3-17-15 - Grind it Out!
The snow goose migration this year....well? Yeah we don't know what to say either. As of Monday there are still a reported 650,000+ snows staging on Squaw Creek, with many more in the area. While the "experts" around NW MO expect those birds to vacate in a hurry in the next week, it has been a great past week and spirits are high in NW MO! Nebraska however reports merely trickles left to come from the Western edge of the migration.
On up wind side, the first wave of adults has pushed well into Canada on their way to places unknown. Large, but not overwhelmingly huge concentrations of geese can be found everywhere in between right now. The Aberdeen area in South Dakota is staging geese, but also a lot of hunting pressure. North Dakota areas around I-94, HWY 2, and beyond continue to report a here today gone tomorrow migration. With such huge fluctuations in bird numbers, success has been widely variable in the Dakota's so far this year.
The push really heated up from the Mississippi flyway side of things the last two days. Reports from Western MN yesterday were constant strings of light geese edging across the state....the first of the spring. The birds most likely broke free from the remaining flocks in SE MO and Southern Illinois.
Temps are forecasted to simmer down this week, which is great news. Those nose bleed snows will likely start to work better without the summers heat to ride out on.
With that being said, WE'RE OUTTA HERE. It's time for our annual friends and family snow goose adventure to begin. We're pointing towards South Dakota, and keeping an open mind and open map. This report won't be updated until we return around April 1 (shipping and costumer service is still up and running!). Make sure to follow our facebook page or instagram account for the most recent updates from the field. It's time to grind it out team!
3-12-15 - Hot Week
The unseasonably warm weather has put the snow goose migration into super sonic mode this week. On Tuesday we received our first confirmed reports of snows crossing the Saskatchewan border! That's a heck of a leap in just a few days!
Right now birds are spread way out, but hunting has been fairly consistent for those willing to adjust for what is happening. Large numbers of snow geese are being seen in central South Dakota, and the Sand Lake Refuge in Northern South Dakota is reporting 100,000 geese in the area. On the flip side, Squaw Creek refuge in NW Missouri came out with a 600,000+ number today, although most report that hunting has been tough in that area this past week. Many are hoping this second wave rolling through MO and NE now are going to start playing nice! As Kansas and Arkansas continue to clear out in the coming days, the best hunting is going to be moving North quickly as well. By the weekend there will be pods of huntable numbers well into North Dakota.
The best advice we can give ya right now is to STAY MOBILE. If your area (or state) isn't producing the birds you were hoping for (we're talking to you Illinois and Iowa!) hit the road. The fly over or around happened to a lot this year, and with the incredibly warm weather it is not the time to wait em out any longer.
3-7-15 - Huge Push
No toilet jokes please. But seriously the last few days have been impressive to say the least. Everyday since Friday we have heard reports of wide spread migration happening from Arkansas to North Dakota. There are masses grouping in Southern Nebraska and NW MO right now, with Illinois still seemingly getting the fly around. I do not expect a long stay out of these birds, with peak numbers being early this week.
The first groups of hunters hitting the SD corn reported good success with the first wave of tired migrators. While sun burn and smiling faces were the theme throughout the mid level states. This week looks to be a cooker with great opportunities for migrator hunting everyday. With the right winds we should be in for a pretty special week across the board.
If you're at the tail end of things right now, it may be time to make a big jump to get ahead of the birds as it's going to happen fast this week. The Aberdeen area and Southern North Dakota boys should even be getting a crack at them by the next weekend!
3-7-15 - Spreading Out
And just like that, BAM! Early reports from this AM say we've got snow geese pushing well into South Dakota, with sightings of birds heading North and on the ground in the Huron and Desmet areas.
With upwards of 8" of snow dumped on the huge concentrations in Arkansas on Wednesday, this is turning out to be one long strung out migration. That is good news! With so many birds in so many places, it creates more opportunity for everyone, while dispersing the hunting pressure. When millions upon millions of geese bunch up in one area they become very difficult to kill, but when they break up like this they tend to work better for everyone.
That's your quick Saturday morning report. Hopefully you are hitting the field this weekend as stuff is going to happen fast!
3-4-15 - The Prediction
With another round of snow pelting birds in SE Missouri and Southern Illinois today, and the impending warm up of the century (at least it feels that way), everyone is sitting around wondering...."What's going to happen next?" Here is our best guess:
Right now there are hoards of snow geese stretched from NW MO over to the basins in NE, and dangled all the way south into Arkansas and Louisiana. There are big groups seemingly everywhere, but no main "mega mass". Temps start to sky rocket on Friday and we expect that to be the kick off of a huge migration for the front edge birds. We have already received reports of small scout flocks bouncing into South Dakota....and with no snow in their way, the birds that have been staging in NE and NW MO for the better part of 3 weeks will flood the gates open into SD on Friday, with birds all over the state by Sunday/Monday.
Those in NW MO and NE who have been waiting for the weather to clear will get just that. A big push up from the South has been happening this past week, and numbers will sky rocket by Saturday. If you want to see "the show", peak numbers at Squaw Creek and places like that will happen by Sunday - Tuesday. After that the counts will have a steady decline. The best and most consistent hunting of the season will happen in these areas starting next Tuesday, as the masses push for SD and leave a drawn out migration of juvies and beat down adults coming up from the South.
The unfortunate ones in this out playing scenario are those in Southern IL and Southern Iowa. With snow still on the ground, a lot of birds already seam to be pulling the "end around". They are and will continue to bounce West around the snow in the next 5 days. The good news is what is left to come through after the main push this weekend will be very killable! But the big show is going to happen West of these areas this year.
So what should you be doing? We learned early in the CO days, when a huge migration push is imminent....STICK EM IN THE GROUND! Unless you're at the tail end of things, spending countless hours chasing feeds this coming Fri - Tues won't be nearly as productive as all day migration hunts. The birds are going to be so jumpy and ready to move, they might feed until dark, and be gone before morning (especially with the full moon!) That doesn't mean if you're spot isn't producing you shouldn't move, but don't get frustrated and try to play leap frog with migrating geese.
It should be a great next 3-10 days to be laying in a spread anywhere in Missouri and Nebraska. South Dakota boys better be ready as you'll have the chance to scratch the itch sooner than you thought. Towards the end of next week it will be full blown go time from border to border. Anyone South of todays snow better get em while you got em. These wet heavy snow storms will keep things at bay for a few days down there, but the mass exodus is inevitable by the end of next week.
It's GO TIME! Have fun boys, and we'll see ya on the gravel.
2-25-15 - I See The LIGHT
Now this is an extended forecast worth waiting for! Some like it to be sunny and 75....but for the spring snow goose hunter sunny and 50 is as perfect as it gets. Looking past another cold week, this much needed warm up is going to shake things up BIG time. Stale birds will be rejuvenated (juvie pun intended). The remaining mid level snow line will be wiped out. And the snows and blues that you've seen flying high and not giving your spread a look for the last two weeks will suddenly start to play A LOT nicer.
If these temps hold true, with very little snow cover in SD, and the front edge of birds already hanging around NW MO and into Nebraska, I'd expect to see the first push into South Dakota by next weekend! (right on time, every time *cough).
It's likely going to remain tough this week, but if you're hunting, just buckle down and focus....as it's about to get wild.
2-25-15 - Head Scratcher
Another week in the freezer has come and gone with not a whole lot new to report. There was one good day of "push" that happened over the weekend, and it sounds like another decent push is happening today. But as fast as they happen the birds, and everyone else we've talked to, fall back into a holding pattern waiting for winter to finally break. A lot of guys have had to adjust plans because it's cold and nothing is happening in the traditional areas.
NW MO and the I-80 corridor in NE are normally hotspots this time of year, and although there are some birds in those areas hanging above the snow line, they have yet to see any sort of huge influx....and certainly not the young ones that are most willing to play. SE MO, Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas are still going to be your best bet to find big numbers of killable birds in the coming days. If you've got a hunt planned somewhere else in the next 10 days, now is the time to cross your fingers and do a sun dance, as that will really help get this thing started! Until then we'll keep scratching our heads right along side of you wondering what's going to happen next.
2-20-15 - February Stall
As predicated everything has been on a steady hold this week. With bitter cold temps and a fresh blanket of the white stuff, "what you got is what you got" as they say. Even with the snow and cold there are pockets of smart old adult birds holding tight in NW Missouri, S Illinois, and Nebraska. Reports we've been getting from those going after those pockets have been tough though. The Arkansas and Kansas boys are having better luck during this stall, although even they would like some warmer temps to shake things up a bit.
Friday promises a bit of a warm up and there will likely be a minor migration and the possibility for some good hunts just in time for the weekend! The snow geese are officially behind schedule at this point, so as soon as this arctic snap truly breaks, expect some huge movement and great hunting! Are you ready?!
2-16-15 - Snice Monday
Snow and ice that is. This week starts out a bit wild in snow goose world. 6" - 8" of snow and ice is forecast to dump on some of the largest concentrations of birds right now in Arkansas and southern Missouri. Temps are going to bottom out as the coldest this winter has seen early this week, and they don't look to rebound soon. Shooting snows in the midst of the storm will be hot for some, but be prepared for a tough stretch after for the days following.
This is going to be a grind it out week. The cold will likely stall the migration and put it a little behind schedule, which means the first peak of sun coming out the other side is going to be go time big time for a lot of new guys!
2-11-15 - Creepin'
Scattered would be a good term to describe the last week or so of this early spring season. Temps are warmish, although not steady enough to bring on a massive early push North. Birds are beginning to be seen in NW MO and Nebraska already but not in huge numbers. the snow line is mostly non-exsitant on the Western side of the central flyway, with birds having a clear shot to South Dakota at this point (we heard of a few lost flocks up that way yesterday). Iowa is snow covered from last weeks storm which is holding the So. Illinois flocks down where they should be this time of year.
Although you may see some creepin', with temps holding steady around normal through the end of the week, and a cold front on it's way through by early next week....expect minimal Northern movement in the next 5-8 days. Being only Feb 11., again everything seems about right on track so far!
2-6-15 - A Little Early Yo-Yo
We had a range of temps mixed with a couple snow storms this week, bouncing birds around quite a bit for this early in the season. We heard reports of guys seeing huntable numbers of snows in Illinois and Missouri one day, then gone the next. With another week of yo-yo temps on deck expect to see more of the same. Smart early birds just starting to think about making a jump, while they really know it's too early to do anything crazy.
The good news is the CO is off to an incredible start for guys chasing snows in the deep south of Arkansas and Texas. We've never seen the consistency across the board as we have this year. Everything else seems to be "on track" for this time of year. Give it another 1 1/2 - 2 weeks and the boys in the middle that are raring to go will be able to let loose on whitey.
1-28-15 - And They're Off!
The official kick off of the 2015 Spring Snow Goose Conservation order was Monday 1/26. The first couple days, well, talk about a burner! We were blowing UP with reports of huge shoots across the state. None more impressive than our friend Nick at Eaglehead Outdoors had on Tuesday. As was reported this fall, juvie numbers are off the charts!
Temps are forecasted to hit 70 (?!) today across much of the South. Reports are coming in from Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri of the first few trickles of snows making their way up from the South. Not huntable numbers, and the 10 day forecast does turn a bit more seasonal late next week....but with a solid two weeks left until their e-caller seasons open, there is a true possibility of hunting early this year.
Eaglehead Outdoors - 418 birds - Arkansas 1/26/15
Kansas City, MO - 1/28/15
1-22-15 - Winter Warm Stretch
The deep January freeze was short lived this year, or so it seems as of now. With "caller" seasons opening as early as next week and another winter warm up on the 10 day guys are starting to get jacked! Early reports of wintering birds increasing numbers (from the South) has many across Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska thinking they'll be shooting snows on opening day like they were a couple years ago. As always, this could all change as it's ONLY January 22, but for now it's a nice thought.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
1-7-15 - It's Winter
In case you were wondering, it's -34 deg wind chill as I sit and write this from our offices in Wisconsin. Yep, it's January. Every bird in it's right mind is situated on their wintering grounds at this point. We have however heard some really solid reports over the last few days because of this huge arctic front. The boys are banging specks in Arkansas and lessers are hittin' the ground in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado.
Snow goose reports have been at a minimum to this point, and will likely stay that way until we start hinting on those first signs of a break. The great news is it's only 3 weeks until the Conservation Order opens in some Southern states. Now is the time to pull out your gear, get the e-callers in order, and pound together decoys. The anticipation is all part of the game!
We'll be updating this report more regularly as we get closer to GO TIME!
12-17-14 - Getting a Bit Stale
We aren't talking about grandmas meatballs here. After the "Grand Passage" of November, December has come in like a lamb for most. Birds have gotten in to mid winter patterns so early, things have been pretty stale and tough over the last couple weeks. A front came through and brought snow to some of the upper Midwest early this week, but nothing like what we've already experienced this season. The birds that road it through that are going to need a lot more to shake things up at this point. Look for extended cold and heaps of snow before we push the last remaining flocks out of the north and re-mix the stale birds in the middle of the flyway for the rest of the season.
That being said, we wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! We hope you find some time to hunt with friends and family this holiday season. And we truly look forward to seeing y'all on the flip side of the new year. With the incredible hatch this year is going to be a great year to be a snow goose hunter and we can not wait for spring!
11-20-14 - Deep Freeze
Speaking of arctic blasts, the 2014 fall freeze will go down as one of the earliest and quickest complete lock ups in recent memory. The grand passage is one way to describe what has happened over the last week. Huge numbers of birds vacated the prairies of Canada and gave a lot of us the fly over. Even the largest and deepest lakes in the upper regions have folks ice fishing on them this week.
The good news is the mid and southern states that are just beginning to kick off their seasons are in for a delight. There should be no shortage of wintering birds this year. The bad news for us boys who were hoping to pound on staging fall snows in the states is it didn't happen. But baring any huge snow storm, we should still be able to bang on the big hardy Canadas and late mallards through Christmas, before everyone's attention turns towards warm spring days.....and juvies galore!
9-21-14 - Here We Go Again!
Hey Team and welcome back. It's the first offical day of Fall and hunting seasons are underway once again! The positive breeding reports from the summer have already been confirmed through early teal and goose seasons in the Central and Mississippi Flyway. Although the Pacific Flyway might argue differently, there is plenty of water this year and a record number of birds for hunters to chase this fall.
We have talked to many contacts in the last two weeks that say the fall snow goose migration has started to kick into gear. However crop harvest is quite aways behind schedule in most parts of prairie Canada due to a late spring and wet summer/fall. This is making competition for fields fairly cut-throat for those trying to get into the game early. Non-the-less the birds are there and the word of a great hatch is being confirmed with many juvie snow and ross geese being picked on.
If you're going to Canada in the next few weeks, enjoy the trip and please respect your fellow hunter. And good luck to all that open their regular duck seasons in the next few weeks!