Snow Goose Hunting Begins With Scouting From Home

Snow Goose Hunting Begins With Scouting From Home

Arkansas Game & Fish Commission
Arkansas Game & Fish Commission

Arkansas –-( Duck hunting season closes after this weekend, but there are tens of thousands of other waterfowl in Arkansas that can be targets for outdoors people willing to put in some effort.

These are snow geese, and the opportunity is officially the Snow Goose Conservation Order. This is a multi-year event brought about by snow geese being far too prolific in their breeding grounds in northern Canada. The geese are literally eating themselves out of house and home up there. The conservation order is in effect Feb. 1-April 25.

In Arkansas in winter, large flocks of snow geese find plenty of food in agricultural areas, and winter wheat is a major attraction for them. A snow goose hunt has an obvious starting point – a place to hunt them. Odds are heavily in favor of the geese being on private land, not on public management areas or refuges. The private land is where the food is.

If you don’t have a place to hunt snow geese, a suggestion from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is to take a state highway map and draw or make a mental note of a large triangle from Corning to Little Rock to Eudora. The Mississippi River is the other leg of this triangle. Best chances of finding snow geese are in it.

The Snow Goose conservation order with its liberalized rules cover what are commonly known as snow geese, blue geese and Ross’ geese. The latter are a species looking like snow geese but smaller.

It may help if you know someone living in this east Arkansas triangle. Make use of a telephone and the Internet. Call that friend or relative and ask for names of farmers who may have a problem with snow geese. Then phone the farmer, introduce yourself and ask about geese and about permission to hunt them.

If you don’t know someone to get started, make one or more calls to a county extension office a county Natural Resources Conservation Agency office or to a farm supply store. Keep after it. If you make enough calls, you’ll eventually make a connection with a farmer who is willing to let you and a friend or two go after snow geese on his land.

A further suggestion is to follow up the phone calls with a visit to the area where you’ve found encouragement in the snow goose quest. Invest in a tank of gas and go looking for flocks of geese. Find some? Knock on the door of a nearby house, introduce yourself and ask permission to hunt.

An AGFC photographer on an east Arkansas trip in February spotted a huge flock of snow geese in a field close to a house and equipment shed. He knocked on the house door and asked permission to drive past the shed to photograph the geese. The farmer replied, “Sure, go ahead, but I wish you would use a shotgun instead of a camera.”

On a scouting trip, an immediate hunt may not be feasible but go prepared anyway. Take your hunting gear. There is the possibility of finding a bunch of geese, then getting permission on the spot to hunt them. A farmer may well tell you “sic ‘em” when you ask.