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Snow Goose Swan Song

Snow Goose Swan Song

Snow goose guide and all-around hunter, “Chubb”, has been hunting them for the past 20 years and outfitting clients on memorable trips for the past 12. Traveling from central Missouri through the Dakotas, he goes where there are snows—spring being one of his favorites, as geese migrate back north again, following the snow-line.

“This year has been rough. We warmed up too soon. Migration got a head start so we’re down to the end,” says Chubb.

Case in point, where he hunts in central Missouri, the migration should be at the end of March, not the beginning. “So, we’re down to what everybody usually refers to as the juvey train, which is still kind of held up in the boot heel.”

He says when the geese show up it can be great hunting, but it’s always a “crap shoot” with nobody really knowing what’s going to happen year-to-year, everything depending on Mother Nature with rainfall and air temperature.

“Our shooting season in central Missouri usually starts the second week of February, typically between the 7th and 10th, depending on the year. But historically, our highest production weeks are the last week of February through the first week of March.”


Chubb and crew hunt flight lines, trying to get under the snows on their way out to and back from their feeds. For the most part, they run full body decoy spreads and stake out in pits or layup blinds.

He prefers to hunt with clients in heated pits, serving on-site lunch or taking them back to the lodge, but admits missing his favorite layout blind chair on level ground, making it easy for the “occasional nap in the sun.”  

“I’m a big fan of HARDCORE’s Rugged Series Fully Body Snow and Blue Goose Touchdown Decoys. They look realistic, but we do have some rotaries, too, but don’t run them a lot. I’ve been around geese so long that I’m used to them and know what they want,” notes Chubb.

Snow Goose Swan Song

That typically means running all HARDCORE bodies, up to 1500 decoy spreads. They’re tailed, which makes them easy to pick up in the event that we do move them. The more you can get in your hand, the less trips back to the trailer.”

In terms of decoy motion that attracts snows, with a little bit of a breeze he says they wobble well on the stakes, so they’re pretty realistic. “If you ever stop and watch a feeding flock of snow geese in a field, they don’t sit still. They’re walking around and moving constantly. Again, these decoys wobble really well simulating some of that.”

Chubb is also a fan of “good, old-fashioned flags” which draw their attention—especially juveniles—and they’ll center right up on the flags.


“Snow geese are probably some of the smartest waterfowl out there,” says Chubb. “Especially the 12 to 14 year old adults. They see a lot of decoy spreads on their migrations and know the game. Juveniles are another story and a lot easier to decoy. Decoy choice can be a big part in either drawing them in—or not.”


1) Don’t try to do it all your first couple seasons. Work some closer areas to where you live. Travel a bit but don’t go overboard. You’ll learn as you go.

2) Don’t get suckered into what you see on social media. There are lots of photos being posted of big snow piles, but that’s not the real world. An average day is going to be 15 to 20 snows, with the occasional great day of 30 to 50.

3) Once in a great moon, you get that pinnacle 100 bird day. It doesn’t happen often, but social media has played up those kind of results. Some hunters and clients have that expectation. It’s just not realistic.

4) Hunt with a reputable outfitter to learn more about snow goose hunting. Do your research; the cheapest outfitters aren’t usually the best. There are some guides who might have leases to hunt, but don’t have the best equipment or land, and their outfitting only lasts a couple seasons.

Snow Goose Swan Song


Chubb says word has it that there are a few snows stacked up in South Dakota, with some moving into North Dakota—the season extending toward the end of April—and that’s worth some phone calls if you’re still looking to snow goose hunt.

Chubb’s experience has been primarily in southern South Dakota and the Yankton area, where he says the action is typically over by the end of March—but is looking to do more in the future farther north.


One question goose hunters invariably get asked is “what do you do with all the meat?” Unfortunately, it’s not all that great tasting on its own, but translates great into sticks, jerky, sausage, Polish sausages, hot dogs, ring bologna, etc. In other words, it makes for some great experimentation, especially with different seasonings.

“At least for me, snow goose breast is definitely not the best piece or waterfowl I’ve ever eaten,” admits Chubb.

So, for Chubb, most of his meat goes into making jerky sticks and summer sausage, typically running 40% pork to 60% snow goose meat with some cheddar cheese. “Enough pork will make anything taste good,” laughs Chubb.

Snow Goose Swan Song


Chubb says you’ll never find him hunting in anything but a pair of bibs, either one or two hooded sweatshirts underneath depending on temp, and a vest. It’s a system that’s worked for him since the early 2000s. Chubb is thoroughly impressed with HARDCORE’s Finisher Extreme Bib.

“Of all the new gear out there, the HARDCORE Hammer Hi-Bird Insulated Vest is my favorite. It’s comfortable, warm, great fitting, lightweight, and not too bulky, which I don’t like in vests.”

If there’s rain, he might pull on a HARDCORE Finisher Extreme Parka, but that’s it for his ensemble.


Use your body measurements to find your perfect fit. See our How to Measure info and diagram below the size charts.

If you measure between sizes, or prefer a loose or roomy fit, we recommend upsizing.

Jackets & Tops
Pants Numeric
30 Reg30"34"
32 Reg32"34"
34 Reg34"34"
36 Reg36"34"
38 Reg38"34"
40 Reg40"34"
42 Reg42"34"
Pants Alpha
SizePalm CircLength
1: Sleeve Measure

Bend your elbow and put your hand on your hip. Measure from the center of the back of your neck, along the shoulder and down the elbow to the wrist bone.

2: Chest Size

Measure around the fullest part of your chest while keeping the measuring tape horizontal.

3: Waist Size

Measure around your waist where your pants typically sit while keeping the tape horizontal.

4: Inseam

Measure from the crotch down to your leg where you like your pants to fit. Typically around the ankle.

5: Gloves

With hand partially closed, measure over the knuckles, around the hand, excluding the thumb.

Tuo Size Chart Silhouette Diagram.png