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.
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.
“Kali” my new lab on her first spring snow goose season. She patiently waits to retrieve snow geese between flocks.
Kali kenneled up in North Dakota.
Above average February snow goose hunt.
The ratio for bands is about 1 out of 350 snow geese.
Game straps are straining under the load of these snow geese.
Young hunter with a banded snow goose.
This is the snow that followed the black cloud.
Deadly Decoys™ snow goose decoys worked today!
This group of youth hunters had a good time hunting snow geese in 2012.
Nothing but smiles for these young hunters as the pose for a picture with their guide Mark Orton.
Lesser snow geese
Smiling faces at the end of the average days snow goose hunt.
Game strap were full on many of our early guided snow goose hunts in 2012.
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.
Large spread of decoys are very attractive to snow geese.
The warm weather resulted in slower than normal hunting in South Dakota in 2012.
Beautiful end to a beautiful day in the snow goose field.
Here is another successful late February snow goose hunt in Missouri.
Mickey’s dog retrieving a downed snow goose.
The snow only lasted for a short time but the big flakes covered the ground and in this case the hunters fast.
Sunrise over the snow goose decoys
We are not sure the breed of this retriever.
Nice day hunting snows.
Missouri snow goose hunting.
End of the first days hunt in ND.
Missouri snow goose hunting can be a lot of fun.
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.
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.
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.
One of our many female hunters with some of the snow geese she harvested.
Although a little too young to carry a gun this young hunter enjoyed retrieving our snow geese.
Mickey with his group of snow goose hunters.
A banded snow goose.
A successful early March snow goose hunt in Missouri.
Here is a successfull Missouri snow goose hunt
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.
Scenic sunset over the Deadly Decoys™ snow goose decoys.
Games straps loaded with snow geese.
These 4 hunters started a day earlier than the rest of their party and the snow geese cooperated.
A beautiful sunset at the end of the snow goose hunt.
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.
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.
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.
This is some of the hunters we moved from Missouri to South Dakota to hunt snow geese.
All of our snow goose decoy spreads are 2000 strong for 2013.
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.
I’ve said February was very good this year. Here is another group of hunters with a large day in the snow goose field.
Here is another picture of the afternoon that the black cloud moved through our area.
Snow goose flyers are a very effective tool.
All of our snow goose hunting is done over large decoy spreads with decoying birds.
Here is a group of hunters with an average day in the field chasing snow geese.
Here Up North Outdoors Guide Jim Weston (left) poses for a picture with one of his snow goose hunters.
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.
An average day in the field.
We use a lot of flyers and large decoy spreads to lure the snow geese into gun range.
Spring 2012 snow goose hunters
We are highly successful at hunting snow geese but remember these are migrating birds and weather can affect the hunting.
Banded Blue Goose
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.
Banner snow goose hunt in February.
We use nothing but top notch equipment. All of my guides have ATV for hauling gear in and out of the field.
February Missouri snow goose hunt.
Here is a 11 year old hunter cleaning his first snow goose as his dad watches.
Extension tubes are legal when hunting snow geese during the spring season. This hunter might be taking it to extremes.
We have a communication page exclusively for out hunter. It allows our hunters the ability to track the snow goose migration and our success.
Snow geese migrated big time this day.
Another average day hunting snows.
Banner snow goose hunt in February.
Banded snow geese
Good snow goose hunt.
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.
Snow goose hunting Missouri
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.
Spring Snow goose season 2012
This blue goose isn’t getting away.
Hunter with a handful of harvested snow and blue geese.
Missouri snow goose hunting
Another big February snow goose hunt.
February snow goose hunt
Another successful spring snow goose hunt
These hunters were happy with an average snow goose hunt. It’s more than a limit of Canada geese back home.
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.
spring snow goose migration.
Another average guided snow goose hunt.
Another good mid February snow goose hunt.
Here is our best day guided hunt for 2012. These hunters harvested 119 snow geese on February 22, 2012.
Well above average snow goose hunt. This in another one of the guides hunts in ND in which we harvest 87 birds.
Deadly Decoy™ snow goose flyer with a scenic sunset.
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.
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.
We moved our Kansas hunter to Missouri due to the warm weather in the 2012 spring season with very good results.
This hunter poses with some of the snow and blue geese he harvested.
February is as good of a time as any to hunt snow geese during the conservation order.
Mickey on his guided snow goose hunt.
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.