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General Migration thoughts

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  • General Migration thoughts

    I was thinking I might try and start a general discussion on what folks are seeing for migration this year. The last 2 years have been somewhat extreme in my opinion as far as weather conditions/ migration patterns go in both the spring and fall. It has made for some interesting movement of birds around the country. In some cases good opportunity for some and in others it has been pretty bad. I guess I can say I might fall a little in the middle and maybe to the lower end of the best of times/worst of times hunting calibration needle. Here are my thoughts, so far, this year on what I have seen in in my little part of the country( eastern Iowa).

    Rain dominated late summer / early fall again this year. This has delayed the harvest of crops significantly (very little is harvested). Couple that with some perfectly ill timed cold fronts that have prematurely moved local birds out a day or 2 prior to opening seasons and it makes it difficult at best to get much shooting in. A few doves were harvested although less then desired action was noted. Early general duck season opened last weekend for 7 days. Many wood ducks left the Thursday prior to opener on the 5th. A few were taken, and several more were passed on in favor of just enjoying there splendor. We missed the bulk of the local birds by a couple of days, Oh what could have been. We did see several migrating flocks of up to 50 birds each of Specklebellies headed south. Now that seems about 8-10 days early to me. Too bad they were nose bleed high and traveling. We just don't get them here in the fall. They sometimes fly over but usually don't stop, In the spring they are every where.
    Cold weather and snow in the Dakota's this past week. It will be interesting to see if any new birds push in and where they might go.

    If you care to comment on your situation and thoughts on the migration that would be great. Please don't give specific locations as I am not looking for that. Just a general region or state is close enough.

    Thanks
    Qac

  • #2
    Large push of big ducks last night. Widgeon, gadwall, pintails, mallards. We scouted Friday and saw almost nothing. Against our better judgement we drug our butts out of bed at 3 am this morning and an hour after shooting light we had a 2 man limit. Honestly I did not want to see this large of a push this early. Seen it before and can make the final month of the season tough with not many birds left to push south.

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    • #3
      ^^^^^^^SE Minnesota.

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      • #4
        It's not shaping up to be a usual year here in Missouri either. I think it's interesting to note that guys up in Canada hunting snows are not seeing any ducks come down from the Boreal. Not sure what that will spell for late-season here. On the flip side seems like several or having pretty good luck with snows. They may be the saving grace for the waterfowl season in my mind at this point anyway. Still lots of weather conditions to go through before it all falls out. With our conditions still suffering from flood damage and rain even last week the ducks are probably going to be pretty spread out and with the absence of crops in the usual areas it's a guessing game at this point. With the eye opener last spring with the snow migration being compressed into a week and hardly any shot in Arkansas I've come to expect the unexpected I think

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        • #5
          It's shaping up to be an interesting waterfowl season in South Dakota as well. Some areas, like SE South Dakota, did not plant their normal crops due to all the moisture. Lots of fields just are not accessible due to roads still being under water. On the flip side, the ducks had an amazing year of nesting with all of the water, although a lot of those birds pushed south with the winter storm that went through a couple days ago. I have confirmed reports of snow geese migrating through eastern SD in decent numbers today, but with this wind, nothing has stopped. (So far). I think timing is going to be the key to the rest of the waterfowl season here in SD. Timing as, when will the fields dry out enough to get the harvest started and completed, And, with ND being mostly under snow already, are the waterfowl just going to push through, or will things calm down enough weather wise to return to a somewhat normal fall? Who the hell knows!!

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          • #6
            Saw a small group of specks at cruising altitude headed south east on Saturday afternoon. Just making a racket during the outdoor wedding I was attending. Several waterfowlers in attendance by the number of heads going skyward.

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            • #7
              A friend sent me this pretty amazing travel. Spec leaves Sask on Oct 6th and arrives in Louisiana on October 7th. Top speed was 93 mph. A good north with came thru Sask and must have lost a bunch of our birds. Amazing info. Click image for larger version

Name:	spec.jpg
Views:	133
Size:	103.4 KB
ID:	13988

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              • Qac
                Qac commented
                Editing a comment
                Awesome information, I am wowed. I guess she wanted to be the 1st to the table down south. Thanks for posting this.

                Qac

            • #8
              Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "new birds". Data like that shows jaw dropping endurance in migrators. Truly fantastic to fly over 1500 miles before stopping for water and food. Hope they do more of this

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              • #9
                After a slow start to the season, I am finally seeing more birds, esp ducks in the area I hunt. About a week ago, we were in the area scouting mostly but we did have shotguns. We took a couple ducks. I finally saw a small flock of Ross geese, maybe a couple dozen. Then on Monday I was out in a howling wind and rain. Ducks were absolutely everywhere but spooky to the point where it was impossible to hunt them. From about a kilometer away I saw huge numbers of white birds on the slough. I thought, Bingo the Snows are here! Put the binos on them, there were hundreds of Tundra swans. After a while, they became restless and started to fly around before landing again. What a sight, I wish I had taken a camera.
                My hunting partner was about 2 hours away to the SE hunting in a blizzard. Crazy weather but the birds are starting to show up in Southern Alberta. We are headed out on Saturday looking for Snows and Canada's.
                Jeff

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