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2014 Missouri Snow Goose Hunting Report

The Muck Boy crew "was going to be in" Mound City, Missouri the weekend of March 1st, for our 3rd spring snow goose hunt. As all waterfowlers know this hunt is subject to the birds migration schedule which seems, never to match up with our schedule, the last two years we found ourselves here at the very, very end of the migration. This year we are totally changing up - instead of being at the tail end - we are going to be there at the very beginning of the migration for this area. This is being considered early because of this years colder than normal winter.

As like the past two hunts we will be hunting with Snow Goose Chasers, we have had such great experiences hunting with Scott and George and they are always improving their operation, like this year they have a new field that we just can't wait to get into. Plus they've added new and more decoys.

We will be updating this page when ever there is important information to pass along about this hunt, so check back often to keep up with the action.

2/22/14 - Winter will just not go away and the warmer weather of last week is turning back to cold again next week and with very few birds in the Mound City area and not much hope of any amount arriving this week and with some good advise from Scott our outfitter, we have moved our hunt to 22nd and 23rd of March.

2/24/14 - A large flock of Snow Geese spotted east of St Louis near Vandalia, IL.
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2/25/14 - Squaw Creek Refuge is still froze over - There is a limited amount of hunting taking place around Mound City at this time and some birds are being taken. But if your planning on hunting in the next week I would get with your outfitter and push back at least a week.
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Saturday 3/22/14 - Weather for this morning is Cool with temperatures in the mid thirties with a stiff north wind and partly cloudy.
Met up with Scott our Snow Goose Chasers Outfitter at the Super 8 motel in Mound City. Scott explained we would be hunting in a field about five miles east of here, the same field we hunted two years ago on our first Snow Goose hunt. We will also be hunting with four other hunters from Springfield Missouri. Also joining us today are two of the guys from the Muck Boy Mizzou Crew. The field is corn stubble and is set up with 700 full bodies and fliers. With everyone settled in there blinds we watched the sun rise and waited for the birds to arrive. Only a pair showed up and the eight shooters made quick work of them. While going out to pick up the birds, I spotted a juvie blue at the end on the decoy spread and called the Mizzou Crew to take it. After getting their cameras ready they made a great stalk and when it finally took off, one shot took care of the morning hunt, with a total of three. Note: most of the morning was spent watching thousands of geese leaving Squaw Creek headed north over Mound City. When we decided to break for lunch the geese were returning over Mound City, quite a show. After lunch it was decided we would hunt the pond, this is a good spot to pick up migraters that come in looking for water. Once everyone got settled in there blinds it was time for a quick nap as the sun was warm and the temperature had moved up to around forty. The action began with a pair swinging over the spread and they made quite a large splash into the pond, thank goodness we had a good wind, we just waited until the wind pushed them to the other shore to retrieve them. A little later a few more came in from behind us and three more hit the pond. Shortly after this action, clouds rolled in and the temperatures dropped to the low thirties which caused the action to stop, we never had another bird even try to work. So we packed up with only eight for the day.

 


Squaw Creek Refuge
- Here is a short video of what thousands of snow geese look and sound like. If you take this hunt make sure to visit the refuge when on a lunch break, it is something to see, during the migration there may be a million or more snow geese there, other birds that can be seen are Bald Eagles, many different ducks, geese and even white pelicans.

 

 

Sunday 3/23/14 - Weather is colder with temperatures in the low twenty's, a slight north wind and clear skies.
For this mornings hunt we are set up in a corn stubble field on the west side of Squaw Creek Refuge with 1500 windsocks, a few different flying style decoys and a vortex machine. There is only two of us and guide George on this hunt, as everyone else had to leave or gave up because of the tough hunting conditions. The first bird arrived about eight o'clock and decoyed well, a little Ross Goose, a very good sign. Until about ten thirty we had steady action, picking up singles and doubles but around ten o'clock with the flocks returning from feeding and headed back to the refuge, there was four or five flocks merging and working directly over our spread, and just as you see on T. V. a bunch of these geese started putting their feet down in front and on both sides of the blinds, now this is what we hunt for, with only three guns we took five, absolutely awesome. We finished the morning with twelve, including one very large adult Snow, some juveniles which the guides and outfitters call "juvies" and a couple more Ross Geese. In the Afternoon we had to change up the spread as the wind was going to switch and come out of the southeast. After getting the blinds, vortex, calls and some of the windsocks moved we spent the afternoon waiting for them to again leave the refuge for their evening feed. As the afternoon wore on the wind did switch but it also died and the birds ended up coming out later than usual, normally they leave between four and five but with a warm bright and windless afternoon they did not start to leave until six. We had an hour of good shooting, about seven they again quit working the spread and stated flying high. We took eight more birds with one being a very nice adult Eagle Head blue. All in all a very good hunt, one we will remember for a long, long time.

Trip Notes:
As always we had a great time and have learned to expect the unexpected when waterfowl hunting, we now know that adversity is part of what greets the traveling hunter. It is the opinion of many outfitters along with Scott that this has been the worst spring hunting season since 2010 as far as numbers of geese taken per hunt. On Sunday our last day, most outfitters were packing it up, picking up all their spreads and heading home even though there was still plenty of geese on the refuge and one more week to hunt. Below is a few examples of what effects the outcome of your hunt.


Examples:
What phase is the migration in?
The breeding adults for the most part are always first and the hardest to hunt because they are being hunted almost year around and have been educated to the ways of the snow goose hunter. If the juvies are around they are not as educated and will decoy better.

What is the weather? Wind speed, wind direction, clouds, sun, temperatures all play a part on your success. As on this hunt you read were the clouds stopped the action on Saturday and a lack of wind stopped the birds from working on Sunday.

Bird Take? Don't expect to shoot a truck full of geese, can it happen yes but it is rare, in fact it's rare to get a hundred bird day. Most outfitters will pad their numbers a little, but remember they have a large investment and need to fill blinds to pay the bills, expect from five to fifteen as an average and if you do better, consider yourself lucky.

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Snow Goose Chasers

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Saturday Morning Results


Nice Saturday Afternoon


Muck Boy Mizzu Crew


Large Sunday Snow


Sunday Afternoon Adult Snow and Eagle Head



Nice Sunday Shoot




Squaw Creek


Squaw Creek


Great Looking Spoon Bill


Squaw Creek


Squaw Creek


Squaw Creek