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Annual Arkansas Trip
#1
Just got in to the house today and already seeing a lot of geese moving and a few ducks flying around. Unfortunately the weather may conspire against me this year but it will still be a good time as always.  My father is joining me this year and he should be arriving in a couple hours.  All my buddies are in the field right now but should be wrapping up the morning shortly.  I'm off for a nap and then scouting this afternoon for tomorrow's festivities.  Stay tuned for daily updates and pictures if I can figure that out.
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#2
Good luck
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#3
Good luck.


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Founder: Make it Rain

If it is in season I will hunt it.
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#4
Good luck out there

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#5
Well, day one was a good hunt just wish the killing was a little better. Hunted with a small group of guys from Florida and we were covered in specklebellies all morning but they wouldn't finish. There was almost no wind so the decoys looked terrible and were more of a hindrance than anything else. Killed two specks among the group and I forgot to take pictures LOL. Time for lunch and then a nap and then scouting for tomorrow.
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#6
Bad winds again....no wind actually.  We decided to pass shoot some geese today instead of setting up decoys on a no wind day again.  Set up on a ditch and immediately got to shooting.  We managed a mixed bag of 12 snows and specks in a hunt that was just over an hour. Good lazy morning.  Now off to breakfast and then get the gear ready for tomorrow. Tomorrow is going to be a big group and hopefully the winds come back and we can start finishing these birds over the decoys.
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#7
Well, I'm back and unpacked now and I must say that the hunting was especially....unspectacular this year.  The unusually long and cold winter last year left too much ice on the nesting grounds of the snow geese and there was an unusually low hatch rate.  So much so that I counted less than 30 juvenile geese over the week that I was in NE Arkansas, which normally holds the greatest wintering population and had 100's of thousands of juvenile birds last year.  Combine that with an unusually warm and wet winter this year and....bam, terrible conditions for killing snow geese.  

Tons of specklebelly geese, which are normally very easy to lure into gunning range...when there is wind to move the decoys.  They made the majority of our bag on all four days but they were still difficult and most of our shots were made at the 35-40 yard range.  It was doable but you had to be on point with your first shot because the follow up was almost always out of range. 


As always, I have the best intentions of taking tons of pictures but I forgot. I did take some and when I get a chance, I'll get some of them up here.

My closing thoughts:

There were a lot of expert snow goose hunters made over the last 4-5 years of banner hatches. I will be beyond surprised if there is anyone out there that will be able to CONSISTENTLY put more than 10-20 birds on the ground during the CO season this year.  I would suggest that if you have a hunt booked with anyone but the very best outfits, that you reschedule it. Especially so if you are new to the snow goose game. A lot of these expert goose hunters are about to find out how the adult snow goose really is. They say that if you don't kill a now goose in its first year, that it has a 95% chance of making it to 20 years old and dying naturally. I personally think it's fun when the geese don't act right. It forces one to start getting creative and do things that others aren't or haven't tried.
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#8
Glad you were able to put some birds on the ground. Sounds like y'all had fun even though the conditions were less than perfect. Thats an interesting fact that 95 percent of snows that survive the first year make it to a natural death. Ive never hunted them but it sounds like a fun challenge!

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#9
On a year with a good hatch they're not that difficult to hunt as long as you have wind to move the decoys and hide well. During the CO season it's a different story since they travel in massive groups of thousands of birds and don't decoy as readily anymore. The magical e-caller isn't as effective as some guys would have you think. Like I said, a lot of the expert snow goose hunters are about yo find out what how the adult snow goose really acts this year. I predict a lot of spreads for sale this spring LOL.
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