South Saskatchewan River

South Saskatchewan River

There's no calm in the eye of a snow-goose cyclone. Only awe, and a frenzied attempt to reload your shotgun. You can experience thousands of geese dropping into your decoys almost any October morning on the pea fields along the South Saskatchewan River. Snow, specklebelly and Canada geese, as well as sandhill cranes, come off the river into stubble fields, and decoying can be so consistent you don't need an outfitter. Access is fairly open here. Just pick up a Rural Municipality map that details land ownership and knock on a lot of doors.

Pack as many shell and flag decoys as you can carry. A couple dozen dekes won't cut it when flocks number in the thousands. Generally, the snow goose action is better to the west, along the Alberta border, centered out of Leader. The honker and speck shooting is better east toward Elbow.

Last year the Saskatchewan goose limit was 8 dark geese and 20 white geese, plus 5 cranes, daily. The nonresident game bird license costs $116, and you also have to buy a $19 federal permit. The first week of October is prime.