The 2008 spring season was a slower year for us. Weather was the big story or bad weather I should say. Storm after storm dumped rain, snow, and ice on us periodically throughout the season. This below normal weather coupled with a below average hatch resulted in our harvest being lower than the last couple of years.
We harvested 3850 snow geese. Of these harvested birds eighteen had a leg band, five wore neck collars, and two had reward bands…one $50 and the other was a $30 band. Two fields broke the century mark, a 110 bird day on a guided hunt and a 121 bird day by guides on a non guided hunt. We had three zeros by groups that stayed until quitting time. One was a full day hunt and two half day hunts. There were other zeros however those parties chose to call it quits early. While these days might have been slow odds are they would not have been zeros if they stayed until quitting time.
The spring weather can be unpredictable and the weatherman inaccurate. The forecast was for up to 1 inch of snow overnight. We got 10 or more inches! This is just one of the abnormally large number of snow storms that plagued the 2008 spring season.
South Dakota Roost
This red neck collar was very worn.
South Dakota snow goose hunting produced a lot of bands this year.
Here is Jim and Billy again.
Decoy set in winter wheat on a Missouri snow goose hunt
When the UT boys roll into town it is a sure sign the snow goose hunting is going to pick up. Here they have the high field for the year with 110 snow geese.
Up North Crew 39
Birds Over Spread 1
Birds Over Spread 4
Up North Outdoors guide Jim Weston (left) and Billy Martin. These two guys are hard to keep out of the field.
This was taken when there were 1.4 million snow geese on the refuge. When they were leaving the refuge it is an incredible sight. The sky was literally full of birds.
Geese as far as the eye can see. The abnormally cold 2008 spring season stalled the snow goose migration at Mound City. The result was a peak count of 1.4 million snow geese on the refuge.
Birds Over Spread 5
South Dakota Band
An average day in the field.
Birds Over Spread 11
Another view of Squaw Creek when it is stack full of birds.
Worn Necker 2