- Archery, Shotgun
The snow goose, Chen caerulescens, is the most populous of the white geese genus, which includes Ross’s goose and the Emperor goose. The origin of their name is debatable. Some say it comes from their all white, snow-like coloring. Yet others say it’s because during their spring migration they fly north until they hit a snow line. Whatever the case, snow goose numbers have exploded in the last 20 years. So much so that a federal conservation order opened the spring migration to hunters. Snow geese travel along the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific flyways. It is not uncommon to see hundreds of thousands of birds in a flock. Farmers often compare snow geese to locusts. They will land on a field and work through it systematically. Because they don't graze the tops off grasses like other geese, but root out vegetation from the soil up, they cause staggering amounts of crop loss, much like wild hogs. Geese are hunted both in the fall and the spring. Success often hinges on being in the right place, and having a large number of decoys available. It is not uncommon to hunt snows with 1,000 to 2,000 decoys in the field. Thanks to the conservation order, guns can hold more than three shells, electronic calls are allowed, and bag limits are liberal. All this makes for one of the most rip-roaring hunts in waterfowling.