Yamaha Outdoors Tip of the Week - Let It Snow (Geese)
By Steve Hickoff
In the heavily populated Atlantic Flyway where I write this, and elsewhere around the United States, it’s not just humankind competing for space. Snow goose numbers are at all-time highs.
As a result, federal and state wildlife management organizations now offer expanded seasons for these waterfowl in many locations. By conservation order, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has specifically mandated this effort to control growing numbers.
Waterfowl hunters couldn’t be happier.
Why the enhanced opportunities filled with generous daily bag limits and extended season hunting? Too many so-called “light geese” spells trouble in both wintering and breeding habitats.
How many is too many?
Atlantic Flyway population studies indicate that between the mid 1960s and now snow goose numbers grew from an estimated 50,000 to more than one million. Officials predict that by the middle of the next decade, roughly two million snowies might compete for limited space, doubling in current size.
So how do you hunt them?
First check to see if your state offers a late winter or early spring season. Many do.
Once licenses, permits and stamps are secured, assess your waterfowling gear. You may need to amp up your decoy holdings with snow goose fakes. Shells and full-body options are widely available for this growing sport.
A Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side vehicle can help you transport bagged decoys from your parking location to your hunting spot and back again—not to mention the geese you also bag.
As with real estate, location is everything. Scout for light geese in agricultural haunts. Gain permission from landowners to hunt these spots.
Be there before dawn the next morning to set your spread of dekes.
Huddled in a layout blind, snow goose calls on a lanyard around your neck, non-toxic loads chambered in your shotgun, you’re ready to roll.