South Dakota snow goose hunting
Read below for dates rates and location. And be sure to call, text, or email me anytime day or night with questions.
Top Gun is 100% fully mobile in seven states and Saskatchewan during the spring migration. Over 20 years of spring seasons the hunting pressure has doubled and land access has reduced in half. The geese are also shifting feeding habits and migration patterns in each of the locations we hunt due to the relentless hunting pressure of the last 20 spring seasons. Hunters modern day need to have a reasonable expectation of a spring snow goose hunt and its daily averages of 20 birds per day with the opportunity for a big shoot or a goose egg during your stay. Big shoots and zeros are based on conditions out of the guides hands such as good morning winds, no frost, geese decoying during low light, migrating juvenille birds, lack of roost jumpers, snow, fog, south wind and sun etc. Also just finding birds randomly on field and hunting them where they are sitting with no research also is not effective. Birds loaf, get rolled off the actual feed they want, get jumped, get moved by planes, dont find food, change food /fields with weather changes, geese migrate every single day in the spring constantly filling up with new birds changing habits (can be a good thing). Sometimes getting too close to large adults feeds in the front of the migration can actually ensure you will zero for the day as after the first 1/2 hour and the sun comes up you will have 100k next to you ensuring all migrator flocks will go directly into them and not your spread of decoys.(and no bumping them and putting the decoys there expecting them to come back isnt going to work) Later in the migration hunting small feeds of juvys can be very productive after the main migration has pushed out (if the feeds can be found). Confusing we know please feel free to discuss with us anytime as we dont want our hunters confused on our tactics while spring hunting as it is by far the most mis understood sport by far. We hunt a lot traffic fields and also feeds when possible when geese arent field jumping or being jumped by hunters on an hourly basis. We scout everyday and we will ALWAYS move our spread onto a feed when we have a good one. We also scout land we dont have leased and try to negoitiate every feed possible. Its just not practicle to get on every feed in each area as the land owners are allowing less and less each year. We do lease very very large tracts of land in every location and manage the birds as much as we can and hold birds but you must remember geese are protected by refuge areas, farmers that don’t allow hunting, and other preleased hunting properties. So in short the waterfowl hunting world and landscape is always changing and we have adapted again as we always do at Top Gun!
We are currently booking for our spring hunts. As always we will have the same great crew, decoys, blinds, land, and locations. All lodging locations are duck lodges, pheasant lodges, or hotels that we arrange as we are on the move. Do not pre book VRBO’s or hotels on your own as we never know what spring weather can do to locations. Everything after that is up to the birds. Hope to see you in the field this spring to watch the greatest migration of birds on earth.
South Dakota March 7th – April 15th
We have been able to keep our rates low while improve our service every year that we have been in business. You will benefit from 20 years of experience and a fully established outfitter that is well financed with land and gear with a great track record. We guide for 9 months of the year. Our customers at Top Gun are 85% return customers. Feel free to request a long reference list of client and industry contacts. Also check out our Facebook/Instagram page to see the endless amount of our hunters pics at TGGS.
We provide land (20 years of farmer relations in the spring and fall), scouts, 14 guides, and we also travel out of 5th wheel travel trailers ourselves so we are always on the migration.
No plugs are required for shotguns in any of these US hunt locations and all states we guide in do not have a daily limit or possession limit.
Take advantage of hunting with a well financed outfitter that is fully established with Deadly Decoys with unique custom 3 foot stainless steel turned stakes and back supports, Layoublinds and panel blinds, and one of kind durable electronic calls (designed by us and not offered to the public). Plus 20 years of farmers relations in the central and Mississippi flyways.
Let your hard earned money go to the aspects of the hunt that matter like land, “the right equipment”, scouting, electronics, and hard working guides. Not wasted on gimmicks or trial and error on “what is effective to decoy snow geese”
Objective And Philosophy
This will be our 20th season of spring snow goose hunting. A lot has changed and we have adapted!
We offer any type of spring hunt that you would prefer. We have feed spreads, full body spreads, large sock sets, migrator locations, crop rotations, refuge line fields, lake spots, pond sets, and river / hwy traffic fields. We hunt in various locations with all types of equipment that have proven to be effective to decoy snow geese. We know that our time concealing and fixing the decoy spread is the most important. Some days all the sets are full of hunters and some days only a few will be full. Either way we have plenty full time guides and full time spotters and decoy setters. This ensures plenty of help if there is a solid snow line and birds stop moving north. If the birds start feeding habits in the area and we will be able to target them better and move on them where they feed. These fields will be set at night or midday. Having a large crew also allows us to prepare the next location north while we are hunting the state below. That way we are ready for a jump north on a moments notice for new arriving customers which is alot of prep to be ready and in the right part of the flock. If you arrive in a location 100% of time you will finish your 3 to 5 day hunt in that location. It also diversifies our long time customers that have prefrences hunting the front or the back of the migration as we have all aspects of spring hunting covered. Some operations cannot provide this service as they run one or two spreads and will be totally in the dark on the big picture of the migration with severe tunnel vision with no intel other than the very confusing posts online which never make sense. My scouts with boots on the ground is always the best intel. I’ve heard a lot of customers ask “where are they all at?” over the years. For the most part hunters and guides can only see a mile or two from their field they are hunting. In reality there are 15 million geese covering several states and moving constantly most times so there is no “they” all in one spot ever.
When there isn’t a snow line we keep our decoys set in the prime migratory funnels that the birds use each year. These are only learned by hunting these fields for the last 20 years. In the spring you will not always benefit from hunting scouted feeder birds as those birds can feed in fields for only a short period and move on quickly. Some fields will be set the day we get there and can shoot great averages for the entire two or three week time frame. If they dry up and stop killing birds we simply move them into another funnel or “Killing Field” as we call them. These are fields that may not ever had a bird feeding in but we know year after year when we put our decoys in it we shoot them daily!
Also most hunters refer to scouting as seeing birds sitting on dirt, seeing them through their binos, and renewing their onx maps at that moment only to find out 9 hours later than the farmers cousins brother in law is coming in three weeks to hunt lol! In spring scouting is a much larger picture as you are hunting entirely different than fall duck or Canada goose hunting which 99% of new spring snow goose hunters relate the hunt to which I can understand. But just like anything in waterfowl there are a lot more aspects to killing snows other than birds on dirt. Just like the misnomer that if you can blow a Canada goose or duck call all your problems are solved and you will kill birds everyday. Wrong!
Hunting in the spring is an all day hunt. For the hunters that walk out of the field at 9 am expecting 100 on the ground are hunting the wrong sport in general. Yes we have had that happen but most days you are hunting migrators and refuge birds that are coming and going all day long. There can be movement the entire day so we prefer the hunters stay all day. The guide WILL take a lunch break out of the field as he is out there 100 days in a row.
Top Gun wants our customers to have the most enjoyable hunt possible while hunting snows. Weather and snow geese combined can be one of the most predictable and unpredictable hunt you will ever experience. Unpredictable can be some of the greatest waterfowl hunting you will ever see on an day to day or even hour to hour basis . I personally have watched hunters new to the sport be frustred the first day and swear off snow geese and TGGS forever and the next day completely become hooked on shooting snows when the geese respond to our decoys where you cant load the gun fast enough in a manner which could be compared to schools of dolphin/mahi/dorado in a feeding frenzy. Whether you shoot a pile of geese or only a few on your trip its about enjoying the spring weather and scenery in all of these great locations. Watching snow geese migrate in the spring is the greatest spectacle of birds on earth!
We start spring snow goose hunting in Arkansas, Missouri or Kansas in late January and through mid March depending on the weather and the snow goose migration. We travel with the snow geese, moving into central Nebraska, arriving in South Dakota. We hunt North Dakota in April and finish the spring snow goose hunting season in Saskatchewan April 20 – May 15th. We have land leases in all these areas as we hunt in these areas in the spring and fall. We have been finding these areas and following bird patterns for years that gives a head start on the competition in all of these locations.
Equipment And Group Numbers
Each snow goose hunt consists of hunting behind 800 -2000 snow goose decoys (Deadly Decoys or Dakota Full Bodies), electronic callers, we try hunt 6 to 10 hunters max per field depending on how the group numbers calculate. We hunt out panel or layout blinds. We will work with each group to make the hunt work with each blind preference.
Hunters will benefit from dedicated snow goose hunting guides who are willing to relocate state to state in an effort to stay on top of feeding and migrating snows. We have a young energetic staff of snow goose guides hunting a 100 day season. We all work together and have a system that has been proven year after year and we have the client base to prove it. When the snows leave overnight we are able to do the same and be on birds the next week. As a client we expect the same of you because sometimes we have to jump from one state to another on a few days notice. This is for your benefit. We scout the next state north that we will be jumping to when the geese migrate north. We do everything in our power to get you on “the right birds” for your arrival. Meaning the middle to the end of the flock only if possible.
What To Bring And Expect
During the spring snow goose hunting season, most states have very liberal bag limits and no plug laws. The average daily harvest range are 20 birds per day, with the exceptional days exceeding 100+ birds. On a 3 day hunt we ask that hunters bring 8 boxes of shells (12 gauge 3” BB or BBB). Facemask, knee high boots for muddy conditions and warm, waterproof clothing helps when you hunt sunrise to sunset. You are encouraged to hunt all day (guides will take a midday break)You can expect temps as low as 10 degrees to 70 degrees for a high. Bird cleaning and lodging are also available. (not included)
We will text or email you approx a week prior to arrival on meeting times and lodging locations. Please be patient as it is an ever changing process leading up to your hunt. Please provide a reachable cell number and or email address. No land lines please.
Things to Bring
The weather conditions can change overnight, so come prepared. This can really add to the adventure of the hunt, as long as you are prepared for the conditions.
Warm water proof clothing (cold wet weather)
Light weight clothing (for warm days)
Coolers (transporting birds )
Trained dogs are also welcomed as they like to hunt as much as we do. There are vet clinics only 30 mins away.
Hotels are available and we will block them off for you as we move through the state under the all inclusive package. All other lodging are duck lodges, pheasant lodges, or hotels that we will find for you as locations sometimes are unknown until the week of your hunt.
South Dakota Non-resident License $45
South Dakota Youth under 16 $25 plus hunter safety
S.D. Lic. by phone 605-773-3485