The Muck Boy crew was in Mound
City, Missouri on March 7th and 8th for our 4th annual
spring snow goose hunt.
Unlike our past hunts, hunting with Snow
Goose Chasers, we are changing things up. We will
be hunting with Top
Gun Guide Service and "RNR Waterfowl
Chasers" (810-335-0591). We had a a couple good
years with the guys from Snow Goose Chasers and we will use them
again. This year we wanted to give a couple of other outfitters
a try. We always strive to learn new things, and grow as hunters.
Hopefully, we will learn a few new tricks this year! Of course,
we will have a complete write up posted shortly after the hunts.
After hunting wtih Top
Gun Guide Service, "RNR Waterfowl Chasers"
Goose Chasers, we can recommend all three outfitters.
All have good fields, the days we hunded them, they seemed to
be in the flight path of the birds. All have good decoy spreads
with fliers and all have all the electronic hardware, vortex machines
and electronic callers with clean layout blinds. In all cases
the guides have worked hard to get the birds into gun range.
- First push of birds seen in the Squaw Creek Area
Travel to Mound City - We always stop about the
half way point at Sheels All Sports in Springfield Illinois to stretch
our legs, do a little shopping and have lunch. But what was really
cool the harvested corn field behind the store was loaded with canada
geese, getting us pumped knowing that the migration was underway.
Then all the way up flock after flock of snows were spotted moving
north into the area by the other half of our team coming over from
St Louis burning up the batteries on our phones.
- Weather for the day 30's in the
morning and near 60 in the afternoon with winds south east winds
switching to east in the afternoon. We started by meeting at McDonalds
in Mound City to connect with our guide for the day JP and outfitter
Ron Hohne, after some conversation about where we were to hunt and
what we could expect, we made the twelve mile drive north to the
setup in a harvested corn field. As with most of these hunts the
layout blinds are never in the correct place for the wind so after
getting to the spread we had to move the blinds and adjust the decoys.
The first bird in the morning arrived coming into the spread for
the northeast, it took a few rounds but it finally went down and
as JP retrieved he was surprised because it had jewelry. (Band
Information Species: Lesser Snow Goose Date banded: 07/22/2007,
Banding Location: 70.8KM SE of Churchill Mt; 8KM North of Thompson
Creek Manitoba, Canada Age: Hatched in 2006 or earlier Sex: Male).
For the most part there was only singles that would work the decoys
or sneak in and by lunch we had picked off eight. After lunch the
wind had switched again so we moved the blinds once again. While
JP adjusted the spread for the wind. All this hard work and we only
managed to pick off a pair of Ross Geese for the effort.
with Top Gun Guide Service - Weather for the day 30's in the
morning and near 60 in the afternoon with light and variable winds
north east winds switching to east in the afternoon. We started
the day by connecting with our guide Sean and the other party we
would be hunting with today at the Kwik Zone in Mound City. After
all the introductions everyone headed about five miles east of town
between Squaw Creek
Wildlife Refuge and Nodaway
Valley Conservation Area both areas were holding thousands
of birds of all species. After arriving at our field we moved the
blinds for the morning wind and Sean setup the vortex machine, fliers,
e-call and gave us a safety talk for the day. After the sun was
up a ways a larger flock finally committed to within shotgun range
and the group managed to drop six and a little while later a sneaker
came in low from behind of course it didn't’t make it far
and we finished the morning with seven. After lunch guess what?
Another wind change and again we moved the blinds to play the wind,
what little there was of it. In the afternoon the group picked off
five more all juveniles finishing the day with eleven.
As always we had a great time and learned
a few more things about hunting snow geese. We were planning on
being on the front edge of the migration and sure enough we hit
it perfect. Hunting the front edge is problematic because you are
basically hunting the oldest and most educated (conditioned) adults,
very very wary and everything has to be just right and I mean everything
right down to the smallest details - to get them to finish.
Heres a list of details - Blinds: completely covered
with the waste crops from the fields, no blind bags, shell boxes
etc.. outside the blind that are not covered with the waste crops.
No hunters rubber necking, this a hunter trying to take a peak,
thus sticking their head out, thats the guides job, its hard but
its what is required. Tying to hide eight or
more blinds and humans, is
itself counter to what it takes to getting these adults to committ.
So keep your head down. We beleive that the decoys need to spread
out at least one full step between each, no decoys laying on the
ground, no socks leaning front to back od side to side. If the birds
and flaring or not finishing the guide should move the fliers, start
or stop the vortex or maybe dismantle them completey because every
day is different and its even different from morning to afternoon.
As mentioned there was many species of waterfowl in the area thousands
of Speckle Bellies, Canada’s, Pintails Mallards a few swans
and they all wanted into our decoys on both days putting on quite
a show. Something every waterfowl hunter needs to see. Absolutely