These birds are the most frustrating, irritating, and addictive birds for me to hunt. There are days where I curse them, scan the skies endlessly, and get to gloat over piles of dead birds. What I have learnt is that the tactics to effectively hunt these birds HAS to change year to year.
We have been hunting the Pacific migration in Spring and Fall and lucky for us they are pretty dumb. Meaning, this migration does not seem (in my opinion) to be hunted nearly as much as the Central Migration. So in the large flights of thousands of snow geese there are less ‘battle hardened’ veterans… hopefully.
While reading tweets from friends trying to tag the Snows on their way to the breeding grounds in the north, I seem to see a repetitious theme: The birds are TOUGH to hunt. Yes all those big flights of wary birds getting peppered by every hunter and hillbilly from the Canadian border to the Gulf of Mexico has sure educated them.
If you are heading out this year for the Conservation try mixing it up a bit. If you have set your decoys up the same way year in and year out, change it up. Space your decoys out a bit more some days, pack em tighter the next. Adjust the amount/volume of your ecallers. If you are using rotaries move them around. I would imagine that these birds have seen a lot of similar decoy setups.
I have been talking to a few people about what we wanna do for this year’s Spring Conservation Season starting March 15-June 15. It’s time to mix it up, change a few things, experiment on this flight. There is a good chance that the birds that we shoot at this spring will have not been pressured much and we will probably be the last people to shoot at em as they fly north. So we will see what comes out of it.
If you think that you really understand these birds, you would be the only one on the planet. For this species we need to adjust to them if you would like to succeed. Don’t be stubborn, read up online and get some decoy setup tips. Get your shooting practice in because hopefully you will need it!