North Dakota Fishing and Hunting Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At this year's Game Fair, Tim Peterson gave an excellent seminar on snow goose hunting. Tim is the inventor of the Goose Magnet hovering decoy. However, he suggested a real different tactic. Talk about thinking "out of the box." He suggested that snow goose hunters change their usual tactic of getting permission to hunt in the field where all the geese are feeding in the evening. Instead, he suggested getting permission to hunt that land and then telling the farmer that you are not going to hunt it. Then ask the farmer to keep anyone else out of it. Then get permission to hunt about a mile closer to the refuge or roost pond than the field where the birds are feeding. Tim said that sooner or later the geese that are feeding in that big field will come your way in smaller groups. His reasoning was that if you blow out the first flock that comes in, all the trailing flocks will follow that first one and you won't get any shooting.

I have also heard advice to set up one mile farther out because the flock often flies further out the next morning rather than returning to the exact field they were in the night before.

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF TIM'S SUGGESTION?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
Might work well in areas where hunting pressure is very light or land is posted heavily.

A few years ago, we were set up (300 decoys) along the west side of a refuge. The geese poured out 3 miles north and did not return (not even close) to the field that was filled the evening before. We were picked up before 9AM. As we drove around we found three fields of geese about 10 miles from where we had set up. Rather than jump them we grabbed 3 dozen windsocks and set up in a field between the three flocks. Three of us shot 14 geese between 10AM and noon.

warning
Jump shooters and pass shooters will not let snow geese sit very long in ND.

I have noticed that in ND, the snow geese often feed within one mile off the refuge in the evening. Next morning they fly out 5 - 15 miles to feed.

Not sure if they have become the darn smart or if they are simply responding to pass shooters on the refuge line.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Last year, Peterson also suggested that you do your scouting in the morning. This squares with what PH said about feeding close to the refuge in the evening and feeding far away in the morning. Peterson suggested that after about the first hour and a half, one designated hunter leave the field and go scouting. Peterson thought that where you find them in the morning is much more reliable than where you find them at night. Boy, it would be hard to leave the field though in the morning, especially if you are getting some shooting.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,287 Posts
I would say it depends on whether or not the birds got pressure that morning. When they start flying as one flock, I'd say you're in trouble. If the birds get in a field unmolested, it will suck all of the birds into the field as well.

I spose if the birds got into the field from the previous evening unmolested...they could fly back to the refuge with their guard down.

Gotta love snow goose hunting. There's no other hunters that second guess a situation like snow goose hunters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Chris, et. al.,

I don't know about Peterson's suggestion of setting up short of the big field where the birds are. It sure has been my experience that the active field sucks in all birds. Although, there have been times that we have gotten a few "wanderers." But, mostly, they just fly right over you to the big flock. A few years ago, we set up in a wonderful pea field location in Manitoba. The birds would not finish on our spread and headed just a half mile away. We sat there all morning and got one crummy goose that flew over to our spread from the main flock.

There have been other times when we have waylaid a few on there way to join the big flock. So, Chris is right. Second guessing on snow geese will drive you absolutely nuts.

Anyone else with opinions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
537 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I like Prairie Hunters tactic of finding the fields where the birds are feeding in the early morning and then getting set up by 9:00 a.m. or so in fields in close proximity to the feeding flocks and then letting the birds work around you. It almost sounds like something a rookie would do. But, it does make sense if you can get set up without scaring away the feeding flocks and you can do it quickly.

Jeez, a guy could even eat breakfast at the local cafe and then go out hunting. Man, that would be a luxury for us. We are usually in the field by 5:30 a.m. and only have a bowl of cereal at the house where we stay.

I might have to try that tactic. I could leave the first setup around 9, find where the flocks are feeding, and then take some very portable decoys like Last Looks or windsocks without heads and set up a small spread.

Thanks, P.H.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,062 Posts
After hunting several years in Sask. I'd have to say we always set up in the feeding field if possible. We've always had luck with scouting the night before a morning shoot with where to set up in the morning. Chris is right however, in that you just never know. Last year we did exactly what I said above and shot 80+ geese the 1st two mornings. The third morning we did the same again and got only 10. They just had something else on their mind that day for feeding.

You guys do have me thinking though. I might have to try the in=between roost and feeding field senerio this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
No rookie when it comes to snow goose hunting.

The 10 - noon shoot was a decision made on the "fly". We knew we were essentially alone that morning on prairie.

It was windy.

We really did not feel like backshooting a bunch of geese.

If we would have seen even one other group of guys out jump shooting our plans would have certainly changed to jump or jump & pass shoot.

While this more of an exception for snows, we have set up for mallards at all times of the day and have had great hunts. Weather is the key there. Low ceiling and the ducks never seem to want to quit flying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Great thread here... I think location and hunting pressure may be the #1 determining factor as already mentioned. I plan on hunting the feeding field (I like scouting the AM feeding locations too) on GOOD hunting days...(cloudy, windy, ect.) as we have done in the past. However, if the weather looks unfavorable to snow goose hunting, sunny, no wind, we may do some experimenting with Tims methods. I hate to take chances on a tried and proven method (although there seems to be a consensus that 50/50 succsess on snows is the norm) when we have great hunting conditions. We had what I call great hunting weather last year during a week long hunt and banged them pretty good every day but one, that day the wind died on us and we were to far downwind in the decoys and didnt react fast enough. The geese came and worked but we were out of position for good shooting.
What do you guys think of backshooting under the right circumstances... like not hitting one of the major flocks in the area and not burning out birds someone else may be depending on? Sometimes the the old adage "variety is the spice of life" comes to mind even with chasing snows. My sons and I had a lot of fun banging little bunches of snows coming back to water 2 years ago. All in all I dont think we messed up more than 150 snows out of the ordeal, bagging a dozen or so.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,481 Posts
I love backshooting snows.I've had some great pass shooting in Sask. on very windy days.We looked forward to days when there was 30-40 mph winds.When those were forcast we would get permission to hunt tree belts or prarie trail ditches between where the geese were and the roost area.They would come in waves for an hour steady.With small canadas and specks mixed in.it was a challenge to pick the white ones out.
We also would wait till they left the roost and then set up in a field between them and the roost.They would trade back and forth and the shooting was phenominal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
Ken W buddy.

I guess we have a different definition of "backshooting". I was speaking of sneaking up on flocks of geese and shooting into their backs as they try to flee the jumping hunters. Jump shooting more than once or twice a fall becomes boring and/or unsatisfying.

Now pass shooting snows and blues on a windy day. It does not get much better. You can really go after the mature geese that way.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top