“Last year, I had a group of hunters from Georgia,” John Gordon recalls.
“The temperatures were really cold, and the sky was cloudy on the day we were to hunt. We were hunting a corn field where the snow geese were feeding. On the second day of the hunt, we had fog but also snow geese coming into our decoy spread all day long. We had four hunters and me, and we all shot until we ran out of shotgun shells. But before our blind bags were empty of shotgun shells, we were able to harvest 74 snow geese.”
Many hunters use the same shotgun for shooting snow geese that they use to hunt ducks and the same type chokes. Gordon uses a Patternmaster choke (www.patternmaster.com) on his shotgun and shoots a 3-inch 12 gauge. But some of his hunters prefer a 3-1/2-inch or a 10 gauge shotgun. According to Gordon, “The 10 gauge is a little heavy and hard to maneuver in a layout blind. However, if the hunter is comfortable using a 10 gauge, it’s really fine for shooting snow geese. I advise my hunters to use either BBs or triple BBs. On this hunt, we used the Winchester Blindside 3-inch magnum BBs (www.winchester.com). They were plenty powerful enough to take the geese that we harvested.”
Usually, Gordon calls the shot when he has the geese within 15 to 20 yards of the hunters. He wants his hunters to have the geese as close as he can get them to the hunters, especially for that first volley, which is when the hunters will have the best opportunity to put the most geese on the ground, before the geese are out of range. “On our hunt last week, our hunters were often getting two – five shots before the geese were out of range,” Gordon says. “We saw flights with 100 to 350 geese in them. Sometimes we saw flights of one or two birds up to 12. Often, we’d have a single goose appear from out of nowhere. In the blink of an eye, it would be within range. The lone snow goose is the easiest bird to decoy. I’ve had thousands of snow geese tornadoing (flying around the decoy spread so thick that they give the appearance of a tornado) me and my hunters at one time. When we have 3,000 or 4,000 geese circling us and calling at one time, that’s a show that every hunter wants. However, those are the exceptions not the rule. On most of our hunts, we’ll usually call in flocks of two to 20 birds. Actually, those birds will finish better than the bigger flocks do.”
Gordon usually has 15 to 20 hunts from the end of January until the first or second week of March, but the number of hunters he guides is strictly dependent on the number of snow geese in his area. That’s why Gordon prefers that his hunters call ahead before they come. Then as the hunt date approaches he recommends they continue to check with him on the number of geese in the area that he hunts.
When hunters come to Tunica, Mississippi, to goose hunt with Gordon, they have the option of staying in the casinos, the motels or the Beaver Dam Lodge (www.beaverdamhuntinglodge.com). One of the big advantages of goose hunting in February is that companies can entertain their customers and guests then. They can have plenty of one-on-one time starting with breakfast, on the ride out to the fields, and being no more than 2 feet away from their customers in layout blinds. Then, they eat lunch and repeat the same type of hunt that afternoon. February goose hunting is also a good time for family, friends and people who work together to go hunting, take geese, have a good time and eat plenty of delicious, down-home country cooking.
Although I’ve hunted snow geese in Texas and taken snow geese when I’ve been hunting during the fall goose season, I really enjoyed this Conservation Snow Goose Season in Mississippi during February. Also, I know that the hunters who take snow geese during the Conservation Season are helping to reduce the snow goose population and preventing these beautiful geese from destroying their habitat and lands in Canada. I’d go back next weekend and hunt snow geese in Mississippi, if I’d been smart enough to schedule a second hunt this season.
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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