Our day had started much earlier when we placed over 750 Tanglefree snow goose socks and full-bodied Avian-X decoys. We sat back, admired our work and loaded the snow goose sounds on the electronic callers. I set one for a feeding chuckle and the other for excited snow geese.
When the legal shooting light arrived, four white geese winged in on our right side. I raised my Mossberg 935 Magnum Pro-Series Waterfowl and shot my first spring snow goose of the year. Geese flew all morning, and the small groups and singles worked perfectly, often whiffling their wings to drop elevation quickly and try to get on the ground. We had steady shooting for close to three hours, and my Mossberg 935 semi-auto continued to cycle shells, much to the chagrin of the birds.
After a quick lunch, we went back to work setting out the decoys in another field we had spotted. Four of us had the entire rig dancing in the breeze in less than half an hour. It wasn’t until late afternoon that the snow geese started to move. From four different directions the first couple of flocks came in by the hundreds, if not thousands. Shotguns roared with steady thunder. Our plan worked perfectly, and the fallen birds decoyed as if they’d never been hunted.
We no sooner started to get a steady stream of birds coming when a nasty cloud bank built in the western sky. The black rolling mass looked ominous, and we could see bolts of lightning and sheets of rain and snow across the horizon. The snow geese raced to get into the field and the next couple of minutes of action was insane—then the storm hit.
The next 15 minutes was spent trying to hide under our gear to escape the stinging onslaught of ice pellets and rain shooting from the sky. It was a wicked spring snowstorm that only lasted a short while, but the intensity was extreme. By the time the storm broke the sun had peaked out from behind the clouds just above the western horizon, and the geese started flying again.
The rain and snow didn’t slow down the cycling of my 12-gauge in any way, shape or form.
My gun stayed operational, and Mossberg’s new coatings and metals on the 930 and 935 Magnum Pro Series shotgun added up to success in the field.
The Mossberg model 935 Pro-Series Waterfowl has a synthetic stock, making it resistant to the elements. Special coatings on metal components ensure proper cycling and prevent rust from forming. Boron nitride coating prevents rust and deterioration of working and moving parts. The shell stop, bolt slide, and elevator have extra finishing to reduce friction when cycling. It offers interchangeable chokes and a Stop Drop System that provides drop-at-comb adjustment shims for altering the fit and feel. The 935 Pro-Series Waterfowl is available in Mossy Oak Shadowgrass Blades. It is chambered for 3 ½-inch shotshells, and features a dual gas vent system, over-bored barrels, quick-empty magazine release, stock drop spacer system, and drilled and tapped receiver.
While the birds were covering the skies and it seemed like every shot would cause a goose to plummet to earth, proper shooting technique was necessary. Accurate shot placement meant higher success rates and a better yield when we cleaned the geese. Weeks and months before snow goose season opens I polish my skills indoors since the snow in Alberta accumulates often to over a meter.
One teaching medium that has brought me from a good shot to a successful hunter has been learning from Gil and Vicki Ash from Optimum Shotgun Performance. Between reading their books on flights to and from hunts, to sitting on my couch watching their Knowledge Vault – my skills have drastically improved.
It’s about time you migrate up north with birds if you are looking for some of the best wingshooting in North America.