Snow Goose Migration Update – February 14th, 2014
The past week has been plagued by sub freezing temperatures and more snow across parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. The weather finally changed yesterday with a good south wind, clear skies, and warmer temperatures across most of the region leading to a good northward snow goose migration. Yesterday’s movement is hopefully a sign of good things to come in the next week.
For most of this past week the bulk of the snow goose migration has resided at the edge of the snow line and south. This includes areas in southern Kansas, southern Missouri, and the southern tip of Illinois with the bulk of the birds extending south from there. There are some pockets of adults birds there are well north into the snow line, but the masses of snow geese that characterize the spring migration remained in their locations up until yesterday. Temperatures ranged from the high 40’s to near 60 degrees in these areas yesterday and as the snow line receeded, snow geese made their move north. Great hunting was reported across all of Arkansas and even into the bootheel of Missouri. South winds, warm temps, and sunny skies are always a great recipe for a snow goose migration and hunting success.
Mobs of adults will continue to push the snow line, but flocks of adults with juvenile snow geese mixed won’t be far behind. From the reports we’ve head, these mixed flocks are showing in portions of northern Arkansas. Flocks that are predominantly made up of juvenile snow geese extend as far down as south of I40 in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Roosts have been concentrated on areas of open water, but as the weather warms, snow geese should start to spread out more as more open water comes available.
The Week Ahead
After the snow across portions of Missouri and Illinois today, temperatures look to moderate extensively and the coming week should produce the first large scale snow goose migration this year. Temperatures will range from the 50s to 70s by mid week across the areas currently holding snow geese. Outside of a few small systems, conditions should be dominated by clear skies and south winds leading to great hunting and a northward movement of the snow geese. If the forecast holds true, the snow line should be into northern Illinois and Iowa leaving Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri and most of Illinois free of snow cover. If you’re planning on hunting, come prepared! It’s been a brutal winter and it’s going to take time for the ground to thaw. Stakes will be tough to get in the ground so have the drills and chargers ready. The leading edge of adults could very well move into areas along the Illinois River and even into Squaw Creek by weeks end. For snow goose hunters in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas, the next 7 days should be great!