Del-Bay Guide Service – Snow Goose Hunting in Delaware & New Jersey
Delaware Snow Goose Hunting
Centrally located between the huge tidal marshes of southern New Jersey and endless cornfields of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Delaware winters close to 500,000 snow geese annually.Delaware is home to two major snow geese roosts- the 16,000 acre Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge (kent County) and the 9,900 acre Prime Hook Nationals Wildlife refuge. (Sussex County) Combined these refuges host over 400,000 snow geese each fall. Both refuges provide large fresh water impoundments and tidal marshes for snow geese.
We currently lease over 30 farms in Kent and Sussex county. We have farms covering a large area both close to and farther inland from the refuges. Since we have hunted these areas for over twenty years, we have leased only the best farms used by wintering snow geese.
New Jersey Snow Goose Hunting
Southern New Jersey holds upwards of 150,000 snow geese during the fall and spring. Most of these birds are in Salem and Cumberland county. Generally the birds show up in late October and leave in mid-March. New jersey snow goose hunting presents two unique challenges. First,these birds sometimes will fly over to Delaware to feed for the day. Another second factor to contend with here in New Jersey are the huge tidal marshes where the birds roost. Generally the birds will not leave the marsh preferring to stay and feed on the salt hay fields that are so numerous in New Jersey tidal marshes. But once the weather turns cold that is when the birds head inland from 2- 20 miles to find higher protein food like corn, soybean or wheat.
New Jersey Farms
We have farms in both Salem and Cumberland county. All or our farms are inland anywhere from 2 -12 miles from the roost areas for these birds. As mentioned above, our best hunting is the first cold snap when the birds head inland for high protein food. Snow geese prefer large farms and our farms vary in size from 60-415 acres. We have leased these farms for over ten years so we have a good idea of when they will use them. And of course we scout daily and have area farmers looking for us also.
Snow goose hunting requires a huge amount of decoys. We use mostly silosocks and some full bodies. More so than any other waterfowl, huge spreads of decoys are an important part to harvest snow geese. Being on the ‘X” is most important but we have had a lot of good hunts (25-50 birds) just getting under the birds and hunting traffic. 200 decoys was deadly ten years ago but today 600-1500 decoys are needed for those same results.
Del Bay runs four rigs of decoys. Two of our rigs are mobile. Mobile rigs are the one we use when following the birds day to day and setting up on the “X”. These two rigs consist of 1,000 GHG shells and 1500 silosocks.
Our other two rigs are more permanent big rigs – 5,000 decoys each. (see below) Have the big rig paragraph under this.
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Click Here to purchase your New Jersey Hunting License Online