There are a fair number of snow geese in the area. Well over 100K in my estimation. Right at first light they rolled out of the south and west in big numbers. They didn’t roost on the refuge at night but sure piled back in to sit on the refuge during the day. We are not sure if they are feeding at night but they are not using the iced up refuge to sleep on at night. I glassed them and saw lots of Crystal White…mean old mature pretty white birds…tough to decoy…they have seen it all.
Cold…If you have not looked out your window this winter. It has been a cold one. Cold weather and snow goose hunting are not a great combination. Typically when the weather is colder than normal hunting is below average. This year has been no exception to that. Arkansas for instance saw the coldest winter in 100 years. Last year we average just over 42 birds per day (which is higher than normal) and the high field was 119. This year we averaged 16 birds per day (which is lower than normal) with the high field of 79.
Mud…Bring Waders! We are waterfowl hunting and at some point water will be involved. If you don’t want to or physically can’t hunt in muddy condition you may want to think about moving your dates back to my other openings. With the cold temps the frost was driven deep into the ground this year. The rain and snow melt have the water trapped between the top unthawed layer and the frozen layer. Once we get temps warm enough to get the frost out of the ground the fields will start drying. Until then it is going to be muddy. The hill field are less muddy but right now my hill fields are doing worse than the bottom fields so we have been trying to get as many groups in the bottoms as possible…hence more mud. Once the birds start moving north the hills will pick back up and we can get you out of the mud for some of the days.
We need this weather cold weather pattern to warm so we can get the migration moving on a more normal pace. When the weather warms up so will our success. Until then we have to play with the cards we are dealt.