Spring Snow Goose Hunts
Spring Snow Goose Guide in Missouri & Arkansas
Our spring snow goose hunts take place near major staging areas and migration corridors in Missouri and Arkansas. Several hundred thousand birds are common and, given the right conditions, peak counts can exceed a million snows. 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 liberal laws allowing the use of electronic callers, unplugged guns, and no bag limits.
Squaw Creek Refuge – One of the best staging areas in the spring
Our Arkansas hunts start at the end of January right after the regular duck/goose season closes. The spring of 2013 was our first year in this area. We saw high averages, low hunting pressure, and good numbers of migrating geese. We are looking forward to another solid year of hunting in 2014.
Missouri usually leads the nation in total spring snow goose harvest. In late February we move from Arkansas to NW Missouri. This area is without a doubt one of the most consistent and productive regions in Missouri. Most of our Missouri hunts take place in this corner of the state.
The hunts take place on private leases over large spreads of Deadly® Decoys full bodied windsocks. My wife Denise and I own Deadly® Decoys, Inc. and together we design, manufacture, and sell them. (Check out our Snow Goose Decoys). They are a high end windsock decoy that has an internal BackBone™ support that gives them a full body appearance, striking feather detail, and unrivaled realistic movement. The blinds we use are lay down blinds. These blinds provide excellent concealment, comfort, and mobility. Our electronic callers are capable of producing sound quality of the utmost clarity without background noises or distortions. 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 from the crowd. These little things are what make our hunts more consistent and successful than the competition.
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 season but weather can play a significant role in our success. When weather issues develop we rely on our years of snow goose hunting experience and the weather forecast to try to predict how conditions will affect the geese in our area. Our policy is we hunt when there are birds in the area under all weather conditions unless they become hazardous. Occasionally we postpone hunts. If a hunt is postponed it can be rescheduled in the remainder of the current or a future season as the schedule allows. We do not refund money. When you booked the hunt you intended to go on and we intended to take you on a snow goose hunt. Nothing has change but the date.
Most of our hunting is done over semi-permanent sets. This means we hunt the same fields often, moving when necessary based on the harvest, migration, and weather. We hunt near very large concentrations of staged and migrating flocks, decoying them as they fly over our spreads. Since 2001 this has proven to be a very successful strategy. Our measure of this success is not only the nearly 50,000 snow geese we have harvested but also the high percentage of repeat clientele.
Our annual harvests of snow geese since we started running spring snow goose hunts in 2001: 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). That is 48,043 snow geese harvested.
If you would like video proof of the quality of our guided hunts you can purchase “Snow Flurries 2”. It was filmed during the 2009 spring season with several of our clients featured as shooters. It is exactly what you will experience on a good day hunting with us. You can purchase the video by calling 563-382-0530. We have also created a Snow Goose Video page to this website that contains a number of video clips from our 2010-2012 spring snow goose season. Most of it was filmed while guiding hunters.
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. These are above average days and show the potential. 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 testament to this fact. We are highly successful but we don’t guarantee birds. Slow days or even a rare zero are a part of hunting.
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™. We will also 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.
Follow Our Season:
We highly recommend that you drive when going on a snow goose hunt. We understand that some of you have long drives and would rather fly but there are risks associated with flying. The snow goose migration is weather dependent. Mother Nature works on her own schedule and there are times when we will need you to change the dates or location of the hunt due to the weather. If you are flying and this happens you take the risk of losing all or part of the cost of the flight. We don’t have any way to control the weather or what fees the airlines charge. So if you fly understand you are taking a risk that those that drive are not. If you are fine with that risk go ahead and fly. If you are worried about the potential added cost you had better drive.
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.
- 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 are required to help with the decoy spreads as necessary. The vast majority of hunter are asked to do very little. The exception are those hunting when we move a spread to a new field or those hunting the last day we run hunts in an area. Having 6-8 hunters help us reduces the pick up/set time from several hours to an hour or less. This time savings allow us to spend more time focusing on making your hunt more successful.