Spring conservation guided Snowgoose hunts can be one of the best experiences you can have as a waterfowl hunt. The sheer volume of birds you encounter on a spring hunt is enough to get any outdoorsman excited. If you consider yourself a waterfowl hunter, you owe or to yourself to try a spring hunt at least once in your life. Unfortunately not every guided Snowgoose hunt turns out the way the outfitter “promises” or “guarantees” it will. There are ALOT of horror stories about bad/unqualified outfitters taking clients money with experiences that are much less desirable then described in the description of the hunt. I recently got done doing a sports show in Milwuakee, Wi. The common theme was a lot of attendees of the show complaining about horrible experiences with guided Snowgoose hunts with other outfitters. Hunting migratory geese that travel great distances both in spring and fall is a challenge to say the least. There are no “guarantees” in shooting geese, but there are a few thing you should look for when choosing an outfitter. Let’s touch base on a few key things to look for that will help you choose your next outfitter for a spring Snowgoose hunt!
As a full time hunting and fishing guide myself, I can tell you I know what it means to be busy! Snowgoose season is one of the toughest hunts to guide nowadays. Pressure from other outfitters, fun hunters, jump shooters, leased ground, ect just in itself keep us running around day in and day out. Now you add on the aspect of killing and staying on consistent geese and you can bet there’s not much time for sleep. Setting thousands of decoys daily, finding new feeds, fixing broken equipment will test your sanity. With that being said even with all this going on an outfitter must communicate with their customers and clients keeping them in the loop for their upcoming hunt. Out of state hunting licenses can be a challenge to get also. Some states require a hunters safety certificate to purchase licenses. Your outfitter should have all that information to you well before your hunt. Lodging should also be taken care of ahead of time, as accommodations can be slim in the areas we hunt geese. Your outfitter should make this as streamline as it gets well before the hunt is happening.
How much availability an outfitter has is a direct reflection of the type of hunt your getting yourself and your crew into. Like I said earlier, there are no “promises” or “guarantees” in Snowgoose hunting. If your outfitter says those 2 words to get you to book a hunt, I can promise you that you have not found the right outfitter. Any reputable guide or outfitter that offers spring Snowgoose hunts is going to be hard to get something booked with due to repeat clients. Repeat clients are people who understand what Snowgoose hunting is all about. Your gonna have good days and bad days, that’s hunting. Your customers understand (or they should) that’s out of your control as an outfitter. What’s not out of control is what you provide to your clients as a guide. How does their equipment work? How are the blinds brushed in? Do they hunt the same field everyday? Are they adjusting spreads during your hunt if the birds are acting negative to it? There’s alot of stuff you can do as a guide to do everything possible to kill geese, but in the end it’s really up to the geese. Not all outfitters are going to be fully booked every year, but most guys that are doing it right will have plenty of customers who want to come again and have a shot at that 100 birds shoot! There are A LOT of new outfitters who have no idea what it takes to run a Snowgoose operation and it shows. They give other outfitters a bad name and are not doing any favors to the hunting community.
You get what you pay for! Snowgoose hunting will test the abilities, mental and physical strength of the best outfitters in the business. There’s a reason some outfitters are 1/2 the price of others. When you book with an outfitter like that expect 1/2 the hunt. Equipment, fuel, employees are not cheep. Not to mention 1000+ decoys, blinds, e callers, motion decoys we set at 2 am while the customers are still sleeping. Just to pull it after a morning hunt and do it all over again. I have had lots of “potential” customers complain about our prices being to much for them. They go hunt with a fly by night outfitter and guess what. Next year they are calling us looking for a hunt because they got screws over by the “cheeper” outfitter. Make sure to shop around, check out reviews and testimonials online before calling. I have met a lot of really awesome customers through the years who have become friends of myself, my guides and my family. In the end that’s what it’s all about!
It’s too bad that so many people have a sour taste in their mouth for guided spring Snowgoose hunts. It’s a great time of the year to get away and do a hunting trip. Hunters of all ages come to Arkansas and Missouri with us every year and have a great time. Groups that have had bad experiences in the past with other outfitters are not what Snowgoose hunting is all about. Make sure to do your research on an outfitter in advance to booking. Ask the outfitter for references if your in doubt. A good outfitter will have plenty of customers who have hunted with them for years, through good and bad hunts, but still continue to hunt with them. They know we want to kill geese even worse then you do!
Capt. Jacob Kaprelian
Owner, Epic Guide Service
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