The latest cold/snow shot is behind us and with a ridge building in, the snow goose migration should get back headed north this weekend. Temperatures will be 60 to 70 degrees warmer, yes that’s not a typo, than they were earlier this week. Ice will melt and the snow line move north and snow geese will respond as they continue their journey back to the breeding grounds.
A series of powerful late winter storm paraded across the country the past 7 days dropping snow across the Dakotas and Iowa. This combined with low temperatures below zero as far south as South Dakota slowly pushed much of the migration back into southern South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa over the past few days. Open water has been hard to find north of the Missouri River in southern South Dakota. Large numbers of geese are currently staged from Yankton south into western Iowa and north of Omaha, NE. South of there down to Loess Bluffs is where you’ll likely find the friendlier flocks with more young geese. Much of the migration has finally consolidated since being extremely spread out. The two winter shots we’ve had the past couple weeks has slowed the leading edge and given some of the straggler flocks a chance to catch up. With that being said, there are still pockets of birds remaining through southern Missouri, Illinois, and yes, even Arkansas. The cold and snow that hit the northern half of Illinois even sent snow geese back south into the bottom half of the state the past few days. If you want to shoot geese in these parts, hit the road and find them. Setting up a traffic spread might make for tough hunting.
Saturday afternoon and Sunday the warmup hits across the plains. South winds should make for snow geese on the move and good hunting. The weather looks to move more seasonable into the early part of next week. Temperatures will return to average across much of the country. While this might not lead to consistent moves north, there should still be some movement especially along the northern edge as the snow moves back north. Even with temperatures slightly above freezing, the increasing sun angle of mid-March will continue to make the snow line recede and we all know how snow geese respond to that!
Don’t miss the latest episode of Fowled Reality. This week we’re putting “Green on White” after a winter storm pushed mallards in from the north and the west in early December.