OUTFITTER REVIEW ON:
Part 1:THE HUNT
Hunting Spring Snows With A Goose Hunting Fanatic
by dan wennerlind
|Now after having an opportunity to hunt Canada geese with Avery pro staffer Adam Johnson of First Flight Finishers the previous fall and having a fantastic hunt near the Twin Cities in Minnesota, I could hardly wait for a chance to join Adam on one of his exciting spring snow goose hunting adventures in northwest Missouri!|
As I met up with Adam the night prior to the hunt, he shared with me that they had been having a successful season thus far. Adam stated that his clients had had excellent hunting all week leading up to my hunt. Adam has been hunting northwest Missouri for over six years now and has found an area that he feels comfortable hunting each year, away from all of the hubbub surrounding the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Adam shared with me that he really enjoys getting away from the crowds of hunters around the refuge and feels that the migrating spring birds respond much better to decoy spreads that are found away from the refuge firing line.
The next morning as we pulled up to the field, Adam and I took the ATV’s out to the spread and brought out the gear needed for the morning’s hunt. I was amazed by the number of decoys that Adam runs. We were hunting over a spread of well over 1,800 silosock snow goose and blue goose decoys with close to 50 Avery full body decoys mixed in around the kill hole. It was definitely a site to behold. Adam also informed me that each of his full body decoys, as well as almost 100% of his silosock decoys all have the new UV paint on them which he feels has helped him finish the bigger flocks of snow geese into the decoys.
As we got set up in our respective lay out blinds for the day, I had a chance to meet the group of Adam’s hunters that I would be sharing the hunt with. And wouldn’t you know it the hunter that I was sitting next to was a friend that I had met at a local Delta Waterfowl Banquet a couple weeks prior to the hunt, what a small world. We took about 20 minutes right off the bat getting situated into our blinds and moving a few decoys around as we got to know each other a little bit and awaited the first wave of snow geese to make their way up to us. Then we heard Adam give the “Get down, here they come” call and we all jumped into our blinds as quickly as possible. Not more then ten minutes later we were completely covered in snow geese. As far as I could see there were geese in air and we had the big tornado circling right over our heads. As I patiently awaited the geese to drop into gunning range I could tell that my little chessy Jada was as excited about the activity overhead as I was, as she shook uncontrollably inside my blind.
I could also tell right off the bat that Adam was an old pro at this, as we let the birds swing around and around and around. He even let them make one more pass than I would have normally allowed, to make sure that we had geese in our face before he made the call “Take Em”! As the blinds flipped open it sounded like a war zone and geese started raining all over. I think we counted 9 geese on the ground when the smoke finally cleared.
We quickly picked up the downed birds and hustled back into our blinds as the next wave of geese were already on their way. Not more then five minutes later and the same sinario repeated itself. Again we had countless numbers of snow geese with their wings set headed for our spread. As the birds made a final pass at about 25 yards Adam gave the “Take Em” call again and geese started falling. What a thrill to have that many birds working the spread right off the bat. The action continued until about 10:00 am. Then as things started to quiet down Adam and I decided to look for a couple of the crippled geese that we were unable to find earlier in the hunt.
One unlucky snow goose poked his head up at about 300 yards out in a plowed field across from the spread which gave me an opportunity to let my dog Jada make a fantastic blind retrieve. She made me quite the proud papa after that retrieve, that was for sure.
Adam then shared with us that the action would be pretty slow until usually around 3:30 in the afternoon and gave us the option of sitting in the spread or heading back for a bite to eat in town. Knowing how long the days tend to get in the spring I elected to head in with Adam for a hot lunch and a short nap in the truck before getting prepared for the evening hunt.
At about 5:00 pm the geese started raining out across the horizon again and we were ready for them. As the birds started cycloning over Adam’s massive spread, this time he elected to let them come in even closer then in the mornings hunt until the first 200 geese actually touched down! Let me tell you it was all I could do to keep my blind lid closed as we had close to 1,000 snow geese within 25 yards. As I pulled up I could hardly pick out one bird to shoot at. Not more then 20 minutes later we had another swarm over our heads. And again Adam was able to land close to 250 geese before we took fire. I have heard stories of hunters landing the huge flocks of snow geese but this was definitely as many snow geese as I have ever had land in the decoys.
With a half hour of light left the action died down a little bit and we had a chance to round up all of the downed geese. The final tally for the afternoon hunt alone was 48 geese in a matter of about 45 minutes of fast action gunning.
One thing I would like to make clear is that this was an excellent day when it comes to spring snow goose hunting and although it is what many hunters hope for when they set foot in the field, it is definitely not the norm and should not be expected when booking a hunt with any spring snow goose hunting outfitter (including Adam) for that matter. But when the stars align and the birds do decide to commit, it is a rush let me tell you! As we headed back to the truck with a sled full of dead snow geese, everyone was grinning from ear to ear. This was definitely a hunt that I will remember!
Part 2: THE REVIEW
|OUTFITTER KNOWLEDGE / PERSONALITY: ||Score||5 / 5 |
Adam was very personable to all members of the hunting party. I would consider him to be qualified as an expert guide when it comes to hunting spring snow geese.
|QUALITY OF |
|Score||5 / 5 |
The equipment used during the hunt was high quality. Hunters can expect to hunt over 1,000 – 2,500 UV painted sillosock decoys as well as several dozen full body decoys. The blinds were quality layout blinds and the electronic callers were loud and crisp.
5 / 5
During the hunt there were numerous opportunities to harvest snow geese well with in gunning range. On multiple occasions we also had flocks of up to 1,000 snow geese landing in the spread. Note: This should not be expected on a normal snow goose hunt but is a possibility as it happen during this hunt.
|QUALITY OF MEALS |
3 / 5
The lodging on the hunt was provided by local motels which were adequate for the time spent in the room. The meals were provided by local restaurants and were what one would expect from a small town atmosphere.
HUNT PACKAGES AND
|Score||5 / 5|
The daily hunting fee is $160.00 plus gratuities per hunter. This includes a full days hunt with a short lunch break for the guide. This does not include meals or lodging. This also does not guarantee a private field for each group but is a very reasonable rate for the effort of the hunt provided.
|OVERALL QUALITY |
OF THE TRIP:
|Score||5 / 5 |
Overall the hunt was a success for each hunter involved. Each hunter was able to harvest multiple birds and enjoyed them selves throughout the hunt. The chance to witness large flocks of snow geese touching down in the decoys was also an added bonus. Adam did an excellent job of guiding during the hunt.
Overall First Flight Finishers Scored 28 Out Of 30 Giving Them An "A" Rating. We Would Not Hesitate To Refer Them For Their Spring Snow Goose Hunts!
28 / 30
Part 3: Booking Information
|Contact Information For First Flight Finishers|
Outfitter Adam Johnson
Email Address: FirstFlightFinishers@gmail.com
Address: 4824 Sharon Lane White Bear Lake, MN 55110
|Additional Hunts Offered:|
First Flight Finishers also offers Spring Snow Goose Hunts in Nebraska, South Dakota and south western Minnesota. In addition Adam also offers fall Canada goose and duck hunts around the Twin City, Minnesota area. Click here to read a review on Adams fall waterfowl hunts
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