Snow Goose Hunting Forum Sponsors

Nesting Conditions Update?

Discussion in 'Snow Goose Hunting Forum' started by CSUguy, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. CSUguy

    CSUguy Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Loveland, CO
    We usually start getting nesting condition updates about this time every June. Does anyone have on-the-ground or second-hand knowledge of the nesting conditions this year? I've heard of specks showing up by mid-May this year in arctic Alaska. Have warmer conditions improved conditions to be better than last year? It sounded like the persistent cold weather and freeze are what decimated the hatch last season. I'm hopeful for warmer weather and better nesting conditions for this year's hatch.

    Are there websites/resources to bookmark to track future years' nesting conditions?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Chris Benson

    Chris Benson Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    6,404
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Nesting conditions aren't great, late spring once again will once again lead to poor production. Last year was almost a complete bust year across the entire north, very little nest success. Actually, what most people don't know is nest success the last 6 years has been very poor in the north due to late springs. The Snow Geese population is actually in decline, however we as hunters certainly don't see this as Snow Geese live 20+ years. A protein study that has been done is also finding that Snow Geese while very fat when they arrive in the northern nesting ground are becoming protein deficient. Many of the tubers and other vegetation that they require in the north to gain protein mass have been overgrazed. So the overall protein mass of each bird is on the decline. What this might mean for the overall health of the population, or the long term effect this might have are debatable, but it could lead to a tipping point at some point?

    Maybe a little more information than what you were looking for, but I had the opportunity a few weeks ago while facilitating a mentored Snow Goose hunt in Canada's North to talk at length with the former Game Bird Manager for Manitoba who has moved on with the Canadian Wildlife Service and has lead this study on Snow Geese in the north.
     
    DeweyDuck, CSUguy and Brottboss like this.
  3. greenheadIL

    greenheadIL Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,919
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2000
    Location:
    gaddieville,IL
    Great info chris. Thanks
     
  4. Socal Waterfowler

    Socal Waterfowler Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,068
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    West Coast
    Actually, what most people don't know is nest success the last 6 years has been very poor in the north due to late springs.

    I have to disagree with the above, 2-years ago was one of the best nesting seasons ever. If it was a late spring, than they sure made up for it with a favorable summer.

    Based on the wide range of nesting grounds some areas did have a late spring while others were open from snow/ice. It's too early to tell, weather has been trending upwards and birds will melt snow with their belly's as they do when they feed in the winter to nest. Give it 30-45 days and than let's revisit this conversation. West Coast birds ranging from Alaska, Russia etc. seem to have had more favorable conditions so far.
     
    Dean Nelson and KID CREOLE like this.
  5. KEN

    KEN Moderator Moderator

    Messages:
    4,888
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2000
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I have been hunting snows for 57 years in NoDak and Sask. 2017 was one of the best hatches I have ever seen. As many young as I have ever seen. Limits were easy. I remember the biologists saying "Get your guns ready and buy lots of shells."
     
    Dean Nelson likes this.
  6. CSUguy

    CSUguy Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    182
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Loveland, CO
    Here's a link showing ice coverage and historical maps to compare against https://www.natice.noaa.gov/products/miz.html
    2019: https://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/miz/north_miz_2019169.png
    2018: https://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/miz/2018/north_miz_2018169.png
    2017: https://www.natice.noaa.gov/pub/miz/2017/north_miz_2017169.png

    This is very encouraging and there's less ice today than there was the same time in 2017 during the banner nesting/hatch year. Hudson Bay looks a bit more iced, but everywhere else is the same ice coverage as 2017 or better.

    This was just released today but doesn't help much with the snow goose nesting conditions: https://deltawaterfowl.org/june-2019-conditions-report/

    Hopefully, we'll see some reports from banding stations here in the next few weeks.
     
  7. Chris Benson

    Chris Benson Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    6,404
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Location:
    Manitoba
    Well, not sure what to tell you. From personal first hand experience the conservation fall snow goose season starts August 15th in Northern Manitoba. I was in Churchill, MB for it, normally I am told Churchill is covered up with small family groups, pairs etc.. Last year there was one flock of about a dozen birds. The Snow Goose banding that goes on in Wapusk normally bands a few thousand Snow Geese and many of these are juvies. Last year they banded 300.

    As for other years, I am only passing on what I was told. He might have been referring to Snow Geese that nest around Hudson Bay. Another interesting tidbit I learned is if Snow Geese follow the snow line and like most (all?) waterfowl as they attempt to return to the area they hatched from or had previous nest success. If they get stopped by poor conditions for an extended period of time like, lets say a large spring snow storm. If this delay is long enough and the time comes to drop the eggs, they will attempt to nest where ever they are. This is how Snow Geese colonize new areas. Biologist thought that Snow Geese only nest in salt water brackish marshes, then due to weather and other factors they expanded into fresh water marshes and even boreal wetlands and lakes.

    Might get the chance to learn more about the study that was done, if I do I will certainly pass it on.
     
    hunting1 and CNWD like this.
  8. Socal Waterfowler

    Socal Waterfowler Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,068
    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    West Coast
    I do find it very interesting how these birds adapt for more favorable areas. I can say last year in Sask we had one day where 50% of our birds were Juvies, unlike other day's this feed had a decent amount of grey. This alone shows that birds will do what they can to reproduce and adapt.
     
  9. baker aka goosenut

    baker aka goosenut Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,365
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Location:
    southeast michigan
    A good friend of mine who guides in canada said he heard from a very reputable source this year looks to be the best in 30 years
     
    DeweyDuck and CSUguy like this.
  10. KID CREOLE

    KID CREOLE Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    2,505
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Location:
    San Pedro, Ca.
    Social media is way more entertaining when there is a poor hatch, bring on a poor hatch
     
    GetDuck, CSUguy and CNWD like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice