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Step-by-Step Snow Goose Hunting

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By John Pollmann

Even with a growing reputation as some of the most difficult birds to hunt, light geese – snows, blues and Ross’ – are pursued by more and more hunters every year.  Armed with the latest in blinds, decoys and e-callers, some might think that hunters have the cards stacked in their favor. Those that chase the giant flocks know their jobs are cut out for them every time they hit the field.  The following tips will help you gain the edge this year when you launch into another spring edition of the wild goose chase.

A Fine Line

This year marks the 12th consecutive spring conservation season for light geese, and South Dakota waterfowl hunter and Avery Pro-staffer Ben Fujan has seen many changes since hunters were first enrolled in an effort to reduce the pressure that light geese put on their fragile summer nesting grounds in the tundra.  However, there is one aspect to the hunting that hasn’t changed much: when it comes time to find snow geese in the spring, it all comes down to food and water.  “In the spring, snow geese are constantly trying to push their way north,” Fujan says. “But when they reach the ice-line or snow-line, their northward momentum is stopped.  Find that line and you’ll find the geese.”  Fujan adds that while snow geese will spend time on the ice, they seldom venture into an area where the food sources are still covered with any snow.  “That snow-line really is a great place to start when searching for snow geese.  Use weather reports to stay on top of the changes in temperature that are necessary to melt ice and clear snow.”

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