Up North Outdoors, Inc. has run snow goose hunts in several states since 2001. The past couple seasons we have focused our efforts on Arkansas and Iowa. Portions of these two states are major snow goose migration corridors. Untold numbers of flocks migrate through providing great decoying action. Peak hunting occurs late January through the end of 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 most states have no daily or possession limits.
We kick off the spring season in Arkansas. Arkansas usually starts their spring goose season the Monday after the last weekend in January and we continue hunting through late February. There is a large number of snow geese that winter in Arkansas. In addition to these birds, there is a steady supply of snow geese migrating through that have wintered in the southern gulf coast states and Mexico.
Our last stop during the spring snow goose season is in Iowa. Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is about 60 miles south of the Iowa border. Millions of snow geese stage on Squaw Creek. Up North Outdoors, Inc. was one of the first to guide snow goose hunters in that area. In 2015 after 14 seasons we left the Squaw Creek area because of the excessive hunting pressure. Iowa allows our snow goose spreads to be set well north of that hunting pressure but still catch the huge strings of snow geese that leave Squaw Creek heading for South Dakota.
What You Need To Succeed!
Our hunts take place on our private hunting leases over 1800 Deadly Decoys® windsocks. These are a high-end windsock decoy with internal BackBone™ support that gives them a full body even with low wind speeds. The blinds we use are a larger sized lay down blind. They provide us the combination of concealment, comfort, and mobility that we require as we move from area to area. Our electronic callers are capable of producing sounds quality of the utmost clarity. A large spread of realistic decoys, concealment, 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.
All our spring snow goose hunting is done over semi-permanent or some call them migrator spreads. In this style of hunting decoys spreads are rarely moved but rather we set up in known migration corridors decoying the migrating snow geese as they fly over us. In the last number of years, we have focused on hunting migrating snow geese over places they stage. Staging areas are typically a refuge or body of water that attracts massive numbers of snow geese. It also attracts massive numbers of snow goose hunters. We have found that staying away from the hunting pressure is a more enjoyable and successful way to hunt snow geese. We measure this success not only by the more than 67,000 snow geese we have harvested but also the high percentage of repeat clientele.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the spring snow goose season. Some of its warranted. A lot of it is overblown social media and marketing. If you take the time to watch our videos, read our past hunting reports, and look at the pictures in our galleries you will see that we have many truly amazing days in the field each year. It takes the right conditions, good shooting, and a little luck to have those 60, 80, or 100 plus bird days. Hunters should come expecting a daily harvest in the teen's or twenties 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 this special spring snow goose 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.