5 Emerging States for Snow Goose Hunting
Are you a passionate waterfowler looking for the ultimate rush of chasing snow geese this spring? Look no further! We have curated a list of our top five picks for the best places to hunt these migratory birds. As snow geese can be found in every flyway across the country, there are plenty of opportunities to pursue these white devils. While some states like Arkansas, Texas, Missouri, and the Dakota’s are known for their exceptional snow goose hunting, there are other underrated locations that offer equally incredible experiences for both outfitted and DIY hunters.
If you’re planning your next hunting trip, don’t overlook these five states that often don’t get the recognition they deserve. The thrill of snow goose hunting may be closer than you think!
Snow Goose Hunting in California
California offers waterfowl hunters an abundance of opportunities, including some of the best snow goose hunting in the country. Irrespective of politics, it’s noteworthy that California tops the charts when it comes to the number of light geese killed by hunters in a season. During the 2021-2022 season, hunters killed an astonishing 108,194 light geese in the state. Light geese can be found across the entire state, with a majority of hunting taking place in the northern half, where a significant number of the Pacific Flyway’s goose population winters. The rice fields in this region provide a substantial food source for a variety of waterfowl.
In addition to the abundance of snow geese, hunters in California have a high chance of adding a specklebelly goose or two to their strap, as the two species often frequent the same food sources during the fall season. If you’re interested in a guided hunt, California has plenty of reputable outfitters to choose from. It’s important to do your due diligence and ask plenty of questions before booking a hunt. Talking to previous clients of the outfitter can provide valuable insights into their experiences, and you owe it to yourself and your hard-earned money to thoroughly vet potential outfitters. While hunting is never a guaranteed success, taking these steps can increase your chances of a fruitful and enjoyable experience.
Snow Goose Hunting in Kansas
Kansas may be known as a “flyover” state with its vast golden prairie grasslands and farmlands, but it offers waterfowl hunters plenty of opportunities. Surprisingly, more light geese were killed by hunters in Kansas during the 2021-2022 season than in South Dakota, a popular snow goose hunting destination. According to the U.S Fish & Wildlife survey, 21,969 light geese were killed by the end of the season, slightly higher than the previous year. In comparison, South Dakota reported a harvest of 16,414 light geese during the same period.
However, one challenge that snow goose hunters may face in Kansas is the high percentage of prime hunting land that is leased to outfitters, indicating the state’s excellent waterfowl hunting opportunities. While this may not be an issue for guided hunts, DIY hunters may find it more difficult to gain access to fields with large snow goose feeds. Nonetheless, with some extra effort and a bit of luck, it is still possible to knock on doors and obtain permission to hunt.
Snow Goose Hunting in Louisiana
Louisiana is renowned for its duck hunting, thanks to the fertile waterfowl habitats of the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico coastal bays. However, the state’s fantastic snow goose hunting opportunities often go unnoticed. In the 2021-2022 season, hunters harvested a whopping 19,506 light geese, making Louisiana the second-best state in the Mississippi flyway, after the celebrated snow goose hunting hub of Arkansas.
Louisiana’s snow goose hunting is aided by its mild climate, which draws in about two to three million snow geese during the harsh winters that afflict the northern United States and Canada. The abundance of snow geese allows resourceful hunters to target one of the most densely populated snow goose regions in the nation. While ducks are Louisiana’s star attraction, the state’s snow goose hunting scene can fulfill even the wildest snow goose hunting fantasies.
Snow Goose Hunting in Washington
Washington is often overlooked by snow goose hunters, but it consistently ranks in the top five states for snow goose harvests. The state offers a diverse geographical landscape, from coastal forests to high-desert plains, providing ample opportunities to hunt snow geese. Most of the geese are found in the eastern part of the state, scattered throughout agricultural fields, potholes, and river systems. Additionally, Washington’s Private Lands Access Program provides almost one million acres of private land for respectful hunters to access prime hunting properties, making it a great option for DIY hunters.
Snow Goose Hunting in New York
The eastern seaboard may not have as many snow geese as other flyways, but there are still opportunities for snow goose hunting. Interestingly, New York was the highest producing snow goose state in the Atlantic Flyway during the 2021-2022 season, with 5,770 of the total 8,617 light geese reported being harvested there.
After their regular goose season in the fall, New York offers a generous snow goose conservation order from mid-January to mid-April, giving hunters a longer season to contribute to snow goose management. According to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation, large numbers of snow geese can be found in the Finger Lakes Region, St. Lawrence Valley, Upper Hudson Valley, and Champlain Valley during the spring conservation order season.