Living in the Midwest, tornadoes aren't usually something to be excited about. That is, unless, you are speaking of snow geese, in which case, a tornado can be the most spectacular thing you will ever witness. Every year, as temperatures rise and snow and ice melt away, millions of snow geese make their grand passage back to their breeding ground on the tundra. Their migration takes them right through the heart of the Midwest, making several resting stops along the way and if done right, providing some of the most fast and furious wing-shooting a hunter can find in the Northern hemisphere.
Light geese, which includes snow, blue and Ross's geese, have grown to astronomic numbers and as such are quickly eating through and damaging their arctic and sub-arctic nesting grounds. Current snow goose populations are estimated to be well over 5 million birds, and some estimates even say the population may be nearing 10 million. In the late 90's, it was realized that these birds were not only literally eating themselves out of house and home, but were also a huge risk factor for outbreaks such as avian cholera given their population and contact with all other waterfowl. So it was decided that the best course of action to combat the growing population was to relax the laws concerning hunting them. The Light Goose Conservation Order was established, which allows hunters to hunt light geese during their spring migration with unplugged shotguns and electronic callers. Hunters are also allowed to hunt until 1/2 hour after sunset and there are no bag or possession limits.
There are many tactics regarding hunting snow geese, but one thing that is usually never debated is hunting them requires you to go BIG! Snow geese frequently travel in very large flocks, and as such, prefer to be with other very large flocks. This means your spread needs to look natural/big.
Perhaps the easiest way to build a large spread is with the use of socks. There are several companies that offer some sort of sock-style decoy, and the rule of thumb is snow goose spreads start with 10 dozen decoys. It is not uncommon to see spreads of 100 dozen or MORE!
A couple of the more popular sock decoys come from companies such as Deadly Decoys and Tanglefree. Deadly Decoys is a company that specializes in sock-style decoys. Tanglefree also offers other more standard decoys, but their Slammer Sock line is no slouch in realism or durability.
Tanglefree Slammer Socks:
As you can see, Deadly offers a headless option on their decoys, which is usually quite a bit cheaper as well as easier to store. I like a good mix of both, but I don't worry about it enough to say there is a definite difference. However, hunting in the Midwest, you will see a good mix of blues to snows, so you should have around 25-50% of your spread in blue goose decoys, but the proportion can be up to your preference.
Perhaps the most significant thing you will notice when watching snow geese feed in a field, is they are rarely all on the ground. In an active feed, which is what you are trying to portray, there are always birds "hopping" each other to get to the untouched food. Because of this, it is a good idea to invest in a couple (or several) flyers, which are just decoys that simulate birds in flight, whether they are landing or hopping. I like the Deadly flyers, because they offer movement in sparse wind, but don't turn into windmills when wind gets nasty like it can in the early spring.
Snow goose hunting is possibly the perfect embodiment of one of my favorite quotes regarding waterfowl: "To be successful, one must possess passion, dedication and a boatload of decoys". Snow geese can be very fickle creatures, and can frustrate you beyond belief, but when it all comes together and you get that first tornado circling overhead, it will become painfully obvious how addicting it can become.
For information regarding seasons, consult your local wildlife agency.