Swan Hunt

Discussion in 'Montana / Wyoming Flyway Forum' started by jeffc, Dec 18, 2019.

  1. jeffc

    jeffc Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    May 14, 2001
    Location:
    Chillicothe, MO
    i live in Missouri. I have just learned that it is legal to take a trumpeter swan in the Pacific Flyway portion of Montana. Are there any guides who target them?
     
  2. Frenchy in AK

    Frenchy in AK Senior Refuge Member

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    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    We get Trumpeter and Tundra Swans interspersed during the Migration. We are allowed to take trumpeters mainly because it is difficult to tell the difference between a tundra and a trumpeter on the wing. The do encourage you to shoot tundras though. I don't know if any guides, but apply for the permit and if drawn.....go hunting. Shouldn't need a guide to get into the swans. Although if coming from out of state....timing will be the hardest part. They come and go quickly some years.
     
  3. Native NV Ducker

    Native NV Ducker Mod-Duck Hunters Forum, Classifieds, and 2 others Moderator

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    Location:
    Sula, MT
    You don't need a guide. Just set aside 3 days to hunt. Go to FreezeOut Lake. Nice big open refuge. I am sure there is info out there as to when they arrive. Once they do, they stay for quite a while (Until snowed out)

    They are pretty easy to pattern, just find a pond/lake they are on, and set up upwind. They come off low, just pick your shot. Killed my two with steel 3's.

    Now, if you are wanting to hunt them over decoys, that is a different matter, and I don't have any info on that. I know guys who do it in NV, at Stillwater Refuge.

    I could usually kill one or five during my season, as they love to work the river I hunt. However, swan hunting is limited to specific areas. Not positive, but I think FreezeOut is that area.

    I tried to look for guides, but nothing came up. This article mentions Freezeout....
    https://www.outdoorlife.com/how-to-hunt-giant-tundra-swan/
     
  4. jeffc

    jeffc Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    May 14, 2001
    Location:
    Chillicothe, MO
    To Frenchy and Native Ducker,

    Thanks for the helpful information. I will follow up on your suggestions and do some more research.

    It is nice to receive positive posts on this forum. Unfortunately back here in Missouri and Arkansas, out-of-state hunters usually get smart-*** replies.

    Thanks again.

    Jeff Churan
    Chillicothe, MO
    Holly Grove, AR
     
  5. Frenchy in AK

    Frenchy in AK Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2006
    Location:
    Bozeman, Montana
    The peak of the swan migration is usually, the end of October first part of November. I'm usually able to draw a permit every other year or so. Although this past year, we had 4 guys put in and we did not pull a single permit. If you decide to put in and actually draw shoot me a PM. I'll hook you up with some info and logistics of the hunt.

    We went up last year for a swan hunt. Wind blew 30+mph the two days we were there. Missed my one shot at a swan, but we did shoot a few ducks. Filled my swan later that year during a river duck hunt.
     
  6. jeffc

    jeffc Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks Frenchy. Not sure what I’ll do. Sounds like bagging a trumpeter is a long shot.
     
  7. Dirk Van Schmaldlerson

    Dirk Van Schmaldlerson Senior Refuge Member

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    Leaving your moms house
    Just curious, why the want to shoot a trumpeter? Tundra's I can see all day long, but the trumpeter?
     
  8. jeffc

    jeffc Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Chillicothe, MO
    Good question Dirk. I have s goal to shoot all the legal waterfowl species indigenous to North America. I thought I had accomplished that, but in 2017 the emperor goose became legal in Alaska and the trumpeter became legal in Utah, Nevada, and part of Montana. So, I’m now after them. That would make 43 species in all.
     
  9. hammbone

    hammbone Senior Refuge Member

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    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Montana
    I live 20 miles from freezeout tundra swans show up in the 1000’s the trumpeters are here but you will need to pick trough them I have killed one of each. If you make it up this way message me I have 2 swan decoys you can use. You can use a spotting scope and find neck collar birds and try to pattern them. You could do the same thing to find a trumpeter.
     
  10. jeffc

    jeffc Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Chillicothe, MO
    Thank you Hammbone. That is helpful. I’m not sure what I will do. I doubt I could I could identify a trumpeter amid thousands of tundras. I’d be lost without a guide.
     

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