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Crappie_ Kid

Sring Snow Goose SOUTH DOKATO

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Who on this site goes and does this? I got got a qustion for those that do. DO you guys just go field to field and find them and jump shot them. Or do you decoy them? This is my first time doing it. IM SO EXCITED!!!!!!

Also when does the season open for it?

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My group of 7 have been chaseing snows in SD in the spring since the spring season started years ago. We have had good years with alot of birds taken and years where the kills were low. I will tell you that if you hit everything right the hunting can be truely amazeing. I will warn you it's addictive and once you start your hooked. Witnessing the spring migration is something you must see!!!!

We decoy hunt because this is what we prefer to do. You can kill birds pass-shooting and jump-shooting and we have done both but Decoying now is our bread and butter. We have been adding to are arsenal for years and our decoy setup has reached around 1000 plus good (Full-body Northwind silo's goosemagnets etc.) decoys. Decoying can be alot of work and tough at times (sleepness nights, muddy fields etc) but it's worth it to us in the long run. We have been hunting snows for alot of years and we know and have found and learned roosting areas travel routes and feeding fields that produce. Every year we learn new tricks as they always throw a curve ball in it all. Scouting haveing contacts and being able to move at a minutes notice is the key to getting on these birds. Weather plays a big role in the speed,areas and how the birds migrate N in the spring. Good luck on your pursuit of the majestic snow goose.

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the SoDak season is open from February 10th-May 8th. The bigger more huntable flocks don't arrive here until March and sometimes into April.

I have to agree with Icehawk on this one. If you have never witnessed the migration of spring snow geese it will blow your mind!!! Seeing 20+ thousand snow geese completely "White Out" out a field with several thousand more coming for as far as you can see sends chills down my spine!! I just can't get enough of it!! Decoying is better in my opinion if you have a large spread 1000+ decoys because you can shoot very high numbers and I love the rush of decoying birds. But let me tell you, Pass shooting and jump shooting are always a blast too and can result in a large pile of geese. Just make sure that if you go on to private property to ask permission first. The landowners are usually very friendly out in South Dakota but they have a reason to get mad if people are trompsing around out in their fields without asking. Many of the farmers like to hunt as well!

I might also advise you to bring LOTS of ammo and preferably "high density" loads. Many of these birds have been shot at up and down the flyway all year, so they have the tendecy to be a bit weary and high. Especially since they fly in such large flocks of 100+ birds. With that many eyes they can and will pick out any little thing they can find and say the hell with this, and their gone. So cover up ultra good and pick up your brass! I always say that these shouldn't even be called geese because they are in a league of their own and I would have to say they are the hardest bird in the world to hunt IMO. But because of the sheer volume of their numbers, 80+ bird days are somewhat common for the groups who work hard. But be willing to spend some $ on gas. Good luck and have fun!!

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I would agree with what IceHawk said. It's extremely addictive. grin.gif In fact, I can't wait another couple months!

My first hunt was 4-5 years ago for a friend and I, and we did the sneak thing. We got addicted and my buddy loaded up decoys, callers, and other gear. I bring the camper, atv and other equipment for getting into the fields and lodging in the middle of nowhere, and he brings the deks. We travel with the birds and find a migration. We learned that decoying is the preferred method...sneaking is just too darn tough for these incredibly smart, wary birds.

The intial migrants are adult birds and have seen it all. These are the toughest to hunt any way you look at it. The tail end of the migration, sometimes a month or more behind the adults are the juveniles, and they are much easier to kill. Having 50+ bird days in late April are not uncommon. Every day is different with these birds. Temperatures, wind, snowcover, food and water are key to consider when chasing these buggers.

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Crappie Kid, I've only done this once and only shot 1 bird but was about 70 yards and pass shooting. The best part of the trip was seeing the "spectacle". Lake Andes National Refuge can host up to 500,000 of these babies on the spring migration and it is soemthing to see.

The other posters are dead on as far as effective options. I'd prefer to decoy hunt too but just don't have the equipment.

I've found the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks HSOforum to be quite helpful with Sping Migration daily updates.

Good Luck!

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a group of 4 of us are hoping to head out to SD this March over spring break and try and nail a few...would love to try a good decoy hunt but will most likely just pass shoot between two feeding flocks and do some sneaks. I was out to SD for the first time this past fall pheasant hunting and the specatacle was truly something to behold, and those numbers probably weren't even as great as what one could see in the spring. Here is a pic of the heaviest concentration we encountered to get you guys excited:

IMG_1400.jpg

good luck to everyone who makes it out there! something every waterfowler / outdoor enthusiast needs to see at some point in their life for sure.

SA/wdw

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If you plan on sneaking good luck! Flocks are so wary they now fly just by driving within a half mile of them. Decoyin or pass shooting is the way to go.

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Quote:

If you plan on sneaking good luck! Flocks are so wary they now fly just by driving within a half mile of them. Decoyin or pass shooting is the way to go.


I have a buddy I met on another site who has hunted the conservation order quite a few times...he claims that sneaking is still an option, especially if you're doing so right at the start of shooting time.

An interesting story he had for us while we were out hunting this fall is him and his group surrounded a roost pond at about 10 minutes to shooting time...they crept up to the edge and right at legal time opened up on the SOBs while they were sleeping on the water. They wiped out like 100 of them in that sneak and spent the next couple hours finishing off cripples. I consider myself to be an ethical hunter and I also consider him to be. Anyone hunting the spring season needs to remember that the sole purpose is to kill numbers and save their breeding ground. I hope it works out for us to get out there this spring. If you read my signature, please disregard that when thinking about the spring conservation order smile.gif

SA/wdw

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One thing to remember when you do that is watch out for canadians, speckle bellies and so fourth!!! Good Luck this spring everyone!!!!

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sneaking can be a very effective way to harvest geese, and have had great days doing this. just remember that your not the only ones huting. Respect other hunters. More often the not the ones running and gunning are not hunting by the books and make very frustrating for all others. make sure to get permission and respect the land owners and others. As that said i can not wait until mid march! Good luck! grin.gif

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I agree with the previous post, no matter how a guy chooses to hunt geese he still owes it to the other hunters, landowners, and geese to do it safely, legally, and ethically. Just remember overpopulated or not, skyblasting and halfheartedly trying to make sure kills and retrieve birds only makes us look bad to landowners and nonhunters.

A common problem that leads to bad situations is guys "jumping" a roost they don't have permission to be on. I've seen clowns purposely jump a flock out of private areas to be spiteful and hope to wack a few over the ditch as they fly out. Often times within sight of other hunters in spreads hoping the flock will come there way. Not to say I haven't had great days jump or pass shooting but if we see guys field hunting, we'll give them their space.

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good points gorilla...I know I'm not the only one who has had a hunt ruined by "hunters" who lacked respect and ethics.

good luck to all during the spring season.

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Buy some decoys or go with someone who has some.I had 4 hunts ruined by jumpers/ditch pigs last year. We get permission,set up 1/2 mile north from a private roost at night so we would be ready in the morning. Starts out good with the birds coming too the dekes and we are shooting every 10 min. or so when here comes a truck with blue plates down the road. They stop and start crawling towards the roost. We let them know we are there and they just stand up and start shooting at the roost from over 100 yards away. They kill nothing but our hunt. We have to pick-up 500 decoys and find a new spot. Screwed us up for entire day. Not happy. Luckily this year I have 1700 acres too myself in an area that consistantly sees the migration. This is my 8th year and if the jumpers get me again I will be selling all the white stuff and stick to Red lake or the Rainy in the March. It's cool too see the migration but just too frustrating hunting it with jumpers around.

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Yea I agree Wizard. If you are going to sneak, do so on flocks that you know you can actually kill birds out of. You're not going to kill birds out of a flock that are in the middle of a section with no cover. I laugh when I see people doing trying this, I guess they enjoy walking through mud?

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Have made it out to the Dakotas pretty much every Spring season since it opened. Tried the decoy thing and thought it was a complete waste of time. I prefer sneaking the birds by far..."me against them" and have an absolute blast doing it. The first couple of years we didnt do all that hot, but each year we figured a few things out and have done better and better. Just like anything, you can learn to be an effective sneak hunter and just as ethical as any decoy hunter. In the however many seasons its been since I have ventured out to the he11hole Sodak/Nodak back country I have seen maybe 5 decoy spreads total so highly doubt my group or I have ever ruined anyones precious roost, and if we have, perhaps those crying hunters should have saught permission before we did and blasted em on the water at daybreak instead of us. If you do attempt the sneak thing, prepare to be disappointed at first, in all reality its not fun if ya dont know what you are doing. Make sure to find a concentrated flock/roost or if at all possible post up between two feeding flocks and pass shoot. Make sure not to skybust and ALWAYS have a positive ID on the birds and the ones immediately surrounding as you will definitley bring down a few with each shot if you are on top of em. Planning to make it out this year and hopefully my schedule works out as I have a few new tricks up my sleeve that I am anxious to try out. Just remeber, be safe and DONT TRESPASS!

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So Chip, you are saying that when you jump a roost or field you have a positive ID on all birds that are out there? You know for a fact that there aren't any dark geese beyond the bird that you are shooting at? I have seen quite a few darks laying dead out in the middle of some field a half mile from a roost that got jumped. And also, good attitude towards other hunters out there. It really shows that you have respect for the others out there trying to enjoy themselves and shoot a few birds, but I guess all that matters is that you have a good time. Who cares about the other guys that put time and money into their hunt.

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I agree with the last post. Most jump shooters, but not all jump shooters are totally unethical. The fact of the matter is that the best time to jump roost are early in the migration when smaller bodies of water first open up and larger bodies remain frozen. Roost busters shoot them off the water and or ice at first light. Great now they have a bunch of geese died/crippled on the water. yea they get some but most are left on the ice or woops! the water is too deep. Im really happy to see and hear that the game wardens in SD are really going to start cracking down on this and lots of other violations, trespassing, that have been going on and getting worse every year. Ive heard that they are sending alot of wardens from the western part of the state over to the east side of the state to help out this spring. their is going to be a lot of groups that are going to have bad and shortened trips. frown.giffrown.gif

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Nowhere did I say that I have/had a positive Id on all the birds in any sneak or jump situation, I do however have a positive ID on the birds about to die when I pull the trigger...if you see a Canada, Speck or Swan, dont shoot...its not rocket science. I can 100% honestly say from the many many birds I have killed doing this I have never once had any collateral damage or for that matter left any dead birds or cripples laying/floating anywhere. I fully agree that those shooting other species of geese, letting them lay etc should be fined as well as any trespassers. As far as other hunters, you are absolutley correct I do not have any respect for them whatsoever. I do not skybust, do not downwind, and do not set up on top of anyone, but when hunting ducks and geese in MN I have no qualms with pulling birds off of other people's calling and decoy spreads if given the opportunity...thats what experience gains you and a little competition never hurt anyone. I have no problem with other hunters out and enjoying themselves, in fact I am delighted to see other people out there moving the birds around. Why, however, should I or my party have to suffer for another hunter's incompetence and limit my/our success because they do not know what they are doing...especially when snow goose hunting when my sole intention is to kill my limit each and every outing (lets not forget that is what the conservation season is all about afterall). Bottom line, get out there and kill as many as you can. If you see someone breaking the law, call them in, simple as that.

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How do you know that the people laying in decoy spreads don't know what they are doing? You never said anything about pulling birds off of someone elses spread. You said you couldn't care less about the other hunter and didn't care if you ruined their hunt as long as you could pull the trigger on some birds. I have no problem with people that jump birds. Our group does some of both, but the majority of our hunting is laying in the decoys. All I would like to see is people having a little respect for other hunters and not intentionally screwing up someones hunt by scaring birds off a roost that they don't have a chance of getting any birds off of.

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I think it is important to clarify "jumping" birds. Most hunters here in SD and i believe ND don't take to kindly to those who jump roosts. (large water) Whether you like it or not, birds need a resting area away from those who "have to shoot their limit." As someone posted. Also, many decoy hunters are waiting for those to come off. Leave the roosting birds alone! As far as field jumping-that is fine. If you can find two flocks feeding between two fields and there is a section line to crawl down...you can have some great pass shooting or a great jump.

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