8 Tips for Snow Goose Hunting
Type of fields
Some field provide very little cover to hide in so if you’re hunting a field such as Winter Wheat, you will want to hunt the edge of the field with layout blinds or wear white suits. In the Spring time the birds really like to feed in winter wheat fields so if you can get access to one, take it. Corn fields and Rice fields can provide great cover for layout blinds depending on whether or not the farmers left the stubble standing.
What to wear
We can tell you what color not to wear…. black. Black is one of the worst colors to wear when it comes to hunting snow geese so we always recommend people wear any kind of camo pattern or browns and greens. White is of course great.
Dress in layers depending on the weather as snow goose hunting in Southeast Missouri typically occurs in cooler temperatures.
How to set decoys
Decoys set up can vary based on wind and weather. The number of decoys you have can also affect how you set up the decoys. If you’re hunting with 500 decoys you might want to spread each decoy out to 5 or 6 feet apart. If your hunting over 1300 or more decoys you might want them spread out 2 feet apart. Shapes aren’t necessarily a big deal but if you’re hunting a permanent spread with white suits or layout blinds, a donut shape is best because all you have to do is move your blinds each day to account for wind direction.
Calling snow geese
The electronic calls make it so much easier to hunt snow geese with the flip of a switch. One problem some new hunters run into is running the callers to loud. There are times to run them loud an times to run them very quiet. Don’t just depend on the electronic calls, mouth calls are actually much louder and can be heard from very far away. They are a great addition to use with the electronic calls.
Just like all waterfowl, weather affects what the birds do and see. Nothing beats a nice sunny day with south winds blowing 10 – 20 mph. Wind is very important when it comes to hunting snow geese because without wind the decoys won’t be moving and if you have ever watched a flock of snow geese on the ground they are always moving. On rainy days the birds tend to spread out into much smaller groups and you will find them in fields everywhere feeding instead of giant flocks of five and ten thousand.
In Southeast Missouri birds have many places to roost with all the flooded rice and bean fields so there is a lot of trading back in forth by the snow geese. Once you go north of the bootheel now the birds are all roosting on one large lake in the area and the trading from other roosts no longer happens. The other problem we have noticed north of the bootheel is the birds pick up in the morning to go feed and when they leave the roost you better be set up in that direction they go or you won’t hardly see birds that day.
3 inch at a minimum and for everyone who’s shooting 12 gauge we highly recommend 3.5 inch shells. Nothing smaller than 2 shot but BB is usually your best choice. Winds can highly affect the shot so if we have a windy day you will want those 3.5 inch shells with BB. 3 inch shells work just fine but aren’t always shooting geese at 15 to 30 yards up. Sometimes when we don’t have wind those birds will hang at 40 yards and that’s all they will give us so the larger shell with larger pellets will help out with those longer shots.
Hunting feeds or traffic
Hunting feeds can be an absolute blast because you are shooting the birds that were feeding in that filed the day before with the possibility of shooting migrators as well. Hunting feeds we don’t think is as important as it was 10 or 15 years ago. The pressure during the spring snow goose conservation order is so high that multiple people are trying to get access to one feed in the area so someone who’s hunting a mile or two away will more than likely have all those birds pushed over to them as the guys in the feed field push all the geese away. You also have the pressure of the jump shooters that run around shooting all the feeds out of fields. Here at RGO we run traffic fields that have high numbers of geese traveling through as well as lots of feeds always around in the area.
Goose Hunting Costs:
- 1-day hunt in Missouri – $175 per person
- 1-day hunt in Mississippi – $175 per person
- Specklebelly goose hunt – $125 per person
- Early/late season Canada Goose Hunts – $150
- Group of 4, weekday rate for Missouri/Mississippi – $550 per day
- Group of 6, weekday rate for Missouri/Mississippi – $800 per day