It Snows In The Spring: My South Dakota Snow Goose Hunt in Pictures

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by Bret Amundson

Minnesota sees few snow geese migrate through each spring and fall.  While $2.50 can get you a spring conservation season license, it’s rare that you’d get to use it.  Hunting snow geese can be a difficult task-yet more rewarding than any other bird hunt.  In the fall, the liberal bag limit is generally around 20 birds in the nearby states.

In the spring?  There is no limit.

Hero shots with bird counts in the 50s, 60s-even 100+ bird days can happen.  Of course there are a lot of days in between with 5, 10, or even 0 bird days.

But shooting the geese is only half the fun of a spring snow goose hunt.

If you can look past the mud, the many hours of set up, the miles on your tires and the gallons of gas in your tank, you can also take in the annual spring waterfowl migration-one of natures greatest shows.

Geese of all varieties take to the skies to head north to the breeding grounds.  Ducks in full mating plumage show off for the ladies.  And they are all together.  In the fall, the different species tend to head south at different times, but in the spring it seems that they all have the same thing on their mind and they can’t get there fast enough.

I had the chance to hunt with Tony Crotty and Tony Peterfeso from Mid Migration Outfitters and Brandon Woytcke and Chase Renville from Migratory Madness.

Watch for a story about my spring snow goose season in the next issue of MNSJ magazine, for now enjoy these pictures from our recent trip.

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Wigeon fly over our decoy spread.

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Bret Amundson and his lab Mika, with a juvenile snow goose.

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Chase Renville with a young blue goose.

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White-fronted goose, or specklybelly, (or speck)

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Redhead

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common mergansers

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This was snow trampled by snow geese between a slough and a corn field.

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Tony Crotty’s chocolate Lab, Nahla

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Bret Amundson’s first day in South Dakota proved to be a good one!

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Mika poses with her trophy

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Lots of work goes into a snow goose set up. Here Tony Crotty works on an electronic caller.

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Mika tried sneaking into the blind of some hunters from California.

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Pintails

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Pintails

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Drake mallard

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Wigeon

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Pintail in the snow

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Snow geese

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A hen mallard gets ready to land on a small pond

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Courtship flights usually involve a group of males trying to impress a lone female. Pintails

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Try to count the different species of waterfowl in this picture!

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Ring-necked ducks 

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Redheads

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To see more pictures from my trip to South Dakota, subscribe to MNSJ magazine, by clicking “Subscribe” on the left.

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