The Migration

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Re: The Migration

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Wed Oct 12, 2016 2:19 pm

Waterfowl biologists always say that geese migrate according to the calendar, but ducks according to the weather. How does that jibe with what you see Densa?
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Re: The Migration

Postby jlw034 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:45 pm

Four days on Southeast North Dakota. Small push of birds, but nothing grand.

Bwt mostly gone, gwt taking their place. Still local mallards mostly. We are getting gadwall and wigeon.

Loooooove duck hunting. Lena on IR so the mutt got called up.
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Re: The Migration

Postby jlw034 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:48 pm

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Re: The Migration

Postby carramrod » Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:53 pm

What's with the can decoy?

Makes me jealous see all these north Dakota hunts.
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Re: The Migration

Postby jlw034 » Wed Oct 12, 2016 11:24 pm

Every year a buddy carves a traveling decoy and a new person has it every weekend though the season. Just adds to the fun.
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Re: The Migration

Postby Densa44 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:07 am

What migrates when? Good question, I always thought it was the calendar (how short the days were getting) but now I'm not so sure. BTW I never payed much attention to this aspect of hunting before. It seems to be different for species too.

When the small ponds freeze over the ducks have to migrate or move to big water or moving water.

The birds that have left, seem to be being replaced by new birds, that sort of makes sense. The weather is warming up during the day making lots of feed available. The geese are in large mixed flocks, snows and honkers. All open water is covered with mostly geese but some ducks too.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
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Re: The Migration

Postby blue04 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:00 pm

All of the big hunting organizations (DU, etc.) talk about ducks moving with weather fronts. I guess I always just assumed the geese did the same thing.

What I can say with certainty is that waterfowl hunters in the southern US see fewer ducks in years when there is a mild winter in the north.
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Re: The Migration

Postby Densa44 » Thu Oct 13, 2016 9:31 pm

Years ago the US and Canadian Biologists couldn't agree on limits for ducks, the mallards were the issue. The Americans wanted 8 birds and the Canadians 6. The Canadians closed the Bow river through Calgary, a city of more than 1 million people with lots of warm water being put back in the river down stream of the city. They closed the waterfowl season on the river until Boxing day, at which time the local boys opened fire and the ducks headed straight to Mexico because all the water in the American west was ice. This went on for a year or 2 until we had a very cold winter in December when the open water on the river got quite small, by then there were over 100,000 ducks standing on the ice and in the small pool of open water. 35,000 mallards died all at once of Botulism.

Since then cooler heads have prevailed.

It would seem that the ducks will stay as long as there is open water, a safe roost and lots of food on the ground.
Pine Ridges Ginnieve NA 112 UT pz 1 200
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Re: The Migration

Postby slistoe » Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:42 pm

Densa44 wrote:It would seem that the ducks will stay as long as there is open water, a safe roost and lots of food on the ground.

Have you hunted ducks in the middle of winter at the Battle River Generating station? There are mallards there that never go south.
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Re: The Migration

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:52 am

That's what I observe. Some portion of some species of ducks and geese only migrate south if their food sources become inaccessible with ice or snow for extended lengths of time. And other species seem to migrate driven by the calendar. As noted some portion of the annual Mallard flight seems to never make it south. Same with Canadas. Whitefronts head south mostly based on the change in daylight i.e. The Calendar (saw a flock heading south yesterday and I do every year while sitting in a tree stand in October). BWT go all the way south once a little bit of cool weather sets in and then I shoot some GWT between the ice floes on the river in January each year, (that never happens with BWT). Snow geese seem to be driven south by weather and availability of food vs the calendar. My best hunting for Mallards and Canadas is in January and February, the colder the better due to even colder weather up north driving them down the flyway.

It varies both by species and then by the individual subpopulations within certain other species, is what I experience.
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Re: The Migration

Postby Densa44 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 7:12 pm

I was wrong. There are more geese than last week, more specs, greys, and millions of snows. In fact more than I've ever seen in one place. More ducks too.

I think that the birds will stay until the big water freezes, now a days that may or may not happen.

Thanks to the other hunters who are helping.
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 stubblejumper » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:35 am

Some geese are moving out, and some are moving in. It is supposed to be well above freezing today, and again by mid week, so the migration may slow down this week. I am seeing more and more snows every day.
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Re: The Migration

Postby stubblejumper » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:12 pm

Steady flocks of snows this morning while pheasant hunting, and one large flock of swans. But with the temperature warming up significantly, things could slow down for this week.
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Re: The Migration

Postby Densa44 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:11 pm

Yes there are way more birds than a few days ago. I can get that as the big water freezes up north larger flocks will show up here and that's what is happening.

The small ponds are no longer in play but the big water has lots of enormous flocks and lots of them. The odd part there are family sized flocks showing up too. All the water is back to a liquid state.

If some of you fellows aren't busy you could come up here and shoot a few, 50 snows a day and no possession limit.
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 blue04 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 10:43 pm

Densa44 wrote:If some of you fellows aren't busy you could come up here and shoot a few, 50 snows a day and no possession limit.


I would love to, but it's quite a drive for me to where you live (about 40 hours). Also, aren't American citizens required to hunt with a "registered guide" when in Canada now? I know I heard or read somewhere that's the current law.
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