Migration reports for Jan. 1-5

Written by Avery Outdoors

Rocky Mountain:

Name:  David Ortley

Date: January 06, 2015

Location: Kalispell, Montana

Weather:  For the past two weeks it has been all about weather!!  The week of Christmas was predictably seasonal.  We had periods of light snow in the valley along with rain showers.  Temperatures hovered in the upper to low twenties.  The mountains received significantly more snow.  Just after Christmas cold air invaded the area and we had much colder temperatures with highs only into the teens and lows to minus 5.  Late last week warming began and by the New Year we began to receive more snow.  On the 2nd the snow began and it continued to snow until late on the 5th.  We received up to 10 inches of snow over the weekend.  In the 24-hour period on Monday the 5th we received 26 inches in 24 hours!  We broke a record, which stood for 108 years.  The snow brought everything in the area to a halt.  Rain followed for a period last evening and today.  We are back into the mid 30s with warming and rain predicted for the next few days.

Snow Cover:  We have a minimum of 12 inches in most areas and up to 367 inches in the areas adjacent to the mountains.  The mountains have received several feet of snow and avalanche danger is quite high.

Water Conditions:  The River is low but will see an increase as this snow consolidates and runs to the extent it can.

Feeding Conditions:  Feeding conditions are awful.  Fields are covered with deep snow and not accessible to birds or deer.

Species and Numbers:  Up until the snow hit we still had mallards and geese in the area.  This weather has driven most of those birds out.  The harsh weather before the snow contributed to the exodus!

Migrations: We saw an increase in geese last week but it appears they have moved on.  There are still birds in protected warm water backwater and on areas of the lake but there have not been any new birds.

Season Stage: This is the start of the fourteenth week of our season.

Hunting Report: Hunting has been reported to be hard but the heartiest hunters have taken birds.  The recent snow brought hunting to an end as we dug out trucks and boats.  .

Gossip:  There is an artic front moving south and the rumor is that it will bring the last of the big geese.  Only waterfowl hunters look for birds in the worst nature has to offer. 

Best wishes for a great 2015.


Name: Travis Madden


Location: Orem, Utah

Weather: Weather has warmed back up from last week. Highs in the 40’s and lows in the 20’s

Snow Cover: 3-6 inches depending on location

Water Conditions: Water is frozen

Feeding Conditions: Fields are gonna be the primary source of food with the water freezing

Species and Numbers: Pretty much the normal for this time of year. Mallards, greenwing teal, spoonbills and divers.

Migrations: Pretty much on the tail end and about as good as we are gonna get for the year

Season Stage: Season is down to a couple weeks left!

Hunting Report: Hunting has been steady if you put your time in, scout and find the birds.

Gossip: Ice fishing season is upon us!



Name:  Kent Contreras

Date: 1-6-2014

Location: Newport, WA.

Weather:  Received around 8 inches of snow over the weekend but temperatures have moderated and to produce some rain showers. Temps will be from the upper 20’s at night to the upper 30’s in the afternoons. Some rain showers and cloudy skies predicted for the week ahead

Snow Cover: Snow hit the area last weekend with a blanket of 8 inches on the valley floor

Water Conditions: Water levels continue to fluctuate as the dams release and hold backwater

Feeding Conditions: Feeding conditions are poor due to the snow.  Birds have to feed near the shorelines

Species and Numbers: Those that are staying in the area are big Canada geese, divers and some puddle ducks. The biggest population of birds in the area is the diver species with some larger flocks of widgeon. Bufflehead, golden eye, ring necked and lesser scaup are rafting up on the river. Goose numbers seem to have leveled off

Migrations: Looks like the divers have started to show up; all other bird numbers have leveled off

Season Stage: Week 13- the last month of the waterfowl season

Hunting Report: Poor unless you’re going after divers

Gossip:   Best hunting remains in the Columbia basin where reports are good to excellent for puddle ducks and geese. Have also heard that the west side of the state is doing well too


Name:  Allen Riggs

Date: 1-4-15

Location: Metaline, WA

Weather: Temps are in the low 20s. Snow is accumulating with totals now at 7-9 inches

Snow Cover: Snow levels are at the 7-9 inch levels with many more inches expected in the next few days

Water Conditions: Water in the Pend Oreille River is cold with ice around some of the edges. Lakes and ponds are frozen

Feeding Conditions: Birds are feeding in the river only as the fields are now covered in deep snow

Species and Numbers: Canada goose numbers are still lower than average. Puddle duck numbers are also low. Diver ducks are flying through, numbers are increasing

Migrations: Only seeing diver migrations now

Season Stage: Week 13 of the season

Hunting Report: Hunting is slow.


Name:  Travis Lyle

Date:  1-5-15

Location: Western NV

Weather:  Mid 40’s for a high, and mid to low 20’s for a low temp

Snow Cover: Had another good storm about a week ago.  Put a good amount of snow in the mountains and had a little down here but nothing to write home about

Water Conditions: Bad. The area’s that have water are holding due to the cooler temps.  Water levels should remain the same for the season

Feeding Conditions: Its’ the same as the water, little to none.  Been seeing some plots of widgeon grass floating around in a few areas

Species and Numbers: Still have lots of spoonbills hanging around and a good amount of widgeons in the middle of the state. A lot of mallards around the Fallon area

Migrations:  Doesn’t seem to be much around.  Got to get out and scout for sure now

Season Stage:  This is the last month of the season.  It’s now or never

Hunting Report:  Been slow for some and hot for others. Need to scout

Gossip:  People hanging it up for the season




Name:  Brandon Geweke

Date: 1/6/2015

Location: Lake County Illinois

Weather: Freezing temps. Wind/Snow/Ice

Snow Cover: 3-6 inches

Water Conditions: Most lakes are frozen completely river has open pockets

Feeding Conditions: Majority of birds are keeping their holes open all day not feeding until the evening.

Species and Numbers: This past week we had a ton of honkers, seen a couple groups of specks.

Migrations: In the past couple days we have had a deep freeze pushing a lot of our birds south.

Season Stage: 2 weeks left in season

Hunting Report: Hunting Honkers has been exceptional. This past season has been one of our best for regular season. Weather and conditions had them here the entire season.


Name: Justin Weber

Date: 1/06/2015

Location: Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

Weather: Partly Sunny with lows below 0 degrees and highs in the single digits

Snow Cover: 4-6”

Water Conditions: Everything is frozen with the cold front we are experiencing right now across Wisconsin.

Feeding Conditions: Birds are using cornfields; however, with temperatures this cold they may be sitting on the roost for a couple days.

Species and Numbers: Canadian Geese are the predominant bird left in the area with a few fat mallards mixed in.

Migrations: Very stagnant right now. The birds that are left will likely stay the entire season if they can find open water…

Season Stage: End of Season

Hunting Report: Hunting season is over.

Gossip: Cold as all can be right now!


Name: Shaun Patrick

Date: 1/7/15

Location: Troy MO

Weather: lows in the single digits, highs in the teens

Snow Cover: Light, less than an inch

Water Conditions: Small water is locked up; rivers and big lakes are open

Feeding Conditions: Good

Species and Numbers: Canada Geese

Migrations: Over the last few days we have started seeing the first pushes of Canada Geese into the area

Season Stage: Duck Season is out, Goose season runs till the end of Jan.

Hunting Report: Hunting picked up this past weekend with a new push of Canada’s into the area.


Name: Richard Shamla

Date: 1-06-15

Location: Clara City MN

Weather: Cold and clear with -30 below wind chills for the night and highs around 0.

Snow Cover: couple of inches on the ground

Water Conditions: Most all water is frozen.

Feeding Conditions: Remaining geese are feeding in cornfields in the refuge.

Species and Numbers:  maybe a couple hundred Canada geese on the refuge

Migrations: none

Season Stage: closed

Hunting Report: none

Gossip: Even the fishing has been slow with this cold front.


Name:  Greg Owens

Date: Jan 6 2015

Location: Rochester, MN

Weather: really really cold!

Snow Cover: about 5”

Water Conditions:  Everything is frozen up except the rivers through town.

Feeding Conditions:  There is still plenty of food around for the birds that are still in town.

Species and Numbers:  Duck and Goose numbers are pretty low right now.

Migrations:  None noted.

Season Stage: The season is closed now.

Hunting Report: Things were pretty slow at the end of the season.

Gossip:  Ice fishing is really starting to heat up.


Name:  Greg Owens

Date: Jan 4 2015

Location: Stuttgart, AR

Weather: mild and rain

Snow Cover: none

Water Conditions:  With the recent rain, there is plenty of standing water around.

Feeding Conditions: There is food everywhere for the birds.

Species and Numbers:  Duck and Goose numbers are pretty low right now.

Migrations:  There were migrating flocks of snows and Specks.

Season Stage: About mid-season.

Hunting Report: Things are pretty slow everywhere in the region.  

Gossip:  The bird numbers seem to be way down.  We did really well for the conditions, but it sounds like most groups are watching empty skies.




Name:  Kevin Addy

Date: January 6, 2015

Location: Reading, PA

Weather: Lows in the teen’s and highs in the 20’s

Snow Cover: About 1-2”

Water Conditions: Levels are close to normal and small water is starting to freeze and the big water will follow with the cold front that just arrived…

Feeding Conditions: Good – Lots of corn, cover crop and beans available.

Species and Numbers: Mallards and blacks mainly with a few misc. .Ducks mixed in. Canada numbers are up one week and down the next. The snow numbers have been above average.

Migrations: Snows continue to move up and down the flyway depending on the weather. I think some of the Canada’s are doing the same thing.

Season Stage:  Ducks will remain open until 1/15 and AP goose remains open until 1/26.

Hunting Report: Hunting has been pretty good but not easy. Every hunt requires scouting and a solid plan, which is different than most other years due to the birds not moving around much.

Gossip: The cold everyone wanted is here!


Name:  Russell Brzezinski

Date:             January 4th, 2015

Location: Southwest Ontario

Weather: Overcast, cloudy, light rain.

Snow Cover:  N/A

Water Conditions:  Small bodies of water are Froze – hunting big water

Feeding Conditions:  N/A

Species and Numbers:             Getting cold again has seemed to concentrate and maybe even more birds into the area. Fair amount of reds and cans moving about.  Large numbers of divers out on the big water.

Migrations: Seemed like the Canada’s were on the move south as were the Swans.

Season Stage:  Late Season stage

Hunting Report: Hunting was good, – just had to stick it out to limit out.

Gossip:  Not many puddlers around, but I hear that there’s even more cans and reds in Lake St. Clair.


Name:  Sean M. Fritzges

Date: 3 January 2015

Location: Bel Air, MD

Weather: Unseasonably warm.

Snow Cover: None at this time.

Water Conditions: Bay tide levels normal. No/very little ice.

Feeding Conditions:  Canada geese feeding in cut corn and soybean fields. Geese also feeding in grass fields and grass around fresh water ponds, as the temps are not making geese travel, looking for other high protein food sources.

Species and Numbers:  Canada geese numbers are increasing but still low in our area of northern MD.

Migrations:  WHAT MIGRATION!!!

Season Stage:  AP season second split began 16 December.

Gossip: We are experiencing unseasonably warm weather for early January. We need new birds and cold temps. That sums it up!! Cold weather forecasted for this week. Hopefully this will bring in new birds


Name:  Gerry Mazur

Date: January 6th, 2014

Location: Williston Ohio

Weather: Light snow cover with bitter cold for the next five days. Wind chills approaching 25 below zero.

Snow Cover: Mostly an inch in this area but a lot of blowing powder.

Water Conditions: Ice Ice Baby.

Feeding Conditions: Plenty of food in the fields even saw a farmer last week cutting corn.

Species and Numbers: Swans everywhere. Canada’s on one finger.

Migrations: Any time they would like to fly across the lake.

Season Stage: Ohio Lake Erie Marsh Zone and North Zone reopen for late goose, January 14th.

Hunting Report: Guys were scratching out a duck or two on the last weekend here of Jan. 4th.


Name:  Marshall Starkey

Date: 1/5/15

Location: Essex, MD

Weather: Warmer temps and rain at the beginning of this week will give way to some of the coldest temps seen this year on Wednesday and Thursday.

Snow Cover: none

Water Conditions: Average

Feeding Conditions: Cut agricultural fields and impoundments that have recently flooded are holding birds.

Species and Numbers: Canada goose numbers seem to have leveled off since Christmas week.

Migrations: Looked like plenty of new snow geese showed up last week.

Season Stage: The last split of the AP season is now open.

Hunting Report: Colder temps should help to get the birds onto a feeding pattern.

Gossip: Gunning picked up the end of last week for me.


Name: John Taylor
Date: 1-5-15
Location: Md. Eastern Shore
Weather: Cold, windy
Snow Cover: N/A
Water Conditions: tidal
Feeding Conditions: full moon, feeding in the afternoons to evenings
Species and Numbers: Canada Geese
Migrations: Lot of birds here now. Not seeing many new birds but with this
cold front expecting some.
Season Stage: Been slower than usual but I think that it’s getting ready
to turn on!
Hunting Report: Mornings have been slow but the afternoons have been good.
Gossip: Not seeing many ducks but there are a lot of geese around.

Name:  J David Weidner

Date: 1-5-15

Location: New Jersey

Weather: 65F on Sunday – need I state more?

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Excellent

Feeding Conditions: Good

Species and Numbers: Ducks

Migrations:  Nil

Season Stage: Late season

Hunting Report:  Situation may improve slightly for the north zone for the last week as a big artic cold front should push through – scouting yesterday revealed only few mallards, and what little ice we had has melted.  Canada geese are stale as month old bread.

Gossip:  None


Name: Bryn Witmier

Date: 1/6/2015

Location: Strausstown, PA

Weather: COLD. Arctic blast this week.

Snow Cover:  An inch or two

Water Conditions:  Most non-flowing water will be tight by Thursday.

Feeding Conditions:  Good.  Plenty of feed in the fields.

Species and Numbers:  There have been a ton of snow geese around.  I don’t think they will be here by week’s end.  We lost some Canada’s too it seems.

Migrations:  Some geese pulling out.

Season Stage: Late

Hunting Report:  Good if you can get where birds want to be.  Things will be changing as ice locks up roosts and consolidates birds.

Gossip:  Should be a good end to the season.