The Migration

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Re: The Migration

Postby Densa44 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 12:45 pm

Nov. 30 About 400 swans overhead yesterday and the day before, not very high (That means the guys aren't shooting at them, Good) and another large flock of Specks heading north. I think my neighbour is correct. They aren't leaving unless they are forced out.

The ducks are gone but not the geese. Maybe that's the way it has always been, why would a large bird spend all that energy to fly south if it didn't have to. With modern farming methods a lot of feed is dropped on the field by the combine and the geese are skilled at picking it up.

Water was always the rub for the birds, they needed open water and on the prairies there was not much of that. BTW coyotes will not wet a paw but they cross ice all the time and geese need a safe roost. If it is getting warmer, and it wouldn't have to be much, a lot more water will stay open and more birds will just stay all winter.

Any way that is now my working hypothesis. To those KS duck hunters, we sent you lots more birds than you are reporting, they must be down there someplace. Good hunting, if you want a big year, put Alberta or Saskatchewan on your bucket list.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
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Foothill Joce NA 112
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Re: The Migration

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:56 pm

Often the lack of hunting success in the MW is due to the birds that are around have been around for weeks. Nearly all the large Corp of Eng Lakes and State Managed Marshes have areas designated as no hunting allowed refuges on them. The birds learn to use them quickly and it becomes difficult to take big numbers of them on the surrounding areas where hunting is allowed until fresh less educated birds arrive. Hence why you hear all yearning for a push of new birds. Its a wonder we do not all move to Canada. :)
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Re: The Migration

Postby Densa44 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:53 pm

That makes a lot of sense. It happens here too, the water coming out of Calgary a city of over 1 million people is warm enough to keep a huge flock of mallards here all winter. The area in the city is a no shoot zone.

We have just about run out of duck hunters it is Pheasants, deer, geese and ducks. This year I never saw another duck hunter. Sign of the times I guess.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
Foothill Joce NA 112
Czarina Vom Oberland VJP 70 NA pz 112
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Re: The Migration

Postby Deacon » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:57 pm

We have been "blessed" with an unseasonable warm up here, after a nice ice up. Many of the puddle ducks have moved on. We are still scratching a few down, but we are working for them. A few scaup are around, but without weather they can be difficult to pin down. They are reporting a substantial weather event late next week. Unfortunately it may not get here until after our regular duck season closes.
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Re: The Migration

Postby slistoe » Wed Nov 30, 2016 11:10 pm

Densa44 wrote:We have just about run out of duck hunters it is Pheasants, deer, geese and ducks. This year I never saw another duck hunter. Sign of the times I guess.

I have lived and hunted here 35 years. There have never been duck hunters in any substantial numbers. Ducks were an incidental "bonus" on a goose hunt. But there are far less goose hunters now than there were - but less geese as well. The severe drought in the 90's changed the migration pattern and even though we have water back here we don't have the goose numbers that we once did. Not that there is a shortage of them now though :)
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Re: The Migration

Postby Densa44 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:10 am

This will be it for me. -36 at night, not much warmer in the day time. For our friends who live in sunnier climes, here is a difference that you will notice, when you sit in the truck, the seat doesn't flex with your weight, doesn't matter how much you weigh. Anything mechanical is prone to not working for reasons that are unknown, doors freeze shut if it is warm on one side and cold on the other, snow doesn't stick to your boots. The German dog finds it cold, and the Canadian ones don't seem to notice, and finally old guys (read me) don't want to go outside.

The season for Hungarian partridge is open until Jan 15 and there is a covey about 25 feet from my front window driving the dogs crazy!

I'll let my neighbour Slistoe finish this off, if he says that there are still birds on the open water, take it from me, they aren't leaving!
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
Foothill Joce NA 112
Czarina Vom Oberland VJP 70 NA pz 112
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Re: The Migration

Postby slistoe » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:49 am

:D It only hit -18 C here at my house. But that wind is real, real cold. Haven't had any geese coming over the house for a couple weeks now, but on Nov. 30th we were out for the last day of deer season and geese were flying where we were that day. My bet is that they moved south day before yesterday despite the fact that it was +2 C that day. If you watch the animals you can always tell when a change in weather is coming. Not sure how they know, but they know more reliably than the weatherman does.

Densa44, you are closer to Battle River than I am, and your truck seat will work quite well if you give the heater enough time to blow on it. Perhaps you should check out the power plant and see if there are any birds on the water tonight.
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Re: The Migration

Postby JTracyII » Mon Dec 05, 2016 12:36 pm

If you left us any down here in the South to shoot then it should start to heat up just in time for the second split opener now that it has gotten that cold up where you live.
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Re: The Migration

Postby Dmog » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:38 am

They are here! Canadians, Snows, and White fronts filling up fields. I will be hunting this weekend if I don't sneak out of work early for an evening hunt.
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Re: The Migration

Postby Dmog » Thu Dec 08, 2016 8:10 am

By the time I secured permission to hunt, the thousands of geese moved on. Maybe this current cold front will bring another, bigger wave.
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Re: The Migration

Postby Deacon » Thu Dec 08, 2016 12:06 pm

Finally some winter weather on the way. 3-4' of snow forecasted for this weekend with high temperatures in the low teens next week. Unfortunately, duck season will close on Sunday... Hopefully the new birds will hang around to the first of the year when we get another two week crack at them.
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Re: The Migration

Postby Densa44 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:56 pm

More news. I was in Calgary on the weekend and there were lots of flocks of Canada's and ducks, most were mallards. These birds were living on both the Bow and Elbow rivers. They were all flying low and I believe that the season here is still open. You would have to be hard core to hunt in - 20 C weather but these birds are not going to fly south (well they flew 200 miles south of where I live).

Before Calgary grew to a city of 1 million + they must have migrated because the river froze.

So what I now know is that this issue is a moving target and may change every year.

There must be a lot of snows out there so shoot as many as you can.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
Camridge's Sienna NA 112 UT pz 1 204
Foothill Joce NA 112
Czarina Vom Oberland VJP 70 NA pz 112
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Re: The Migration

Postby slistoe » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:44 am

Densa44 wrote:You would have to be hard core to hunt in - 20 C weather but these birds are not going to fly south (well they flew 200 miles south of where I live).


Saw this picture on another site from 3 days ago - I can't believe they went out in that cold...
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