This is the time of the year when you’ll hear “hundreds” of Snow Geese migrating north and because of the Special Conservation season, hunters have until May
As we were coming back from Watertown, approaching the Missouri River north of Vermillion, the sky was covered up with migrating white, geese, Snows, Blues and Ross geese.
This special season which opens in the Spring, was established to help put reduce the light geese numbers.
Their population has skyrocketed to a point, they’re eating, up their mating grounds, destroying the Tundra, which not only affects the geese, it affects all wildlife up north, on the Tundra.
Snow geese, snows, blues and Ross geese migrate in huge numbers and when there’s such great numbers, and for each goose you see, there’s hundreds if not thousands of eyes looking down on your spread.
In order to draw in these huge flocks of snow geese, your decoy spread needs to be much larger than the decoys you’d use when hunting the regular season.
Another thing that had made light goose hunting tough is the fact that snow geese are always calling and if you were set up with a mouth call, you’d have the chance of a snowball in hell getting their attention.
This is a Special season, runs from Feb. 14, 2022 to May 15, 2022 and the laws governing this season have changed, regular season waterfowl hunters are only allowed three shells in their shotgun, you’d have a daily limit and a possession limit, hunters can have no more than three rounds in shotguns and electronic calls aren’t legal. The non-toxic shot ruling is still in affect where all waterfowl hunters are still required to use non-toxic, steel, bismuth, tungsten, etc. shot.
To help control the enormous light goose population when hunting during the Special season, there’s no daily or possession limit, with the hunter needing to dispose the birds properly with electronic calls being legal and there’s no limit as far as the number of shotgun shells you have in your gun.
The avid light goose hunters in our area, put out huge decoy spreads, numbering in the hundreds, with several motorized decoys, the Cabela’s Northern Flight™ Vortex Combo where the decoys attached to it spins, resembling geese coming into the spread, adding realism to the decoys.
Others use waterfowl decoying kites, Styrofoam spinning aerial decoys that float in and amongst the decoys adding motion to the set up.
Generally, when these geese migrate, your first flights will be made up of the older birds, heading north to pick and set up their nests, to be ready when the mating begins. These geese are harder to bring in as they’re on a mission.
The later migrating flocks will contain the younger birds which at times are easier to bring in.
This Special season, hunters are reporting excellent luck decoying the light geese, harvesting good numbers of snow geese each time they go out, harvesting fifteen to twenty birds each time.
When Snow Geese decide to go in, with many birds that simply fold their wings and fall, “Maple Leaf” into the set, falling through hundreds of other geese that haven’t quite committed, when this happens, the flocks resemble a cyclone coming down and if that doesn’t get your heart a pumping, you best check your pulse!
Gary Howey, Hartington, Nebraska is a former tournament angler, fishing & hunting guide, an award- winning writer, producer, photographer and broadcaster and in 2017 was inducted into the “National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.”
He developed and was the Producer-Host for 23 years of his award winning gary Howey’s Outdoorsmen Adventures television series and the Host of the award-winning Outdoor Adventures radio program carried on Classic Hits 106.3, ESPN Sports Radio 1570 in Southeastern South Dakota, KWYR Country 93 AM and Magic 93 FM in Central South Dakota, As well as on KCHE 92.1 FM in Northwest Iowa. If you’re looking for more outdoor information, check out www.GaryHowey’soutdoors.com , and www.outdoorsmenadventures.com, with more information on these Facebook pages, Gary Howey, Gary E Howey, Outdoor Adventure Radio, Team Outdoorsmen Productions.