it different?
Scott Richard: The similarities, it’s pretty much the same setup wise, very similar, the waiting game is way different. You need to be where they’re at, basically, at home, we’re waiting for them to get to us.
Ramsey Russell: You’ve got a field or a lease or a pit and you’re hunting traffic.
Scott Richard: You’re hunting traffic and hunting stage geese that are going to spend the winter there, these geese are moving constantly. So that’s something people need to realize. We’ve hunted a field last week that had 2000 geese in it and we set up the hunt the next day and they’re gone, they left. So you draw a blank one time, you ask yourself, man, what’d we do wrong? You really didn’t do nothing wrong, the bird just moved on you.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. They could’ve flown south, they could’ve flown to another feed.
Scott Richard: Or they held in, the moon controls them. So, that’s the similarities are the same hunting wise, but scouting wise is way different.
Ramsey Russell: And I know you’re taking a lot of you, step children and his friends, I know you’ve been around here for 20 years, you know a lot of local but there’s not a lot of local hunters like back home, but there’s some. But here here’s the question, how are you similar and different from local hunters? I went your background on the eastern Maryland on the East Coast. What are the similarities and differences between American, like yourself and local hunters?
Scott Richard: Well, the local hunters here, the guys and kids that want to hunt are generally farming this time of the year, so they don’t really get the opportunities to go hunting until harvest is done. So I think that’s why the license sales for the Canadians are low, because by the time they get done harvest and helping their dad or their grandparents or whatever, get all the grain out, season’s done or they’re too tired to do anything. So, I think that’s part of it. But there is a lot of other kids that aren’t farm kids that love hunting and we take a lot of them kids, we did the first Delta Waterfowl hunt here in the 90s or it was 2000s, I think 2000 or 2001. The guy here, I don’t know if it’s the local reeves or whatever, he wrote an article in the paper back then. And the article basically said, hey, Canadian dads, let’s get your kids out on, why is American up here taking your kids on? You know what I mean? But there’s not a lot of hunters here, there’s a lot of big game hunters, don’t get me wrong, but there’s not a lot of waterfowl hunters.
Ramsey Russell: Yeah. I perceive a different mindset between a lot of Canadians and just a lot of Americans. I just see a philosophical mindset difference. I mean, I know some very serious goose hunters up here, but even there a little bit different, they play just a little bit different game. And maybe it’s just an abundance of riches, because they do get a lot of bird in their backyard, they do have some property locked up and they do have the leisure of not going out. Like, the average American comes up here and there’s no wind or it’s hot or it’s whatever, they got to go. A lot of the locals are like, I’ll go to work today and I’ll wait till it’s right.
Scott Richard: Absolutely. Pick and choose. That’s definitely a difference.
Ramsey Russell: Well, sure appreciate your hospitality, man. I have had a great time, I felt right at home among you and your friends. I felt like we’ve been friends for forever.
Scott Richard: Yes, sir. I appreciate you coming.
Ramsey Russell: And I appreciate you sharing your stories today.
Scott Richard: Well, thanks for coming and until next time, we’ll do it again.
Ramsey Russell: We will do it again. But now look, you told me you’re going to come band ducks with us down in Louisiana.
Scott Richard: I am. You send me the dates, I’ll be there and pick me up at the airport.
Ramsey Russell: Thank you, Scott. And folks, thank you all for listening to this episode of Duck Season Somewhere in Canada. See you next time.
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