Thursday, February 23, 2012

Snow Goose Hunting!

Here in DE the snow goose conservation order is in full swing. On Saturday myself and some friends will once again put out hundreds of decoys and deploy electronic callers in pursuit of this extremely frustrating game.

For those of you who have never hunted them, it is usually feast or famine. To have success at snow goose hunting many factors come into play.....

1. It is important to be in areas the snow geese are using. If you have the time and resources, scout them out. Many times flocks of snow geese use the same fields to feed for consecutive days. Because of how destructive snow geese can be to crops, a lot of farmers and landowners are usually willing to let you hunt snow geese off of their land.

2. Another important factor is your decoy spread. Many people believe hunting snow geese is a numbers game. These same people will usually put out as many white decoys, bags, rags etc. that they have. Some hunters take a different approach and only put out as many good/newer looking decoys that they have. I am in between on this. I do believe it is a numbers game. Rarely do you see a flock of two dozen snow geese sitting by themselves. Many times these flocks number in the thousands. However, I do not put out any white trash bags, old beat up wind socks, or paper plates stapled together (yes I do know someone who has used this method).

My spread consists of good looking decoys that are still affordable so you can achieve the numbers necessary to have a successful snow goose hunt.

Some decoys I use are:
- Silosocks - These are a mixture between a silhouette and a windsock, they are lightweight, store easily and are very affordable. These decoys are a great way to add realism and numbers to your spread.

- Full Body Decoys - There is no question full body decoys are the most realistic decoys out there. There is also no question that full bodies are usually the most expensive type of decoy you can buy. However, I believe some full body decoys located around the spot in your spread where you want the geese to finish are very important. There are many brands of full body goose decoys out there, and you can usually find sales and deals where adding a dozen or two will not break the bank.

- Shells - I use shell decoys because I think they are a poor man's full body decoy. While they add depth and realism to your spread like full bodies, they usually dont look as good or realistic. There are many advantages to shells though. Like silosocks, shells are very easy to store and are usually much less expensive than full bodies.

- Silhouettes - Silhouettes have been used by hunters for a long, long time. They are a great way to add numbers in a hurry. The best part about silhouettes is these are usually the cheapest to buy and also very easy to make (especially snow goose silhouttes). The one drawback to silhouettes is they do not give the spread any depth. As snow geese fly directly over silhouettes they lose sight of them, and without other types of decoys in the spread they can flare birds from finishing.

3. Lastly, you can further enhance your chance at a successful hunt with electronic callers (in states which allow them). These callers come in all shapes and sizes. You can make them yourself or you can buy them. The most important thing when it comes to electronic callers is making sure the sound they are producing is loud AND clear. Just because you have the loudest electronic callers does not mean it will help your chances.

Good luck to anyone hunting snow geese this season. Hopefully we all enjoy some days like this...

I will post a report this weekend.