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South Dakota Spring Snow Goose Hunts

South Dakota Spring Snow Goose Hunts

We offer hunts starting in late March - late April in the Lake Thompson DeSmet areas. This is major staging area in Eastern South Dakota each spring with geese using Lake Thompson / Lake Preston and other surrounding large bodies of water. This area is the funnel point where the Mississippi and Central flyway flocks of snow geese come together. Following the James River, the majority of the mid-continent population of lesser snow geese migrates within this corridor each spring on their way back to the breeding ground on the tundra. 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.

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South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

Spring Snow Goose Hunts

Snow hunting gets more addicting than anything I can ever imagine. If you have never seen or heard the sound of 1000s of Snows and Blues coming down into your spread you have missed one of the greatest experiences of the waterfowl world. A Spring Snow Goose hunt 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 nothing short of amazing. Snow Goose Hunting is also a very frustrating experience if you're 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 adversaries. The average age of an adult bird being 7yrs old!! Let me tell you that critter has seen a spread or two in his journey from the breeding grounds to Texas and then back again.

South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

A Typical Waterfowl Hunt

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 in case 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. 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.

South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

Snow Goose 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.   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 successful hunt.

South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

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 South Dakota 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 background.

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.

South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

South Dakota Snow Goose Hunts

What To Pack

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.

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 Ziploc 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.

Spring Snow Goose Hunting Rates

South Dakota Hunting Dates: Mar 27th – Apr 10th

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.

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Hunt Details

Hunt Details

  • You will be hunting dry fields and water spreads, over 1500+ custom windsock, Bigfoot fullbody decoys, and Silosocks.  We hunt out of Final Approach laydown blinds, and also out of 6 man 2 burner heated pits.
  • Our guides have many years of experience in the art of snow goose hunting.
  • We use only state of the art mp3 digital e-callers, with high quality speakers.
  • We average 25-35 geese per field with the occasional 100+ bird days, which is not uncommon on migration days.
  • Fields scouted daily.
  • 20 bird limit, unplugged guns, ecallers, 1/2 after sunset hrs (S.DAKOTA)
  • NO jumping or pass shooting of birds.
  • Hunt from 1/2 before sunrise till 1/2 after sunset both states.
  • South Dakota $45 non-resident light goose permit.
  • Price per gun, per day is $175. 
  • Lodging, license, bird cleaning are not included in the price.  
  • Bird cleaning is available.
  • Numbers for hotels will be provided upon booking of hunts.
  • Please call to confirm dates - more info call or text: 218-731-3456

Final Details

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.

Gratuities - Prices do not include gratuities.  Average tip for guide is $20 per person per day.

Limits - 20 bird limit, unplugged guns.

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 . Lake Preston, Desmet, and Arlington, South Dakota. are within a 25 minute drive from our meeting point.

Transport - REMEMBER it is not legal to transport migratory waterfowl without proper identifying wing and head attached. (Breasting is not a legal way to transport)***

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