Outdoors blog

MONDAY, MARCH 25, 2013, 6:37 A.M.

Clouds of snow geese darken skies in Montana

WILDLIFE WATCHING -- More than 50,000 snow geese have been resting at Freezeout Lake near Great Falls, Mont., on their annual spring migration.

Snow geese are the only waterfowl I know of that are hunted during spring migrations as part of an effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reduce the overpopulated birds and reduce the damage they've been doing for years to their arctic nesting areas. 

But because the geese travel in such large groups with so many wary eyes, the are difficult to hunt, and their populations have not been brought under control. 

Montana outdoor photographer Jaimie Johnson caught a relatively small group of the migrants in the air at Freezout that filled his frame.  Here's his observation:

They are back in force! Worth the trip if you like seeing large amounts of Snow Geese.
The hardest part for us is all of the other “Watchers”. We probably saw 25 or 30 other cars on a weekday.
The neat part about this image  is that when I took it, I could have taken 6 or 7 shots across and had the same amount of geese in the frame. Wow !

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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