Nov 24 Wednesday - today is a new approach...Time spent dealing with retrievers will change. It begins by no longer viewing or posting on any retriever training forums (Wednesday at 6:21 pm November 24th). 
Nov 25 Thursday....Thanksgiving.....watch football with turkey at noon
Nov 26-30 Friday-Tuesday - train both dogs...Monday - Call Vet and set up an appointment to have Gigi spade
                       note: delayed dismantling goose blind.....pond thawed out a little
Training the last five days of November plus all of December will be revisiting basic OB articles written by Butch Goodwin from Northern Flight Retrievers "stored" in a Digital Internet Archive - The WayBack Machine.

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Nov. 1 - Monday - low forties around noon...most of the corn is picked.....geese have not discovered it. The next five days will have temperatures below freezing in the evenings. This colder weather may create more interest than grass. Day off for everyone. The sleeper goose shells left near the blind did not draw any attention today and the corn is almost picked.
Nov. 2 - Tuesday...the weather forecast was adjusted to warmer days with only one freezing night for the next ten days. If the geese will just start moving a bit more, there might be some hunting. The sleeper decoys setup near the blind was removed and two goose floaters were long lined off the spillway. The winds out of the northwest pushed them off shore enough to be quit visible. While waiting, the design for my small, one man, A-frame field blind is well under way. One side will look like corn stalks and when flipped the alternative side will be snow. All the preparation with no shooting is getting old...quickly.

Nov 19-23 These were the longest stretch of days when not making any journal entries. The reason is simple. Too cold, a drought and geese changing their normal fall routines. The last gasp chance for any goose hunting on Thorson pond was attempted this morning. Wearing hip boots, swinging a sledge hammer and using a ski pole to probe the bottom muck and maintain balance, a small circle was about all that could be managed. The thick mud on the bottom was deeper than the water on top of it. Turning around to head back to shore was a difficult maneuver. The ski pole made it possible to get back out and I knew if the sledge slip out of my hands, it was gone. Planning each step was interesting. The next few weeks will be below freezing temperatures every night. With no snow in the forecast, the next job will be to take the blind down. Each part of the cover (fabric and grass mats) will be labeled so that next fall putting it back together will be fairly simple. The bigger question will be whether being 82 years old will not get in the way. Next year will be beans with an earlier harvest than corn.....and warmer weather. Maybe the drought conditions will not repeat. 

"one hundred geese waiting for corn harvest to begin"

Nov 14 Sunday...high of 37°F with lows for the next ten nights well below freezing and some snow. The snow from yesterday melted and tomorrow will be a good day for "doing yard leaves". This morning the plan was to scout the pond for any geese. With the van, trailer and UTV parked in the driveway, I asked my wife for the keys to her car. The need to scout the pond for geese was on my morning list of "to does". She said, "I am going to town for some groceries. Do you want me to check (scout) the pond?" She's well trained! Timing is

everything. The geese were gone and the "mower" company that takes care of the large amount of grass that needs mowing "regularly" was doing so and flushed all the geese off the pond. Therefore, tomorrow will become just another scouting and yard leaves day. Tuesday will be warmer, but will they be back?

        note: After checking the choke in my new Tristar shotgun, I discovered a possible excuse for "fanning"
                  on the geese shot at yesterday morning. The choke tube was the open cylinder (four notches)
                  rather than the full single notch from a Benelli choke set for a youth, 12 gauge Tristar Auto. 
Nov 15 Monday....cold and windy with no geese on the pond. The pond mowing routine usually upsets about four days of hunting IF it is done when the geese are flushed off. Due to this issue, I had time to power mulch all the oak leaves covering our lawn with a fine mist making it a bit unpleasant. Once mulched, a leaf blower makes piles that can be quickly raked on to a large, plastic tarp and hauled into a wooded area in the back of our property. They quickly break down and decay providing a good supply of nutrients for the many trees. Recycling is cleaner than burning.
Nov 16 Tuesday... warmer and geese remain loafing on Legend Lake. I have yet to see much action in any corn fields. After many years of hunting, this is the first season to indicate the urge is waning. My body parts are putting up a good argument while recent weather and poor timing applying the coup de grâce.
Nov 17 Wednesday - not good weather ahead (colder)....may just go, set-up and hope something shows
Nov 18 Thursday - cold and windy....scouted and geese continue to get by on lush grass. I have not seen any geese using the many already picked fields of corn. The only alternative will depend on a northern freeze-up pushing Wisconsin geese through Illinois AND NOT having Thorson Pond iced over (entry made this morning). Checked the pond in the afternoon and we have ICE. The chance of hunt (or two) will be a narrow window of warmer weather which is not likely. This may be my last season of hunting.

Nov. 3 - Wednesday, around noon.....collected a telephoto, drive-by scouting report to observe any impact created by putting out the two goose floaters yesterday. Viola....it was like magic. Twelve geese showed up.

Nov 13 Saturday.....the plan was to be set up before any geese arrived.  Unfortunately, the two, small  families were already here and got run off as I came up over a rise in the corn field. After setting up a few quick decoys, about ten more came right in. My new gun was fired for the first time. It fit well and felt right, but it is lighter, shorter and faster than my Benelli M-90. That's my excuse. Then as I was firing, it became obvious that several larger "bunches" were not far behind. They all veered north or south around the pond while quickly gaining altitude. I could not have designed a worse outcome. All was not lost. Today was kind of an experiment and included using a propane heater in my blind. What a difference! My hands were quite warm wearing some light cotton gloves. The usual warm clothes I wear under a heavy, insulated hunting coat did not require the coat and my chest high, breathable waders were more than enough. In addition, Pounce is a live-indoor retriever and she was just fine with a freezing temperature (even after a quick in and out plunge). The blind is covered with a wind-proof fabric and it was not cool.         Gigi remained behind in the van and was not very pleased with my hunt plan. However, she had a fun run while loading "stuff" up for our exit. My UTV moves everything out to and back from the blind 250 yards away. Doing so keeps the trailer and van out of sight from the pond (and any geese). 

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Nov 11-12 Thursday/Friday...cold, some snow (not much)...then two small groups (probably "families") showed up Thursday. Then Thorson Pond was "full" on Friday. Full is not good because educating many all at once decreases the odds of several well spaced hunts. 

Nov 4,5 Thursday/Friday...mild weather & no goose movements....the downtime has been spent working on an A-Frame type blind for in the corn field. It won't be long before migrators begin to move south out of Wisconsin and Thorson Pond will freeze. The UTV makes setting up in the corn field fast and simple.
Today, Gigi will begin a couple of attempts to deal with her on going diarrhea issues (different food) and she will be spayed in about a month. Great pedigrees do not always translate to good results. She will be three years old in December (never had a heat cycle, had an extended loss of hair and at times "off the charts anxiety" interferes with training). Every health test she has had came up with nothing. Training has been cut way back the last couple of months.
Nov 6-7 Saturday/Sunday...more mild weather, put seven sleeper decoys out Sunday (no action)...geese are finally showing up at a staging area....much later than usual....began working on a small field blind
Nov 8-9 Monday/Tuesday...When looking at the ten day forecasts each day for the last week, one fact has become quite obvious. The weather is unpredictable. Lastly, the sleeper decoys were picked up.
Nov 10 Wednesday - High in the low 60's and then it gets more seasonal......exercise Pounce and Gigi