Image Via: Wes David
Image Via: Wes David

Spring snow geese: A primer on scouting, set-ups and gear for these plentiful honkers

The snows of spring

They’re coming! Are you ready for some of the year’s biggest waterfowl hunts? Our spring snow goose primer is here to help

Credit: Wes David. For snow goose hunts, you need a 12-guage that will reliably cycle shell after shell without jamming.
For snow goose hunts, you need a 12-guage that will reliably cycle shell after shell without jamming. Photo: Wes David

GEAR: Bedrolls, apparel, electronic calls & guns

Aside from the basic waterfowl hunting gear—decoys, blinds and so on—there are several other items I also always take into the chilly spring fields. While using a laydown blind may be the best way to hunt snow geese, lying on the frozen or cold ground for long periods of time is not pleasant. To put a barrier between you and the ground, as well as provide a little cushion, bring thin and inexpensive camping bedrolls to line the floor of your blind.

Even with this barrier, however, spring goose hunters will often still feel the cold—especially if the hunter gets heated up while setting out the hundreds of decoys in the wee hours of the morning. Layering your clothing, starting with undergarments that wick moisture away from your skin, will help you stay warm in between flocks. Just avoid bulky clothing that can interfere with shouldering your shotgun. Warm socks, boots, gloves and head gear are also must-haves.


The use of electronic calls is allowed during the spring snow goose season in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, as well as Nunavut—in my opinion, they’re key to a successful hunt. You should also have a few mouth calls on hand for close-range birds, and to add a few different sounds to your spread.

While a variety of loads will work for spring snow geese, most guides and hunters prefer three-inch #2 shot. Snow geese are not as big-bodied as Canadas, so three-inch shells are more than enough. And when you get into multiple flocks with plenty of shooting opportunities, you’ll appreciate the lighter recoil.

Talking goose guns is always a hot debate, but the truth is, all a hunter needs is a 12-gauge that will cycle box after box of shells, and continue to operate smoothly in cold, muddy or dusty conditions. There’s nothing worse than a jammed gun while hundreds of snow geese swirl above your blind.

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