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Missouri Spring Snow Goose Hunts

About your guide
I have been a spring snow goose guide in NW Mssouri,  Mound City, MO (Squaw creek NWR) area for over 14+ seasons now.  I first started out over 15yrs ago in North Dakota, hunting with my buddies.   I was fortunent enough to know the local Northwind decoy company when it was based here in Fergus Falls, MN  which supplied me with some factory seconds. I started out with just a few hundred windsocks. I have sewn over 15,000 windsock on my machine, and custom painted them all.  To me, it is a satisfaction knowing I am hunting over something I made.  I shot my first spring snow goose over these decoys south of Oaks, ND.  Since then it has just become an obsession for me. From here on out I went to Nebraska with a good friend of mine... it was slow hunting, but he hooked me up in Texas, and this is how it all started! After 3yrs of guiding for snows in NW Missouri, I ventured north into South Dakota to extend my thirst for hunting these white devils.  I now offer hunts in 4 great states, MO, NE, SD, and MN.

 

The Hunt
Spring Snow Goose Hunting gets is more addicting than anything I can ever imagine. If you have never seen or heard the sound of 1000`s of Snows and Blues tornadoing down into your spread you have missed one of the greatest experiences of the waterfowl world.   Spring Snow Goose hunting is something truly amazing to see!!   There is nothing else to compare it to in waterfowl hunting. To have the opportunity to see up to a million birds in a single day is northing short of amazing.  Snow Goose Hunting is also a very frustrating experience if your new to it.  Knowing where the birds are coming from,  where they are going,  finding the right kind of field, knowing what effect the weather is going to have on them is all things that comes with time and experience.  This isn`t your traditional Canada goose hunt, these white devils are tough, tough adversaies.  The average age of an adult bird being 7yrs old!!   Let me tell you that critter has seen a spread or two in his journy from the breeding grounds to Texas and then back again.

I have been a snow goose guide in NW Missouri for 14+ spring seasons now.  Just sitting in a golden harvested cornfield amongst up to a thousand snow and blue decoys with the snow goose e-caller roaring is enough to get you excited…..then the birds start moving and it gets really amazing.   With a little luck it is tornado after tornado circling down on the spread with geese stacked up to thousands of feet above the ground.   Just as the lead bird touches ground, your guide will call the shot!!!  Sitting up quick and shooting, then getting down again and reloading over and over as the geese continue there asent.  After the smoke clears and the flocks slow down we pick up shell hulls, and birds. Then rebrush our blinds for the next volley.

 

Every day is a different experience, some days will be a struggle and the birds will not cooperate as well as desired and other days will be a barrel burning experience.

Typical fully guided day in the Field
Our typical morning guided spring snow goose hunt will start early. We usually meet at a local gas station an hour before shooting time as to make sure everyone is ready to go.   I like to arrive in the field early so any last minute changes to the spread can be made. We like to have everything ready to go at first light just incase we get some early arrivals. We will typically hunt from the early AM until the morning flight is over, which is around 10-11am depending on the weather.  ????From there we will break for a late breakfast/early lunch. At this time we will either make a decision as a group to stay in the spread or go get lunch or a nap.  I will stay in the spread all day if someone wants to hunt. 
 After lunch we will return to the spread for the evening shoot, which usually starts between 3-4pm  this will depend on how the geese are moving. We do hunt until 1/2 hr after sunset everyday.

A side note
If you are planning to stay in the field all day, please pack some food, beef jerky, crackers, water, soda and what not.  We are hunting a unreliable bird and we never know if it will be a migration day.

Scouting

Scouting is the single most important component of spring snow goose hunting, we lease well over 4000 acres, with more day leases to follow the ever changing patterns of these spring snow geese.  The last 2 season I have been fortunent enough to have had some low pressure hot areas a fair distance away from Squaw Creek NWR.  Thus our field continuously pulled big numbers compared to the other guide services hunting the Squaw Creek NWR refuge line. We have traveled over 50 miles a day just to hunt these spring snows.  Being away from other decoy spreads, and deploying state of the art equipment. I believe this is one of the keys to a sucsessful hunt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Goose Equipment

  • Decoys - We use all custom painted north wind decoys with support systems.  This is the decoy I have found best for fooling these birds, and for being mobile when the time comes to pull up and move on.

  • Blinds - For spring snow goose hunts, I strictly use Final Approach S.U.B. layout blinds. I prefer the mud brown camo, as it blends in with  the Missouri River Valley mud well. Easy to conceal blinds is key in the spring, we will ask you to help each morning and throughout the hunt to touch up the stubble on your blind.

  • Electronic Calls - During the spring snow goose season e-callers are allowed by the USFWS. We use top of the line callers with up to 6 speakers covering the entire snow goose spread. I build my own caller, and let me tell ya you better have ear plugs!!!!  No the reality is that as the birds decoy closer we tend to turn the callers down and try to finish the birds with out mouth calls.  It sounds funny, but if you have ever been on a guided spring snow goose hunt you can always hear that one specific lone snow goose barking in the backround.

  • Special Equipment - We do use other types of state-of-the art equipment in the field to fool these spring snow geese, depending on  the situation calls for or allows we will use other tactics. I can't tell you all my secrets to you so you will just have to come and hunt with me to learn it all.

 

Lodging

We do not provide any lodging as part of the spring snow goose hunts; we will  provide you with names and numbers of hotels in the area we are hunting. Lodging is usually very reasonably priced.  We have 4 hotels to choose from, with one having a swimming pool/jacuzzi . St. Joesph, MO, Rock Port, MO, and Nebraska City, NE  are within a 25 minute drive from our meeting point.

 

 

What to Bring

  • Clothing - A variety of clothing, preferably waterproof. Spring Snow goose hunting is usually done in muddy fields and you want to stay warm and dry. It also can get warm, so I recommend you dress in layers so you can strip it off in the morning and add it back towards the evening. Mud boots, waders are a plus too!

  • Ammo - I recommend 3" or 3.5" BB's. If you can afford non-toxic shot it is the best option, #2's in Hevi are a deadly load. Even on a slow day I still manage to burn through a couple of boxes of shells usually. I have also had days where you burn through a case of shells. I would recommend bring at the minimum of a case of shells with you for a 3 day trip, there is usually stores within 50 miles where you can buy more. Cabela`s, walmart, ect.

  • Bird cleaning supplies - Bird cleaning is the responsibility of EVERYONE in the party, if you don't want to clean birds it can be done by our guides for a fee.  Fee is $4 per bird cleaned with a wing left on for legal transportation. I also recommend bring one gallon ziplock bags, fish fillet knife, and a large cooler for each member of the party.

  • Food and Drink - I recommend you bring snacks for in the field, the days can get long. I do however not allow under any circumstance alcohol in the field, if I find your drinking in my decoy spread or show up in the morning under the influence I will ask you to leave the spread.

  • Camera - Always nice to take some action photos and after for a group photo.

 

 

***REMEMBER it is not legal to transport migratory waterfowl without proper identifing wing and head attatched. (Breasting is not a legal way to transport)***
 

Spring Snow Goose Hunting Rates

  • Monday - Thursday
    • Daily Rate - $155/hunter
    • 2.5 Day Hunt - $435/hunter(2 full days and until noon on final day)
    • 3.5 Day Hunt - $585/hunter(3 full days and until noon on final day)
    • If the hunting is REALLY good on your final day and you want to stay your final day can be converted into a full day hunt for an additional $25/hunter.
  • Friday - Sunday
    • Daily Rate - $165/hunter
    • 2.5 Day Weekend Hunt - $465/hunter(Two full days and until Noon on Sunday)
    • If the hunting is REALLY good on your final day and you want to stay your final day can be converted into a full day hunt for an additional $25/hunter.

Deposits - All deposits are non-refundable unless we are able to fill your spot with other hunters.  This is due to the high fixed cost of snow goose hunts and also the short time frame these hunts take place.  The only time refunds are granted on hunts is if the guide makes the decision to cancel the hunt due to weather.  If you know you cannot make your scheduled date please let us know well in advance so we can attempt to fill those dates with other hunters.


Dogs- You may bring a dog only if you have **reserved a field for your group.

 

**This does not include gratuities.  Average tip for guide is $20 per person per day.