Migration reports — Ducks on the way

The first migration reports of the year are in. The northern states seasons opened this past weekend.

The regualr Texas season opens on Nov. 1.

Central:

Name: Mike Clement

Date: 09/24/14

Location: Devils Lake, ND

Weather: Mid to upper 70’s

Water Conditions: Plenty of water in sloughs.

Feeding Conditions: Ducks and geese feeding twice a day in bean and grain fields.

Species and Numbers: Pretty much all local birds except a few Canadas that have moved down. A lot of local ducks with many sloughs loaded with ducks.

Season Stage: Early

Hunting Report: With resident opener this weekend in the state there will be plenty of opportunities for hunters to harvest their ducks and geese.

 

Name: Kirk Steffensen

Date: September 24, 2014

Location: Lincoln, NE

Weather: Seasonable with highs in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Great – rainwater basins are all full with water everywhere.  Local lakes and ponds are also full.

Feeding Conditions:  Some corn coming out but the majority is still several weeks away.

Species and Numbers: Lot of BWT around, very few big ducks seen.

Migrations: Teal migration has been good.

Season Stage: Everything closed with some youth seasons this weekend.

Hunting Report: Good hunting reports from the basins.

Gossip: Should be seeing an influx of early migrants such as shovelers and pintails soon.

 

Name: Jared Shepard

Date: 09/22/14

Location: Scottsbluff, NE

Weather: Still unseasonably warm with highs in the mid-80’s and lows in the 50’s.

Snow Cover: None at this time.

Water Conditions: It’s the end of irrigation season so there are a lot of small pasture ponds dotted across the region as farmers and ranchers flood their pastures for the last time this year. Also, less water is being drawn from the N. Platte River so the level is up.

Feeding Conditions: Some farmers have begun chopping corn and harvesting a variety of beans and there is plenty of green alfalfa.

Species and Numbers: At this time we have but a few local ducks, mostly mallards, some teal and wood ducks here and there and some but not many local geese.

Migrations: Quite a few teal have moved out of the region but some have stayed for a little longer. No major migrations yet.

Season Stage: Teal season closed a little over a week ago. Dove season remains open and duck season is slated to open one month from today.

Hunting Report: For the most part our doves have moved through. Some remain but we lost a lot of them due to a cold spell two weeks ago.

 

Name:  Spencer  Holzfaster

Date: September 23, 2014

Location: North Platte, NE

Weather: 73 for the highs, lows in 50’s

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: River systems have great water, big water (local lakes and reservoirs are about 50 percent full and have great back water). Farm ponds are full due to lots of rain and irrigation run off.

Feeding Conditions: Corn is being cut for silage, normal corn harvest is still several weeks away.

Species and Numbers: Lots of teal and a few big ducks have slowly made their way down to the farm pond and back waters of the big reservoirs.

Migrations: Slow migrations due to early seasons and warmer weather. Teal are the only birds that have really shown up.

Season Stage: Not started

Hunting Report: Good early teal season. There have been lots of teal around due to the great water conditions.

Gossip:  None

 

Name: Nick Lisec

Date: 09/23/14

Location: Kansas City, Kansas

Weather: Mid 50’s to Upper 70’s

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Local water conditions are looking good for this time of year.

Feeding Conditions: Some of the crop fields are beginning to get taken out.  Corn is getting cut and beans will follow in a few weeks.

Species and Numbers: Mostly BW teal and a few puddle ducks are showing up.

Migrations: Teal migration was strong this year.

Season Stage: Teal season closes this coming weekend.

Hunting Report: Good to average success has been had by most hunters.

Gossip: Scouting is the key to success.

 

Mississippi:

 

Name: Will Harvey

Date: 9/22/14

Location: Glenwood MN

Weather: Sunny and mid-70’s this week.

Snow Cover: N/A

Water Conditions: Water levels are really good in the area

Feeding Conditions:  Wheat is out and has been mostly turned over, some corn starting to be chopped.

Species and Numbers:  Goose numbers are low. Duck numbers low as well after the frost a couple weeks ago.

Migrations: My guess is not much movement this week

Season Stage: Early

Hunting Report: Hunting has been tough. Have had a couple good hunts this early season. Low numbers of Canada geese and high hunting pressure pushed them out of the area for the most part early in the season. Haven’t found many fields with huntable numbers of geese lately.

Gossip: Nothing at this time.

 

Name: Casey Hopfer

Date: 9/24/2014

Location: Richmond, MN

Weather: Sunny, temps in the mid-to-upper-70’s for the week through to the weekend.

Snow Cover: N/A

Water Conditions: Water levels are higher this year than last year, many potholes and marshes have good amounts of water and will be accessible

Feeding Conditions:  Wheat has been harvested and most fields are over-grown by cover crops. Some farmers are beginning to chop corn nearby.

Species and Numbers: Duck numbers are looking strong-large amounts of wood ducks and teal are still around the area. Goose numbers are low.

Migrations: It does not look like we will see much migration activity going on this week.

Season Stage: Early

Hunting Report: Up until now hunting has been tough for the early goose season. Few huntable fields coupled with high hunting pressure made it tough to find fields and birds to hunt. Currently goose numbers are low and finding a field that is holding large enough numbers to hunt is difficult.

Gossip: Many people are optimistic for the upcoming duck opener. Duck numbers appear to be higher than previous years.

 

Name: Richard Shamla

Date: 09/24/14

Location: Clara City, MN

Weather: This week the day time highs are in the 70’s and night time lows are in the 50’s.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Water levels remain high with some small pockets of surface water in fields. This year we got a lot of rain during the middle of summer and it has been drying out ever since but the water is still high.

Feeding Conditions: Waterfowl are feeding in harvested wheat fields, silage corn fields and sweet corn fields.  The harvest of edible beans has started as well as sugar beets.

Species and Numbers:  Geese numbers in the area are lows but steady as the early season wrapped up last weekend.  Ducks numbers seemed to have dropped slightly after a light frost we had two weekends ago.  There are still decent numbers of teal and wood ducks around which should make for a average duck opener.

Migrations: Not much migration yet other than the loss of some local ducks after the frost.

Season Stage: Regular duck and goose season opens up this weekend.

Hunting Report: Early goose season was spotty but we had some good hunts.  Overall the number of geese for the area was down from past seasons.  Dove hunting was good this year and we shot a lot of young birds.  Through scouting I expect duck opener to be average to good depending on where u hunt, but last year I saw more ducks in the area.

Gossip: N/A

 

Name:  Greg Owens

Date: Sept 24 2014

Location: Rochester, MN

Weather: Lows in the 40’s and highs in the 70’s.

Snow Cover: None yet

Water Conditions:  The water is pretty low.

Feeding Conditions:  Some of the area corn fields have been cut. Most of the birds are still on grass in the area.  The rice crop on the river is pretty bad this year.

Species and Numbers:  Bird numbers are fairly low for both ducks and geese in the area.

Migrations: With the near freezing temps we had a couple weeks ago; many of the early migrators have left.

Season Stage: Duck season opens this weekend.

Hunting Report: Duck season opens this weekend.

Gossip:  It will be nice to be back in the blind.  The off season is far too long!

 

 

Name: Russell Brzezinski

Date:             September 20, 2014

Location: Berkley, Michigan

Weather: Overcast, windy, occasional rain

Snow Cover:  N/A

Water Conditions:  N/A

Feeding Conditions:  Cut corn fields are holding the birds right now.

Species and Numbers: Saw a good number of geese and local mallards around.  Molt migrants are back in Michigan, making for some quick gunning.

Migrations: Canadas, teal

Season Stage: Beginning stages

Hunting Report:  Good success on geese with the molts coming back through Michigan.  Saw some good numbers of ducks (teal, mallards and woodies) in the local marsh on Sunday.

 

Name:  Gerry Mazur

Date: 9-21-14

Location: Pt. Mouille State Game Area…near Flat Rock Michigan.

Weather: Very windy and cloudy with storm front passing through during the weekend. Winds from the west to south west blowing water out.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Water levels are up in the area during regular weather conditions. SW winds do play havoc pushing water to the lake from the protected area.

Feeding Conditions: Plenty of corn and beans but crops are still up. Wheat is cut but hard to find because of market price, farmers did not put much in the ground.

Species and Numbers: Teal seem to be gone with the cold front earlier in the week. Mallards continue to trickle in. Local geese dominate the numbers but not in big packs.

Migrations: Waterfowl has moved some into the area with NW winds.

Season Stage: Michigan 3 day goose is over from this past weekend in the south zone. The duck and goose opener in the south is October 11th.

Hunting Report: Location as always. Those that had permission had great early seasons in select spots. Overall not hearing great things yet.

 

Name: Justin Weber

Date: 9/23/2014

Location: Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

Weather: Partly sunny with lows in the 40’s and highs in the 70’s.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Above average water levels with recent rains

Feeding Conditions: Geese hitting freshly cut silage fields. Ducks are hitting marshes and ponds.

Species and Numbers: We had a really good hatch of ducks this year. If you know where you’re looking finding high concentrations of ducks is no problem. With season opening in a week up north birds should be plenty. Goose numbers are very high. Limits are easy to come by with high numbers we have in our area right now.

Migrations: Big push of geese on Sunday and Monday. Should be a fun week!

Season Stage: Early season

Hunting Report: Limits of honkers….

Gossip: Youth hunters this past weekend had ample shooting opportunities with the number of ducks coming down.

 

Name:  Ryan Eder

Date: 9/23/14

Location: Antioch, IL / Pleasant Prairie, WI

Weather: 70 degrees, minimal cloud cover, evening storms – NW Wind 5-10mph

Snow Cover: No snow

Water Conditions: Heavy night rains, standing water in fields (hay, pasture).

Feeding Conditions: No crop harvested yet, birds in grass, wheat fields.

Species and Numbers: Geese – high flying migrator groups (20-30 birds), mallards (groups of 10-20), no teal, some local wood ducks around.

Migrations: Geese – high flying groups migrating.

Season Stage: Early season

Hunting Report: As of today, our group has shot 0 teal and 29 geese.

Gossip:  Friends in Iowa did well on teal (river hunting and a few public marshes).  Most of their shooting was in am.  Our mornings were slow in a winter wheat field, mostly pairs of geese, no large groups.  All were migrators that we called down into the spread.

 

Name: Nathan Bender

Date: 09-23-2014

Location: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

Weather: Mostly clear skies with temperatures during the day reaching highs of 70 degrees and at night dropping to the low of 40 degrees.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Rainfall activity over the course of the last several weeks has helped maintain great overall water levels in most rivers, lakes, ponds and sloughs within the southern portion of the state.

Feeding Conditions: Honkers have been feeding both in the mornings and afternoons. They have been hitting fresh silage cut cornfields as of late with the rest using freshly cut alfalfa and old oat/wheat fields. Numbers vary from area to area but feeds of 300+ Honkers can be found.

Species and Numbers: Local honker population is high with migrators moving in whenever we have had north winds in the forecast. In the southern portion of the state we have seemed to have a great overall hatch of ducks and numbers should increase as we near the early to middle stages of October.

Migrations: Whenever a north wind is present, migrating Canada geese have filled the skies. We received a strong push of migrators during the second week of September with many still following the exact routine during last week as the north winds persist.

Season Stage: Early season

Hunting Report: Hunting has been exceptional if you can find a field that honkers are feeding in or if you are able to get under the migrating birds that are headed south. Guys have been shooting honker limits in the area with the recent influx in new bird but the migrators heading south have made up a vast majority of the bag the last two weeks.

Gossip: Duck season starts this weekend for the northern portion of the state of Wisconsin and many are talking about the big push of blue-wing and green-winged teal that they have received with the recent north winds this past week. The blue-winged teal are using the backwaters on lakes as well as the secluded sloughs around the area here in the southern portion. Wood ducks are down here in the southern portion of the state as well in good numbers just like in years past and will make up for a lot of what Wisconsin hunters will harvest during the start of the season when it opens in October.

 

Name:  Shaun Patrick

Date: 9/24/14

Location: Troy, MO

Weather: Highs in the 70’s lows in the mid-40’s.

Snow Cover: N/A

Water Conditions: High, one of the wettest late summers we have had in quite some time

Feeding Conditions: Good food in areas that did not flood. Corn in the area is some of the best in a few years due to the wet summer.

Species and Numbers: Teal

Migrations: We had a very early push of teal come through before the season opened

Season Stage: None

Hunting Report: Teal season was poor this year.

Gossip:  With a bad winter in the forecast, ice eater sales are going through the roof in the area. Hunters are worried about another early freeze up, but excited about the possibility of another goose season like last year.

 

Name: John Gordon

Date: 9/23/2014

Location: Merigold, MS

Weather: Very pleasant at this time, fall is here with highs near 80.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Levels are steady with some frequent rains helping to stabilize the local water sources.

Feeding Conditions: Good, most of the corn fields are down and the teal are finding invertebrates in shallow waters. 

Species and Numbers: The blue-wings arrived during the first week of the season. There are some pintails and shovelers around as well along with the ever present wood ducks.

Migrations: Teal have been flowing through steadily with new groups showing up with north winds. Most of the teal I harvested on Sunday were hens, indication the migration is in full force now.

Season Stage: Last weekend of the early teal season coming up.

Hunting Report: Pretty steady shooting on blue-wings with many limits being taken quickly.

Gossip: Mullen finally got the monkey off his back against LSU and the Bulldogs are in the top 20. Dak for Heisman!!

 

Name:  Jay Hayter

Date: 9/22/14

Location: Shreveport, Louisiana 

Weather: 60-80s

Snow Cover: N/A

Water Conditions: Normal, some recent rainfall has helped.

Feeding Conditions: Good, plenty of invertebrates available in the local marshes for the ducks that have arrived.

Species and Numbers: Blue-wings, fair numbers but they seemed to be scattered.

Migrations: None observed, but cooler weather should bring some big ducks into the area.

Season Stage: Final week of the early teal season.

Hunting Report: Mixed 

Gossip:  Good for a few days then slacks off.

 

Atlantic:

 

Name:  Eric Bartlett

Date: 9/21/14

Location: Hollis, Maine

Weather: Overcast with scattered showers with temps around 60.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Water is seasonably warm and fairly calm

Feeding Conditions: Shoreline dabbling to find aquatic and plant life seem to be common as well as finding newly dropped acorns.  Most geese spotted have been hitting mowed grassy fields.

Species and Numbers: Greenheads 10, wood ducks, 8, Canada geese 50

Migrations: Most ducks spotted appear to be residents in molted or juvenile form.

Hunting Report: At this point scouting ducks is more realistic to what patterns we may see for opening day and can create a plan. Ducks are moving a lot more to find feed as the temps turn colder.

Gossip: With feed still abundant birds are going to several places, but seem to have their own favorite spots. Noticing that the oaks are dropping acorns, the back water pockets are seeing some birds starting to scoop them up. Some fully plumed drake wood ducks know where the best dinner can be found.

 

Name:  Mike Bard

Date: 9/23/14

Location: Auburn, NY

Weather: Overall it’s starting to feel more like fall with cool evenings and mornings, but temps warming up during the late morning/afternoons.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Average water levels

Feeding Conditions: Good – plenty of harvested grain and aquatic vegetation available, along with corn starting to be chopped for silage.

Species and Numbers: Large amounts of Canada geese.

Migrations: Notable teal movement into the area, along with good numbers of new geese

Season Stage: Early – last week of resident goose season.

Hunting Report: Excellent numbers of geese being taken over the last week.

 

Name:  Arliss Reed

Date: 9/23/2014

Location: Esperance, NY

Weather: Seasonal. Fall is definitely here.

Snow Cover: N/A

Water Conditions: Average to low water levels now.

Feeding Conditions: Geese are mostly in cut corn

Species and Numbers: Lots of Canada geese around to finish the season.

Migrations: Geese have been migrating daily for the last week

Season Stage: Resident goose closes the 25th, early duck starts Oct. 4.

Hunting Report: Lots of guys have been shooting big numbers of geese.

 

Name: Dave Weidner

Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey

Weather:  Fall has arrived and it has been pretty dry.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Low

Feeding Conditions:  Cut sweet corn fields are abundant.

Species and Numbers:  Canada goose numbers are average.

Migrations:  Picked up a few birds recently but nothing crazy.

Season Stage: Early

Hunting Report:  We have had a few good hunts so far with new birds moving into the area.

 

Name:  Marshall Starkey

Location: Essex, MD

Weather: Classic early fall weather with highs in the upper 60s and lows at night in the 50s.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Average to above average water levels now.

Feeding Conditions: Cut agricultural fields, winter wheat and various marshes and impoundments are where the birds are feeding.

Species and Numbers: There are a few new geese that have showed in the last two days.

Migrations: The first reports of migrating geese have been in the past two days.

Season Stage: Teal season on the eastern part of the state and resident goose is in the latter stages of the early season in the western part.

Hunting Report: Teal hunting has been very hit and miss.

Gossip:  NA

 

Name: Sean Fritzges

Date: 22 Sept 13

Location: Harford Co, MD

Weather: Cool. Winds average from the N at 5-10.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Normal tidal flow, fresh water normal levels this season.

Feeding Conditions: Harvested corn and hay fields at this time and grasses around ponds.

Species and Numbers: Resident Canada goose numbers are good.

Migrations: No migration at this time.

Season Stage: Early resident Canada gooses season closed on 15 Sept in my area.

Hunting Report: No hunting thus far this season due to traveling work schedule.

Gossip: Looking forward to the season and returning home!!!

 

Name: Kenny Gray

Date: September 22, 2014

Location: Chestertown, MD

Weather: Seasonal

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Normal

Feeding Conditions: With the first of the corn fields starting to be picked, the newly arriving birds are going straight to the corn.

Species and Numbers:  Last week it was only local birds, the Canada’s show up Saturday night, Sunday morning.   Numbers are still low, but will build quickly over the next week or two.

Migrations: The first of our migrating birds showed up Saturday night, Sunday morning, about 4 days behind last year’s first arrivals.

Season Stage: Only teal are currently in season.

Hunting Report: Mixed reports from around the shore. As is typical with resident birds you either have them or don’t.

Gossip: Reports indicate this could be a record year for ducks, time will tell.

 

Name: Jeffrey Kreit

Date: 9/21/14

Location: Baltimore, MD

Weather: Highs in the high 70’s.  Lows in the 50’s.

Snow Cover: N/A

Water Conditions: Dry!

Feeding Conditions: Corn just starting to get cut.

Species and Numbers: Geese

Migrations: Saw the first today coming in up high.

Season Stage: Early season closed

Hunting Report: Slow

 

Name: Bryn Witmier

Location: Strausstown, PA

Weather:  Typical start to early fall.  Cool in the mornings and pleasant in the afternoons.  It has been pretty dry.  Coastal weather system is supposed to bring much needed rain this week.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Low

Feeding Conditions:  Good although the silage harvest was behind this year.  Fields are still coming down every day.  Pastures, hay fields and silage corn fields are all holding birds.

Species and Numbers: There are a few new Canada geese filtering in.  I saw some blue-winged teal about a week ago that were here one day and gone the next.

Migrations:  Canada geese have started to move. We should see a ton of new birds in the next two weeks.

Season Stage:  Resident Canada goose season closes this week.

Hunting Report:  Newly arrived Canada geese have been getting shot all week along with resident birds.

Gossip: Reports are that Canada geese are taking it on the chin in NY.

 

Name:  Kevin Addy

Date: September 22, 2014

Location: Reading, PA

Weather: Highs in the 70’s and lows in the mid-50’s.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Levels are low; we haven’t had much rain this summer and the rain from the few showers get soaked right up.

Feeding Conditions: About 25% of silage down now and some of it already has cover crop coming up. Birds are using pastures and silage fields.

Species and Numbers:  Decent numbers of residents around and some migrators have started to trickle in. We have some local mallards, woodies and a few teal around.

Migrations:  I saw the 1st flock of migrators on the 13th and have been seeing the numbers increase since then.

Season Stage:  Resident season closes on Thurs. The north zone duck opens on the 13th followed by the southern zone the following week.

Hunting Report:  Resident season has been decent with birds harvested every day we hunted so far.

Gossip:  Some are getting ready to hunt deer while others are getting ready for duck season.

 

Name:  Richard Foley

Date: 9/23/14

Location: Fairfield, NC

Weather: The temperatures still remain relatively warm; however, they are beginning to drop. This coming week’s outlook has high temperatures remaining stagnant around the mid 70’s. The lows are planned to hover at the 60-degree mark.

Snow Cover:  None at this point.

Water Conditions: Water conditions are above average at this point; there is more forecasted for this coming week.

Feeding Conditions: The ducks that are here are feeding either in the marsh or on the refuge at this point. There are feeding predominately on aquatic vegetation. The geese are starting to hit the harvested agricultural fields; most fields got harvested last week.

Species and Numbers: Teal are low to moderate; the same can be said for geese.

Migrations: Nothing huge to report as of now, however, Virginia and Maryland are experiencing a cold front that can push down the reaming teal.

Season Stage: Teal season ends tomorrow (9/24) and early goose season ends on 9/30

Hunting Report: You have to scout, scout, and scout to be successful right now. If you do you will have a good hunt.

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