Our 2012 spring season was our best since 2007. Total harvest was 5516 snows with four neck collars (Yellow, Red, Blue, & White), 15 leg bands, and one double leg banded bird with a $100 reward band. We also shot two rare blue phase ross geese.
Kansas Recap: All of our KS hunts were moved to NW Missouri due to the warm spring weather. The move worked very well for these hunters as the early hunting in Missouri was excellent.
Missouri Recap: I may sound like a broken record but for the third year in a row we had good hunting in Feb when we had few hunters. This year mid-Feb was exceptional! The first week we had 5 fields that broke or approached the 100 bird mark. The unseasonably warm weather had everybody worried and in the end it did affect the later hunts when the refuge count nose-dived from 300,000 birds to only a few thousand in just a couple days. Overall this year was a record harvest for us in MO.
South Dakota Recap: South Dakota had uncharacteristically slow hunting in 2012. With the record warm temps the birds just didn’t seem like they wanted to stop. The few that did stage were uncooperative. We ran hunts for only a week before deciding that our best option was to postpone hunts until next year when bird numbers will be normal and the hunting will be better.
Guides Hunt Recap: I still had a weeks vacation that couldn’t be changed so we left South Dakota driving several hours north. North Dakota requires guides to be licensed. We are not licensed to guide in North Dakota so we could not move our South Dakota hunters up there. It has been several years since we (guides) have been able hunt together for more than a day. We had a lot of fun hunting for five days with the last day being our best. It was an incredible day with 263 snows harvested.
Another big February snow goose hunt.
Hunter with a handful of harvested snow and blue geese.
Extension tubes are legal when hunting snow geese during the spring season. This hunter might be taking it to extremes.
A beautiful sunset at the end of the snow goose hunt.
Here Up North Outdoors Guide Jim Weston (left) poses for a picture with one of his snow goose hunters.
Here are the 4 banded birds we shot on the 263 bird day. Three had regular leg bands and one snow goose was double banded with a $100 reward band.
Banded Blue Goose
The orange color on the faces of this blue goose and snow goose is from being in an area where the water has high iron content. The iron stains their feathers and they can make beautiful mounted geese.
Sunrise over the snow goose decoys
When we first started running spring snow goose hunts it was rare to have women and kids hunting. Today it is not that uncommon to have families, wives, and girlfriends hunting with the men. Here a daughter spends time with her father for a few days in the field.
Another average day hunting snows.
Spring 2012 snow goose hunters
Good snow goose hunt.
Here is a successfull Missouri snow goose hunt
There are three condition required to make a good day in the field snow goose hunting. They are the right weather conditions, good shooting, and a little luck. This group had all three on this spring snow goose hunt.
Game strap were full on many of our early guided snow goose hunts in 2012.
Above average February snow goose hunt.
Here is Up North Outdoors guide Curt Schrader. Curt rarely leaves the field even when the hunters break for lunch. This day his hunters returned from lunch just in time to watch from the field drive as Curt shot this red neck collar on a blue goose for a migrating flock of snow geese. Although the middle of the day can be slow a few close working migrating snow goose flocks can add a lot of birds to the day’s total. The neck collar was shot off and it took several minutes of searching to find both halves.
Snow geese migrated big time this day.
An average day in the field.
Here is a group of hunters with an average day in the field chasing snow geese.
Here is a 11 year old hunter cleaning his first snow goose as his dad watches.
This is the snow that followed the black cloud.
This blue goose isn’t getting away.
Here is another picture of the afternoon that the black cloud moved through our area.
Well above average snow goose hunt. This in another one of the guides hunts in ND in which we harvest 87 birds.
Another successful spring snow goose hunt
The snow only lasted for a short time but the big flakes covered the ground and in this case the hunters fast.
We use nothing but top notch equipment. All of my guides have ATV for hauling gear in and out of the field.
Banner snow goose hunt in February.
Tornado? This cloud moved in turning the sky black and then it snowed HUGE flakes. There were a lot of tornado’s reported 30 miles south of us. My guide Cory snapped this picture as they headed for the trucks.
End of the first days hunt in ND.
Nothing but smiles for these young hunters as the pose for a picture with their guide Mark Orton.
Kali kenneled up in North Dakota.
This group of youth hunters had a good time hunting snow geese in 2012.
Beautiful end to a beautiful day in the snow goose field.
It’s a good thing we have ATV’s. It would be a workout walking these game straps loaded down with snow geese to the truck.
We have a communication page exclusively for out hunter. It allows our hunters the ability to track the snow goose migration and our success.
I’ve said February was very good this year. Here is another group of hunters with a large day in the snow goose field.
We are not sure the breed of this retriever.
“Kali” my new lab on her first spring snow goose season. She patiently waits to retrieve snow geese between flocks.
Another average guided snow goose hunt.
February Missouri snow goose hunt.
February is as good of a time as any to hunt snow geese during the conservation order.
Spring Snow goose season 2012
This lucky hunter was on his first snow goose hunt and was lucky enough to win the draw for this ross goose with a yellow neck collar.
Mickey’s dog retrieving a downed snow goose.
February snow goose hunt
Here is another successful late February snow goose hunt in Missouri.
Banded snow geese
Snow goose flyers are a very effective tool.
The warm weather resulted in slower than normal hunting in South Dakota in 2012.
A successful early March snow goose hunt in Missouri.
Early in the day the hunting was good. Once the black cloud moved through with the wind and snow the hunting for the rest of the day slowed.
All of our snow goose hunting is done over large decoy spreads with decoying birds.
A banded snow goose.
He takes swap from the throat and vent of the birds. Last year he didn’t find anything interesting in the collected samples. We have not heard back from him on his 2012 samples.
These guys hunted Missouri for a couple days then we moved them to South Dakota. The temperatures were in the 70’s and 80’s in late March which is about 30-40 degrees warmer than normal. These hunters took light of the situation with their Hawaiian shirts. It must have worked as they got two banded birds. A leg band and a neck collar, both on Ross geese.
This was one of the guides hunt in North Dakota. Up North Outdoors guide Tryg Koch won the drawn for the Ross goose with a white neck collar.
We use a lot of flyers and large decoy spreads to lure the snow geese into gun range.
Large spread of decoys are very attractive to snow geese.
February can be a little colder time of the year to hunt but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good as this picture shows.
Another good mid February snow goose hunt.
Deadly Decoys™ snow goose decoys worked today!
Smiling faces at the end of the average days snow goose hunt.
Games straps loaded with snow geese.
This hunter poses with some of the snow and blue geese he harvested.
spring snow goose migration.
These hunters were happy with an average snow goose hunt. It’s more than a limit of Canada geese back home.
Although a little too young to carry a gun this young hunter enjoyed retrieving our snow geese.
This hunt was March 10, 2012. There was a pretty good snow goose migration this day. Unfortunately it was also the day that we lost most of our snow geese in NW Missouri. With the record high temperatures the snow geese moved out a week to two weeks earlier than normal.
Mickey with his group of snow goose hunters.
Nice day hunting snows.
One of our many female hunters with some of the snow geese she harvested.
Missouri snow goose hunting can be a lot of fun.
Banner snow goose hunt in February.
We moved our Kansas hunter to Missouri due to the warm weather in the 2012 spring season with very good results.
This is Dick Slemons from the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at Ohio State University. He has been collecting swabs from our harvested snow geese for a couple years for his research on defining and controlling infectious diseases in avian species.
Missouri snow goose hunting.
These 4 hunters started a day earlier than the rest of their party and the snow geese cooperated.
Here is our best day guided hunt for 2012. These hunters harvested 119 snow geese on February 22, 2012.
Lesser snow geese
This is the best day we have ever had snow goose hunting. It was a guides hunt in ND with 7 hunters. We shot 263 snow geese and 4 banded birds.
We are highly successful at hunting snow geese but remember these are migrating birds and weather can affect the hunting.
Game straps are straining under the load of these snow geese.
Average was as good as it got in South Dakota this year. This is not common but it’s what happened when the temperatures break record highs.
All of our snow goose decoy spreads are 2000 strong for 2013.
Scenic sunset over the Deadly Decoys™ snow goose decoys.
Mickey on his guided snow goose hunt.
Snow goose hunting Missouri
Deadly Decoy™ snow goose flyer with a scenic sunset.
An average day in the field is 15-35 birds. These hunter are on the low side of the average range which is still a nice day.
Young hunter with a banded snow goose.
The ratio for bands is about 1 out of 350 snow geese.
This is some of the hunters we moved from Missouri to South Dakota to hunt snow geese.
Missouri snow goose hunting