Snow Goose Migration
These snow goose migration updates are starting to sound like a broken record! A brief warm-up followed by snow that pushes some snow geese back south while others continue to stage in the same areas. For the fourth or fifth time this spring, a snow storm is taking aim across migration corridors. Many snow geese are currently located across South Dakota and some have begun to push into North Dakota. The brief warm-up late last week and into this past weekend and helped the snow recede further north, but a fresh blanket of the white stuff will soon replace it.
Snow Goose Hunting
Over the weekend, there were many reports of the snow goose migration beginning to push in North Dakota. Nearly all of South Dakota and nearly a third of North Dakota became free of snow cover and the snow geese are eager to continue their trek north. The series of winter storms that has hit over the past two months has the snow goose migration way behind schedule and the birds know it. They’re taking advantage of every opportunity they can to push north. Instead of staging just under the snow line, a lot of birds this year have been hanging in the southern edge. When the snow has hit and bodies of water have frozen, they’ve pushed to the rivers where they have open water for roosting and they’re feeding on hilltops and south facing slopes that offer less snow cover over food sources. This was first noted during the snow goose migration in mid-February when a snow storm hit Missouri. Instead of the vast majority of snow geese pushing back into the southern part of the state and Arkansas, many birds pushed into the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Even with covered food sources, they rode out the storm by roosting on the open water on and near the rivers and feeding in areas with the least snow cover. This will continue as the snow geese are reluctant to loselatitude in their return trip north.
Starting on Tuesday, snow will begin falling across areas of southern North Dakota on into central South Dakota. Locations look to pick up as much as a foot of snow. This make for difficult snow goose hunting conditions, but if you’re braving the elements, look for good concentrations of birds along the larger river systems. Field conditions right now are extremely muddy and will only get worse after the next round of snow begins to melt.