Plenty of Geese and Too Many Snow Geese in Colorado
Editor’s Note: Mike Miller from Canyon City, Colorado, is the Mossy Oak Pro Staff manager for the central flyway for waterfowl. Before duck season starts, he's an elk guide and is an avid outdoorsman year-round.
In Colorado, we hunt a lot of puddle ducks, but the majority of waterfowl hunting in Colorado is goose hunting for Canadas and snows. I also operate a duck-hunting club in Nebraska. Nebraska homes two river systems that come together - the North Platte and the South Platte. The Missouri River is just northeast of where we hunt, primarily for green head mallards with an occasional widgeon or pintail.
I use Zink duck calls, whether I'm hunting ducks or geese. When I’m hunting ducks, I like to wear Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades, because this Mossy Oak pattern blends-in with any of the background and foliage where we hunt. If we’re hunting in Colorado over cornfields, I’ve found that the Mossy Oak Shadow Grass Blades fits in perfectly well in the cornfields. I also can take the same camo pattern to river bottoms or to open water in Nebraska and wear it there.
After duck season ends and the Canada goose season, then we start hunting snow geese, which is one of our favorite hunts. We hunt our snow geese in the southeastern portion of Colorado. During the Conservation Season set-up by the government, we usually can take as many snow geese as we’re willing to clean. In the 2013 season, we harvested 187 snow geese on one hunt with 10 shooters. We just cover the field where we’re hunting with full-bodied decoys and windsock decoys. When we get ready to go snow goose hunting, we call our buddies together, they bring as many snow geese decoys as they have, and we put all the decoys out.
The real secret to hunting snow geese is to do lots and lots of scouting. During the snow goose Conservation Season, we can take the plugs out of our guns, we can use electronic callers, and we have an unlimited bag limit – as many snows as we want to clean. During the regular goose season, there's a 10-bird limit on snow geese. Most years, we can hunt the entire month of March for snow geese. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Canadian Wildlife Service are trying to reduce the number of snow geese, because there's so many of them they're destroying crops and their own nesting habitat. If we’re setting-up to hunt geese during the regular Colorado goose season and there’s a flock of snow geese feeding in a field 1/4-mile or more from the field where we've set-up to call geese to, we won’t have much of a chance to call geese down to our field. The geese all will fly to the snow goose field. By reducing the number of snow geese during the Conservation Season, we help the farmers, the goose hunters and the snow geese themselves.