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Archive for Sunday, February 8, 2004

Hunting isn’t over

Snow geese season goes through April 30

February 8, 2004

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While most hunting seasons are over in Kansas, snow geese season extends through April 30.

The extended season comes at the behest of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which is addressing the overpopulation of snow geese in North America.

During the extended season, there is no bag or possession limit, and electronic calls and unplugged shotguns are legal. Shooting hours are a half-hour before sunrise and a half-hour after sunset.

Perry, John Redmond and Elk City reservoirs, and the Jeffrey Energy Center are favorite loafing sites for late-season snow geese.

More snow geese are seen in a wider area of Kansas each year, ranging well into the central portions of the state. In addition, thousands of snows cross into Kansas from refuges in Missouri. Flocks in northern Leavenworth, northeast Jefferson, central and eastern Atchison and southern Doniphan counties are usually abundant.

Recent snowfall in Kansas may make snow goose hunting a great opportunity as the birds respond to the cold by feeding more often, and exposed feed fields become scarce. Snow geese are typically hunted when they fly to corn fields to feed.

Veteran snow goose hunters normally spend a day scouting to spot where flocks are feeding and then acquire permission to hunt.

Almost all hunting opportunities are on private land, where permission is required. Once geese are located, hunters will spread hundreds of white rag decoys in a corn field.

Dressed in white or cornstalk camouflage, hunters lie among these rags until the birds move in. No. 2 nontoxic shot is preferred when hunting snow geese. No lead shot may be in possession.

Lucky hunters may see thousands of light geese descend from the skies.

However, when the birds become decoy-shy, hunters may watch feeding flocks land out of range all day.

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