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  • #46
    As a quick mid weekend update with more to come later, there is some hope left. Chasing some local groups of a few thousand around has us at 28 friday and 20 Saturday. Friday mostly feed birds, Saturday mostly afternoon migrators since feed moved on us. Heading to the new feed here shortly this morning. Mostly juvies, then some ross, only a handful of adults. Not a ton of migrators each day but enough. Seems like it's near the end but the good stuff if you're in the right spot.
    Last edited by jolle; 03-08-2020, 06:54 AM.

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  • #47
    Nice hunts jolle!

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    • #48
      A follow-up report from this past weekend to add to [USER="231"]jolle[/USER] 's mid-weekend report as we were teamed up for this past weekend. The X hunt yesterday morning was awesome and bad at the same time. the first big group of birds did it for us in an epic way for an in-your-face volley we will all never forget. We knew we knocked down a good bunch out of it but were delightfully surprised when the dogs were able to pick up 22 birds from that volley. The bad part, as you can imagine is that those birds mixed with additional groups on the way to the field and they just went down a few hundred yards from us and continued to feed. this was a huge corn stalk field... at least a full quarter (160A) so they had ample room to get away from us. we watched them bounce around the field and get ever so close to us only to catch the wind and move away as snows always do. late morning a small group did decoy and we added 2 more to the pile.

      we stuck it out in hopes of migrators in the afternoon. did see 3 or 4 groups go north over us but they paid us no attention. and surprisingly we saw 2 larger and lower groups of birds head south against the wind around 3pm. not sure what they were thinking.

      we pulled the plug on the hunt around 4pm and wrapped up the 3 day trip with 24 birds yesterday so a 72 bird total for the trip which we were all well pleased with considering the struggles we've had since the unicorn year of 2018.

      was a great trip with great people... a young hunter harvested his first snow goose and a seasoned 80 year old hunter may have harvested his last as he said this might be his last snow goose trip! great memories with great people. [USER="231"]jolle[/USER] may have more pics to share but i'll post a few to follow.

      MODAKR
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      Last edited by MODAKR; 03-09-2020, 11:59 AM.

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      • fox and goose
        fox and goose commented
        Editing a comment
        I see that you have a flag in photo #3, did its use make a difference? tia

      • MODAKR
        MODAKR commented
        Editing a comment
        fox and goose- yeah we flag a bit and use a sillosock flyer on a flagging pole.. if birds are cupped and approaching we do not flag. if they are going away after circling then we flag (just like when you'd use a comeback call for ducks). and we flag when birds are off in the distance. do we see a difference? sometimes not... sometimes we do think it helps... particularly when you've got a group working and it appears they are going to leave.... would they return anyway? i dunno... we also had a group crossing us quite a ways north of us and with the south wind we cranked up the call volume and they turned and came towards the spread...
        also will say on the flagging... a few years ago we ran 8-12 sillosock flyers and we've gone away from that to just a simple sock spread and just do a little flagging.

    • #49
      Sounds like a great trip MODAKR. Who you hunt with is as important as how you do. And 22 birds on a rainout! That's one you will remember. Love the pic of the birds locked up just over the decoys.

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      • #50
        MODAKR has it right, it was incredible .... I'm tired and sunburned but still on the high of what just happened for us this weekend. And glad to finally be able to provide a bright report in what had been another slow year for us.

        Geez is also right, good people are as much a part of a hunt as the game. This was the old man and kids hunt where we took out a 70 year old farmer friend (who I met through a guy I met on this site 12 years ago), 80 year old mentor and grandfather-figure to me, and my 11 year old son. As a testament to this site and it's predecessors, MODAKR and I met here about 10 years ago as well and have enjoyed many hunts together since.

        This was my son's first snow goose hunt as a shooter, and he's sure he hit a few on the big volleys and he took care of at least one that landed and he walked up. Had a gun mishap or two that cost him some singles, but he'll never forget it. Especially the big group yesterday. My son swore he rocked a white one that didn't go down, and lo and behold I found a cripple snow later over where the big group had been. He proudly claimed it!

        As a quick summation of the hunting report, we went hoping to find some locals and then hoped for a migration through the warm southern winds. We found a decent pocket of juvies/ross that stuck together pretty tight over the three days. I would say the flock lost a few birds through the weekend, but were still a couple thousand strong by the end. We saw a few migrators each day, but not what we'd hoped which gave us the feeling there's not much left. Or there are pockets left that will pick a random day and all go at once.

        Thursday we found the feed and setup for Friday morning on the X with 1000 socks. Friday they came in a long train and got started with some specks in the lead that spoiled a few good passes we'd have taken, and they eventually landed 400 yards past the spread. They bounced around a bit, and we eventually got two good passes from medium groups that yielded 7 and 13 birds. We saw more migrators in the stiff north wind this day up until lunch than any other day. Not a ton, but enough small groups from SE up high that we knew they were migrating. Right before lunch we had what appeared to be migrator ross drop in pretty well. They kept circling uncentered and we finally took a shot that wasn't optimal and got 2. It went pretty dead until the evening feed, which was a bit more strung out than the morning and the gang got 6 more ross and single juvies as they meandered around the area. I was out looking for the new feed, which never really materialized before dark so we didn't have an option to move.

        Saturday we saw very little on the morning feed and wondered if they migrated with the new south wind. We got 3 stragglers that came by. MODAKR went searching for a feed mid morning but couldn't find one. It was a very slow day, but at 2PM or so we saw our first migrator group and at 2:30 had a group of 20 come in very good. We killed 6 from that group. Had another group of 25 start working soon after and they kept sliding hard to our left messing up the shot call. They finally all landed there about 40-50 yards out, and several of us were able to step forward of the shooting line and hit them hard as they rose up. A few kept coming back looking and landed way upwind, and I snuck up there with my son and he got one and I got another to bring the total from this group to 11, and total of 20 for the day. Evening feed was very slow, only had one group come give one pass at 50 and then left. But we sent two drivers out scouting and they relocated the birds for a setup on Sunday morning. We had 600 socks left in the truck, and set these on this X.

        Sunday morning was heavy south wind, and some birds showed up pretty early and started working the field. We had a few look and already land way off when the big wad of a couple thousand showed up. Those birds came from our left, hooked into the wind about 200 yards up and 500 yards out, and maple leafed all the way into the spread to 10 yards! That's the photo you see above from MODAKR right before we called the shot. Just incredible, and when the dust settled 22 laid on the ground. That was about it for the day as they moved over 1/2 mile and took everything else with them. Very little migration, and we didn't stay for the evening feed.

        Here's a few more pics of the guys and birds. I may not get out again this year, and I have no issue ending on that!

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        • Qac
          Qac commented
          Editing a comment
          Congratulations, great story and thanks for sharing the pictures. It's a heck of a thing to get older and know you might be facing the last hunt. To be able to share it with family and friends especially a new young up and coming young man is special. It continues to fuel the fire when it all comes together. You never know either, old snow goose hunters never really fade away they just wait for better weather and the younger generation to get it all set up. That's when they come and bring the old time luck out and shine like a new penny all over again.

          Qac

      • #51
        Glad you were able to have things come together this weekend. Makes a tough season seem a lot better when you're waiting to do it all over again next year.

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        • #52
          Nice hunts guys! Keep it up!

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          • #53
            Pulled the spread yesterday, strictly hunting traffic with a permanent spread. I think the season as a whole was as bad as last year, but with a lot fewer birds. My spread is off the Missouri River and wondering if the summer floods and lack of food shifting their migration north of me? Hunted Saturday and yesterday morning, each day had 6 birds work the spread and took 3 out of each group. Saw some mile high migrators Saturday afternoon and nothing Sunday morning besides the 6. I mainly hunt alone because I’m afraid to invite friends to stare at empty skies, but I don’t mind hanging out with my dog either.

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            • Cornstalks
              Cornstalks commented
              Editing a comment
              Takes a special friend to stare at empty skies with you. Ifelt the same thing with both family and friends this year

            • Geez n Quackers
              Geez n Quackers commented
              Editing a comment
              Big mistake Wheels! At least I hope so.

              I can't say that I could stand to stare at empty skies over a goose spread in July, but I have just enough hope to do so through this weekend.

            • Wheels
              Wheels commented
              Editing a comment
              I hope you get into them this weekend, looks like the weather isn’t going to be great. I live near the river, which is a pretty good migration corridor typically, but haven’t seen anything flying for a few days. Time to go fishing..

          • #54
            Well, probably not quite going to hunt through the weekend with the upcoming weather. Hunted through the morning hours. Saw five or six small flocks heading north but well east of our path. Didn't seem to see us and kept on going north towards Squaw Creek. Had a flock of fifteen Ross come in, then three snows shortly thereafter. Around 1:00 another three snows came in. Three of us ended with 10 birds. Picked up part of the spread and cleaned out the pit. It was near quitting time when I left and I hadn't seen a goose since about 2:00.

            Might still sit in what's left of the spread when the weather breaks, but sadly, about over here.

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            • #55
              I went up to the spread yesterday to pick up some more decoys. When I got there, there were 46 sob's in the spread. They were at the far end from where I walk in, and I had my gun with me. Probably could have backed out and come up over a terrace to jump them but decided not to. It had been a couple days since I was last there, so it got me wondering; did they come in altogether or in multiple small bunches. Was this everything that came past, or just part. The real question being, is it still worth hunting.

              At least I have that option as I have been picking the spread up a few-hundred decoys at a time and still have a huntable number.

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              • whitey11
                whitey11 commented
                Editing a comment
                More than likely several little groups IMO. I would say stick it out man. You have came this far!

              • MODAKR
                MODAKR commented
                Editing a comment
                man that sounds like a perfect way to practice some social distancing over the next couple weeks!

              • Geez n Quackers
                Geez n Quackers commented
                Editing a comment
                Good points. And may need the extra meat in the freezer for the impending apocalypse!

            • #56
              If I had the time to sit there I would for sure... You have done all the work all ready in regards to setup. If there is no big storms brewing up then I would take advantage of what you got left of the migration.
              .

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              • #57
                Here's some slight hope, just saw these a few minutes ago in eastern MO. Gonna drive around tonight and in the morning hoping to find the needle in the haystack for one more hunt. Expecting not to hunt, but we shall see....and have killed birds later than this!

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                • fox and goose
                  fox and goose commented
                  Editing a comment
                  From what I can see in the photo, more than half of the geese have their heads up.

              • #58
                That looks just like the decoy spead i am going to deploy in the morning. Good luck, hope you find a few.

                Qac

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                • #59
                  Surprisingly we found a pod of probably 1000 or more. More surprisingly got permission from an out if state landowner. They chose to roost in a little pond on the edge of the property instead of where they came from, so we shall see how this works out. We debated on pushing them off, but figured its probably a one and done no matter where they come from as they all came together. They stayed while we setup.

                  Modakr has his son along for his first hunt and first attempt to shoot one, do hope we get some in tight which I believe we will at least once.
                  Last edited by jolle; 03-20-2020, 11:06 PM.

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                  • #60
                    Good luck!

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