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I've never set foot in a wetland being given to more upland pursuits, but I can't imagine shooting under such a spectacle, even with no bag limits. To me it hardly seems sporting. Are these a pest species?
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Bottomshot, you never will shoot under such a spectacle. That's ten thousand pairs of eyes, all cautious beyond your imagination.
If you are lucky you might get a few immatures peeling off from the flock, but you will never have a flock like that hanging over your decoys while you empty your shotgun flock shooting into them.
Snow geese really are pestilence in the arctic, They have become so numerous that they are seriously damaging the tundra in the areas they nest in. That is why there are spring goose seasons with relaxed rules an bag limits. Seems to be be of no avail. The light goose population continues to grow.
Oh my, but those "slaughters" are few and far between. I have been hunting near-annually in Canada since 1975. I'll be in Saskatchewan this year. While I especially love hunting snow geese, it gotten progressively more difficult to outwit them. In the 70's it was almost embarrassing to admit to hunting snows. Wheat maggot was a common descriptor. Hunters used white paper bags, rags on sticks and even hilex jugs for decoys. In the 80's wind socks and flagging was state of the art. How things have changed. Now, vast sophisticated decoy spreads, electronic calls and motorized decoys are the norm. Flocks are heavily
populated with old, experienced and wary adults. They don't make many mistakes. Of course, it doesn't help that they are hunted from Hudson's Bay to the Gulf and back again in the spring. An old eagle-head blue goose truly is a trophy.
Comments Part 2:
A couple side-notes: In Manitoba in the 70's & early 80's a flock was uniformly snows and blues. About the mid-80's bunches of Cackler Canadas started mixing in. At first Cacklers were really stupid and easily decoyed. But when they started hanging out with light geese they quickly become harder to decoy. My purely speculative theory is that the Cacklers recognized and took advantage of the learned wariness of the snows.
In recent years, flocks of snow geese are heavily populated with white birds and blue geese are fewer and a steadily decreasing percentage of a flock. I have an early 1960's newspaper clipping photograph of my father and his hunting partner with eight geese, all mature blue geese. In my experience, this would be unheard of today. (In the 1950s-60s in SW Minnesota, shooting a bunch of geese was considered newsworthy.)
Ah, but what a bird to hunt. I recall laying on the edge of a wheat field, stalks of wheat bent over by fresh snow and overhead, in a clear blue sky, flocks of snows passing over (and bypassing us). Also thousands of geese in waves returning to Delta Marsh in the fading light just past sundown. Oh, the splendor.