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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just hunted snow geese for the first time. We found an unposted field that was loaded with birds one evening and decided to try it the next morning. We got out there, set up our measly 30 silhouettes and a short time later another group set up on the other side of the field, about 1/3 mile away. I didn't mind since I figured more decoys couldn't hurt and there were so many birds the night before that there should have been enough for everybody.

As it starts to get light the first huge flock is headed our way and they start circling the field, very high. As they get over the top of the other group, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM they start shooting and all the birds fly off. The next group gets over the top of them and the same thing, open fire. One drops this time but they are still WAY high. This sky busting continues all morning so we decide that if we are going to get any shooting at all we better start sky busting. We end up shooting about 30 shots and get 4 Geese. The other group probably shot 70 shots and I saw about 6 or 7 drop over there.

Is this the way people hunt snows or were these guys just stupid or worried that we might shoot first and decided to beat us to the punch?
 

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Ocean Hunter said:
I just hunted snow geese for the first time. We found an unposted field that was loaded with birds one evening and decided to try it the next morning. We got out there, set up our measly 30 silhouettes and a short time later another group set up on the other side of the field, about 1/3 mile away. I didn't mind since I figured more decoys couldn't hurt and there were so many birds the night before that there should have been enough for everybody.

As it starts to get light the first huge flock is headed our way and they start circling the field, very high. As they get over the top of the other group, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM they start shooting and all the birds fly off. The next group gets over the top of them and the same thing, open fire. One drops this time but they are still WAY high. This sky busting continues all morning so we decide that if we are going to get any shooting at all we better start sky busting. We end up shooting about 30 shots and get 4 Geese. The other group probably shot 70 shots and I saw about 6 or 7 drop over there.

Is this the way people hunt snows or were these guys just stupid or worried that we might shoot first and decided to beat us to the punch?
Some poeple are idiots who think that " well, I'm out here might as well shoot." Nothing you can do about them, they are everywhere, I have sky busted a few shots before, but now I would rather watch them fly around up there now rather than waste a box of shells at 20 bucks a box. Most time sitting and waiting a bit longer if your spread is right you can usually suck in a juvie or two from the bunch.
 

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I suppose it also depends on what you consider " a mile high" and "skybusting"

No doubt many guys pass shooting will evaluate how high the birds will be coming out on a particular day, and many guys will indeed feel comfortable with higher range shooting.

but if you're trying to bring in a flock of snows with 30 decoys... well... good luck. They might only get 60 yds high before veering over to land nearby.

Sometimes that is the only option you have if conditions aren't right to bring them in close.

I'm in no way advocating skybusting...

However I know in my family we've also done a lot of shooting at higher birds and I'm comfortable reaching out and touching them at higher ranges than most field hunters are. However my family shoots a ton more shells at higher distances, and is quite consistent in their ability to understand how far to lead them and knock 'em down consistently. There is much less room for margin of error at higher distances, and unless you have the practice and the right loads for it... well..

Just remember that what might seem "skybusting" to you, might be considered hunting to another group. I don't mean to start a huge controversy with that, but I know LOTS of guys that can't judge distance at all... nor can they judge their own abilities, let alone another groups.

How much shooting at birds over 45+ yards have you done? (45+ yards high in a wind mind you...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
These birds were every bit of 70 to 80 yards up and appeared to be hovering, barely moving. I was shooting 3" BB and my buddy 3 1/2 BB. The ones we did get had either one pellet in the head or one in the breast, no more. Never since the lead ban would I have even considered shooting at a Honker at that range. I felt like they were 25 yards out of range but if we didn't shoot we were never going to get a shot since the other guys would not let them come down lower.

The other guys did mange to knock down a few more birds than us, maybe they were shooting 10 gauges and/or heavier loads or we just couldn't figure out how far to lead them since they appeared to be almost stationary in the wind.

I would shoot my first shot about 2 feet in front of the head, next maybe 5 feet and the the 3rd shot maybe about 10 feet. Rarely one would drop. I tried longer leads but to no avail.
 

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I wont shoot at a bird over 50 yards up unless it is a frustrating day and you have no other choice... snows will come in at 35 yards consistently if you let them, there is usually a few that we stray away and get suckered in...
 

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I'm an old sky buster :oops: Sometimes you just gotta see if luck is on your side. I really prefer ground-balling into 10,000 sitting geese though, which means let them land. :D
 

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I think they should have just waited to see what the birds do. If flock after flock only came into 70 yards, then you could either pick up or shoot and see if you knock a few down. The thing is, it is not very ethicle just because they are snows and don't decoy well (most of the time) people get frustrated and start blasting. I would rather not waste the shells and I don't like watching geese sail a half mile before they go down.
 

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I've been hunting snow geese for 30 years and am always amazed at how high the birds seem when they are shot over a spread that is 400 yards away from ours. The birds look like they are really high, but some of them do fall when shot at. So, I guess what I'm saying is maybe the birds weren't as far up as it looked to you.

I like to shoot em close up with feet down.
 

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Sometimes you have to reach out and touch someone. 8)
 
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