A good hide is the number one thing you need to focus on in a snow goose hunting spread. And hunting in "whites" is the new in-thing. "When you're snow goose hunting, you have to layout on back boards in your Tyvek suits in order to hide".
But does this really make sense all the time? NO! There is a time and place for every tactic and when it comes to snow geese, every day and situation is different. You need to pay attention to this HUGE detail when it comes to deciding whether to hide in whites or layout blinds.
What are "Whites"?
Hiding in whites is the strategy of laying out in a snow goose spread on some sort of back rest using white clothing to blend in to the white of the snow goose decoys. A couple quick tips on what the best "whites" are....We feel many guys over do it with full white suits. If your whole group is in head-to-toe white tyvek suites, that amount of "white", even in tightly packed decoys, is going to be far too noticeable. We suggest a white hoodie, white hat or beanie, camo facemask, and camo pants. That will give you about the right amount of white on your upper body to hide effectively and not completely stand out as a hoard of marshmallow men.
When to hide in whites?
Sunny, windy, warm days
From our years of experience you will always hide better just in general on sunny days vs cloudy overcast days. It has to do with the dimension and shadows your spread creates when the sun is out. Shadows are you friend when you're trying to hide from anything. Add some wind and you'll be in business in either blinds or whites.
Because of the ease and comfort of using whites, these are the types of days where wearing whites really shine. Especially on those warm, sunny, south wind spring days (ahhhh).
Another huge advantage when it's windy and you're wearing whites is you can often pull up for your shot without the geese flaring immediately. When 6 guys whip open their blind doors to "Make A Pile" the birds see that immediately and are already gettin' out before the shooters start rippin'.
When NOT to hide in whites?
Cloudy, overcast, no wind days
As you can see from the below comparison photos, on a cloudy day in a field with minimal cover your typical white wearing crews are NOT hiding well. Honestly. You're just not. On these days snow geese get tough as it is, but if they approach from their averagely high altitude they will be laughing and flaring off you all at the same time.
Cloudy days you lose your shadows. Everything goes flat. Your whites shine like a beacon of danger.
With no wind to keep birds low, your human shape gets outlined from the typical descent angle of a snow goose.
Movement is also highlighted. If you're in blinds on a no wind day you can at least get away with some movement (turning heads, situating guns...you know the guys in your group that move).
If you're out on the dirt with no wind to cover your gettin' ready moves, they'll pick up on it a lot sooner.
Door-to-door blinds carefully stubbled and topped off with Blind Door Decoys will hide you better on cloudy days.
One funny thing we hear from guys who view this photo comparison....yeah, but the guys in whites didn't pack the decoys around them tight enough. The fact is I was on this hunt, I was the one who took these photos. No, the decoys don't look packed super tight from this angle, but on the ground - it felt like they were. This was a very experienced group of snow goose hunters who set the spread like they normally would. They "thought" they were hiding! But the birds quickly showed us something was way off. We were all floored after reviewing the drone footage. These were back to back days, same spread, same weather, and field conditions. The day we wore whites geese flared hard for reasons now obvious. The day we used blinds geese were dying. It wasn't a banger, but you know when birds just aren't coming in vs when birds are flaring at 200yds to save their lives. It's the difference between something being slightly off to something being completely off.
BLIND DOOR DECOYS
On cloudy overcast days you will be way better off placing your blinds door-to-door and packing decoys tight (almost touching) around the blinds and using Blind Door Decoys to help hide your line of hunters. The edges are smoother, the brown and camo of the blinds is more consistent to the set up, and things just look more natural.
Double the decoys, half the guys
More decoys = a better hide
There is no way around it. The more decoys you have at your disposal, the better hide you can create for yourself. When setting a big spread, always start by placing the blinds where you want them. Then focus on getting the decoys around the blinds placed. As you feel the blinds getting more and more invisible you can start to string groups off the main wad.
In this photo you can clearly see the difference in hide from the above photos when you take a spread from 800 decoys to 1500 decoys. The larger masses of decoys will help spread the focus away from the "something is different" area the hunters are hiding in.
And some simple math for ya'll, hiding 4 guys and no dog....is different than 6 guys and a dog....is different than 8 guys and multiple dogs. So be honest with your group on that situation as well. Group size matters. The more guys you're hunting with the more the conditions have to be absolutely ideal for things to work in your favor when it comes to hunting snows.
Hunt the situation
If birds are actually flaring, blame it on your hide. If birds are flying over nonchalant and just showing no interest blame it on weather/conditions/situation and snow geese being snow geese.
We've always said if birds are flaring off your spread, it's not because of the things in the field that look like geese (your decoys). They're seeing YOU.
When you're hunting snows, you're hunting a situation. Sun, wind, cover, and the "right" birds. Keep scouting until you find your situation and learn how to REALLY hide....and that's when things start to come together.