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Oct 29 - 31 Friday-Sunday - some rain & cooler.....waiting for geese to begin moving...After some thought, it has become quite obvious that the extended drought has altered the local goose patterns.  An industrial plant, a few miles west, had a large grassy area with a pond where at least 1000 geese would stage up and use before winter set in. In addition, the large lake in South Beloit had been flooded for two-three years and a couple thousand geese spent the fall and into winter trading back and forth to corn fields has retreated back to historic banks. The geese have moved. It appears that the next phase of "iced out" Wisconsin and northern geese will soon be moving into northern Illinois and that does not last long........if the water "get hard".  

Oct 2-4 Saturday-Tuesday.....cool, some rain...worked on the blind (not much). The new Fast Grass panels were not  wide enough for the blind. Therefore, one was cut in half and each half was zip-tie spliced to a full panel making two larger panels. Another task had been put off for quite awhile. The dogs' airing yard fence has seen better days. Therefore, new posts and wire were purchased to make a better one. It will be slightly smaller and easier to mow (more like an oval).

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Oct 5-10 Wednesday-Sunday...rain often, worked on new airing yard fence and finishing up the goose blind. Then yesterday my right shoulder (that was getting better) had a painful relapse. Sleeping was the worst part
last night. The wrong move is not pleasant and ice has not helped much.

I had begun making plans for the winter training season after goose hunting is finished. Today, when visiting the Retriever Training Forum, a thread focusing on skills required at the line, there were several definitive suggestion which could be organized into a three month winter, training "program" designed specifically for Pounce and Gigi's needs (mine also). 

Oct 23 - Saturday...high of 54°F with a low of 30°F and frost...Illinois Waterfowl opener....I decided to wait and see what happens until Monday. No geese have been on the pond. Two days of allowing spooked geese to find Thorson Pond safe will be a better plan. They will still be moving in small, family groups......can't eat just grass forever. Scouting will be a regular event for the next few of weeks. When the corn is finally picked, a second pattern will quickly develop. Meanwhile, the UTV has been modified back to goose hunting mode and the yard was mowed today. Gigi's intestinal issues remain a problem. A few days ago, she began taking a food supplement that contains probiotics.....Fido-Vite Flexx
Oct 24 - Sunday...high of 52°F with rain (a lot)...scouted for any geese movement (nothing moving) and stayed dry. It is time to create a banner for the November monthly journal. One with geese in it would be perfect. 
Oct 25 - Monday.....cool and dry...no geese....just waiting....both dogs are now taking the Fido-Vite Flexx.

Oct 26 - Tuesday.....repeat of yesterday
Oct 27 - Wednesday...high 50's...Pounce and Gigi did a lining/whistle sit/handling drill in the yard for exercise.
Oct 28 - Thursday - rain all day starting in the morning...good time to clean the cluttered, garage work bench. The only choice was to "scout" the goose pond. After not expecting much, to my surprise and delight, about half of the corn field has been picked. It may take a few days to dry out and then the rest will soon be picked. The cooler weather will begin to "tell" the grass eating geese they need corn.  Dinner has been served.

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Oct 11-14 Monday-Thursday....worked on airing yard fence and getting house ready for an appraisal. 
                 note: work on airing yard
Oct. 15-17 Friday-Sunday....finish goose blind, not going to hunt on the opener....just scout then see what gets shot at and spooked into Thorson Pond (where the corn is not picked yet)....check at sunrise and later
each day. Friday(late afternoon), Pounce and Gigi ran two 158 yard Dokken point blinds....for exercise. Before and after each blind, they practiced a heeling and sit exercise. Pounce was OK with the heeling while Gigi was off the wall terrible. Saturday and Sunday worked on goose blind, did more of the new airing yard fence, still need to get the enclosed trailer and UTV ready for hinting. Saturday late afternoon, Pounce and Gigi ran three 158 yard Dokken point points for exercise. A precise, off lead heeling exercise was expected before and after each "run". The heeling drill comparisons for Gigi (two days) were a very sharp change (180 degree change). Yesterday, she was not even close to being correct and did not improve. Today, she immediately did the same thing on the first blind..,,no change. On the second run with Gigi, she quickly noticed that I was carrying a heeling stick (this time) and suddenly knew exactly what was expected (same dog...totally different behavior). 

The last several months have been extremely difficult to navigate. The distractions have been relentless. 
          note: Over the last eight months, I have had two Pfizer Co-vid shots plus the third booster shot, both
                    shingles shots and my seasonal flu shot. I think that's it for awhile.
          note: For many years, I have made a list of "to does" for the day. Lately, it seems the lists are too long.
                    Both dogs and working on the goose blind have been wonderful distractions.
          note: And our 12 year old autistic, non-verbal granddaughter is a handful at school and at home.

Oct 1 Friday - high again around 80°F.....then cooler weather...The blind has one last project to compete it. Putting on the fast grass cover will be easy. Yesterday, the waterproof cover was finally competed and a door was installed. Pounce recently got a vacation from training that included surgery. She is "good to go" now. Gigi was given an even longer vacation so as to deal with her unpleasant and lengthy intestinal issues. The health impact on her training had it going nowhere and getting worse...until lately (no training).  Starting next week easy, fun "stuff" every other day will be her plan. In addition, she has never demonstrated a heat cycle and having her spade is an issue that may be dealt with (soon). 
                                                note: photos below are carry overs from yesterday.

Oct 18 - Monday.....pleasant, sunny day with a high in the upper 60's....worked on the airing yard fence in
the morning...Around 5:30 pm, Pounce and Gigi ran the point blind again (three times with a total distance yardage of 958 yds). They took turns and before each "go" they did an off lead, heeling drill around the van.|
Oct 19 - Tuesday....another pleasant day like yesterday....worked on the airing yard and have about another eight posts to remove and replace with new wire. As the job progresses, my skill set has improved.
                   note: Pounce and Gigi had a day off.
Oct 20 - Wednesday..last day of warm weather...The new airing yard was finished today and a night-time photo from inside the house was taken. The white, plastic post caps make it safer and much more visible

when the yard lights are on. Scouting has revealed no movement of any geese to Thorson Pond and there are no signs of when the adjacent corn field will be picked.
Oct 21 - Thursday...cold & some rain...scouted...no geese and the machinery for picking corn has not arrived. A day-time photo of the airing yard was all that happened today...taking a brief break from everything.  
Oct 22 - Friday...cold...scouted, no geese and no farm machinery at the corn field. Rain in the forecast is not going to help.     note: I checked recent past...no geese on Thorson Pond until Oct. 29, 2020 (beans) and until
                                      Nov. 4, 2019 (corn)....being patient at this time is forced. 

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