Spring Snow Goose Guide in Arkansas & Nebraska
Our spring snow goose hunts take place near major staging areas and migration corridors in Nebraska and Arkansas. Several hundred thousand birds are common and, given the right conditions, peak counts can exceed a million snow geese. These staged birds, combined with untold numbers of migrating flocks, provide great decoying action. Peak hunting occurs late January through March during the Conservation Order which is commonly referred to as the Spring Snow Goose Season. This special season has been in effect since 1999 to help control the snow goose population. It has liberal laws allowing the use of electronic callers, unplugged guns, and no bag limits.
Rainwater Basin in Nebraska - One of the best staging areas in the spring
We kick off our spring snow goose season in Arkansas. Our Arkansas snow goose hunts start at the end of January the day after the regular duck/goose season closes. Good numbers of snow geese winter in Arkansas. In addition to these wintering birds large numbers of snow geese migrate up through Arkansas from the southern gulf coast states.
Since 2001 our next stop to hunt snow geese has been NW Missouri. In recent years the hunting pressure has dramatically increased in that area. So much so that we feel a change is in order for us to maintain a high level of success over the entire spring snow goose season. Starting in 2015 we will be offering Nebraska snow goose hunts rather than Missouri snow goose hunts. With similar numbers of snow geese as Missouri we are excited about offering Nebraska snow goose hunts. We strongly feel that our Nebraska snow goose hunts will offer the same or better hunting than we had in Missouri.
Our hunts take place on private leases over 2000 Deadly® Decoys windsocks. These are a high end windsock decoy that has an internal BackBone™ support that gives them a full body and unrivaled realistic movement even with low wind speeds. These two features in addition to their striking feather detail make Deadly® Decoys one of the most effective decoys during the spring snow goose season. The blinds we use are lay down style. They provide excellent concealment, comfort, and mobility. Our electronic callers are capable of producing sound quality of the utmost clarity. A large spread of realistic decoys, movement, and sounds are the keys to successfully decoying snow geese. We have put a major emphasis on refining these areas over the years. Additionally, we have several subtle tactics that we use to set us apart. These little things are what make our hunts so consistent and successful.
Most of our hunting is done over semi-permanent or migrator spreads. This means we hunt the same fields often, moving only when we feel it’s necessary. We hunt near very large concentrations of staged and migrating flocks, decoying them as they fly over us. Since 2001 this has proven to be a very successful strategy. Our measure of this success is not only the more than 50,000 snow geese we have harvested but also the high percentage of repeat clientele.
The following is our annual harvests of snow geese. They total 51,750 snow geese harvested since we started running snow goose hunts in 2001: 3707 (2014), 5835 (2013), 5516 (2012), 5366 (2011), 1890 (2010), 5471 (2009), 3850 (2008), 5653 (2007), 4442 (2006), 3653 (2005), 3583 (2004), 1266 (2003), 1049 (2002), and 469 (2001). You will notice that there are 3 dips in our snow goose harvests in 2008, 2010, and 2014. Those lower harvests years are a result of colder than normal weather during those spring seasons. Weather is an important factor in the success of snow goose hunting during this spring season.
If you would like a video showing the quality of our snow goose hunts we sell a DVD. The title is Snow Flurries 2. It was filmed during our 2009 spring season. We wanted to give you a feel for exactly what you will experience on an average or better day in the field hunting with us. For those that don’t want to buy a video we have also created a Snow Goose Video page. The link to it is on the upper right. It contains a number of short video clips from our 2010-2012 spring snow goose season. The vast majority of the DVD and video clips are filmed while running our spring snow goose hunts.
There has been a lot of hype created around the spring snow goose season. Some of its warranted. Some of its overblown marketing. As you can see from the pictures and videos we have many truly amazing days in the field each year. It takes the right conditions and a little luck to have those 60, 80, or 100 plus bird days. Hunters should come expecting to harvest between 15-35 birds/field/day with a potential for much larger days. These are decoying birds with most shots being called in the 25-50 yard range. In reality, snow geese are the toughest of all waterfowl to decoy. The enactment of the spring season and its liberal laws are a testament to this fact. We are highly successful but we don’t guarantee birds. Slow days or even a rare zero do occur.
We Keep You Informed:
Our website has a blue button on the home page that says “Enter Reports”. Click on the button, enter password (provided in the confirmation letter after your deposit is paid), and now you have access to hunting reports, meeting times, field conditions, and whatever else we feel you need to know. We use this page as a communication tool with our hunters. You can check it daily but it is important that someone in your party follows this page in the days prior to leaving for your hunt. All important announcements are posted here.
Inclement Weather Policy:
We take pride in being able to successfully decoy these wary birds. Our snow goose hunts are run during the most productive parts of the spring snow goose migration. Even so weather can play a role in hunting success. If weather issues develop we rely on our years of snow goose hunting experience and the weather forecast to try to predict how the geese in our area will be affected. As long as we feel there is a good chance for success we will hunt unless weather conditions become dangerous. Occasionally groups are asked to postpone their hunt due to unfavorable weather conditions. When we offer you the option to reschedule it is most likely in your best interest to follow that recommendation. Some parties choose to hunt the original dates rather than reschedule. If you choose to hunt when we recommend you to reschedule it is at your own risk and odds are hunting will be slower than normal. Rescheduling of the hunt can be done in the remainder of the current or future season as the schedule allows. Bad weather is not your fault nor is it our fault. This policy makes the best of a bad weather situation. Postponed hunts don’t happen that often but when they do most of the time rescheduled hunters do far better on the new dates than they would have on the original dates. When you book a hunt with us make sure everybody in your party understands our policy on postponed hunts. We will not refund money. The only option for inclement weather postponements is to reschedule your dates.
Bird cleaning is done by your guide with assistance of the hunting party at the end of the days hunt. By law a wing needs to be attached to the meat for identification purposes. We use the Wing Slinger™ bird cleaner to remove the breast with the wing attached. We dispose of the cleaned carcasses for you. Storage of the cleaned birds is the hunter’s responsibility with most using large coolers packed in ice.
See the Wing Slinger™ in action below (NOTE: you cannot shoot ducks, canadas, or specks in the spring. This video was filmed in the fall.)
What You Need To Bring:
We provide all of the blinds, decoys, electronic callers, and any other equipment required in the field. While we appreciate the offers to bring your own equipment we prefer to use ours as it is proven, effective, and familiar to us.
- The laydown blinds have padded seats however some hunters like to bring a little extra padding with them. Many find a workout or yoga mat works well. If you decide to bring one make sure to get a closed cell foam type so it will not absorb water.
- Non-toxic shotgun shells. Most shoot 12 gauge, 3 or 3½ inch, steel shot size 2’s to BB’s.
- Camo clothing and face mask for warm and cold weather. Waterproof (Gortex) is preferred. Bring plenty of clothes and dress in layers. You can always take some of them off if you get too warm. If you stay warm and dry you will want to stay in the field longer and be more successful.
- Food or drink (non-alcoholic) you may need while in the field.
- Camera to capture the hunt on film.
- Rubber boots or field boots are all that is needed most of the time. Most years waders (neoprene) are not needed however if conditions become muddy waders will make hunting more enjoyable. We normally post on our reports page if waders are a good idea.
Hunters should help with the decoy spreads when necessary. The vast majority of our hunters are asked to do very little. When the guide feels a change is needed the more help they get from the hunters the faster it will get done and the sooner you will be back to hunting.