OUTFITTER REVIEW ON:
|Flight Patrol Guides|
Part 1:THE HUNT
Hunting Lake Minnetonka Honkers
by dan wennerlind
As we pulled down a long driveway I saw two big brown heads sticking over the white picket fence through the dark and knew that this must be a “hot spot” since there are not too many horse owners that I know who let goose hunters on their property. I was pleasantly surprised to hear from my guide for the day- Nick Metzen of Flight Patrol Guides, that there had been over 100 Canada geese feeding in this horse pasture each morning for the past week and more and more geese showing up each day. Exactly what I was hoping to here. As Nick helped me load up my gear into his truck I could tell he was just as excited about the morning's hunt as I was. Heck he even insisted that my trusted hunting companion Jada hop in as he chauffeured me down to the spread that had been pre-set. Now any guide who let’s my dog ride in the cab of his truck is all right with me!
The set up looked great. Even though we would be hunting a pasture, which looked more like a manicured lawn, Nick and his crew had done an excellent job of camoing up the 6 layout blinds we would be hunting out
|of. They blended in perfectly. I was particularly impressed with the fact that the blinds had been camoed up the night before and left out as to blend in much better with the surroundings with the cool morning frost. An important aspect of the hunt that could have been a costly mistake made.|
After getting settled into our hides for the morning, we still had a good 20 minutes before shooting time arrived, to get acquainted with each other and for me to get a better feel as to what the day had in store for us. Nick Metzen and his partner Greg Ward I found, both grew up in Mound, Minnesota and have been able to use there connections as upstanding community members to gain permission on hard to access property in the area. Greg also shared with me that today we would be hunting geese coming directly off of Lake Minnetonka, which was located less then 4 miles away.
We would also have three more members in our group on this fine early October morning, including two of Flights Patrol’s top guides- John Cody and Nick’s younger brother Travis Metzen. Nick also explained that since the crops were very late in getting harvested this fall, they had to work a little harder to find early season spots to hunt the Twin City metro Canada geese. As we patiently waited for the sun to pop up over the horizon I noticed that we were actually set up in more or less of a hole surrounded by a thick forest of Oak and Maple trees. The guys were quick to add that this was actually one of their favorite hunting spots as they said the geese would drop right in over the hill tops and before you even knew it they would be right in your lap. I was starting to get just a little excited by their enthusiasm, to say the least. As I got to know the guys a little better I found that Greg and Travis has actually spent the first couple weeks of the season guiding duck hunters on some of the area’s local lakes and they were having very good success even this early, taking multiple species of both puddle ducks and diver ducks on each occasion.
Then we heard the infamous hoooonk, hooonk of the first flock of Canada geese of the morning. We all covered up quickly and with a couple of soft clucks and moans from the boys, the first flock of the day made an appearance right over the tree tops, exactly as the guys had said they would. With a little more enticement from my experienced guides, we had a flock of 20 honkers flip flopping right in on us. At about 10 yards out Nick yelled “Take Em”! We all opened up on the unsuspecting flock and geese were falling and flopping everywhere. It was the perfect start to a wonderful day
Through the next half hour we could hear geese cruising the area through the trees and we did our best to pull them down to our little horse pasture. Finally we hit another hot flock and had ten more geese circle overhead. As the flock banked around for a second look, they just couldn’t resist the calls of Nick and Greg. The boys sucked them back around and we all opened up again on the flock. This time they were a little farther out though- maybe 20 yards and again birds started falling. What a hunt, only an hour into it and we only had 4 geese to go. I was almost hoping for things to slow down a little bit so the hunt would last a little longer. After this barrage we all got up to stretch the legs a little bit and get a few photos. I think my girl Jada was having more fun than any of us as she was lucky enough to be the only dog in the spread this day. With geese and feathers everywhere I think she was on sensory overload.
|Things did slow down for a little bit and I had a chance to converse with my guides a little more. Now that the boys had proven that they had the basics down- from scouting calling and setting decoys, I was very interested to know just how many other fields and options they had in the area beyond our little honey hole. Nick assured me that they had numerous fields in the immediate area from alf alfa and wheat fields for the early season hunts, to corn and beans for the later season hunts. Nick also noted that they even had several options on the east side of the cities as well as fields up into the Monticello area, and all the way out to Hutchinson which he said the hunted more in the late season. The guys had definitely done their homework and I was impressed.|
As we talked and laughed we almost got caught off guard from the next incoming flock. We heard more geese erupting off of a small roost pond that Travis said was located just off to the west of us and we got set for one last barrage. Nick and Greg pulled one last flock right over the top and we dropped 3 more trophy Canadas to end a great day’s hunt. It was a real treat to be able to spend a quality morning’s hunt with a crew of die hard waterfowl hunters who are in the game for all the right reasons. It was evident that Nick and Greg are not guiding for the money, they do it because of their love for the birds they hunt and the ability to share this experience with their fellow hunters.
Part 2: THE REVIEW
|OUTFITTER KNOWLEDGE / PERSONALITY: ||Score||5 / 5 |
Both Nick and Greg were very professional and have an eye for detail. I was impressed with not only the overall operation but the personability that they brought to the hunt.
|QUALITY OF |
|Score||5 / 5 |
The quality of equipment used on the hunt was top notch. We hunted over a spread of 6 dozen full body Canada goose decoys. We also hunted out of comfortable Avery and Final Approach layout blinds.
5 / 5
From the moment the sun hit the horizon until the last goose fell we had continued action and ended up only one bird short of a 6 man daily limit. It was both an entertaining hunt as well as a successful hunt.
|QUALITY OF MEALS |
|Score||3 / 5|
Growing up in the area, both Nick and Greg are very familiar with the best in local motels and restaurants and can make great recommendations for their hunters.
HUNT PACKAGES AND
4 / 5
Flight Patrol offers ½ day field or water hunts for $125.00 per gun. They also offer a private hunt for $200.00 per day, per gun. For what they offer their rates are reasonably priced.
|OVERALL QUALITY |
OF THE TRIP:
|Score||5 / 5 |
Overall the daily hunt was a great success. Not only was it action packed with multiple opportunities to harvest geese at under 20 yards, but the comradery of the guides made the trip a fun experience. The fact that we only had 6 guns in the field, including the guides also made for a more personable hunt.
Overall Flight Patrol Guides Scored 27 Out Of 30 Giving Them An "A" Rating. We Would Not Hesitate To Refer Them For Their Spectacular Canada Goose or Duck Hunts!
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Part 3: Booking Information
|Contact Information For Flight Patrol Guides|
Outfitters: Nick Metzen and Greg Ward
Address: 2909 58th Street SW Waverly, MN 55390
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website Address: flightpatrolguides.com
Additional Hunts Offered:
Flight Patrol guides also offer fully guided hunts for big water duck hunts in Minnesota as well as spring snow goose hunts in Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. They are also in the process of putting together a fantastic fall pheasant hunting package in South Dakota.
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