Louisiana’s Specklebelly Geese Are Bill Daniel’s Favorites

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Tough Snow Geese with Bill Daniels

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Editor’s Note: One of the toughest places in America to hunt waterfowl is Louisiana, due to the temperatures. The first time I hunted there, my guide brought out two cans of industrial strength Yard Guard to keep the mosquitoes out of our blind. Bill Daniels of Hayes, Louisiana, has been hunting the Bayou State for 35+ years. This week he’ll tell us how to hunt ducks at the end of the flyway.

I’m often asked about hunting snow geese. Generally, we don’t hunt snow geese during duck season. When snow geese come in, they have certain fields where they want to light. If they light in a field we don’t have permission to hunt, we’re just out of luck, because those snow geese will stay in one field, until they’ve eaten all the food there. Then, they’ll move to another field. When we do have snow geese drop into one of our fields and start feeding, we’ll put out 300 – 400 snow goose and specklebelly decoys and hunt out of layout blinds. When those snows and specklebellies are in a field, we may hunt that spread for 3 – 4 days, depending on how long the geese are still coming to that field. Those types of combo hunts usually only occur three or four times per year.

Our specklebelly season generally extends after duck season. So, we still hunt specklebellies during the late season. Because specklebelly geese often flock with snow geese and blue geese, if we get a big push of snow geese, we’ll set-out our snow geese decoys. On a typical snow goose hunt, we work really hard to put out a big flight of snow goose decoys. Occasionally, we’ll guess right, and snows, blues and specklebellies all will come in to our decoys.

On the best snow goose hunt I was ever on, we took 60 snow geese for five people. Snow goose hunting is really unpredictable for the place in Louisiana where I hunt. The outcome of the hunt depends on if the geese pick our fields for feeding. Most people who put on snow geese hunts have a large area that they can hunt. They work with a lot of farmers to have more options to find more flocks of snow geese. Snow geese can destroy a farmer’s crop, especially if they fly down when the crop is still in the field. Usually, you’ll find more snow geese farther north than Louisiana or farther south down in Texas. When we set-up to hunt snow geese, if a flock of snow geese are coming in to the decoys, and if a flock of specklebellies are coming in also, our hunters will let the snow geese land in the field and wait to shoot the specklebellies.

To learn more about all types of hunting, you can see John E. Phillips’ books, available in Kindle, print and Audible at https://johninthewild.com/books.

Tomorrow: Decoys for Louisiana Ducks and Geese and Calling the Shot

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