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Chasing Chaos

Photographer Matt McCormick shares his favorite images from his journey following the waterfowl flyway.
Snow Goose

Photography by Matt McCormick

From February to May, waterfowlers can extend their season by participating in the federally mandated Light Goose Conservation Order. Mid-continent snow, blue and Ross's goose populations have exploded over the last decade, placing extreme pressure on the arctic, sub-arctic and interior nesting grounds crucial for other waterfowl and wildlife. Hunters help control this ecological burden by harvesting snow geese beyond a typical season and in many states, without a bag limit.

Videos of massive snow goose tornados being intercepted by an army of shotguns fill our newsfeeds making this sport appear effortless. However, there seems to be a giant gap between mainstream media and reality. How many hours, miles, decoys, phone calls, handshakes and Red Bulls does a crew go through before experiencing a hunt like this?

Last Spring, I asked my buddy Jon Olson and the Snow Addictions Team to help me put these questions to rest. These 3 hunters are fanatics and while the rest of the country is filling out Final Four brackets, these guys are going seriously hard in the paint chasing one of America’s most incredible migrations. Over the course of 10 days, the four of us logged over 3,000 miles, hunted with 23 different people, felt temps from 5 to 75 degrees, ate like convenience store kings, witnessed an extreme case of gear hoarding and experienced a few epic hunts along the way. 

Waterfowl nut and YETI photographer Matt McCormick shares his favorite images from last year's journey following the flyway.