Migration reports — Jan. 13-17

Here are the latest reports from around the country on duck and geese movement.


Name:  David Ortley

Date: January 14, 2014

Location: Kalispell, Montana

Weather:  Once again the weather controls the migration and the hunt.  The week before last week we were blasted with snow and cold north winds.  This past week saw rain, temperatures into the mid-forties and southerly winds.  The snow we received consolidated into slush and we had water everywhere.  Lows dipped only into the upper twenties.  Friday we were hit with fronts from the west which brought winds out of the south up to forty miles per hour.  By Monday skies were clearing and the gentle southerly winds continued.  Last night was clear and windless and the birds headed south!

Snow Cover: We still have some snow cover although most has melted or frozen.  Fields are mostly covered.  The mountains have received massive amounts of snow.

Water Conditions: The lake and river are at seasonal lows although the rain and melting snow has helped the flow in the river.  The previous ice ledges along the banks have melted away.

Feeding Conditions: Feeding conditions remain marginal in the fields.  Some grain stubble is exposed but the birds have to work for it.

Species and Numbers: In the past week we saw the number of mallards drop off.   However, we saw an increase in the number of pintail and widgeon as they came south.  There was a dramatic decline in the number of geese in the area.  The number of divers increased but we still have yet to see massive numbers.

Migrations: The birds that arrived two weeks ago have left.  Early this morning (4:30) I was woke by the sound of geese flying south under a clear moonlit sky.  We still have birds but the break lint he weather signaled it was time to go.

Season Stage: Our season ended today after a week off.

Hunting Report: Hunting was as good although the birds were much more difficult to decoy.

Gossip: My 26 year old son shot his first banded mallard.  It was in the group that fled snow and cold in Alberta last week.  A long time coming!!


Name: Kirk Steffensen

Date: 1/15/2013

Location: Lincoln, NE

Weather: Back to warmer weather with weekend temperatures at or near 50 with overnight lows around freezing.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Solid, 10+ inches on most lakes.

Feeding Conditions: Good, fields are open with little to no snow cover.  Ducks and geese are primarily feeding in corn.

Species and Numbers: Lots of dark geese around the area.

Migrations: Nothing noteworthy the past week.

Season Stage: Duck: Low plains zones are all closed.  Goose: The east zone is open until early February 9th.

Hunting Report: Fair, bird movement is tough to pattern.

Gossip: Nothing at this time.

Name: Jared Shepard

Date: 01/12/13

Location: Scottsbluff, NE

Weather: Temperatures have been in the 40’s and 50’s with overnight lows in the 20’s and lower 30’s this past week.

Snow Cover: We currently have no snow on the ground.

Water Conditions: Shallow ponds have started to thaw some and the river continues to flow without ice or slush.

Feeding Conditions: Plenty of corn, beans, alfalfa and prairie grass.

Species and Numbers: Mallards and wigeon are the primary duck species still in the area with a few green-winged teal around also. Lots of geese remain in the area including lesser and greaters.

Migrations: No recent migrations from the north or south.

Season Stage: Duck season closes in 13 days with goose season closing about two weeks after that.

Hunting Report: The report is still excellent for geese but the ducks are really concentrated. There are a good number of ducks in the area and the hunting is good if you can find them.

Gossip: Birds have discovered the “safe zones” and are getting harder to kill if you’re not on the X.


Name: Vance Stolz

Date: 1-14-13

Location: Johnstown, Colorado

Weather: The weather pattern in our area over the past several weeks continues to vary a great deal. We’ve had anything from highs in the 50’s and dry, to low in the teens with snow. We’ve experienced significant winds over the past 4-5 days and a fast moving front last night brought about an inch of snow to the area. The next 5-7 days look to be warm with little chance of precipitation.

Snow Cover: 1-2 inches of snow on the ground.

Water Conditions: Most lakes and ponds remain frozen with only small open areas. Rivers remain open for the most part.

Feeding Conditions: The birds have plenty of feeding options including corn and wheat fields along with grass and pasture areas. Most areas are opening up with the snow melt allowing the birds to be able to feed easily.

Species and Numbers: Large numbers of Canada geese remain in the area along with good numbers of mallards, although the ducks remain concentrated in certain areas.

Migrations: We continue to have small pushes of geese in the area with the numerous cold fronts pushing down out of the north. Although it seems we lost some geese at certain times, they seem to be replaced with new birds and occasional reverse migrations. Duck numbers seems to be holding steady, numbers vary greatly depending on the area.

Season Stage: Our duck season runs through January 26th and goose will remain open until February 16th.

Hunting Report: The hunting remains consistent in this area, although weather has played a huge role as it does everywhere, this year has been all over the place. Certain areas have birds one day and very few the next. The key is scouting and of course being where the birds want to be.

Gossip: Colorado has a lot of both ducks and geese, as it does most years. The difference this season has been the extreme change in weather patterns. Although there are some hunters who have consistently stayed on the birds throughout most the season, others have struggled during some of the up and down weather times. The good news is we have plenty of birds; the key is remaining mobile and having access to where the birds are moving.


Name: Dallas W. Branch

Date: 01.11.2014

Location: Morrison, OK

Weather: Warmer temperatures with clear skies.  Wind coming out of the south at 25 mph with gust up to 40 mph.

Snow Cover:   N/A

Water Conditions: Sooner Lakes water level is normal.  Kaw Lake is 2’ above normal.  Small bodies of water are frozen.

Feeding Conditions:  Winter wheat in the area is good condition.

Species and Numbers:  Greenheads have moved into the area and goose numbers are fair.

Migrations: No migrations since last weekend, mild temperatures through the week.

Season Stage: 2 weeks of duck season left.

Hunting Report:  Saturday and Sunday hunts limits on greenheads and gadwalls.

Gossip: Very mild weather is expected throughout the week.




Name: Will Harvey

Date: 1/13/14

Location: Glenwood, MN

Weather: Warmer conditions the last few days, might have even made it above freezing

Snow Cover: Snow cover varies immensely. With sun and warmer temps, a lot of fields are opening up fast but there is still some drifts scattered

Water Conditions: Ice. A few rivers and creeks are open

Feeding Conditions: No birds

Species and Numbers:  No birds

Migrations: None

Season Stage: Closed

Hunting Report: Redneck predator hunt this last weekend. Conditions were tough on Saturday with high winds in the morning. Managed to scrape up a few animals for the tourney, good to get out and burn some powder.

Gossip: Spring snows are coming up FAST! Guys are getting restless; it’s time to save the tundra!


Name: Eric Wolf

Date: 1/13/14

Location: Waconia, MN

Weather: High’s in the 20’s, lows in the teens.

Snow Cover: 12”

Water Conditions: All water in the area is frozen.

Feeding Conditions: There are no birds feeding in the area.

Species and Numbers: None.

Migrations: All birds are south.

Season Stage: Season is closed.

Hunting Report: Ice fishing has been good in the area.

Gossip: Nothing at this time.


Name: Richard Shamla

Date: 01-15-14

Location: Clara City, MN

Weather:  Day time highs in the 20’s and nighttime lows in the teens.  Blizzard warning for the area tomorrow with snow and high winds.

Snow Cover: Couple inches

Water Conditions: Must water frozen except a few holes on Lac Qui Parle Lake and the river.

Feeding Conditions: Remaining geese are feeding in the corn fields around the refuge in the mid-day.

Species and Numbers:  Not many geese left in the area.

Migrations: None

Season Stage: Closed

Hunting Report: Not many coyotes being shot this year.

Gossip: The fishing has started to slow down in the area.


Name: Greg Owens

Date: 1/14/2014

Location: Rochester, MN

Weather: Highs in the 30’s.

Snow Cover:  Around 4 inches.

Water Conditions: Everything but the rivers is frozen solid.

Feeding Conditions: The area fields are completely harvested.

Species and Numbers: There are good numbers of ducks and geese around town still.  Most likely the birds that are still here will spend the winter here.

Migrations: None noted.

Season Stage: The season is now closed and the birds know it.

Hunting Report: NA 

Gossip: The ice fishing has been pretty good around the area.


Name: Justin Weber

Date: January 14, 2013

Location: Cottage Grove, WI

Weather: 15-35 degrees

Snow Cover: ~6”

Water Conditions: Everything is frozen except for rivers and fast moving cricks.

Feeding Conditions: Geese are hitting snow-covered cornfields. They are flying out later in the day waiting for the sun to come out.

Species and Numbers: Few geese still around that seem to be holding it out until springtime. Seeing some fully plumaged goldeneyes as well.

Migrations: Geese are holding tight even with -45 degree wind chills last week they are still here!

Season Stage: End of season.

Hunting Report: Season closed.

Gossip: Low snowfall levels so far may affect spring water levels.


Name: Gerry Mazur

Date: 1-14-14

Location: Toledo, Ohio

Weather: Highs will be near freezing for the rest of the week with a chance of some snow flurries. Lows are nowhere near the brutal cold we had one week ago.

Snow Cover: Plenty of snow in piles but has really melted down where you can see ground again. Corn fields are exposed and food is aplenty.

Water Conditions: With the melting comes rising river and stream conditions with huge ice jams in spots on the Maumee River.

Feeding Conditions: Come and get it.

Species and Numbers: Ducks and geese are hanging out near open water obviously and working the city limits for food.

Migrations: None

Season Stage: Ohio duck in the north zone is over as well as duck in the Lower Michigan zone. North zone goose is open until Jan 30th. The late season Michigan goose season opens Jan 18th for the south zone with a 5 bird daily limit.

Hunting Report: Been awfully quiet.


Name: Ryan Eder

Date: 1/13/14

Location: Lindenhurst, IL

Weather: 34 Degrees, clear/sunny, wind 10mph NW.

Snow Cover: Snow is melting from temperature, melted over 6 inches, cover starting to show on ground.

Water Conditions: Small ponds, ditches and lakes starting to open in middle, fields starting to pool up.

Feeding Conditions: Some fields exposed and wet.

Species and Numbers: Canada geese in the hundreds (300-400 birds), mallards (2 small groups) 50-75 birds total.

Migrations: Saw a few groups of mallards and decent size groups of geese in the corn fields, relatively low bird activity

Season Stage: Recent warm weather for January in IL, snow melting, water opening up.

Hunting Report: Nothing is in season.

Gossip: Very typical mid-January, occasional groups of mallards around the corn field and landing in a recently opened lake, Geese roosting in a corn field in a group of about 3-400 birds.  Not a lot of birds, but recent warmer weather seems to have raised bird activity.


Name: Ralph Harr

Date: 1/15/14

Location: St.Peter’s, MO

Weather: Warmer with temps in the mid-50’s.

Snow Cover: All snow has melted from last week’s monster snow fall.

Water Conditions: 95% frozen

Feeding Conditions: Good

Species and Numbers: Mostly mallards and Canada geese, mallards 50k +   geese 20k.

Migrations: I believe that we have what we will have now, there is not much left to the north.

Season Stage: Only a few more days of geese are left in for Missouri

Hunting Report: Not much hunting activity now.

Gossip: Nothing at this time.


Name:  Shaun Patrick

Date: 1/15/14

Location: Troy, MO

Weather: Lows in the 20’s highs in the 30’s.

Snow Cover: Very small amounts left from our 13” snow fall last week.

Water Conditions: Small water is frozen; bigger lakes have some spots that remain open.

Feeding Conditions: Good

Species and Numbers: Canada geese

Migrations: We have seen a substantial migration of Canada geese into our area this season. And we are continuing to see small groups of birds push into the area from the north.

Season Stage: Roughly two weeks left in late Canada goose season.

Hunting Report: Hunting in our area has been very strong. We have been running a lot of traffic, and been very successful, mainly due to many of the birds feeding in the city limits in fields that cannot be hunted. Geese are responding well to calling and especially well to flagging so far this season.  Scouting has been extremely important in figuring out what time the birds will fly.  Flight times seem to change a few times a week.  Most of our success lately has come in the morning to mid-afternoon.  Two weeks ago however, most of our shooting was done in the evening.

Gossip: This has been a great Canada goose season, with reports of strong success for guys willing to put the time in to scout and hunt.


Name: John Gordon

Date: 01/13/2014

Location: Chatham, MS

Weather: A real roller coaster lately, single digits early in the week followed by sunshine and low 60’s on Sunday.

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: High, a lot of water in fields and area lakes.

Feeding Conditions: Excellent at this time. Corn and soybeans can still be found in the harvested fields and plenty of aquatic vegetation and invertebrates are in the lakes for birds to feed on.

Species and Numbers: Gadwalls, mallards, various divers are around.  There are a few specks and snows here but most of the geese are in the north Delta.

Migrations: The big front really didn’t move the birds down.  They took to the Mississippi River while the fields were frozen and returned to them later in the week.

Season Stage: It’s coming down to the end of duck season; the final day is January 26th.

Hunting Report: A real “should have been here yesterday” story developed during the cold snap.  Hundreds of ducks crowded what little open water could be found and scattered once it thawed.

Gossip: Just goes to show you being in the right place at the right time means everything in waterfowl hunting.


Name:  Jay Hayter

Date: 1/14/14

Location: El Dorado, AR

Weather: 30-50s, clear

Snow Cover: None

Water Conditions: Above normal as the rivers have flooded the backwater areas.

Feeding Conditions: Good amounts of grain left in the fields and grasses and invertebrates in the marshes. 

Species and Numbers: Fair number of mallards and gadwalls.

Migrations: None observed this week.

Season Stage: Two weeks left in the duck season.

Hunting Report: Fair at best, birds are very scattered due to high water conditions.

Gossip: Another season close to the end, it has been good overall.


Name:  Shannon Housend

Date: 1/14/2014

Location: Des Allemands, LA

Weather: Mid 40’s lows, high mid-70’s

Snow Cover: N/A

Water Conditions: Low

Feeding Conditions: Still looking like early season, the frost knocked some down!

Species and Numbers: Nothing, I mean zero!

Migrations: What is that??

Season Stage: Couple weeks left before the closing!

Hunting Report: I think I’m going to start pole vaulting off a horse and stop hunting!

Gossip:  I don’t have any words to describe this hunting season, well I do but I would rather keep that to myself! Sorry, it’s that bad!