We can’t talk about 2015 without discussing the weather. This year’s spring snow goose hunting had a number of weather challenges. The best snow goose hunting is normal consistent weather. We want to avoid the extreme weather conditions. Too hot or too cold is never good for spring snow goose hunting.
Our Arkansas snow goose hunts began with awesome hunting. Above normal temps had snow geese migrating up to mid-Nebraska by early February. Northeast Arkansas was really dry this year and places that normally staged snow geese had no water so we saw fewer birds in the area we hunted but the snow geese that were there were very good decoying birds. After a cold snap hit, those snow geese we had been wearing out did a reverse migration by heading south. A second snow storm cut between us and them stalling normal spring snow goose migration pattern. A third spring storm hit south Arkansas when we were in Nebraska. All of these southern snow storms disrupted the normal migration pattern and pushed birds farther east than normal.
The move to Nebraska was seamless. There was a ton of birds on the lake when we arrived. Below zero weather rolled in right when we started our Nebraska snow goose hunts locking the lake up with ice. Many of the staged snow geese left. A week later the temps hit the mid 60’s and stayed in the 60 to 80 degree range the rest of the season. We were snow goose hunting in 91 degrees weather on March 16…way too hot. Our blinds were mini ovens. There was a mass migration north with these warm temps. We still had small numbers of birds remaining and there was mini migration pushes of snow geese to the end. How did we like Nebraska? WE LOVED IT! We didn’t like the weather this year but it’s the weather. It’s going to vary each year. The atmosphere of small town Nebraska was awesome. Why different than the chaos that ensues in Mound City, MO when snow goose hunting is in season. Nebraska is a great place to enjoy spring snow goose hunting.
Overall we feel the 2015 spring snow goose season was another fair year and similar to the 2014 season. A lot of field’s harvested in the teens and twenties. This is average hunting guys. We had gotten spoiled with all of the big days we had in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Those were very good years should be appreciated for what they were not something that should be expected every year. Harvests in the teen’s and twenties is an average daily harvest for a field of 6-8 hunters. That great hunting will come around again. Those that hunted the first week in Arkansas saw outstanding hunting. The weather was good and we had birds that wanted to work. It was as good as it gets. There are good, average and slow years or time frames to a spring snow goose season. The last two seasons have been more subdued because of the weather. Weather during the time frame you hunt will continue to be the biggest factor in your success.
Our 2015 spring snow goose season saw a total harvest of 3426 snows. We shot six leg banded birds. The ages of these banded snow geese ranged from 6 to 15 years old. All were banded as adults so some were likely older.