Snow Goose Migration
The snow goose migration continues its track northward as Spring temperatures begin to show. The masses of leading edge birds continue to hang out in NW Missouri and parts of Nebraska and Kansas. It looks like much of the country will experience warm temperatures next week and the birds will likely make a large jump north as the snow disappears.
The snow goose migration is strung out from Arkansas to parts of south east South Dakota. Small pockets of birds can still be found in Arkansas and what birds hunters can find are very friendly and decoy well. Further north into Illinois and Missouri, the story is about the same with pockets of birds in certain areas. The southern Illinois waterfowl survey showed 41,000 birds in southern Illinois which is near the 5 year average. Hunters must spend the scouting time to find the birds, but if you do, you're in for a great hunt. It all comes down to if you want to see birds or kill birds. For some seeing a million birds is great, for others, they'd rather see a few thousand and kill a hundred. The numbers in NW Missouri continued to be strong until mid week. Squaw Creek's survey showed a large drop on birds on Tuesday.
Southern Illinois Waterfowl Survey courtesy of the IDNR
Last week over a million were reported, while this week the number dropped to over 300,000. Blake was in NW Missouri Tuesday and Wednesday and and saw crazy amounts of geese. The birds are still there, they must have just been on other bodies of water in the area and not on Squaw to be counted. Success in those parts has been anywhere from 20-50 birds a field with some guys shooting near 100 birds occasionally. Even though, the leading edge of birds are near, there are still a great number of juvies mixed in. You'll have a few thousand fly over and a handful of young birds will drop out and come in. With the snow line starting in South Dakota, the birds have some more room to move north, but the lack of snow melt this year has left much of the rainwater basins in Nebraska dry. There is little area for birds to roost in these parts so they are continuing to hold in Northwest Missouri.
The warm weather next week should help the birds make the jump into southern South Dakota and the back half of the snow goose migration will begin moving in the Squaw Creek area. Hunter success should continue to be great and could even increase with a larger number of juvies moving into the area.
Our trip to Northwest Missouri was one to remember. It was quick, but very successful! in 1.5 days with two guns, we took 84 birds! The wind cooperated, but we had some rain on Tuesday. The birds didn't mind though. Wednesday the wind was screaming at 40mph+ and the birds wanted down. Groups were locked and barrel rolling at 300 yards away. The wind made shooting a challenge, but we still had a great shoot in the morning! Here's a few of the birds we took. Our snow goose hunting take was about about a 50/50 split of juvies and adults.