As a child I have many memories of my father preparing for hunting trips, specifically for geese hunting trips. Our whole dining room area would be filled with hunting and camping gear for his hunting adventure. When he was gone, my mother would anxiously wait for his return with plenty of geese, ready to be plucked, gutted and made into tasty soup… my mother’s specialty!
As children, my siblings and I would often spend our weekends at our spring cabin along the “winter crossing” highway (a highway that led to the Mackenzie River Ice Road which houses several cabins accessible by vehicle) playing in the ditches filled of water, the giant culvert waterfall and the huge dirt mountain. We would spend hours out there letting our imagination run wild. So many special memories created here, as my parents prepared geese for supper.
It wasn’t until I was older and met my partner Darren that I got to experience geese hunting – my first ever hunting experience. He made sure I was fully equipped with rubber boots, extra socks, insulated camo gear and that I was mentally prepared to sit in a blind for several hours. He would shoot the geese, fetch them and we would both start plucking away.
A few weeks ago my family and I traveled back to my hometown of Fort Providence to try our luck at geese hunting. We spent the day at the winter crossing cabin with my parents; cooking, eating and our kids creating memories of their own. I couldn’t help but to feel relaxed and at ease that everyone there was in his or her absolute element.
When all of bellies were full from food and laughter, we ventured out for a walk from the Cabin to the frozen Mackenzie River banks. The snow began to melt which led to several boot soakers but the geese were flying and our hearts were happy.
Darren got eight geese that weekend – enough to feed eight different families. We plucked them, gutted them so they wouldn’t rot during transport and singe them over the fire to get the remaining of the feathers off. We headed home later that evening, where my mom prepared my favorite soup – geese soup. I ate four bowls that night. I loved it.
It was a beautiful day and I’m excited to share our little hunting experience with you.
– shawna mcleod