3-15-16 Still Blowin Through
Record high temps and reports of birds moving North faster than we've ever seen before got us to bump up a scheduled late March South Dakota trip. We spent the last 3 days bombing North and looking up as the tail end of the masses continued to jump into North Dakota. Reports from NoDak have millions staged border to border throughout the state, with the first significant groups already crossing into Canada. That's CRAZY early! As of last weekend the very top portion of South Dakota was the only area holding significant numbers....and we watched as those numbers dropped drastically each day with high skies and record warm temps.
With the return of seasonal weather today most birds will settle down now and hold where they are over the next week. But without a significant March snow storm on radar I don't expect a reverse migration in the near future.
Our group got a few good licks in, but the low juvy to adult ratio we're all dealing with this year made the actual killing on the tough side of average....but as always the adventure was right on cord. For now enjoy the latest spring snow goose edition of the Nomad Chronicles - Waterfowl TV.
3-7-16 Clear Shot
Reports from this morning confirm what we expected to happen, as temps reach all time highs today the lead edge is tripping over I-94 in central North Dakota. Mean while those left looking up at that Illinois and Missouri sky are wondering how many are really left sitting on the lake. The answer is a lot less than there has been. Multiple reports of over night roost clearing events took place the last two days. That being said those with the patience to wait them out and gas to burn will have some of the best shooting of the year this week. They may be stretched out but the rear end has proved to supply the best days, even during this very weird year.
All eyes are to the sky in South Dakota as birds are filling up many traditional roost lakes from border to border, including Sand Lake NWR. Even the Minnesota boys are reporting a migration through the western part of the state the last 3 days. There's a lot of hot ahead, so don't expect the birds to stick as long as normal....unless an infamous late March snow storm rolls through.
3-5-16 Pushin' Big Time
A quick weekend update from the field...snows are on the move, BIG TIME! Reports across South Dakota have birds in the air flying North all of yesterday afternoon and continuing into today. North Dakota boys are also shouting "they're baaaack" as they gear up for a super early go at them this year with waves reportedly entering the state at this time.
Reports from the mid level states are birds lifting off at nose bleed heights and not looking back. Although several reports of dirty gray birds moving into Northern MO and Southern Nebraska have surfaced, don't expect them to hang on too long with temps in the upper 60's and 70's predicted for duration of the 10 day forecast. The mega concentrations that have been holding in these areas will begin to dwindle in a hurry come Monday.
Get that sun at your back and enjoy shooting migrators from the heavens this weekend boys!
3-3-16 Step Back
A medium weight winter storm rolled through South Dakota early this week sending a majority of the multiple millions of adults that had infiltrated South Dakota super early packing. 3-5 inches of snow currently cover most of SD and IA with low temps in the teens and 20's the last few days. It sounds like pockets of adults are sticking it out and some good hunts were had on the mass retreat, but the best hunting has certainly been South the last week. Squaw Creek reported 1 million+ on the refuge yesterday (the highest count so far this year), while the birds that had bailed from Southern NE have returned.
BUT....that's all about to change again as spring hits back starting tomorrow (Friday 3/4). Temps in the 50's - 70's will be returning to the flyway, melting the dusting of white that is still left and paving the way for a big jump this weekend into next week. With no dip in the 10 day forecast after that, I'd expect another 1 1/2 - 2 weeks of solid hunting in Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois before the birds concentrate well into the Dakotas.
2-22-16 Gonna wanna make ya, JUMP!
Jump Jump! The warm temps over the weekend melted the way for a big time jump for the lead edge birds. We've got reports of "huntable numbers" of snow geese from as far North as HWY 14 in South Dakota as of today, with steady streams moving over the NE/SD border.
But hold on to your high horses Dakota boys as we all have to remember it is only February 22. Peak numbers and the major concentrations of geese are currently still building in Southern Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois. The Rain Water basin and the I-80 corridor is a sight to see right now as it sounds like a good shift to the West happened this year compared to the last couple. So with good groups and big numbers still being put up in Kansas, Arkansas, and south, where do we go from here? Temperatures are supposed to moderate a big over the next 10 days, but sunny and 50's still equals migration this time of year. The short answer is NOW is the the time to be hunting with opportunities spread out across so much of the country. Those crusty old adults that are pushing into South Dakota with reckless abandonment will be tough to kill for a while yet, but if you're there, have at em! Overall I'd look for the best hunting to still be in the MO bootheal, Kansas, and Southern Illinois this week. Either way it is definitely and early start to the season with no promised time lines. Get after em!
As a side note, we're going to be on the road for the next week and a half. This reports page won't be updated for a while, but make sure to watch our social media sites for quick on the ground updates!
2-19-16 70 What?
That's 70 degrees baby! Now that's one way to get snow geese moving North. We have been flooded with reports the last two days of guys with their eyes to the skies. Southern Nebraska, Northern Missouri, and Southern Illinois all picked up huge numbers of birds, while the guys in Arkansas are feeling the urge to move up. It is definitely GAME ON in those areas this weekend as temps are supposed to stay high and sunny skies will prevail. We're waiting to hear an official count from Squaw Creek NWR, but expect it to be in the multi millions sooner rather than later.
I haven't received on the ground confirmation, but I wouldn't put it past a few guys killin' leading edge birds in South Dakota this weekend. Good luck to all those hitting the field this weekend, spring is officially here!
2-16-16 Kickin' it in High Gear
This weeks warm weather predictions are coming true and snow geese are already on the move in a BIG way! Last week was tough for most in snow goose country, but today was a lot better by all accounts. We received reports of a 190 and a 210 bird shoot already today!
There is still a fair amount of snow on the ground in the Eastern part of the mid-continent flyway, although that will be dissipating quickly and will fill in with geese as the snow line moves north. We've heard reports of Squaw Creek picking up birds today, and another report of over 1 million staging in Rain Water Basins in Southern Nebraska as of this morning. All of Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois should really be kickin' by Thursday of this week, with the first waves of geese making their way into Iowa and South Dakota by the weekend. This early warm up will likely spread the migration out quite a bit for this time of year, allowing for plentiful opportunities across all the Southern states!
Throw the kicthen sink at them this week boys and enjoy the bright South sun on your face! It's going to be a great week to be a snow goose hunter.
2-9-16 The Week of the Polar Bear
That's what the channel 8 weather man just said. I guess that means it's going to be cold. Not unexpected for early February, just a brutal slap in the face after the nice warm weekend most experienced. We heard of some great hunts last week in the Southern states, with several triple digit days now officially on the books. The other great news is overall the hunting has been pretty good for most guys!
After a brief and early push most snows have settled back down and gotten into their feed field routine. Very little migration has been happening or will happen this week. If you want to kill a pile of snows during "the week of the polar bear", you're going to have to hunt hot fields that have been resting comfortably for a couple days. Find one of those and you'll be in business!
There may be some tempting pockets of geese that have trickled into the northern parts of MO and Southern Nebraska and Illinois, but if you're truly looking to grind on whitey this week we suggest hooking up and heading south. No major snow storm is predict this week, and mid next week looks like the start of the spring thaw....so if you're not ready yet, get that gear in order as the countdown is winding to GO!
2-2-16 Shadow Boxin'
That rascally ground hog Phil is at it again, and honestly we think he got it right this year....an early spring is imminent! The guys at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in NW MO would agree as they posted a video of 200,000 snows that showed up at the refuge pools yesterday (February 1, 2016). That's early.
That being said, I am looking at a white out of the cold and fluffy kind as I stare out my window today. More than a foot of snow is predicated across much of Nebraska and Iowa and temps are forecasted to mellow next week. The start of the main migration is still a couple weeks off, but it's still fun to get rilled up this early in the year.
A few opening day pictures came in yesterday with moderate success across the board. Mostly numbers in the 20 - 40 range, good honest snow goose shoots for sure with plenty of juvies mixed in! Good luck to those hittin' em early.
1-28-16 - 4 days 'til Opener
The end of the 2015/2016 duck season is a sad day in many waterfowl hunters worlds, but Feb. 1 marks just the beginning of the real grind for the die hard snow goose hunter....it's the official CO opener! Tentative excitement is the word on the street. Most wintering snows have been "safe" and un-harassed the last couple months, relatively speaking. But I guarantee there have been guys watching and waiting for Feb. 1 to go in and shake things up. I expect to see some real nice pile pics come in next week. The start of this years CO season will set the tone for the next 3 months. Reports of a lack-luster juvie hatch has most of us eagerly waiting to hear from the boys heading south.
Beyond that, not much to report in these final preparation days. The next few days are going to be warm and there's minimal snow cover across most of the US right now, but a cool down and big winter dump is predicted for next week. We'll see how that shakes out, but it looks like at least another couple weeks before any sort of Northerly push develops.
Stay tuned as we will begin updated this reports page on a daily basis as the spring snow goose migration kicks into high gear!
1-1-16 - Happy New Year Team!
And welcome to White Rock Decoys 2016 spring snow goose migration reports page. As in the past we will do our best to keep everyone "in-the-loop" as to what is happening with the snow goose migration across the Central and Mississippi flyways as this spring season progresses.
For now there is not much to report. It's 2016 and snow and ice have hit the North land. The mid states actually held good numbers of birds for several weeks this fall before they have finally moved on to their wintering grounds with the recent snow and ice (aka winter).
Despite rumors, and although a bit delayed, many of our hunters on the ground said the fall flight of snows did provide good opportunities in Canada and the Dakotas with ok numbers of young geese for those who hunted the tail end of the push. This spring will be an interesting test for many as the need to stay mobile, hunt the right conditions, and staying hidden will be of the utmost importance.
The big show starts in less than 5 weeks! So until then, button up, gear up, and get your preparations underway for what promises to be another great spring snow goose season!
Over 200,000 snow geese were visiting the refuge yesterday! Depending on which way this weather front goes, these numbers could increase or decrease quickly. Stay tuned!USFWS videoPosted by Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge on Tuesday, February 2, 2016