Waiting for a bus

In the mid-eighties I had a friend named Paul. Paul was really into waterfowl hunting, especially the Canada Goose, and he introduced me to the sport.

Pauly played drums for a bar band around the Grand Rapids area. Bars closed at 2:00 AM then in Michigan. So one night after he played, we went to his house and loaded up our gear and the boat and headed for Portage Lake near Cimax Michigan.

The Michigan DNR had decided to open a nuisance goose season right before Labor Day. Michigan has a lot of lakes, cottages, and boats. It is something people do there. And Labor Day is a big end of the season Holiday weekend.

We arrived at the boat launch before dawn and motored out to a marshy area on one side of the lake, anticipating a lot of boat traffic that day. We got all set up, put out our decoys, and began to wait. The sun got higher and higher. The temperature got hotter and hotter. More and more boats came out onto the lake. But no geese came around.

By mid-day it was easily 85 degrees, so we stripped down to our underwear, and put camo paint all over ourselves. Remember, we have been up all night. And we really didn’t bring much food or water. But we waited anyway.

After noon a couple in a canoe came into the area. We could hear the female saying “Oh look at all of the geese” as they paddled right into our decoys. Then the light came on, and they stopped paddling. ” How ya’ doing”? Pauly says. The lady finally sees us, standing behind our camo net in our camo boat. In our underwear. Covered with camo paint. Holding shotguns.

“You’re not hunting are you”, says canoe lady.

“No ma’am, we are waiting for a bus”, says Pauly.

They paddled away briskly. We never saw any geese all of that day, until we were strapping the boat on the trailer at dusk. Then a big flight came in and landed right where we had been set up all day. Waiting for a bus.