Not many hunters in the country think of Oklahoma when planning a waterfowling adventure, but I believe Oklahoma is a sleeper state for waterfowling.
Oklahoma can winter an incredible number of waterfowl, especially Canada geese.
Not only are there numerous public places in the state to hunt waterfowl, many landowners in Oklahoma who won't normally allow hunting on their property will accommodate goose hunters.
Geese can wipe out a winter wheat field in a matter of days, eating into a farmer's profits.
On my most recent hunt, I found myself in wheat field in western Oklahoma on an early winter morning with a hunting party of seven.
We hunted from layout blinds with a decoy spread of more than 200 full body goose decoys and five to six dozen magnum shell decoys.
The plan was to put the magnum shell decoys at the front of the decoy spread, or upwind, and then fill back the spread with the full body decoys.
The wind would be at our backs as we hid in the layout blinds that was scattered among the decoys.
As we waited for the sun to rise and the geese to awake and go looking for a place to eat breakfast, we wondered if our decoys would attract any hungry birds.
Our question if there were any geese in the area was answered not long after sunrise when a lone Canada goose flew into the decoys.
Several minutes later, I spotted a pair flying toward the decoys. The birds were flying low and slow, just the way you like them.
When they got to the spread, they turned and revealed themselves to be sandhill cranes. I had my sandhill crane permit and soon the birds were being retrieved by my yellow Labrador, Bo.
Geese continued to fly for the next several hours as flocks filled the sky. By morning's end, we had bagged two sandhill cranes and 16 geese, not bad for a morning afield in a state not known for its waterfowling.
Goose season remains open statewide through Feb. 10. The hunting season on sandhill cranes, open only west of I-35, closes Jan. 20.