As the season is winding down around here for snow geese, I figured I would try and figure out some numbers in regards to juvenile snow geese.
So apparently this year had a really good hatch (or bad if you’re the tundra or a farmer). If that article is to be believed, then 60% of the snow goose flocks would have been juveniles. I didn’t think it was over half, but I wasn’t counting, that was just my impression. The juveniles made up a good portion of the flocks and there was nothing really noticeable in numbers between adults and juveniles, so half is easily believable for me. Numbers like that make me wonder how much the snow geese numbers increases each year and what their mortality rate is.
I did not keep close track of adult snow geese that we shot during the season. But I did keep rough track some hunts and looked over pictures and counted out the best I could. Out of the roughly 350 snow geese that we shot this year I had figured that only 5-10% of them were adult snow geese, either blue or white phase. Looking over the pictures that I could tell, and using those figures for the rest of the hunts, I would say we shot around 35 adult snow geese. Basically 10 % would be the number of adults that we shot this year.
What does all that mean? I have no idea… I’m not a biologist and I’ve never really looked at these numbers before this year, so I have nothing to compare it to.
I do know that pretty much all we shot the first couple hunts were juveniles. It seemed that as the season went on and we were shooting less birds, we were shooting higher ratios of adult birds. The juvys were either starting to get wise or the majority of the birds in the area shifted and was mostly adults as flocks moved south. I think it was likely a combination of the 2. I do know that this year was definitely the best year we had hunting snow geese, but we also tried a bunch of new things. I will definitely keep track in the coming years and see what’s what. This also reinforces my experience that adult snow geese are extremely smart birds and hard to hunt.