Friday, April 19, 2013


The 2012-2013 waterfowl season ended mid-March as we waved goodbye to the last flock of snow geese as they flew overhead on the return leg of their amazing 6000 mile round trip journey from the Arctic tundra of Nunavut to Louisiana and back..

This year's season was frequently interrupted by inclement weather. What initially appeared to be an early beginning to the migration, morphed into one of frequent starts and stops.

1.5 million snow geese were staged on Squaw Creek Refuge in northwest Missouri in late February until a spring snowstorm caused the mass to return to Arkansas and Louisiana. The storm forced us to cancel hunters from February 26 to March 8. Fortunately most of our hunters were able to reschedule to later dates in March.

Sunset Snows
Snows on final approach

The stutter start of the migration resulted in a steady stream of birds rather than a mass exodus. The more orderly migration proved a boon for our hunters. I have hunted the spring snow goose season since its inception in 1998 and this year our hunters harvested the most snow geese ever.


The spring snow goose season provides wonderful training situations for young dogs. I opted to not bring the "old girls" to Fairbury this year. Dani has made the trip for the past nine years and AZ for the past seven. Over the years they have retrieved in the neighborhood of 8000 snow geese. I decided it was time for them to begin their semi-retirement and give the young girls the work.

Snow goose hunting is physically demanding on dogs. Retrieving 40-60 birds a day in ice cold water is not my idea of a good time but it is Valhalla for Labs. Three year old Molly amazed my hunters with her ability to handle 400+ yard blind retrieves with style and enthusiasm.

Puppy Tommie performed like a seasoned veteran. She had a 60 bird day, along with many days of over 30 birds,. and was as excited on the last as she was on the first. I look forward to her training progress this summer.

Tommie on the chase

The record harvest of snow geese capped off a record 2012-2013 waterfowl season. WyoBraska Waterfowl hunters harvested a record number of mallards and Canada geese as well. I shall refrain from divulging the exact numbers in deference to local hunters. Jealousy is such a pitiful emotion.

I am so very blessed to have a loyal group of clients. Some of whom have been hunting with me for over 15 years. Because of their support the upcoming 2013-2014 season is totally sold out. I am very grateful.

May the waterfowl go north and prosper.