With many thanks to our loyal customers, we had an outstanding hunting season. Our daily average was one of the best we've had but the weather cut our season short on both ends so our days hunting was almost 15 shy of our usual number. Nathan and myself are very proud of our success this season and really hope most of you come back this season. For many of you, you know how difficult the weather was on us this year. We never got the extended cold temps to push birds to our area. We were very fortunate that our regular farms were still being used by the handful of geese that did winter here.
The following are some rules/guidelines that pertain to our hunting style and how we expect your hunt to go, keeping in mind that we are detail oriented. Taking time to address every detail is crucial to your success. We have learned a lot over the past 12 seasons of full time Snow Goose hunting and have tried to streamline our daily procedures to make it easier on all of us. We continue to learn, and after Nathan spent some time this season with his drone taking video of the decoy spread, we will be tweaking a few aspects of our operation.
1. Clothing/gear in the field
It is our goal to provide you with a safe and comfortable hunt. After years of trial and error we have employed the following system to stay warm and dry. Properly layered clothing does a much better job than say an oversized camo parka with a large dark hood. We highly recommend a good base layer of thermal underwear, polypropylene long johns, a white hooded sweatshirt, and a windproof fleece top. Dressing lightly while setting the decoys prevents sweating and then getting cold later as a result. We often change into dry socks after setting decoys as well, to get off to a dry start. This year we will be using white tyvek tops and/or tyvek coveralls, so if possible, bring waterproof pants or bibs in a waterfowl or light field camo pattern to match the fields we will be hunting. Please be sure to bring along rain gear.
To maximize your success we will provide you with a white backpack for your gear and white hats and facemasks. It is crucial that you use our hand selected gear to reduce the chance of being busted by the birds. We also provide white tyvek tops/coveralls of a specific brand and model to match the decoys. Using your own white suit is not an option. We have used this system and it works day in and day out. We insist on these details to ensure you have the very best hunt possible.
2. Guns and shells
Please bring quality shells for your hunt, our favorite sizes for Snows are #2's and BB, but each gun patterns differently so bring what shoots the best out of your gun. It would be a smart option to have 1 or 2 extra guns per group just in case something happens . If you are hunting during the Conservation Season take your plug out before you arrive and I highly recommend getting an extension tube.
No customer dogs are allowed...this is an insurance policy requirement
4. Bird cleaning and carcass disposal
Bird cleaning back at the shop/house will be your responsibility. If we shot with your group we will be responsible for what birds you want us to claim and keep. Please have Ziploc bags and a cooler along for the meat.
There will be either a flat daily fee or a single bird fee to dispose of carcasses. I won't know how I'm going to handle this yet but it will be reasonable. This season I ended up paying a farmer to dump and Nathan and I spent a lot of time running birds there.
5. Afternoon hunting
This mostly affects the hunters in December and January when Snow Goose and Canada Goose seasons overlap. In the past I've been willing to Canada Goose hunt in the afternoons after a morning Snow Goose hunt. We will no longer do this for the same price as a "half-day" hunt. When we switch fields I am paying an additional "field fee" to my farmer. Add in our extra time and gas money and I quickly rack up expenses. If it was a slow morning I may choose to offer an afternoon hunt at my own expense but we will no longer "just do it". Afternoon hunts will be an additional $150
6. Point of contact
I would prefer to just have one point of contact for your group. When my season starts I just do not want to take the time to answer the same questions from 2 or 3 people in the same group. Talk amongst yourselves and make a list of questions you may have for me and we will take care of it. I want you to be prepared when you come to hunt .I also want the contact person to handle the deposit, payment, and tip for the group. I would prefer one payment instead of four guys handing me money.
7. License and stamps
Do not purchase your hunting license until you get confirmation from me that we will be hunting. What you will need to hunt in the regular season, 3-day license, state stamp, Federal stamp What you will need to hunt in the Conservation season, 3-day license, state stamp, Federal stamp, Snow Goose permit
A three day license is available to buy online along with your state stamp but you will need to get your Federal stamp from a different source. There is a Walmart and a local sporting goods store a few minutes from the house to get your license and state stamp if you prefer not doing it online.
www.dnrec.delaware.gov and follow the links to licensing
8. Decoys and laying out
We do expect you to fully participate in putting the rig out and picking it up. We have two different rigs we use, the Sillosock rig and the full body rig. The Sillosock rig consists of about 1,500 decoys and can be put out in about an hour while the full body rig is about 900 and takes a little longer.
Our typical hunting style for Snow Geese will have you laying on your back in the rig . You will be on a reclined and padded shooting "blind". Our biggest advantage with this style is being able to see everything that is going on in front of you. Which we feel makes it the safest option. Canada goose hunts would be in a stand up blind or bushed layout blinds. If you or someone in your group has physical limitations that would affect your ability to hunt this way we will do everything we can to have a different option that will still allow you to have a successful and enjoyable hunt.
Thank You and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Andy and Nathan