Spring Training – Snows on the Prairie

Apr 3, 2023

group of hunters prepared for pheasant hunting in south dakota with all needed gear for the hunt

Spring has finally sprung in the Dakotas, and that can only me one thing…it’s time for Spring Snow Goose hunting!

With the long winter and bountiful snow accumulations, we should be in store for a great spring snow goose season. While much of South Dakota is still covered in snow, the southern half has already started to thaw and seen their first signs of migrating snow geese heading north to the Tundra. This means that here in the Glacial Lakes/Jim River Valley region it won’t be long before we can get out and take aim at the massive flocks that will move through.

When it comes to snow goose hunting in South Dakota in the spring, here are a few things to keep in mind:

    • Bring an ATV or UTV with tracks. In the Dakotas, snow melt means mud and standing water in the fields. Not only will tracks help keep you mobile, it will also reduce the impact on the land you are hunting. Such as leaving the farmer irritating ruts.

    • Landowner relationships are good way to ensure that that you have a place to come hunt year after year. It is always a nice gesture to show some appreciation for permission to hunt. This can be done in a wide variety of things from local eats/food from back home, gift cards, meal for the family or even the simple offering of helping them with a chore around the farm when your hunt is done.

    • Snow geese see safety in numbers. This means the more decoys you can set out the better. It’s not uncommon to see decoy spreads north of 1,000 decoys. This can be a daunting task.  Give yourself ample time and have a few extra hands at work so you can be fully prepared before sunrise.

    • Electronic callers are also a tool that can be utilized during the spring hunt. Downloading a few snow goose calls to your FoxPro or other electronic caller will help coax those birds into range.

    • The right ammunition is also crucial for spring goose hunting. Many of these birds often hold up at 40+ yards from your layout blinds and having the right ammo can help increase to lethal distance on shots. If you have access to a 3 ½ inch shotgun bring it, if not you will want to shoot 3-inch shells that are either #2 or larger. You can find a great selection of ammo to choose from our partners over at

    • The migration is dependent on the weather and food source availability. Being flexible on dates to hunt can prove to be affect in ensuring you have the hunt of a lifetime when coming to South Dakota!

As a reminder, the South Dakota spring light goose season does not require any special application.  Just show up and start shooting after a long, cold winter. To enjoy a few spring days here in South Dakota, you can get your license and find all the information regarding the season at

If you are a DIY kind of hunter, our good friends over at are the go to resource to assist you in finding lodging, public land, passing along current reports and will gladly provide any other needed information to get you headed out this way.

If you prefer to just show up, and let the experts do all the scouting, layout work and other necessities needed for a successful hunt, Dakota Pheasant Guide/Waterfowl can accommodate those needs.  Check us out and then give us a call at 605-887-7069 and we will get you connected with our experienced guides.