Snow Goose Migration
After 3 weeks of winter weather controlling much of the country and the halting the snow goose migration, things will kick into high gear by this weekend and we can all get back to saving the tundra! The combination of the full moon and normal to above normal temperature will have geese making huge strides north as the snow line disappears and snow goose hunters all the way to the Dakotas better be ready because it’s going to be fast and furious.
Up until yesterday, most of the snow goose migration had remained in the same locations as the past couple weeks. In the Central Flyway birds have started their move north with Squaw Creek picking up a lot of geese over the past 48 hours. While birds are currently still located as far south as Texas, in just a few days those numbers will likely disappear as the big refuges in Kansas, Nebraska, and NW Missouri build toward peak numbers.
In the Mississippi Flyway, the geese have yet to start their push north. A deeper snow field basically covers a large chunk north of I70 in Missouri and Illinois with lesser amounts extending all the way to the Arkansas border. Locations in northern Arkansas, southern Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky will pick up snowfall from, hopefully, one last snow storm this year. Four to 10 inch accumulations are looking likely across this area, but with the high sun angle of March and the warm-up coming, the snow should disappear quickly opening the flood gates for a migration to the north as early as Friday.
Reports out of Arkansas have the majority of geese south of I40. The snow is going to hold them back for a little bit, but they’re going to push into the snowpack rather than riding just south of it. They’re behind schedule, they know it, and they can also sense the change in the weather. Even with the warmth coming, they’ll likely be 24-36 hours behind the warmup in locations across central Missouri and Illinois. They have a long ways to come to get into these locations, but with good weather and the full moon coming, the snow goose migration will make huge progress starting as early as Friday. The Mississippi Flyway birds are going to remain behind the progress of the Central Flyway geese as they bottle neck near Squaw Creek, but they’re not going to be too far behind.
For snow goose hunters, this is the forecast we’ve all waited for. It’s been three weeks since we’ve all seen a forecast like this coming weekend. Birds will be covering a lot of miles trying to make up for lost time, they’ll be hungry and tired. Let’s cross our fingers for a continued good forecast!
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