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Providing Professional Illinois Spring snow goose hunts since 2002. Welcome
to our new snow goose hunting website! The following information is very
informative about snow goose hunting. I believe that this will answer all of your
questions about snow goose hunting as well! Thank you so much for giving us
the opportunity to serve you!
Our spring snow goose hunts take place in Southern Illinois. We are
surrounded by five refuges and two major rivers providing some of the best
spring snow goose hunting action. Vastly populated refuges result in quality
hunts. With each refuge holding large numbers of the snow goose, it gives us
more opportunities to shoot when the snow goose goes out to feed. We have
selected private fields where the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers meet and
centering these government refuges. We hunt the snow goose in dry wheat
and corn fields depending on crop rotation. I can’t forget our sweet honey hole
a flooded corn field, which we put out 400 floaters and 2000 field decoys. We
have put in large 27 feet dry in ground pits for comfort and enjoyment. When
choosing our equipment we use our own decoys and custom wireless sound
systems. Each field setup will be 1500-2000 snow goose decoys. We use
snow goose kites and other tricks to entice the snow goose. If you love
waterfowl hunting you will love snow goose hunting. Spring snow goose
hunting, WHAT A GREAT EXPERIENCE!!!!
Prices Kids 16 and under are $100.00 everyday
(Must be 5 ft. tall to shoot out of pits)
Monday—-Friday $150.00 per man.
Saturday—Sunday $175.00 per man.
Deposits are 50% per person and non refundable, send your deposits.
Address for deposits only 8440 old rt 13 Marion, IL 62959 Prices
are for the hunt and do not include meals, lodging,
license, or TIP FOR GUIDES. We don't pay our guides they are
in the field 10-12 hours please TIP Min.$25 per man Lodging is
available for $35.00 per man per night. All lodging is paid in full and
sent with deposit. All hunts are a half-hour before sunrise to half-hour
To reserve your spots, we require a non-refundable deposit of 50% upon booking the hunt, and lodging is paid in
full due to limited beds. The balance of the Spring snow goose hunt is due upon arrival. When you book two or
more days your deposit is for the 2nd and third day. Your balance is for the first day of the snow goose hunt.
***Under certain circumstances, deposit will be reimbursed upon James’s approval*** We guarantee to hold your
hunting dates for 15 days after booking before receiving your deposit. If the deposit is not received with 15 days,
your dates will be open for other parties. Deposits must be made by credit card, check, money order, etc. upon
arrival of the party, the party must pay the remaining balance in cash, money order, or cashier’s check. No
personal checks please. NO PAY, NO HUNT, NO EXCEPTIONS!!!!! Although snow goose season starts in
February, CANCELLATIONS must be made no later than 10 days before the scheduled spring snow goose hunt!!
Before you send us any money understand that when you book a snow goose hunt with us, you are going to hunt
with us. All money paid in is non-refundable.
This information is intended as a tool for hunters—the group that will play the major role in reducing the snow
goose population. It contains the observations, comments, and strategies compiled from wildlife specialists and
hunters familiar with the snow goose. Because the experience of hunting the snow goose in the spring is relatively
new, the knowledge base is also relatively small. For the spring hunting enthusiast, however this fact is less of a
limitation than an added attraction of the adventure.
The story of the remarkable growth in the snow goose population is laced with irony—having reached record high
numbers, the flock is now on the verge of disaster. The swollen ranks of the snow goose have exceeded the
capacity of their breeding grounds to support them. The skyrocketing counts mean that starvation, a dramatic drop
in reproductive rates and the potential for the outbreak of disease are serious threats to the flock. Consequently, in
1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a spring light snow goose “conservation order.” The order allows
hunting in the spring and relaxes the normal regulations on provisions such as the use of electronic calls, bag
limits, shooting hours and shotgun plugs. Its goal is to protect the long-term welfare of the population by reducing
its numbers to roughly 50 percent—a population level that scientists believe the breeding grounds can support.
Despite the importance of achieving this goal, the fundamental principles of ethical behavior have not changed.
While the conservation season encourages an increased harvest, it does not encourage unethical practices or
wanton waste. Although the snow goose numbers need to be reduced, hunters must continue to harvest these
migratory waterfowl in a respectful, lawful and ethical manner. This includes:
• Learning to distinguish between species in the air
• Being certain of the species being harvested
• Only shooting the snow goose that are within range
• Using the snow goose that are harvested
• Properly disposing of the remains from the dressed snow goose.
Snow Goose Background
Latin: Anser caerulescens caerulescens
Average length: M 29", F 28"
Average weight: M 6.1 lbs., F 5.5 lbs.
GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP)—A century after the snow goose teetered near extinction, the winged waterfowl are
presenting quite a different dilemma for many scientists and nature lovers.
There are way too many of them, prompting the federal government to approve expanding hunting methods and a
longer season for snow geese in hopes of eventually cutting in half a population that at one time was too small
largely because of hunting.
There are now 5 million geese in just the Central and Mississippi flyways — the high-altitude highways by which
the birds migrate from wintering grounds in the U.S. to spring nesting areas in Canada. It's an increase of 300
percent since the mid-70s, according to federal data. Another 1 million snow geese use the Atlantic flyway.
The overpopulation has created a virtual goose gridlock on the ground, and scientists especially fear the potential
ecological risk on the delicate nesting habitats.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulations approved for this spring had been provisionally in place since 1999
in the central United States. Federal officials and scientists hope the efforts are working, with the snow goose
harvest up and population growth rates down.
The range of the Mid-continent snow goose extends from the tundra region of Canada to the Gulf Shores of Texas
and Louisiana. The spring migration, however, funnels through a comparatively narrow strip of the Midwest,
beginning in Texas and Louisiana and working its way north through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee,
Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, North and South Dakota. Averaging five to six pounds and lacking natural
camouflage, the snow goose is extremely alert, wary, and suspicious. These traits are magnified hundreds of times
over by their habit of traveling in large flocks. Complicating the matter further for the water fowler, many flocks
contain birds that are eight to twelve years old, with some over 20 years in age. After experiencing hunters year
after year, these mature snow geese have seen it all, making them doubly wary and advancing the snow goose’s
reputation as the most challenging of all waterfowl to hunt.
Snow Goose Location
When the spring migration occurs, tremendous numbers of the snow goose will pass through the continent’s
heartland in a matter of weeks. The Snow goose migrates quickly, sometimes traveling hundreds of miles at a
time. This means the snow goose is moving through an area in waves, often staying only a day or two, and seldom
more than a week. As a result, a willingness to travel, scout, and communicate with other hunters is often crucial to
finding the snow goose. The following list offers some tips on locating geese and hunting locations:
• Locate the general area of the snow goose concentrations and narrow the search as much as possible—
which state, which country, which part of the county. This step can be simplified by taking advantage of the
resources available from wildlife agencies within each state, including specific information sources such as web
sites and snow goose hotlines.
• Locate feeding and roosting areas by fields, sloughs, or lakes. This step will require scouting in the area.
• Locate landowners within your hunting area. Most landowners welcome courteous snow goose hunters in
the spring and are able to give you current information as well as permission to hunt.
• Locate other hunters who are working your area. They are not your competition; they are your best allies.
Sharing information and possible coordinating strategies will give you the best opportunity to connect with the
highly mobile, unpredictable snow goose.
Weather Makes A Difference
Hunters accustomed to fall hunting and migrations that are pushed by northern cold fronts may need to adjust their
thinking. Snow and cold winds from the north can stop a spring migration while warm southerly winds will
encourage the geese to move.
Once the snow goose has arrived at a location, regard gusty winds and fog as favorable. Under these conditions,
the geese are usually more active and fly lower. On bright, still, “bluebird” days, the snow goose tends to loaf in
one location, exhibit more caution and fly at greater heights.
Between Resting and Feeding Areas—Tim Brown, a South Dakota hunter, says scouting is the key to successful
pass shooting. He recommends locating both the flock’s roosting and feeding areas and then identifying the flight
patterns as the snow goose moves between them. Hunters can then position themselves between the resting flock
and the previous day’s feeding area. He cautions that it’s important not to set up too close to the roosting snow
goose. If you do, one shot may put thousands of the snow goose in the air, all heading in the opposite direction.
Use wind to advantage by setting up downwind from roosts, allowing it to muffle shots and carry the sound away
from the snow goose. Additionally, the snow goose will usually fly lower when working against a headwind—the
stronger the wind the better.
Between Large Flocks—Watch for pass shooting opportunities when the snow goose are moving back and forth
between two large flocks. Under favorable weather conditions, this movement can occur throughout the day.
Hunting Over Decoys
Opinions vary on the most effective approach to using decoys. Usually, hunters will set large spreads numbering
from three or four hundred, up to massive sets of 2,000 or more. Other hunters favor smaller spreads of two or
three dozen decoys, trading the attractiveness of large spreads for the ability to move to a more favorable location.
Here as in pass shooting, scouting is critical to determine the location of geese. If they are feeding or roosting on
private land, always ask for permission to hunt.
Commonly, hunters who placed hundreds of decoys will use lightweight rag and windsock style of decoys, as well
as white plastic bags, and silhouettes, all of which allow a large set to be completed within a couple hours. When
wind is present, lightweight decoys have the added advantage of providing movement within the set, and there are
hunters who say that decoy movement is vital to effectiveness.
Some hunters have found that large numbers of widely-spaced decoys attract large flocks of the snow goose, while
smaller sets of tightly-placed decoys attract singles and pairs. Consider using both approaches by creating two
spreads about 75 yards apart. While individual decoys in large sets are often widely spread and randomly placed,
setting the decoys in distinct groups of five to eight decoys, resembling family groups, may improve the set.
Separate each group from the next by five to ten yards.
Hunters employ several arrangements in their decoy spreads:
• The fishhook spread points the shaft downwind. When this method is working, incoming geese follow the
shaft in and land in the opening of the hook, which is where the blind is located.
• The “U” or half-moon spread resembles a crescent, with the tips of the crescent pointing downwind.
Approaching geese will be flying into the wind toward the center of the bend which is where the blind should be.
• The teardrop decoy spread is wide at one end and narrow at the other with the blind in the center.
• Floating decoys can be used in typical water sets, or placed in shallow sheet water that has collected in a
field that the snow goose is using. Shell or silhouette decoys are also very effective in shallow water.
• A variety of “flying decoys” is frequently used by hunters. These decoys add realistic movement, increasing
the attractiveness of the set.
The use of electronic calls is allowed during the spring conservation order. Often referred to as “e-calls.”
Electronic snow goose calls use high-volume speakers to broadcast the recorded sounds of large flocks of feeding
the snow goose. Their use can dramatically increase the chance of a successful hunt. A study at Louisiana State
University demonstrated that electronic calls are over eight times more effective than mouth calls. While one
electronic call is effective, two or more may be better. Supplement the electronic calls with traditional mouth calls.
Camouflage and concealment
Because the snow goose tends to approach a decoy spread from a much greater altitude than ducks or dark
geese, they have a broader view of the spread, as well as more time to see anything that seems unnatural. It’s
worth the time and effort to make sure you are well concealed.
When dressing in camouflage, don’t forget to conceal your face. Camouflage face netting is particularly important
for hunters who wear glasses.
• Snow goose hunters frequently dress in white clothing. However, if the snow goose is flaring, lifting up, or
slipping off to the side before they are within range, try switching from white to traditional camouflage and moving
100 yards downwind of your decoys.
• Don’t forget the obvious—movement is certain to flare already suspicious birds.
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Now Booking 2019 Hunts Book your hunt
today! Call james @ 618-922-5121 we are the
longest running snow goose guide in Illinois
Lodging address All
Hunters will meet
here even if your not
710 north route 3
wolf lake IL 62998
5 AM Unless told
Any question call
or Rex 618-889-3494
Please Do Not
send checks here!!
The 2018 Spring snow goose season was above average for us in Southern Illinois. The hatch was
excellent. We have seen a lot more snow geese in the Mississippi flyaway than any previous year. The
temperature was colder which delayed northern flight. Snow to the north of us caused the snow geese to
stage on us. We managed to have some good kill days in the 30's to 70's with 225 being our best. We
averaged in the 20s and 30s most days. We also have added another field which makes it 5 fields with a
min of 3000 decoys on each pit. The new lodging was a SUCCESS! We had a lot of good reviews. For
anybody who is thinking about staying at our lodge, visit the new link to our lodge. We hope to have a
better than above average kill this year!
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