“One of the things I’ve learned from hunting snow geese during the Conservation Season is that the juvenile birds are very susceptible to calling in that time,”
John Gordon, longtime snow goose hunter from Hernando, Mississippi, who operates Mid-South Goose Hunts, says. “The average age of a snow goose is 12 to 15 years. Most have seen every decoy spread you can put out, and they’ve heard every call that you can make – either with a hand-blown call or an electronic call. But the juvenile birds haven’t had a hunter-education program like the older birds have. I’ve learned that I can hunt flyway areas – often called high-traffic areas – and pull juvenile geese out of a flock of migrating geese with a good decoy spread and an electronic caller, even if I’m hunting a place where the snow geese aren’t feeding. I try to hunt feeding areas when I can find them, but I can’t always get access to the fields where the geese are feeding. So, Plan B for me is to set-up my decoy spread and my electronic caller in a high-traffic area where the snow geese are migrating over a certain field all day long and well into the afternoon.”
As my friend Tommy Akin said, “I never thought it was possible to pull migrating geese out of a high-flying flock until I saw Gordo do it, and not just one time, but several times each day we hunted. I watched Gordon pull geese out of flocks that were 200-yards high and higher. I could hardly believe my eyes! Normally, we wouldn’t even call to geese that high.”
According to Gordon, “The birds we’re pulling out of those high-flying flocks are known as ‘birds of the year.’ They are juvenile snow geese that have been born the spring before in Canada. More than likely during traditional goose season, they may not even have seen or been shot at by hunters, because most goose hunters prefer to take Canada geese or specklebelly geese. So often, the first time these young geese see a snow goose spread or hear snow goose calls coming from the ground are when they’ve flocked up with the other snow geese, making the return trip to Canada and coming through Mississippi. They have no reason not to drop out of the flock they’re flying with and come down to what they assume is another flock of geese having a picnic on the ground. Of course, the geese having the picnic are our decoys and electronic callers. We may have 100 geese in a flock that appear to be little dots in the sky. Often, when we start calling, we’ll be able to pull from 1 to 5 to possibly 12 juvenile birds out of that flock down to our hunters.”
To learn more about Mississippi Delta snow goose hunting with John Gordon from now until mid-March during the federal Conservation Snow Goose Season, go to www.midsouthgoosehunts.com, or call him at 901-606-7878.
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