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Band Tales: From Russia with Bling

The snow goose that traveled 2,600 miles.

Band Tales: From Russia with Bling

Not only did the bird cross international boundaries, but it flew over 2,600 miles to its final destination. Photo By: David Stimac)

Like a rare trophy, you only get one shot at beginner’s luck and Adrian Smasne made the most of his opportunity, with enviable results.

“It was the first snow goose hunt of the season, and I was using my brand-new snow goose decoys for the first time as well,” Smasne recalled about the day.  “My son Jack and a buddy, Jay also joined me; it was also my son's first ever snow goose hunt.”


The Hunt

Things didn’t begin all that well as the birds were working, but landing several hundred yards away from the spread. Pivoting became a popular practice in 2020 and Smasne quickly adapted by leaving the blind to push the birds and get them airborne. “I was able to shoot an easy one that flew directly over me,” said Smasne. He raced back to the blind and the trio was able to drop a couple more birds before the flocks resumed landing about 300 yards away.


Again he walked over and again they flew around and right over him offering an easy shot at one, which he dropped with one shot. But the birds kept circling. “There were thousands of snows and as I stood in the middle of the field the whole flock flew directly over me again even closer than before,” he continued. “I raised up and emptied my gun dropping four in three shots.




The Band

Smasne gathered up his birds, having limited out in a rather unconventional way, and slogged back to join his companions. “They were both surprised I got five, and happy for me as well,” said Smasne, but the real surprise came when Jay looked at the birds and discovered one sported a band. The day’s surprises were not over yet.

A banded bird is a prize for any waterfowler but when the results from his report came back, Smasne realized his was extra special. The bird had been banded near Zvozdnyy, an abandoned settlement on Wrangel Island, which lies north of Far Eastern Russia in the Chukchi Sea. Not only did the bird cross international boundaries, but it flew over 2,600 miles to its final destination. While rare, we do occasionally get Russian band reports from our readers.

HUNTER: Adrian Smasne 

BAND #: 2177-42332

SPECIES: Lesser Snow Goose (F)

BANDED: 07/05/2020

LOCATION: Near Zvozdny, Okrug, Russia

RECOVERED: 11/21/2020

LOCATION: 5.3 mi NNE of Berrian, WA

If you have a particularly interesting story or band recovery tale, CLICK HERE to fill us in on the whole story and we might use it as one of our next Band Tales.

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