California Duck Hunting Report Archive

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-02-2013 16:56
– – –
Dec 27-31, 2012

Slowwwww! The bulk of the ducks are now south in the flooded bypasses after being pounded by north valley storms for 2 weeks. However, the weather forecast is promising for their return Wed-Fri w/ clear skies and 10-15mph NW winds. Cold temps so the ducks will be hungry and they should feed at times in the daylight.

Geese are packed into their safety zones…going to need some big winds and/or poor visibility to get action. Don’t think I have ever seen as many snows and specs in the north valley.

Once the ducks return we need a period of sloppy/droopy weather to get it on….fog, low ceiling, whatever! Pins will fly in the bright skies but we need something more in order to bag duck #3 thru #7.

[Edited By John Cunningham on 2013-01-02 17:06]

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Good 3-day weekend 12-17-2012 14:55
Cloudy, Occassional Rain Showers – 35-40 Degrees
Starting to pick up in the north valley. Okay Fri, grrrreat Sat and okay Sun. In spite of the SE wind which is typically a kiss-of-death in the open rice fields, the low ceiling got the birds moving about. Wow, was it cold Sat PM. Pins, widge and spoons were the predominant bag w/ some green and specs…..lots of specs still here! And a # of gaddys which tells me there are a whole lot of birds still holed up in the Klamath and further north. Forecast gives us good hunting weather all this week into the weekend.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 12-10-2012 15:30
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 50-60 Degrees

What more can I say……simply amazing, outstanding, awesome! What is…….the weather! C’mon, what did you think I was referring to…..the duck hunting?

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 12-03-2012 16:35
– – –
Wild n wooly Wed-Sun. “6-8 rain and winds gusts to 60 mph on Sat nite. Oddly the birds did not fly in the big SE winds but as soon as their was a break and the rain stopped and the sun poked its head thru the game was on. Loads of new GWT and widge and more and more geese. The word is that the Klamath Basin is loaded so what we need is a good freeze and we should see a massive migration in the Valley. I believe the bypasses were flooded so the bulk of our birds moved south for a few days. If we can get a couple days of northerly winds they should be back by the weekend. I don’t think we have near the birds we’ll have once the Klamath empties out.

Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

sac 11-29-2012 23:48
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have a number 2 resi at the sacramento refuge for saturday–hope they don’t close it like they did sutter!! anyone know of a good blind??

[Edited By sprigkiller55 on 2012-11-30 10:02]

Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

11-29-2012 23:48
– – –
have a number 2 resi for saturday at the sacramento refuge –hope they don’t close it like they did sutter!! anyone know of a good blind??

[Edited By sprigkiller55 on 2012-11-30 10:03]

Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

11-29-2012 23:48
– – –
have a number 2 resi for saturday–hope they don’t close it like they did sutter!! anyone know of a good blind??

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 11-26-2012 12:33
– – –
Fri-Sun…..slowwwwww! But you already knew that.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 11-19-2012 12:00
– – –
Fair on Friday, great on Saturday right after the storm broke. Poor on Sunday…..birds headed south to the bypasses. They should be back by mid-week. Geese continue to pour in from the north. Has to be a bazillion birds in the Klamath Basin by now and the 1st good freeze will send them down into the Valley.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 11-19-2012 12:00
– – –
Fair on Friday, great on Saturday right after the storm broke. Poor on Sunday…..birds headed south to the bypasses. They should be back by mid-week. Geese continue to pour in from the north. Has to be a bazillion birds in the Klamath Basin by now and the 1st good freeze will send them down into the Valley.

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Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 11-12-2012 13:10
– – –
Brrrrrr…..little chilly this past weekend. Hunting was slow due to the calm weather. Hardly a hint of a breeze but a whole lot of birds in the valley and plenty more to come before Thanksgiving. Killed birds in nice shape…..fat and mature. Lots of widge and pins, not many teal and what mallards there are are holed up in the daylite. Weather disturbance this Thurs-Sun should get the birds moving. Lots of rice still to be harvested.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 11-05-2012 13:05
– – –
Finally got to open the season for an hour or so on Sunday AM. A few widg and a lady spoon over barely an inch of rice water.

The rice harvest remains in full bore after the temporary slowdown from the 1″ rain last Thursday. I can see alot of fields that may not be ready till Thanksgiving or shortly thereafter. Lots of birds in the area. Llano Seco is packed and so is the Audubon w/ green. Plenty of geese…lot more than is the norm this early. Waves of ducks from the north Sat AM and waves of geese Sun AM. Weather disturbance forecasted for this Thurs-Fri and the Butte-Glenn CWA diiner is on for this Sat….along w/ the rooster opener.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Sacto Valley November Weather Forecast 10-31-2012 13:28
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3 long range weather sites are calling for 10 storm days during the 1st 22 days of November.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 10-29-2012 13:27
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Weekend Oct 26-28

Rice harvest is well behind normal schedule. “1+ of rain last week caused further delay. Many fields may not be ready to hunt until Thanksgiving.

Geese, geese and more geese! Appears to be an early migration of snows and specs, especially snows. On Sunday AM there was a massive migration from the north. Wave after wave at high altitude that lasted for several hours.

Few private clubs in the rice are huntable but the refuges have done well for the 2nd straight weekend. Limits or close to was the norm at Delavan and Howard Slough…pins and teal were plentiful and a few widgeon and mallards. The Audobon Refuge is loaded w/ green.

Posted By:
thadp
Web Member

Grasslands 10-16-2012 08:56
– – Over 70 Degrees
Driving by the San Luis Refuge and the surrounding clubs I have seen more ducks in the air and on the ponds that I recall seeing in many years.

I was at our club (near Merced Refuge) twice this week and while I have not been bowled over by the numbers I am optimistic for the opener.

Sandhill Cranes are here in numbers and we seem to have an early concentration of ducks unseen in the last couple of years.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

California 10-15-2012 12:40
– – –
Attention please……attention……ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention!

If you were wondering…..THE SEASON OPENS THIS SATURDAY.

Posted By:
BUTTE CITY MIKE
Web Member

10-06-2012 18:11
– – –
ARE YOU KIDDING? John, looks like we are on a roll!!!!!

[Edited By BUTTE CITY MIKE on 2012-10-09 18:45]

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

3 weeks to opener 10-02-2012 12:30
– – –
Very quiet here! Somebody say something.

Posted By:
BUTTE CITY MIKE
Web Member

DEATH OF THE FORUM 09-24-2012 12:49
– – –
OTHER THAN YOURSELF THE LAST REPORTS OF ANY KIND WERE 2010 (GREENE) 2009 (WHITE) AND 2008 (O’NEIL)! GREAT JOB ON THEIR PART I WOULD SAY.

[Edited By EMRDUCK on 2012-09-30 14:45]

Posted By:
BUTTE CITY MIKE
Web Member

Death of the forum 09-24-2012 12:24
– – –
I KNOW JOHN; IT’S REALLY SAD WHEN A STATE THE SIZE OF CALIFORNIA WITH 34MM PEOPLE CAN’T GET MORE THAN 4-5 PEOPLE TO POST SOMETHING, IF NOTHING OTHER THAN THEIR STILL ALIVE. I COMPLAINED ABOUT THIS A COUPLE TIMES IN THE PAST COUPLE YEARS AND HAD ABSOLUTELY NO RESPONSE FROM ANYONE AT ANY TIME.

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Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Death of the Forum 09-19-2012 16:06
– – –
It’s dead! Just one poster, 3 of the supposed 4 VFEs have been nonexistent the past 2-3 yrs. It’s over! Too bad, there was alot of banter and good info back in the day.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Regs are out 08-10-2012 14:27
– – –
Same as last year

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Dove Season 08-06-2012 11:14
– – –
Less than a month away. Please be so kind as to share your hot spots and volunteer to take a Senior hunting. Email me to register your name and location.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Rice 06-25-2012 15:20
– – –
Been planted and it’s beginning to grow.

Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

02-03-2012 23:54
– – –
hey no offense birdk9–but most of us here in the west call it the mideast!! heck with what the easterners say!! and hey jc–i may be wrong–but from i gather–most refuges on the average shoot better than the clubs!! i mean no biggie–i like being in a club eh!!

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

02-03-2012 11:54
– – –
Very intertesting read! Agree wholehearetedly about going to the ducks when they won’t come to you but not all that possible in the NorCal ricelands. The birds are sitting on private lands where the landowners don’t allow hunting. Fewer and fewer landowners are allowing hunting due to the record profits they’re making off the rice crop. Duck hunting money is becoming of little consequence to many of these farmers. We’ve become an unnecessary distraction and for some they see us as an irritation. Rice prices are projected to remain at record highs for a long time to come w/ the ever increasing world demand for rice.

The refuge hunters are quickly becoming far more successful than the club hunters. The sizable closed zones in our refuges can funnel birds to the adjacent hunting zones and to further compound the problem the Feds and State keep buying more and more land to convert to non-hunting refuges. We don’t need anymore refuges when we have so much flooded acreage on private lands.

Posted By:
birdk9
Web Member

JC’s Final NorCal report – Welcome to the midwest 02-02-2012 13:55
– – –
I grew up in NorCal hunting the grasslands. I have been in the midwest, IA and IL for over 15 years. I was planning a trip west this winter but it fell through. I normally keep an eye on the CA page after Christmas to see how things are out west. Your CA waterfowl season sounds a lot like every year in the midwest.

Waiting on a migration and big wind days. There is too much inacessable water on the Missouri and Mississippi flyways that the birds see very little pressure except on the public lands. The birds get educated very quickly and do one of three things, go out to feed, sit and sleep or fly from point A to point B with little to no variations.

I am not sure how succesful you will be, but you might want to start drumming up support for shooting everyday at clubs and on state land. Shooting Wednesday and weekends is great for the birds but it is really bad for the hunters. Waterfowling is the only hunting sport that regulates or self regulates like that. We hear the guys in Iowa crying about shooting evenings and seven days a week. When the birds have too many places to rest and feed you have to be able to get after them on any given day. If the weather man says it’s gonna blow everybody calls in sick and the boat ramp is jambed up.

The second thing you might want to think about is getting mobile. Hunting at a club is great but if the birds are somewhere else you gotta move and find a way to get on the X. We burn a few extra tanks of gas scouting for ducks in corn fields out here. The birds wised up and sit in large rafts in the middle of lakes and big water where it is safe. When it gets cool and better yet cold, they feed twice a day. Get on the food X. It is frustrating chasing the birds but when the won’t fly into the pond where the blind is you can sit and look at the sky and drink coffee or chase em down.

I would come up with a plan for next year and hopefully it won’t be too late. I get out once in while to hunt in CA and the patterns today are very different from fifteen years ago. The new birds of today have inprinted completely different from the five generations of birds long ago. NorCal stole all the birds from the grasslands when they stopped burning rice. The birds didn’t need to keep going south they stop for water and rice all winter up north. Presentence, today with all the open rice is safe areas, you guys are headed for the next generation of waterfowl that inprint onto not going to traditional locations such as clubs and huntable state land. In the midwest we get a little bit of a break because the crops rotate every year so the birds work different areas depending on what year the fields have corn or beans. It takes four to six years to inprint on the same spot. NorCal has the same open safe areas year after year. The birds will inprint on that really quick. Find a way to get out and move some of the birds around.

If you can’t find differnt ways to get to the ducks you will be waiting on a big cold front and a big wind to move your birds.

I hunted the refuges of CA long enough to see some very creative and innovative ways to hunt ducks and geese. Think of all the stuff today compared to twenty years ago. I not talking just Mojo’s. Guys are treking miles with a mountain bike, a gun and a sack of decoys. Check out the Mo Marsh boats, Four Rivera boats and a six horse mud motor. Talk about getting mobile. I bet you guys can figure out how to get out there, it will have to be different though.

I will keep coming back no mater what. CA is still home and I love duck hunting in January on a 50 degree day.

Here’s to another banner hatch is 2012. Good luck to all.

Posted By:
BUTTE CITY MIKE
Web Member

02-01-2012 13:12
– – –
I AGREE WITH YOU 100% JOHN. COULD NOT HAVE SAID IT BETTER!!!!!

LET ‘EM WORK!

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 02-01-2012 10:51
– – –
The 2011-12 waterfowl season……I guess disappointing would be an understatement. Record high temps, only one storm to speak of, little to no fog, such dry and tranquil weather AND…..so many birds, the best breeding season in 20 years. Here’s my take on it:

….sure the weather was about as bad for hunting as it gets….climate change? Maybe!

….rice straw burning is now close to non-existent so flooding fields season long to decompose the stubble is the norm and will be forever until some new methodology comes along if indeed it does, in our lifetime anyways. With so much rice acreage underwater, plus all the refuges, the birds have an enormous safety zone. I estimate that 10% or less of the flooded acreage is hunted.

….the end result is that the future of good hunting in the north valley will be entirely weather dependent. Without routine storms, strong winds, mile high fog, the hunting will be marginal at best. This past season was the perfect example of this theory.

So be it! All we can hope for is another good breeding year and that Mother Nature lends us a helping hand in 2012-13.

Posted By:
BUTTE CITY MIKE
Web Member

NORTH SACRAMENTO VALLEY 01-21-2012 18:20
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 45-50 Degrees
FINALLY SOMETHING POSITIVE TO REPORT. A SLOW START THAT QUICKLY MATERIALIZED INTO A GREAT DUCK SHOOT. LOTS OF BIRDS HIGH AND ULTIMATELY ENOUGH CAME DOWN TO PRODUCE TWO LIMITS OF WIDGEON AND SPRIG FOR MY SON AND I. LOTS OF BIRDS, MOSTLY ALL SPRIG AND WIDGEON; FEW OF ANYTHING ELSE THAT I SAW. LOTS OF GEESE BUT ALL TOO HIGH AND GOING TO AND FROM GRIND TO GRIND! ALSO LOTS OF WATER IN THE STREAMS FROM THE RAIN FALL BUT THERE DOES NOT APPEAR TO BE ANY FLOODING. GREAT SHOOT!

LET ‘EM WORK!

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Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-16-2012 16:49
– – –
Well……I guess it’s now or never! The 1st of several back-to-back-to back storms will hit northern CA starting this Wednesday. The weather models are calling for rain from Wed to season end on the 29th. Hopefully we can go out in a bang after enduring such a dismal season. The birds are stacked in the Valley and the storms should relocate them.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-09-2012 15:31
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 45-50 Degrees
Sad! Not much more to say. Killed 3 ducks over the weekend on 3 hunts in 2 different areas. The refuges are packed w/ birds….Llano Seco and the Audubon…you can’t see the water for all the greenheads at the Audubon. Feed all nite in the rice under clear skies and a full moon and sleep all day in the safety zones. Not cold enough to need to feed in the daytime. Nothing is going to change this pattern until we get some weather if we ever get some weather before the season closes in less than 3 weeks. For many north valley hunters this is the poorest season in memory.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-02-2012 13:33
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 50-60 Degrees
Happy New Year everyone! Well…..what can I say? Hunting has been poor for the most part. The December long hi-pressure ridge continues on w/ no end in-sight and now the temps will warm to the mid to lo 60’s this week……unbelieveable! Tremendous number of birds in the north valley, hunkered down during the daytime in their safety zones and only leaving to feed at night. Did have a decent day last Friday w/ the 20 mph SSE wind and low ceiling…..teal balls, sprig and widgeon w/ a few mallard thrown in. In order to somewhat salvage the season, going to need a series of storms soon to shake-up the birds and get them out of their now well developed pattern.

Posted By:
thadp
Web Member

Grasslands 12-12-2011 09:46
Sunny & Clear, Morning Fog – 30-34 Degrees – Open Water
Full moon slowed everything down this weekend. Ducks in the air and working on Saturday but they disappeared by Sunday. Must have been out feeding all night and didn’t need us during the day. According to F&G the Merced Refuge is covered up with teal and they were the flavor of the day with all the blinds bring in a couple of teal.

Geese numbers are really light and we are not seeing the Specks, Darks or White’s in the numbers we have seen the last couple of years.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 11-28-2011 17:09
– – –
At last…..our fields are stomped and flooded. The stompers were going 24/7 like an army of Sherman tanks across the rice fields.

The duck hunting remains the same as my post below from last week and the big change is the huge and I mean huge influx of snow geese. They’ve taken over en masse some of the best non-hunting duck properties and keeping the ducks scattered. Once some of them move on should be a big influx of ducks in the holding areas.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 11-21-2011 17:55
Cloudy, Light Rain & Drizzle – 40-45 Degrees
Finally-finally the season has started at least for me. Hunted a friends property at the north edge of the Sink while my club north of there is still waiting for the stompers to stomp. Sunday AM hunt w/ limits by 9:00am. Mallards, sprig, widgeon and gaddys…all nice fat and healthy birds. Birds were flying from shoot time until we left. Lots of GWT, many more than the norm for this early in the season. Surprising absence of geese….wherever they are they weren’t moving. Except for the GWT and gadwalls don’t think there has been any major migration of northern birds. Both the Audubon and Lano Seco refuges were empty for the most part.

[Edited By John Cunningham on 2011-11-21 17:58]

Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

11-05-2011 22:42
– – –
hey thanks for the good report!!

Posted By:
jjmwtf
Web Member

Glenburn, Fall River Valley, Ca 11-05-2011 11:07
Cloudy, Winds Calm – 25-30 Degrees – Open Water
On Nov. 2, clear blue bird day, at 1400, the Mallards never stopped flying. In groups of 10 to 20, they came from all directions. I stopped at 1700 and just watched, until dark. Most have been the coming storm, of today.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Late-late rice harvest 11-04-2011 12:24
– – –
This year’s harvest is far later than expected. Harvest itself is still underway on many properties and those harvested so far won’t be ready for 1-2 weeks or longer w/ the chopping, discing, burning, whatever.

Loads of specs reported in the north Sacto Valley. No reports yet on duck numbers.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Late rice harvest 10-26-2011 15:32
– – –
The club I hunt along w/ many rice properties in the north Sacto Valley are having a late harvest. The harvest itself is underway right now but w/ subsequent chopping, discing, burning or stomping looks like the majority of fields won’t flood-up till the 2nd-3rd week of November.

Reports this week from the Butte Sink indicate a roaring start to the season. Many mallards, pins and full straps.

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Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

10-15-2011 11:14
– – –
what a difference a week can make!! went by sac refuge the 7th going to tulelake and southern oregon to hunt and next to nothing at the refuge–or at least flying that is. came back yesterday and saw thousands upon thousands of specks moving about!! lower klamath and tulelake are loaded right now–matter of fact we even shot some snows–which is pretty early for them to be there!! and did i mention pintails everywhere?

Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

08-29-2011 14:58
– – –
hello hello to our own true brushman dwilly3rd!! it has been one loooooong drag here without ya!! i’m serious as a texican bullsugarter!! is this true or not?? and be honest ok?? the goose hunting in the lone star state is so fantastic that there’s hardly nary a goose left on any golf course!! even the minature golf courses where you guys have sunken blinds etc!! that’s why we figured you are out here to take care of the golf course geese problem we have!! or is to rake the sand traps for used balls?? jk ol’ buddy!! FORE!!!

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

08-29-2011 12:02
– – –
What’s the problem, you’re POS state doesn’t have a decent place to golf and vacation? FYI….CA hunting is absolutely terrible. However, I’d suggest a good crackle shoot but you probably have your fill of that in TX on days when the hunting is slowwwww, which I hear is most of the time. At least that’s what my former TX neighbor told me.

Posted By:
dwilliams3
Web Member

The Great State of TEXAS 08-29-2011 09:08
– – –
I’ll be out in the San Diego area for 6 days of golf in late September and early October.
Any thing worth getting an out of state license for? My next door buddy lived in Southern California, for 30+ years. He says hunting there has been destroyed by your P&W and liberals. Is he right? I’m used to the full bag limits of TEXAS.

Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

08-05-2011 23:14
– – –
exactly on deer hunting here!! i haven’t really checked into it yet but does anyone know if the late goose hunt will only private land like in oregon or will the refuges be open??

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Duckn n Deer 08-05-2011 13:33
– – –
Liberal season framework and the dates and bag have been set. 2 pinnies/7 mallets/6specs….AND….a 5 day late season in late Febuary for specs and snows…that could be interesting!

Cali deer hunting? A freak’in joke! The 2nd biggest deer pop and the lowest % success. Oh yeah…let’s go hunt deer in mid-Aug in triple digit temps or chase Sierra muleys a month or more before the rut when they’re still at high elevations because of the heat.

Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

08-04-2011 14:46
– – –
nope–you forget what state we are in. one would think with as many hunters that are in this state we would have a fish and game dept that would be top of the line!! take the deer population for example–i would say the main reason why a hunter would come here to hunt deer is to get another species of deer i.e. blacktail!!! there’s no big population of record mule deer here!! so why can’t they (f&g) swallow their pride and go to some of the states that have big deer and see how they do it?? oh wait –i keep forgetting what state we are in. staggers———-the imagination!!

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

USFWS Waterfowl Estimate 2011 07-01-2011 17:05
– – –
46 mil+ continental. Only 5th yr since 1955 that the pop exceeded 45 mil. Pintails up 28% over last year. Is a 3rd pin in the offing for us 2011-12???

Posted By:
mallardman314
Guest

05-24-2011 20:48
– – –
tommy boy, call me if you still have your trailor.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 03-21-2011 11:46
– – –
Spent Saturday in the north valley. Lots of water! Rice fields are all sheet water, sloughs are full to the top and creeks high. Should be excellent nesting conditions in April as long as the rain begins to subside and not flood the nests. Appears most, if not all, the northern migrants are gone. Only ducks sighted were mallards….and lots of them.

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Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Grizzly Island Field Trial 02-23-2011 11:12
– – –
Licensed retriever trial from Friday, 2/25 thru Sunday, 2/27 starting at 8:00am each day. Open, amateur, qualified and derby.

Really enjoyed the Sage Hens trial last weekend at Gray Lodge, especially the Derby Stakes with 24 entries 2 yrs old and younger.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Gray Lodge Field Trial 02-10-2011 10:50
– – –
For those of you who are in deep denial and mild depression since the season ended you might try and pick up your spirits by attending the Sage Hens Club field trial next weekend at Gray Lodge. Trial is Fri-Sun, 2/18-20 starting at 8:00am each day. There are over 60 dogs entered in both the professional and amateur categories. It’s a fun time, interesting to see well trained and handled retrievers ply their skills and great place to find out about breeding should you be interested in a new pup or started/finished retriever.

Posted By:
BUTTE CITY MIKE
Web Member

NORTH BUTTE SINK 01-31-2011 17:54
– – –
GOT MY CONFIRMATION BACK FROM THE BIRD BAND LAB FOR THE SNOW I GOT JAN 7 THIS YEAR. IT WAS INDEED BANDED IN WRANGEL ISLAND RUSSIA, A MALE, BANDED 7/23/05. IT HAD HATCHED IN 2004 OR EARLIER! IT MADE THAT TRIP FROM RUSSIA 7 YEARS AND I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW SOME OF THE STORIES IT COULD TELL! PRETTY COOL.

LET ‘EM WORK!

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-31-2011 15:34
– – –
Well, the fat lady has sung! Fri-Sun went like the whole season…..up n down from one day to the next. Outstanding Friday AM hunting at the north end of the Sink….the rice fields exploded w/ birds at LST. Limits in no time and some specs to boot.

Saturday went south on us! No wind and a relentless tule fog that held till 3:45pm and opened the window of opportunity for 45 mins. Early Sunday AM went well and then the wind stopped….as usual!

Overall, a pretty mediocre season that I’d give a 5 on a scale of 1-10. Two things hurt….1st, the extremely poor hatch on the Prairies and 2nd, the windless weather for so many days Dec-Jan plus the lack of any significant storms to relocate the birds.

On a positive note, conditions on the Prairies and Dakotas are projected to be the best in 20 yrs this Spring and if Mother Nature gives us a bit more cooperation then the disappointment of this past season will be nothing but a fleeting memory.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

Sacto Valley 01-27-2011 11:30
– – –
FOG!!! Might be our saving grace today thru Sunday. Pea soup this AM in the Sacramento area and that’s the forecast thru the weekend. Go getcha some!!!

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-24-2011 10:51
– – –
Sprig, sprig and more sprig! Covered up in sprig the better part of the day from Friday thru Sunday. They were the only birds that flew…..everything else except for the specs and snows was down during the mild weather. The brisk NW wind on Sat PM didn’t them moving either. A 2 bulls and your out weekend.

Possibility of some strong NW winds mid-week and maybe a weather system by the weekend. The countdown has started!

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-19-2011 19:47
– – –
Today was the day to be out hunting. After a lull from LST to 10am the NW wind picked up to 25mph+ and the birds flew till sunset. Specs and snows were active w/ many hunters reporting 6-8 geese in the bag.

Posted By:
mallardman314
Guest

01-17-2011 21:09
– – –
great post rachel ray…

hunting has been great,, limits of big birds with quite a few geese the last few weeks..

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-17-2011 12:05
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Great 3-day weekend! Birds were active when visibility was good and when the fog would begin to lift.

Barring any major precip the birds will stay in the north where food is abundant. Had a rare treat this weekend when a flock of 4 Cans stormed the spread and was able to bag one w/ a snap shot and a split second opportunity in the fog. This King of the Ducks will make it to the roasting pan w/ one of Scott Leysath’s favorite recipes.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-12-2011 11:01
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GET OUT TO YOUR BLIND RIGHT NOW!!!

Thousands of birds have left the flooded bypasses and returned to the north valley. They’re starving and looking to feed all day. Hunting reports yesterday and this morning are off the charts.

GO GETCHA SOME!!!

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Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-10-2011 13:37
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Good weekend! Had to tough it out till past noon on Saturday but in the end the birds were had. Lots of birds in the air all morning but most would just not finish being there was a mid-hi ceiling and not a breath of air.

Sunday totally different story. Hundreds/thousands of birds returned from the southerly flooded bypasses, no doubt they were starving. Mallards, pins and widgeon were most abundant and they worked right in. Drove around in the PM and the refuges and safety zones were packed w/ birds. Barring any major storm to send them back to the bypasses should be a really good 3 weeks till season end.

Posted By:
BUTTE CITY MIKE
Web Member

NORTH BUTTE SINK 01-07-2011 18:17
Cloudy, Heavy Fog – 45-50 Degrees
HAD A GREAT SHOOT IN THE FOG THIS AM. WISHED FOR A SECOND SET OF EYES THOUGH. LOTS OF GEESE AND LOT OF HUNTERS TOO. VERY FEW DUCKS AND THOSE THAT WERE THERE DIDN’T WANT TO WORK. THE GEESE WERE ON THE OUTSIDE EDGES OF RANGE BUT A FEW WERE IN RANGE AND I WAS VERY PLEASED WITH THE RESULTS. AMONG THE SIX GEESE AND TWO SPRIG WAS A BANDED SNOW THAT I FIGURED CAME FROM WRANGEL ISLAND IN RUSSIA; ALREADY HAVE TWO. CONFIRMED RUSSIA WITH THE BIRD BAND LAB THIS AFTERNOON; IT WAS BANDED IN JULY 2005 (DETAILS WILL COME IN THE CERTIFICATE. PRETTY IMPRESSIVE TO ME WAS BACK AND FORTH TO RUSSIA EACH YEAR FOR 5 YEARS. THE STORIES IT COULD TELL!!!!

LET ‘EM WORK!

Posted By:
mallardman314
Guest

01-06-2011 19:56
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i been there every wed sat and some sundays since dec.. been a great year… , if u would get your lazy ass outa the boat u would do better.. i dont even have you or your sister jason cell anymore cause u guys dont ever respond.. was gonna sell u a blind at my club to

[Edited By mallardman314 on 2011-01-06 20:00]

Posted By:
sprigkiller55
Web Member

01-06-2011 10:03
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we were wondering when the guy who always gets limits was going to check in with another report!! i guess when you’re good–you’re good!! i think the commander is looking for great hunters–just like you!! lol. hey where ya’ been?? haven’t seen you out there!! we’ve been there almost every saturday–except when we were up north at tulelake–lower klamath!! and i think mr brush man from texas must have quit hittin the whiskey bottle eh?? haven’t heard from him in—–well i’ll just say–too long–lol haha.this crs is really getting to me–i can’t even recall the dufus sob’s name

Posted By:
mallardman314
Guest

01-05-2011 23:35
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man the birds are thick……last 5 shootdays limis of mallards,wig and sprig.. birds are thick

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 01-04-2011 14:33
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Tough 3 days of hunting Sat-Mon. No wind….no ducks! Such is the story of rice field hunting.

Very few ducks in the air and fewer in the area. Suspect they’re all down in the flooded overpasses like Sutter and Yolo. It will take a couple days of strong NW winds to get them back and if not the wind then they’re empty stomachs.

Posted By:
mallardman314
Guest

12-24-2010 18:56
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hunted the grasslands wed morning.. 3 of us had 21 teal in 30 minutes, they were thick.. went the next day solo and shot 5 mallards and 2 gads.. didnt see many teal on the off day

Posted By:
jcarty
Web Member

Richvale 12-20-2010 15:50
– – 40-45 Degrees
Shot excellent on Saturday and Sunday. 2 of us Saturday limited on wigeon and teal and on Sunday 3 of us limited by about 8:45. Little of everything, 1 Mallard, 8 Teal, 6 Sprig,
6 Wigeon. Even brought down a Speck.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 12-20-2010 11:02
Cloudy, Occassional Rain Showers – 45-50 Degrees
Great day on Saturday! Sprig, mallards, teal, widge, specs and duh spoons. Bit harder on Sunday. Darn SE wind again….the kiss of death in the north valley. Lots of birds in the air but they were spooked by the dark sky/low lite all morning and would not finish. As usual, broke for home just as the sky broke up w/ sun and a strong SW wind….ya just know the birds wwere gonna bust out and dive on the spread. Till next time!

Happy Holidays to everyone. Off to Georgia for Xmas w/ the family and be back in action on the 29th.

Posted By:
mallardman314
Guest

12-18-2010 22:44
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another good hunt today,, the mallards came back,, 2 of us got 8 mallards 4 sprig and 2 redheads… lots and lots of sprig and teal

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Posted By:
mallardman314
Guest

grasslands 12-17-2010 12:07
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last 2 weeks have bbe lights out.. if a guy wanted to shoot teal you coulda limited in 15 minutes each day out.. mallards are getting scarce but the sprig and wigon are thick, even got a speck and a rooster yesterday….should be only getting better from here till the end

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 12-13-2010 11:33
Cloudy, Heavy Fog – 50-60 Degrees
Mixed results the past 3 days…Fri-Sun. Deader than a doornail on Fri…much better Sat and fair on Sun. The low ceiling certainly helped Sat-Sun but the tule fog on Sun brought the action to a halt until it started to break mid-morning. Mallards, sprig, some widges and a load of teal. Not that many ducks on the east side of the Sacto River but plenty on the west side sitting all day in non-hunting flooded rice.

Today probably was a killer w/ the fog hanging around till dark yesterday and growing taller by daybreak.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

12-12-2010 19:33
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DU CA or Intl isn’t going to post a report about huge numbers of ducks in the Richvale area……maybe the local Oroville Chapter on a phony lark but if you want to know the down to earth skinny then go to the Canada Section and see Larry Kaymeyer’s report from 2 weeks ago. It just is not going to happen this year in the Pacific flyway or any of the other flyways for that matter. IT WAS ONE OF THE POOREST HATCHES IN MEMORY ON THE PRAIRIES DUE TO THE 2 YR DROUGHT AND THEN WHEN THE NESTING CONDITIONS WERE JUST RIGHT THE RECORD SPRING AND SUMMER RAINS DESTROYED THE NESTS…WHEN THE BIRDS 2ND NESTDED THE NESTS WERE AGAIN DESTROYED BY MORE RECORD RAINS. If CA hunters would finally get it thru their heads that probably 80% of our birds are hatched on the Prairies or the western Dakotas and Montana along w/ Alaska. CA hatched birds are a drop in the bucket compared to the hatching that can occur far north of here.

However, smile!!! The projected conditions for the hatch next year will make it it one of the best and biggest hatches of all time. Hunt hard and hunt often cause that’s what it will take to make this year decent.

Posted By:
BUTTE CITY MIKE
Web Member

12-10-2010 17:40
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GEESE MAYBE BUT I SURE HAVEN’T SEEN THE DUCKS EVERYONE SAYS ARE HERE. I SURE HAVE SEEN SOME HUMONGUS GRINDS OF GEESE IN RICHVALE MOST EVERY DAY I COME HOME FROM A MORNING IN THE BLIND. MAYBE THEY ARE FOCUSING ON THE S TURN ON #162 NORTH OF THE HIWAY!

LET ‘EM WORK!

Posted By:
jcarty
Web Member

Richvale 12-10-2010 10:06
Sunny & Clear, Morning Fog – 45-50 Degrees
Ducks Unlimited has reported peak numbers in Richvale area. Not sure if I agree with this???

Posted By:
jcarty
Web Member

Richvale 12-06-2010 16:11
Cloudy, Winds Calm – 45-50 Degrees
Ok. I know where your talking about. I was just curious how far you were from where I hunt, which is a few miles Northwest of Richvale on the North side of Bradford Rd. Great information though!

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

12-06-2010 14:17
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I hunt 2 places. 8 mi NE of Butte City north of #162 AND right on the north side of the Sink on the east side of the Audubon Refuge.

Posted By:
jcarty
Web Member

Richvale 12-06-2010 10:16
Cloudy, Light Rain & Drizzle – 40-45 Degrees
Thanks for the informative posts John. I was just curious what area of North Sacto valley you are hunting?

Posted By:
jcarty
Web Member

Richvale 12-06-2010 10:10
Mostly Cloudy, No Precipitation – 45-50 Degrees
Hunted the Richvale blind on Saturday and Sunday morning. Saturday morning we had 3 people in the blind and we shot 12 birds. Mostly teal and a couple wigeon. Sunday morning started out good, we had 4 birds in about 10 min, and then every time we had some birds working the folks in the blind to the North of us would try sky scraping birds and ours would flare! Gotta love it. By about 8:00 there were lots of birds moving around but mostly all high and not working. Ended up with 8 birds between 2 of us Sunday.

Posted By:
John Cunningham
Field Editor

North Sacto Valley 12-06-2010 09:13
Cloudy, Light Rain & Drizzle – 50-60 Degrees
I do believe the birds have FINALLY arrived! Great hunting on Sunday. Mallards, sprig, widge and teal. When the low ceiling lifted around 9:00am huge flights of sprig and widge came storming in from the north and teal were everywhere. In spite of the frigid temps and snow north of us 10 days ago these birds must have been held up in WA and OR.

Snows continue to build in unbelieveable numbers and specs are slowly moving southward. Give us some nasty weather or big winds and the goose game will be on.

Dang it! Sitting here typing this and what a morning to be out w/ the 15-20mph south wind and low ceiling. Calling for a slight clearing later today and tomorrow and then rain and hopefully a decent wind Wed-Thurs. I’m outta here!!!

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