By Gary Koehler
Back in the early 1970s, on a cloudy and cold November day, my good friend Harry Debo and I chose to take a pass on our afternoon classes and found ourselves in a partially picked cornfield just south of Cedar Point, Illinois.
We were there to hunt ducks, migrating mallards, to be specific, that we had seen working local fields for three straight days. Two dozen of my father’s mallard decoys were set out about 10 rows from our hiding place in the standing corn.
Kneeling on burlap sacks, we waited anxiously for the ducks to come to dinner. No such luck. But the honking of Canada geese quickly changed our mood. The birds came from the south, from behind us, over our backs.
Excitement prevailed over good sense, and we shot too quickly. The geese had not seen us and were cupped to land. But being young and stupid, we emptied our pump guns in short order. One goose fell. And, no kidding, it was banded—a first for both of us.