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Illinois Outdoors

Illinois snow goose hunting good

February 16, 2008 at 09:15 AM
To contact Allen Letcher and Flatland Outfitters, call (217) 519-3680. Best times to reach him are 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and then again after dark. Another Illinois snow goose guide is Todd Gessner, who hunts near the refuge at Rend Lake. Call him at (618) 513-0520.

First Allen Letcher had to fight mud. Now frozen fields. But it’s all worth it to Letcher and his Flatland Outfitters.

Because he’s on the geese. Since Illinois’ conservation order snow goose season started on Feb. 1, Letcher’s hunters have been averaging at least 40 snow geese per outing. The totals reflect a consistency that comes from hunting flocks upward of 200,000 birds in the Vandalia area.

“At one time, between our field and the refuge, which is probably 14 miles, there were birds in every field,” Letcher said. “I know there have been more than 200,000 around here. The flyover says there are only 11,000 here, but I’ve seen groups that big overhead. They fly at 9 a.m. and don’t count most of these birds. The geese leave in the dark and come back in the dark.”Illinois Outdoors

For the past 14 years, Letcher has spent the month of February hunting snow geese in the southern half of Illinois. Action has improved steadily for the past few years as more and more of the white geese are moving through Illinois on their migration north.

And Letcher said the next two weeks of hunting should remain good.

“Southern Illinois and Arkansas still have birds so I think the hunting should be good until we leave for Iowa,” said Letcher, who spends the month of March hunting snow geese in western Iowa. “And so far we’ve been killing 90 percent adult birds, which is pretty tough hunting. When we start seeing some younger birds things are going to get better.”

Along those same lines, Letcher said the prime time for snow hunting in Iowa is later in March—typically as late as March 17-21.Illinois Outdoors

“That’s the prime time because of all the juvenile birds that are there,” he said. “You don’t get the spectacle of the huge flocks, but you kill more birds.”

While most of the focus is in southern Illinois, some opportunities also exist in central Illinois before the snow goose flocks start moving westward. Public hunting is available at The Nature Conservancy’s Emiquon Preserve and at the Double T State Fish and Wildlife Area.

Illinois Outdoors

EDITOR'S NOTE: Snow goose photographs courtesy of Gretchen Steele and Steele Photo Services.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

hunting there sucked we only shot 12 i n one weekend everybody go to south dakota the weather is holding the geese very well. peace, love, kill snows.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/20 at 12:20 PM

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