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bucknduck

Snow Geese

24 posts in this topic

I know it is a bit early to be talking about them already in these parts but I just cant take it any longer.

I am starting to get geared up to chase the migration through N.Dakota this year and was wondering if you all had some tips on important things to pack or not pack. Also good places to look to watch the birds as they make their trip north, such as snow line web sites or whatever. Good stories of past hunts are always cool to read as well.

Thanks for the help or your past snow goose stories!!

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From my rent experiances out in SD hunting you will need: Extra boots and socks, white tyvek suits are cheap and good to use as white camo. GPS a big help when the empty light comes on the truck. If you can try to put the snow geese to sleep or find a field they will be going to early in the morning. we did this two years ago and had them all landing around us. its best when they start to land 5-10 ft from you let a thousand land and open up with the magazine extension on the gun. 4 guys and 72 birds in one sitting. Other then that try to find where they are going from field to field. and pass shoot that way you dont scare the whole flock away. also usually when u have a snow line they will return where they first started in the morning. so plan on heading back that way. we also use around 4000 rag decoys, two electronic callers, and that is also efficiant way of getting them in your face

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Thanks for the info!!

We got two e callers, and 1000 some decoys (Kind a mix bag), and buddys living in the migration path so all I hope is the migration lasts for a few weeks.

In your experiance do think farmers will allow the use of a 4-wheeler??

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some do some dont. some hate ppl from mn. others let you drive your truck out there. most of time it is i dont care just get rid of them. that or bring otter sleds to transport your decoys. if you get a big enough one you can even use it as a blind

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Have any of you guys tried mixing in canada decoys. I have 40 full body GHG canada's and thought it might be something different to decoy the snows. Last year I saw plenty of canada's mixed in with the flocks of snows so i thought this might add realism, and be different from other spreads. Iv even thought about mixing in mallard decoys with the snow spread. Has anyone tried this?

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I know that it works good in the fall, but I have been told not to mix them in during the spring. I am not saying that it is not worth a try just what I have been told. Everyone tells me it would be better to get them goose gloves for my full bodies. You ever try them?

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i have found out in most cases it does not work in the spring its like the two hate each other. unless you put the canadians away from the snows. thats good.. dont mix though. snows are a very aggressive feeders. watch them lil things once. move a city block in about ten minutes. i try to form the feeders out front into the wind and make a huge pocket inside for them to tornado down into. and have some in the back that look like they are resting. snows got to be one of the hardest birds to decoy. they look around at everything ten times more then a canadian. Take alot of mud and corn stalks to your blind. and if ur in snow get a painters drop cloth and wrap it around your blind for a cheap white cover.

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Thought i would share a story with you.

I tried hunting Snows with very limited success, either stalking them, pass shooting and decoying. Never had very good luck but still enjoyed trying.

Anyways, Two years ago i met up with a couple of guys who are absolute finatics for snow goose hunting. They invited me out to S.D. in late March for a hunt. To make a long story short, i had the hunt of a life time. We were there for 5 days and shot 320 snows. 3 bands and a neck collar to top it all off. Which is about right. According to them they shoot a banded snow about every 100 on average. It was awsome. In your face 10 to 20 yard shots. At one point we had geese coming in non stop for about an hour or two. Everytime we thought we could go out and pick up birds more would dip down out of the clouds. To see birds working the decoys from 100's of yards up was just unbelieveable. Was an awsome experience to say the least.

As far as equipment, we had 2500+ decoys. A little bit of everything. Alot of Texas rags. They try to immitate a feeding flock. If you have ever seen a flock mowing down a corn field that is what you want to immitate. They pretty much play hop scotch all the way across a section. So we spread our decoys out alot to make the spread look bigger. At least a 20 foot radius around each decoy. Especially on the downwind side of the spread. We packed the decoys tight around the blinds and left it kind of open behind the blinds and put a string o wings to immitate birds getting up and heading to the front of the flock where we packed them pretty tight again. Make them look like they are racing to the front to get at the fresh ground that hasn't been picked over yet. Needless to say, it worked. The guys i hunted with were not guides but easily could be. They said that would make it work and not fun so they stay away from guiding. To them it was just another week hunting snows. We left the spread up all week and only had to adjust for the changing winds. But we were in the same field day in and day out. We were in the flight path and towards the end of the day the birds got tired and that is when they decoyed best. When they were looking for a place to rest and eat. The birds that decoyed in the morning most likely were flying all night and were getting tired in the a.m. If you are in the flight path be patient they may not decoy in the a.m. but sooner or later you are going to get some tired birds that want to land and thats when the fun begins. It could happen at any time, it's like someone just throws the switch and it is on! They invited me out again last year and now this year but i just can't find the time or the money to make it. If you get into the geese like that the one thing you need alot of are shells. I probably shot 1 1/2 to 2 cases. It was well worth it. Good luck on your trip.

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 Originally Posted By: panfried

Anyways, Two years ago i met up with a couple of guys who are absolute finatics for snow goose hunting. They invited me out to S.D. in late March for a hunt. To make a long story short, i had the hunt of a life time. We were there for 5 days and shot 320 snows.

Great story... Not sure what the limit was back then, but by todays limits, (3 people/5 days/20 per day) you were over your limit by 20. Hate to get a ticket for being over the limit on "flying oil rags".

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Good story, always fun to read a good story before going on a trip.

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thanks for sharing the story. Every waterfowler should experience the spring snow goose hunt at least once. I've never made it out but saw a ton of snows migrating when I was out there in the fall of '06 pheasant hunting. Hoping to get out there for a weekend this fall but I'd only have the opportunity to sneak / pass shoot 'em unfortunately. Would love to have a decoy hunt someday.

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cripes panfried, that makes me want to get out there right now. Planning to try it for the first time this spring. Don't think I'll do as well as you did, but I'm going to try nonetheless.

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A word caution for everyone out there if your planning on trying the spring hunt. It is highly addicting!! My first year was last year, I didn't have any gear but a really cheap layout blind. I went out with a buddy who had some of his own gear and gear he borrowed from one of his hunting buddies. It was awesome and we only shot five geese for the weekend. Fast forward to this year...I bought ten dozen silo socks, my buddy bought twenty dozen, plus some used full bodies. I also got a much better blind and recently six shell dekes. I cannot wait to get out there. It's not just the snows though. You will never see more waterfowl anywhere. Honkers of course but also Specks, and ducks of every shape and size and in full plumage. It's awesome. Alittle torturous because you cant shoot them but if a fella was smart he would bring a camera. A month away baby.

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The limit was 20 per day per person. No posession limit. I didn't say there were only three of us but it did sound like that in the story. There were actually six of us out there. Sounded like a war when we all opened up. I wish i wouldn't have even looked at this forum, all i can think about now is going out there again. Just don't have the time right now. Really sucks. Good luck to all who make it out this year. The 3 keys to success in my opinion are Timing, location and patience. The reason i say this is because on the last day we were out there we were hunting in a spread that was literally shredded from 60 mph winds the night before. That was tough to think about sitting in the hotel room that night knowing 1000+ dollars in decoys were being destroyed. That is one of many hardships in snow goose hunting. Despite haveing our spread cut in half and not really taking the time to pick up all the shredded decoys we shot 80 birds by 1:00 pm with 4 guys. We then started picking up decoys. We had 2 trucks in the field and the geese still kept trying to come in. It was unreal. It is truly addicting and an experience like no other. All the other waterfowl that you get to see just adds to the experience. If you don't shoot anyhting the entire time you are out there it is still worth the time and money. Enjoy!!!

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That would be hard to pass up!

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 Originally Posted By: panfried
If you don't shoot anyhting the entire time you are out there it is still worth the time and money. Enjoy!!!

Well said, I took my first trip to SD for snows last year and was in awe. It it definitely something any avid waterfowler should experience, if you hit it right, the numbers of geese you will see is truely amazing. I had a blast and plan on getting back out there this year. Timing and location are key. Just try as hard as possible to be able to adapt and be able to move with the birds and you will have success. For example, just because a hot tip said the bulk of the birds are near Yankton, don't book 3 nights in a hotel there, book one and be able to move when the birds move, which they will unexpectedly in most cases.

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I leave This wednesday for Mo. to help guide with a buddy of mine....its gonna be TOUGH hunting!

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Good luck! Post some pics if you come into some birds.

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 Originally Posted By: wooduck26
I leave This wednesday for Mo. to help guide with a buddy of mine....its gonna be TOUGH hunting!

you can say that again,,, sounds like he got a pretty sweet field locked up though

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 Originally Posted By: Roosterslayer05
Have any of you guys tried mixing in canada decoys. I have 40 full body GHG canada's and thought it might be something different to decoy the snows. Last year I saw plenty of canada's mixed in with the flocks of snows so i thought this might add realism, and be different from other spreads. Iv even thought about mixing in mallard decoys with the snow spread. Has anyone tried this?

im not sure if thats even legal in spring. we run 5000 fullbodies and it works great.

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Wow, do they let you drive the semis that you put the 5000 decoys in out in the field? The six dozen canadas that I have take up a lot of room!

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5000 wow! thats like 80 grand worth of dekes-- sounds like somebody won the lottery! If you can use unplugged guns and e-callers I am pretty sure you can use any decoy you want for spring geese-----If I see darks mixed in with snows in the fall when scouting I will use them just off of the spread of snows.

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There are no regulations dictating what you can use for decoys. From what I've noticed snows, specks and honkers do mix up...but mostly when roosting. When feeding, most flocks I've seen are purely snows. Although the specks and honkers usually check out our snow spread but if they land its usually on the outside away from the spread. If you were to set up on the ice or water for a roost decoys set up I think mixing them would be good. Another observation for that type of spread I've noticed the snows will generally be in the middle of a mixed spread with the dark geese on the outside. This is obviously not the only way, just what I've noticed lately. Might be a good way to add numbers to a spread though.

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Sometimes its fun to search a user's past posts. ;\);\)

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