Despite the season opening Monday, however, hunters in northeast Kansas may be hard-pressed to find many birds in the area this early until the spring migration begins to come through in the next few weeks. As of Monday, Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge in Mound City, Mo., reported just 55 snow geese in the area — mostly residential birds — and no Ross’ geese. That area is typically a good indicator of bird activity in northeast Kansas and northwest Missouri.
Heading out west will be hunters’ best bet to find good numbers of birds this early. At Webster Wildlife Area in Stockton, more than 300,000 snow geese were reported on Friday, and Lovewell Reservoir in Webber reported 20,000 light geese, as well.
Glen Elder Wildlife Area, located about two hours west of Manhattan, had as many as 120,000 light geese as of Feb. 8, per Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism bird reports.
There are two generally agreed-upon methods for hunting light geese. The first is the traditional method, which involves setting out snow goose decoys — if you’re having problems filling out your spread, white plastic bags have also been known to work — and calling geese into your spread. The second method is road hunting, which involves spotting large flocks of geese in the distance with binoculars or the naked eye, following them by vehicle to the area where they set down and asking the landowner for permission to hunt their land. Hunters will then sneak into shooting range using whatever cover they have available and get a “jump” on the birds. This method is more common in rural areas where farmland stretches for miles upon miles.
Hunters will need to carry a valid hunting license, Kansas HIP Stamp, State Waterfowl Stamp and Federal Waterfowl Stamp to hunt waterfowl.
Squirrel season also ends Sunday night in Kansas.