Minnesota Duck and Goose Hunting Report Archive

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

West West West 12-08-2012 09:50
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 40-45 Degrees
One last delayed hunting report….. Ended our season with a 4 day adventure chasing BIG Canadians.

We were able to find fresh fields every day and the birds were hungry!!!

In 4 days we shot 51 Honkers most of them within 25 yards.

The largest weight was 18.6 pounds. We generally get one this late around the 20 pound mark, but 18 is still a huge bird. Our lab had a trouble dragging that one back to the blinds 🙂

As I mentioned in my last post, this was the best year of Minnesota waterfowling I have ever had. While talking to a youngster that came along with us on the trip we made sure to point out that he needs to cherish seasons this.

With the amount of CRP that is being lost due to high ag prices, it will be interesting to see what future seasons hold for us. Waterfowlers and Waterfowl biologists have seen tough times and we are going to need to adapt to this new generation of farming. Techniques that can improve brood success like trapping, hen houses, wood duck houses, etc. have never been more important due to the loss of habitat we are realizing.

Regardless of numbers, I will continue to pass along this great tradition we call Waterfowling just like my Father did for me. What other sport do you get the opportunity to whitness epic sunrises, negative degree wind chills, 70 degree days, sun burn, wind burn, sweat, cold, morning flights, deer, pheasants, predators, and the like.

I hunted 27 total days this season and scouted many more. Species of birds taken were Mallards, Wood Ducks, Blue Wing Teal, Green Wing Teal, Blue Bills, Shovelers (I hate to admit that one), Pintail, Gadwall, Widgeon, Buffleheads, Canada Geese, Snow Geese, Ross Geese, Specs, and a Trophy ND Tundra Swan.

I am exhausted and 100% satisfied. Therefore, until next year my waterfowl hunting posts will now be complete.

Best wishes to all of you this Holiday Season!

P.S. There has been much debate on this site about the MN DNR and their efforts. While not perfect, I do believe there are many things they have done to improve the sport in our state (Zones, starting a 1/2 hour before sunrise on opener instead of the rediculous 9am, etc.). While there is still much to be done, make sure you thank them for these things if you run into them at a sports show or waterfowl forumn.

P.S. Try to incorporate a wood duck house or hen house building event into a weekend during this winter. It is a fun time to get fellow hunters together and to take an active role in helping our local waterfowl populations.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central MN 11-23-2012 19:09
– – –
I share your feedback Peter. Found sound goose feeds while scouting tonight, but very few ducks left in my area.

It has been one of the best seasons that I have ever had in Minnesota, so I am probably hanging it up on a Happy note.

I will be going to Montana on Thursday for a 4 day Goose hunt and will finish out my year on my 2nd South Dakota trip for some Roosters.

Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

Willow River Area 11-20-2012 06:59
Cloudy, Winds Calm – 35-40 Degrees
All but the smallest water has reopened, but the ducks and geese are missing.

On a short AM hunt yesterday I did not see a duck or goose.

Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

West of Willow River 11-16-2012 10:12
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 30-34 Degrees – Open Water
I might be getting short in my home area.

Yesterday I broke ice for ahout 150 yards to get to open water.

A one bunch Mallards worked my set up but none taken.

Last night’s low temps might have done me in on my usual spots.

We’ll see what the next couple of days brings.

Might have to move south or hunt Pheasants.

I don’t want to call it quits yet. but even if it’s ending early it has been a fine season.

Posted By:
Paul-Burton
Field Editor

11-13-2012 20:55
– – –
What a day! Bitter cold temps froze almost all water, small and large in the Morris area. Woke up to a 10 mph sw wind and 15 degrees. Sven and I hunted a small open piece of water on a mostly frozen lake. In terms of small, 20’x 50′. Flocks of mallards from 15-300+. I swear the bigger flocks couldn’t have even fit in the small open water we had. Very few divers around, obviously. Strong numbers of geese. Finished the day with 6 mallards, 2 redheads, 1 gad, 1 ringer and Sven topped it off with a 2 shot, 2 kill on canadas!

Posted By:
Paul-Burton
Field Editor

11-12-2012 20:16
– – –
Get out and hunt. I didn’t think it was winding down but am worried the birds are on the move. Ole knows the migration and I headed south and west to Morris. Hopefully have some mallard mayhem in the morn.

Posted By:
Ole-Anderson
Field Editor

Bemidji 11-11-2012 21:32
Cloudy, Accumulating Snow – 10-20 Degrees – Ice
Wet dog, good hunt.

Pete and I closed out the season today on a little slough that was open water when we started and half frozen when we quit. Pete and I were fully frozen. Killed a few mallards, and saw plenty more. Huge tundra swan migration today and when you see that you know it’s coming to an end. The weekend was pretty good with 17 mallards harvested and 3 canvasbacks too.

With the weather getting cold up here, our prime water will be gone in the next night or two and I’m ready to call it a season. Gotta take my little girl deer hunting next weekend and I’ve killed enough ducks. 2012 was without a doubt the best duck year we’ve ever had up here with consistent gunning every weekend and consistent fronts throughout the fall moving new birds in. I can only hope next year is as good.

Good luck to you guys still out hunting down south, there should be PLENTY of mallards moving south in the next 48 hours.

Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

Northern Pine County 11-10-2012 11:15
Cloudy, Light Rain & Drizzle – 35-40 Degrees
I haven’t seen a great influx of birds,but there are enough around to keep things interesting.

I’m splitting my time between the deer stand and duck blind.

No deer yet. Two great Greenheads this morning, one goose yesterday.

Posted By:
Paul-Burton
Field Editor

Brainerd area 11-04-2012 10:45
– – –
After decent number of early migrating divers last weekend and into the middle of last week, they have moved out and no new birds are in. Mallards are starting to stack up a bit on bigger water. Typical migration with the first trickle to get a excited and now a lull, waiting for freeze up further north. Hopefully we have some opportunity befor the 20th here north of 210.

Posted By:
knute
Web Member

Fergus Falls 10-28-2012 20:56
Cloudy, Snow & Rain Mix – 30-34 Degrees – Ice
After scouting and seeing very few ducks, the brother-in-law and I went pheasant hunting on Saturday. Managed to get three pheasants and a GWT out of a pothole in the middle of a WMA.

Went duck hunting on Sunday. Most of the smaller potholes are dried up, but I found a nice deep hole on WPA and set out a mixed spread and a mojo. Heard reports the birds were starting to move, but didn’t see very many today.
I shot a single drake GWT right at opening. A mixture of snow and rain was falling. Low clouds were hanging over the area and I could hear wing beats above me even though I couldn’t see any. Hopes were high!
WELL…..
saw a few small flocks but nothing to shoot at. Then I had a flock of five Golden eyes come screaming over about 9:00. I dropped a beautiful drake that is going to the Taxidermist. After that it was all over. Watched a few flock of geese in the distance.

Whenever the big flocks start coming, and I think it’s got to be soon(hopefully), It’s going to be a hell of a shoot while it lasts. Hope I’m there!

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Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

West of Willow River 10-25-2012 10:04
Cloudy, Snow & Rain Mix – 35-40 Degrees
Pretty slow the last couple of days. Very few birds seen.

Tough conditions this AM, wind,rain, even snow while picking up.

Maybe these high NW winds and cooler temps will cause some influx of birds.

We’ll see what Friday brings.

Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

St. Louis and Pine Counties 10-22-2012 07:58
– – –
2012 is way ahead of last year, many more birds beening seen.

I try to get out every morning,only stay out an hour or two. In the Orr area or northern Pine county.

I’ve had action almost every day.

Several four and five bird days,mixed bag.

Ringers and Bills north, Mallards and Woodies south.

[Edited By Peter-Brown on 2012-10-22 08:02]

Posted By:
Swamp Gas
Web Member

10-21-2012 19:19
– – –
I just returned from my annual Manitoba trip. as of a couple days ago there were still scattered blue wing teal in central Manitoba. I think there are still large numbers of birds to the North.

Posted By:
jasonmn24
Web Member

10-20-2012 18:51
– – –
Still blue wingers around. 2 came in and 2 dropped. First double.

Green wing, 2 blue wingers, hen merganser.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota 10-20-2012 16:37
Cloudy, Heavy Fog – 45-50 Degrees
Holy Fog This Morning!

When legal shooting came upon us, I couldn’t see the edge of my decoy spread. Futhermore, my dad got turned around and walked around for an hour and a half trying to find the decoy spread. Thick, Thick, Thick. I could hear many wings come and go, but by 8:30am, I had not lifted up the gun.

Finally, about 8:45am the fog lifted for a bit and I quickly connected of 5 birds (Mallards and Teal). My dad was on the other side of the decoys and not much action was happening that way.

About 9:00am a flock of 4 geese came from the South. They were low due to the cloud cover, but were also riding a strong South Wind. When they came through about 40 yards to my left, I led the lead bird by about 10 feet and the third bird back dropped :). They were moving!!!!

I followed my 9 month old lab pup back to the area of the field the goose landed and he was running around the bird in a circle barking…. I guess I should’ve broken him in on Geese.

Upon returning to the blind, my dad connected on an additional three ducks.

About 10:00am a flock of 20 geese came in right and we connected on 5!!!!!!!

Once again, our lab (acting more like a coon hound) barked stood by the geese and barked rather than retrieving them. Funny, but going to have to work a bit on this one.

A few birds whitnessed and the October trickle migration that is occurring. A noticable increase in geese, but no where even close to peak.

Ended the day with a limit of honkers and 8 ducks. Not too bad.

Going to pack tomorrow for a trip up North to Sask. for some late season action.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota 10-19-2012 09:11
– – –
Rain, Rain, Rain….. much needed rain is falling accross Minnesota. Not large amounts, but we’ll take what we can get.

A trickle migration continues with some new divers showing up. However, this week has been pretty slow from what I have whitnessed.

I believe most of the migration is still North of the boarder and should provide some great late season opportunities for those who work at it.

I am heading to Sask next Thursday the 26th for 7 days for some very late season action up there. The snows will be well pushed through the area we go, so Canadians and Mallards will be the target!

I hope everyone is enjoying this speacial time of year and getting out there after them!

Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

North and Central 10-14-2012 10:16
– – –
The last week took me from Orr to Askov MN.

I was very pleased to see as many ducks as I did in both areas. I had some action every day. Ducks far more prevalent than a similar time in 2011..

A four bird Mallard limit west of Willow River on Friday.

A good mixed bag shoot on Elephant Lake (north of Orr) Thursday.

Skipped this morning, but will hunt my home area (Pine County) Monday and then head back north on Tuesday.

[Edited By Peter-Brown on 2012-10-14 10:18]

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota -Water 10-12-2012 10:11
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 10-20 Degrees – Open Water
Brrrrrrrrrrr! It was a brisk morning on the prairie with temps in the low to mid teens. When it gets to this stage of the season, you never know what to expect.

Hauled 4 dozen decoys back to a remote slough and was exhausted by the time legal shooting hours came. A non-scientific observation was that there was a minor migration over the past couple of days. Mainly green wing teal, Pintails, Gadwall, and a few Mallards. Very few divers yet though????? Seems like I should be seeing ringers and redheads but I am not.

Ended the morning with my limit of 5 green wingers and 1 big beautiful bufflehead that will be going on the wall.

I will be at the Gophers homecoming game tomorrow, so will not be out. Looks like a warming trend for the next week. Looks like the Mallard flight will once again be during and after deer season.

On a side note, there were pheasants cackling everywhere! Going to be one of the better openers in history I am predicting.

Get on out there and hunt em up!

[Edited By HonkerHotline on 2012-10-12 20:00]

Posted By:
knute
Web Member

Mahnomen county 10-09-2012 17:33
– – 25-30 Degrees – Open Water
Went up to Mahnomen on Friday morning with my 81 year old dad and 21 year old son. The son and I built a new blind on the shore of the lake, in the cattails, complete with straw bales to sit on. Him and his 81 yr old buddy have a liitle trouble walking and doing this stuff so we wanted to make sure they had a decent palce to hunt Saturday morning.
The kid and I sat in it from 2 til 4:oo on Friday. 30 degrees. 20-30 mph NW Wind. SNOWING LIKE MAD! Large flocks of ducks moving although nothing came near us.

Saturday, wind slowed down and 1″ of snow was melting. And we got skunked. 6 guys on the lake and no one fired a shot. The locals obviously took off and the northern birds hadn’t made it down yet.

Sunday, 24 DEGREES and 1/2″ ice on the calm parts of the lake. Only the son and I went out and while we saw a few more ducks, there were thousands of geese moving around. We managed to get two of the fattest teal I’ve ever seen and one cackler.

Very slow three days, But I got to hunt with three generations together for the first time in a while. Great weekend!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

East Central 10-08-2012 20:33
– – –
While Driving from St. Cloud to Cambridge today, I saw probably 1000 sandhill cranes in a 5 mile strech just East of Princeton. Also seemed to be a few more ducks in the area with a few good bunches of Mallards viewed.

Geese also seem to be hitting the corn hard in the St. Cloud area, but not huge numbers around at this time.

Very few divers present as well.

Although it has been a cold October thus far it seems like most of the migration is still North of us.

Looks like a warm up is coming as well.

Thats all for now.

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Posted By:
Canman OMaddie
Web Member

Carver County 10-08-2012 09:03
– – –
sucked!!!

Saturday morning, never fired a shot. Saw very few. A lot of boats at the launch, due to the southern closure.

Sunday afternoon was a total bust.

cold from pushed the birds out and no new ones in.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota – Water 10-07-2012 11:42
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – 10-20 Degrees – Ice
Ice, Ice, Baby!!!!

Setup on a different small slough that had 75 or so birds on it last night. Pond was half froze over, but the water was open where I wanted to setup. Actually, helped eliminate birds from landing on the other end.

The first shots heard were about 20 minutes into the morning… slow, slow, slow. Saw 1/16th of the birds that I did yesterday (which was not many). Ended the day with 4 greenwing teal and 1 gadwall.

Very few divers in the area.

Looks like warming this week. Might be entering a little lul.

It has been a good start to this season!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota – Water 10-07-2012 11:36
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – 10-20 Degrees – Ice
Ice, Ice, Baby!!!!

Setup on a different small slough that had 75 or so birds on it last night. Pond was half froze over, but the water was open where I wanted to setup. Actually, helped eliminate birds from landing on the other end.

The first shots heard were about 20 minutes into the morning… slow, slow, slow. Saw 1/16th of the birds that I did yesterday (which was not many). Ended the day with 4 greenwing teal and 1 gadwall.

Very few divers in the area.

Looks like warming this week. Might be entering a little lul.

It has been a good start to this season!

Posted By:
jasonmn24
Web Member

10-06-2012 14:24
– – –
Divers…. Redheads, ringneck and a ruddy duck

Lots of geese, nothing wanted to finish.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota – Water 10-06-2012 10:43
Cloudy, High Winds – 35-40 Degrees
Fun hunt this morning. Hit a small slough and setup a small puddler spread. Had action right away and scored a tripple of Getwells! (Aka Gadwall). After tracking those down (almost had a heart attack due to the mud (man is field hunting so much easier) a flock of ringers came in. Got 2 and finished up with a lone ringer.

Not a ton of birds viewed, but enough to keep it interesting. Very few geese and no feeds in the fields.

I suspect a few new birds today, but not a big push.

Good luck to all that venture out tomorrow. This is the best rime of year. Get out and enjoy it!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central MN 10-05-2012 17:14
– – –
The West wind is blowing…. Did not see many birds at all in my travels around the State today. I assume many said “see yah” last night. Will be interesting to see if we have a mid-season lull or if some Calendar ducks show up in the coming days.

All I know is it sure feels more like hunting weather and that is refreshing.

Good luck to all that go afield this weekend and Post Up!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Conditions 10-02-2012 18:07
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – Over 70 Degrees
Conditions continue to be very harm here in Central MN. Looks like a cold front coming in later in the week that will surely send the remaining teal in the area packing and probably a few woodies as well. However, it should push in some of the calendar ducks ringers, etc.

Not a lot of birds moving today during my travels and even fewer birds viewed. The harvest is nearly complete, so opportunities to hunt fields have never been greater.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

North Dakota 10-01-2012 20:27
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – Over 70 Degrees
Took a trip out West this week. See my post on the ND page.

Will be setting up for some woodies when the season opens back up on Saturday.

Posted By:
jasonmn24
Web Member

09-30-2012 17:36
– – –
We had a whole lake to ourselves.

We shot 2 wood ducks, a green wing, and a blue winger.

Posted By:
jasonmn24
Web Member

09-29-2012 18:13
– – –
Hunted with a buddy of mine. We decided to hunt some public land. The water is down a lot.

Only shot 1 blue wing today. Would have been better if 2 guys that walked in behind us weren’t shooting birds. The even shot a robin.

The joys of hunting public land.

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Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Posts 09-25-2012 19:24
– – –
Love the reports guys…. keep em coming. I will be out on Thursday morning chasing some woodies. We’ll see if we can get one for the wall!

Posted By:
knute
Web Member

Mahnomen county 09-25-2012 16:23
Cloudy, High Winds – 30-34 Degrees – Ice
Best opener in twenty years, at least.
Hunted the traditional lake with dad and friends. Saturday, dark cloudy skies and 15-20 mph winds and 34 degrees. Perfect hunting weather.

Had my limit by 8:30. Ringers and teal.
The strange thing was the different ducks on the different sides of the lake. It’s a small 100 acre lake that sits adjacent to my buddies farm and we had all sides covered. All I saw on the north side were teal and ringbills. Our guys on the east side saw only woodies and teal. the guys on the south end shot mallards and ringers and one goose, but everyone got shooting.

Sunday was a whole diferent story. Clear sky, sunny, no wind and 24 degrees. Whereas we saw flocks of 20 to 100 on Saturday, it was all ones and twos and threes on Sunday.
Managed to pick up a mallard and two more teal though.
Total we got 38 ducks, 1 goose, and 1 merganser for six guys for the weekend. a very happy group.

Posted By:
jasonmn24
Web Member

09-25-2012 13:50
– – –
Opener had a buddy and I hunting our plan b spot, just south and about 150 yards from where we were going to hunt.

Saturday we shot 5, one young drake woodie, and 4 blue wingers.

Sunday, we hunted the same lake, just down the shoreline farther. Only 1 teal.

Posted By:
Swamp Gas
Web Member

09-24-2012 17:58
– – –
Had a great hunt on Saturday. Tons of blue wings. Could have been done in the first 5 minutes. Held off for some bigger ducks. Finished in 45 minutes with a mixed bag of mallards, Woodies and both species of teal.

Sunday was a different story. Teal were almost all gone. I’m sure the mid 20 degree temps pushed them out. Even had a little ice in the calm shallow water. Bagged a few teal with some Woodies and a mallard.

Posted By:
Paul-Burton
Field Editor

skime 09-24-2012 14:34
– – –
Great opening morning! The lake we hunted is very low on water so we had quite the mission to get to water.
1. run river to lake with 12′ boat and motor, towing 10′ jon boat.
2. stash big boat and DRAG jon boat 200+ yards to water, DEATH MARCH. Walk another 100 yards in 1.5′ of water to find cover to blind up in.
We set a mix of mallard and teal decoys. The morning flight was intense! only took me half a box of shells to get “warmed up” and start hitting birds. by 8 am my dad and i were done with 12 birds, 10 teal and 2 mallards, stoked to start the season with 2 doubles, the mallards and one pair of teal.
The march back was about the same but found a more direct route to the big boat.

Day 2 was the total opposite of day 1. We changed our game plan and decided to carry less gear and no dog. made a plan to set up in a dry spot and hunt over water from lay out blinds. All or most of the teal had left with the 24 degree night we had. Still a few birds around but not even close to the numbers we saw on saturday. Never pulled the trigger. Besides weather, i had concerns that the other groups of hunters that were sky blasting most of the morning on saturday hunted most of the day and pushed birds out. Thanks boys.
Everyone should have a clear understanding of what effective shooting distance is with a 12 gauge. 60+ yards will not kill a bird, why even try?

Posted By:
Canman OMaddie
Web Member

Sibley county 09-24-2012 14:25
– – –
hundreds of Woodies leaving lake before First light. Not many came back.

Teal were aboundant.

6 teal and 1 big motha goose.

try again next weekend

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Western mn 09-22-2012 13:46
– – –
Well….. day one is in the books and what a morning it was!!!!!!

After two long and tiring scouting trips I landed on a .5 acre slough in the middle of a section. Friday morning had approx 150 Mallards and 50 teal.

Put the birds to bed and had about 100 birds in the decoys 20 mins before shooting time…. man it was light early.

Walked out and scared them away, so I didn’t bust all of them on one barrage. When first shots commenced it was unreal…… Everybody was shooting. I bet 20kof ammo was burned up.

First group came in and dropped two teal… my dad didnt fire (forgot to put one in the chamber 🙂

After that we had singles and dounles work us steady till 9:30am.

Ended the day with a nice retrieve by our pup.

6 Greenheads (well not much green yet) 2 Suzie’s, 3 Teal, and a nice Pintail.

Great start to the hunting season! Will be back after then tomorrow on a spot that litterally might kill me to get to.

[Edited By HonkerHotline on 2012-09-22 13:48]

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota 09-21-2012 12:41
– – –
Good luck to all afield this weeked!

Not sure how the duck shoot will be, but they are pullin down corn and beans like crazy. Pheasant opener will be epic as there will be nothing standing by then.

If you could use a mojo, I would be hunting corn tomorrow!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota 09-21-2012 12:40
– – –
Good luck to all afield this weeked!

Not sure how the duck shoot will be, but they are pullin down corn and beans like crazy. Pheasant opener will be epic as there will be nothing standing by then.

If you could use a mojo, I would be hunting corn tomorrow!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota 09-21-2012 12:38
– – –
Good luck to all afield this weeked!

Not sure how the duck shoot will be, but they are pullin down corn and beans like crazy. Pheasant opener will be epic as there will be nothing standing by then.

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Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central Minnesota 09-19-2012 17:17
– – –
Good numbers of Ducks and Geese hunkered down staying out of the wind on various ponds and rivers through the Central Minnesota Area.

Counting down the hours!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Western, MN / Central MN 09-16-2012 19:44
– – –
Put on over 400 miles today scouting the Central MN and Western MN areas. Western, MN is very dry with most small wetlands completely gone from the lack of rain. By far, the most birds viewed was aroung the Fergus Falls and Benson areas. Anything further West of there was pretty much a waste of time (I traveled within a mile of the SD boarder multiple times).

Also a lot of birds South of St. Cloud towards Kimball, Dassel, etc.

Saw a number of goose hunters afield and heard quite a bit of shooting.

Please send me a private message if you are looking for more information.

Posted By:
Swamp Gas
Web Member

09-15-2012 22:39
– – –
The USGS site won’t let me check three level for LOTW last year for some reason.

Posted By:
limitsbynoon
Web Member

09-15-2012 21:54
– – –
Swamp gas, thanks for relaying that info, the lake was down last year and I was hoping they were getting some water out of Canada since the drought is getting worse in MN by the day. Good luck to everyone next weekend on the opener.

[Edited By limitsbynoon on 2012-09-15 21:58]

Posted By:
Swamp Gas
Web Member

09-14-2012 15:59
– – –
Nooner. according to the US army corps of engineers station at Warroad the lake is up about a foot since Jan 1 2012. Up a half foot since May. The data indicates it’s been pretty steady all summer too. Not sure how accurate it is.

Posted By:
limitsbynoon
Web Member

Lake of the woods 09-13-2012 17:38
– – –
Does anyone know how low the water levels are on Lake of the Woods? I know it is extremely dry here in central mn and I am wondering if the water levels are worse up there. Any comments would be great. Thanks

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Scouting Report 09-06-2012 21:39
– – –
Members:

Check out my scouting report in the Discussion Forum….

[Edited By HonkerHotline on 2012-09-06 21:40]

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central Minnesota 08-28-2012 18:40
– – –
Ducks Ducks Ducks!

Continue to see very good numbers of local ducks in the Central MN area. More than I have seen in a number of years.

Should be a good opener!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central Minnesota 08-05-2012 17:15
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – 60-65 Degrees
Took a back roads cross country trip early this morning while on the way to shoot some sporting clays and observed good numbers of Mallards, Teal, and Wood Ducks on the rural potholes. Even whitnessed a couple of flocks of Mallards in the 10 – 12 bird range.

These observations are an increase in what I saw last year at this time and last year was a good hunting season for me.

I will be attending the Anoka Game Fair this Friday and am counting down the days till the start of the season!

For those of you who haven’t, the next couple weeks are a great time to pull out the shotguns and get to the sporting clay range to prepare.

Till next time….

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central MN 07-14-2012 16:39
– – –
HOT HOT HOT…….

Looks like another week of 90+ degrees. Thus far crops have been doing ok, but if we don’t get a shot of rain over the next week things could be dismal here in Minnesota.

Duck and Goose numbers continue to be promising and I am counting down the days till the season starts. Hard to believe we are almost to August!

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Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Minnesota 07-04-2012 09:16
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – Over 70 Degrees
It is HOT!!!!! 95+ degrees for the past 4 days up here on the Northern Prairie.

Continue to see a solid hatch of Canadian Geese and ducks. Recent rainfall has ponds in good shape with water in areas I have not seen in years. Went to retrieve a deer camera last night 1/4 mile out into a swamp and found water chest high.

Happy Independence Day Everyone and stay cool!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central Minnesota 05-27-2012 17:49
Cloudy, Rain & Thunderstorms – 60-65 Degrees
Another quick report.

Broods of Woodies, Mallards, Ring Necks, and Geese plentiful in the area. A tremendous amount of non-breeding geese milling around as well. Saw one field Saturday morning with about 300 birds in it. The farmers may not be as excited as I am (they were walking down the planted corn rows doing some damage).

Down South boys…. things are looking good for this coming hunting season!!!!!!

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central Minnesota 05-22-2012 07:50
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – 60-65 Degrees
Quick Report:

Central Minnesota appears to be maintaining average water levels. I am seeing lots of ducks and geese milling around. More than last year I would estimate.

The goose hatch has to be nothing short of spectacular. Many broods to be found on the area wetlands and golf courses :).

Good luck to all of you Trap and Sporting Clays shooters this summer!

Posted By:
knute
Web Member

Rochester 11-28-2011 12:05
Cloudy, High Winds – 30-34 Degrees – Ice
Feild hunted last day of the season in Rochester for geese. There are alot more geese than last time I was down but they are pretty well educated. With 25 mile an hour winds they were very leary of decoying. We did manage to get three geese. Also saw a number of large flocks of mallards migrating. Too little, too late!
With a lot of geese still upnorth, the late season should bring some luck on geese if they don’t all go in one big push.

Posted By:
1gander
Guest

none 11-25-2011 21:50
Cloudy, Winds Calm – 45-50 Degrees
wish could b able to get out but work hampering effort my lake choices still open water in ec mn hope yall get chance to get out b4 season close tc

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central MN 11-25-2011 13:39
Cloudy, Snow & Rain Mix – 30-34 Degrees – Ice
Scouted a field for the morning. 20 or so flocks of honkers and ducks hitting the corn stubble. As Peter mentioned, there are geese everywhere in Minnesota right now. Pretty much using open water inside of city limits during the day and flying out to feed both mornings and evenings.

I will post up results.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central MN 11-25-2011 13:39
Cloudy, Snow & Rain Mix – 30-34 Degrees – Ice
Scouted a field for the morning. 20 or so flocks of honkers and ducks hitting the corn stubble. As Peter mentioned, there are geese everywhere in Minnesota right now. Pretty much using open water inside of city limits during the day and flying out to feed both mornings and evenings.

I will post up results.

Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

North Metro, Anoka County 11-25-2011 11:04
Mostly Sunny, No Precipitation – 30-34 Degrees – Open Water
I returned to my old area Wednesday AM, Hunted Centerville Lake.

Four other parties hunting.

Very little action, no birds taken.

A ton of Geese in the area, but they are very hunter wise.

Didn’t hunt Thanksgiving morning for the first time in many years.

We’ll see, I might be done for 2011.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

MN 11-22-2011 19:50
– – –
Hunted a corn field and shot two limits of Big Mallards in 30 minutes.

Birds did it right and we were able to be selective with our shots. Most were about 15 yards on the shelf.

Also two honkers as well. One weighed 16.8 pounds.

Fun hunt!

Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

Pine County, Willow River Area 11-22-2011 08:28
Mostly Cloudy, No Precipitation – 25-30 Degrees – Ice
When for a ride about yesterday afternoon. Almost everything is frozen solid.

No birds seen on any of the little open water observed.

I’m sure there are birds somewhere on bigger water, but I think it’s over in this area.

I’ll probably head south for one last try.

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Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

11-17-2011 20:04
– – –
Hunted the ND/SD boarder yesterday and this morning.

Yesterday, we hit it perfect. 15 BIG BIG Fat Greenheads and 3 drake Pins. Also got 2 bonus specs and 10 snow geese. Thousands of ducks worked our spread from 8am (Shooting was 7am and we didn’t have a bird work us for the first hour…. depressing and thought they were all gone). I imagine it was because of the cold (12 degrees when we headed out). After 8 we had flocks of 50-100 mallards working us every 5-10 minutes.

Today, we headed out to a balmy 1 degree temp. Again, nothing flew until about 8:15am. Afterward, we saw a good amount of snows, but very few mallards.

I am going to be out here for another 5 days, but am fearing the show is over. Guess we’ll try the pheasants.

Today 5 greenheads and 1 snow.

As we drove back to our hunting shack, very few ducks were visable and every piece of water was froze. A select few geese were sitting on the ice, but I can say I was visually satisfied viewing the awe of the North American Migration. I saw millions of birds yesterday and today was measured in the thousands.

Southern boys be ready… they are coming!!!!!!!!

Thank-you to everyone for your great reports this year. I had a great season, am extremely tired, and am very satisfied.

Best of luck to all of you!

Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

Pine County, west of Willow River 11-17-2011 13:09
Cloudy, Winds Calm – 10-20 Degrees – Open Water
Saw much more this morning. Bunches of divers and a good group of Mallards.

The only birds to decoy were Hooded Mergasers, passed on them for sure.

At lot of the small water froze up.

It’s not near over yet, back after them tomorrow.

Posted By:
Paul-Burton
Field Editor

North of Morris 11-17-2011 11:33
– – 10-20 Degrees – Ice
Almost everything is iced here, even big water. Lots of geese huddled up on ice not open water. We have a patch of open water about 10 yards wide, 25 yards long. Killed 1 pair golden eyes and 2 other singles. Quiet. Back to brained tomorrow to hunt real big water.

Posted By:
Peter-Brown
Field Editor

Pine County, between Hinkley & Willow River 11-16-2011 20:18
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – 25-30 Degrees – Open Water
I’ve been bouncing around and had mixed results. Last Friday I bagged a few divers and was encouraged by what I saw. Sat and Sunday were a bust.

Today things looked good again. Birds in the area and a few in the boat including a fine northern greenhead.

I’ve been trying to pattern the area’s black geese, but to no avail. They are here today gone tomorrow.

I’m hoping(as we all are)that the coming weather stirs things up a little.

My partner hunting the north merto says there were a bunch of new birds in the centerville area this morning. He picked up three in a short hunt.

Good luck to all in these final weeks

Posted By:
Paul-Burton
Field Editor

Brainerd area 11-13-2011 19:23
– – –
Saturday was a totally different from days earlier in the week. Seems in this part of the state the birds moved on. No major weather but calm clear night with a near full moon Friday.
Same point from the previous 2 days for a few from our group and Trav and I headed south. Point guys had only one flock of GoldenEyes work them and bagged 5. That was it for them. Very few birds seen.Trav and I shot 3 singles and messed up on 3 mallards and messed up on a trip of G eyes. Did not see any other birds.
Have heard similar reports from others. Haven’t looked around to see if birds are on other water. There are good number of birds north still. Let’s hope they come before the 22nd.

Posted By:
Paul-Burton
Field Editor

Brained area 11-11-2011 21:08
– – 30-34 Degrees – Open Water
What a week, straight EPIC!
Mallards on Sunday, ringers on Tuesday, golden eyes on wed.
Yesterday and today were the grandest show of what migration has started. Hunted my favorite point on big water both days. There are birds around and quite the variety of species. Yesterday we hunted until 830. Walked off with 10 birds for two guys. Golden eyes, one mallard and buffs. Birds did fly late and showed promise of activity late into the morn.
Today was unbelievable. 3 of us shot our 18 by 10 am. Mallards maple leafing into our diver spread, golden eyes coming in low in groups of 4-8 and some bonus redheads! We saw cans, buffs, geese, and bills working the lake. Usually we will just have primarily golden eyes and buffs.
Hitting it hard the next 11 days, might make all of em.

It’s time, load up and get some!!!!

Posted By:
Canman OMaddie
Web Member

none 11-11-2011 09:04
– – –
From what I read on this site and others is the migration is still in the early stages. with ringers, shovelers, few mallards.

just an observation

jon

Deer hunting again this weekend. It’s gonna be in the mid 50s and very little wind. I’ll take a day or two next week to chase them ducks again.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Deer Stand (Central MN) 11-09-2011 19:10
– – –
While in the deer stand today I saw good numbers of geese and Mallards flying. A couple groups seemed high and moving south, but most were just milling around.

Anyone who enjoys the migration needs to get out and hunt between now and the 22nd as Paul said below.

I will be heading to South Dakota on Sunday for a week. Hopefully I can hit it right as well.

Posted By:
Paul-Burton
Field Editor

Brainerd area 11-09-2011 18:45
– – –
Seems to be good numbers of new birds in this part of the state.
Hunted small water on Tuesday. Over 500 ringers were stacked up on Monday. Drug the boat thru the woods with excitement like Christmas to be bummed to find ice. 19 degrees and no wind at night is bad for small water. Went for it anyway. Side note, a Lund ducker square back has to be one of the most stable boats I have ever used. Paddled and broke ice setting dekes while STANDING in the boat. 30 loose mixed diver dekes in a J pattern and by 5 to 7 the lake was a tornado. I have never seen so many birds work over water and want in. A safe bet would be multiple groups giving a total of at least 600 birds, EPIC!!
Ice killed us. Birds worked and worked and worked but would not take any chances. Our dekes froze over early and left us with very little open water. If there had been no ice it would have been a crazy shoot. We took safe passing shots and watched groups leave, comeback and seemed to see new birds come to this lake from afar. By 815 birds had found pockets of open water and we had 7 birds in the bag. All ringers. Other note-birds seemed to want to be in the early sun more than anywhere. We were on the morning shade side and it did seem to give us less looks.
Wednesday morn hit big water and did same diver set. The GoldenEyes are here!!!! Not in crazy numbers but enough to bag 4 and two lawn darts.
One other note. A friend of mine has seen small groups of divers flying low but later morning. 9-10 am.
Hitting it hard hopefully every day till the 22nd and the end of the northern season.

Posted By:
1gander
Guest

carlos avery east central mn 11-09-2011 17:49
Cloudy, Winds Calm – 40-45 Degrees
hunted last two days were fair yesterday 1 spoon 1 lost mallard one beautiful pair of hooded mergansers in decoys did not shoot had many chances was being picky.seen mallards working rice behind islands were many shovelers working shallows west of boat launch.geese gone b4 shootin time.today 3 greenheads had hen ringer swimming in decoys mallards left lake due to higher hunting pressure they headed east n did not return.also heard sporadic shots on north pool and tundra swans were migrating through area again.will not b able to get out b4 close on 27th but will post up on goose hunts after that time good luck all

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Posted By:
1gander
Guest

east central mn 11-07-2011 22:20
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – 45-50 Degrees
well birds were here finally not in mass quantities but def some new birds ended up with spoonie drake mallard should had more but i m ok with it seen cans,gadwall,spoonies,and dec numbers mallards no new geese though,also seen flock after flock of migrating tundra swans was steady all day with the swans.ducks kinda setteled down after two pm was little evening activity.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

Central MN 11-07-2011 20:26
– – –
They’re Here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted By:
Olson
Web Member

Western Mn. 11-07-2011 20:05
– – –
Thanks for the report Ole. We hunted last Thursday thru Sunday. Shot some ducks and had lots of Bills on Thursday morning. Actually unloaded the gun and sat and watched flock after flock of Bills work the decoys, wished it was like back in the 70’s when we could shoot Bonus Bluebills. It was fun to watch for about an hour and a half they kept coming. Of course I called everyone and told them to get up there and we never fired a shot Friday thru Sunday morning. Couldn’t figure it out but we had those 40mph south winds for three days. Got home last night and tonight my Farmer called and said the Bills are thick. He has only called me twice in the last 20 years to say the Bills are there and I have been in So. Dak. both times. Got the truck packed and am heading back up in the morning. have reinforcements coming up tomorrow afternoon, and I gotta be back Thursday cause I am leaving for So Dak Friday for 10 days. Hoping to capitalize on this overnight infflux of birds. If we got Bills today you must have too Ole’ Check it out. Hopefully this warm fall is finally getting on and we are going to shoot the big water ducks. Man I won’t sleep much tonight. I’ll try to post up when I get back on Thursday before I leave on Friday. Sounds like now is the time , I hope you can get away to take it in. please post your efforts and results and I will do the same. Time to get out there everybody, GOOD LUCK!!

Posted By:
Ole-Anderson
Field Editor

Bemidji 11-07-2011 19:35
Cloudy, High Winds – 35-40 Degrees
Wet dog, and the slow hunting in northern MN continues……

Pete and I hunted a little spot that usually holds a few birds this time of year. Saw 9 mallards and only fired one shot and got one nice greenhead.

After the hunt, watched a local lake and it seems we picked up a few birds yesterday afternoon as the lake was buzzing.

Talked with a buddy tonight that spent the whole day in the deer stand and he said he saw at least 25 flocks of migrating mallards and he wasn’t even really watching for them. It appears Canada may have frozen over and lost all it’s birds on one 24 hour period.

Time to start hitting the fields in 3 more days…..

Posted By:
knute
Web Member

Rochester 11-07-2011 12:28
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 35-40 Degrees
Feild hunted for geese in the Rochester area today. Never fired a shot. Very few geese came out of the refuge, and none near us. Saw one large flock of migrators coming into town about 9:00.

Rochester only has about a third of the geese as normal for this time of year.

The northwinds predicted this week should help.

Posted By:
1gander
Guest

carlos avery pool8 11-06-2011 19:47
Cloudy, High Winds – 45-50 Degrees
hunted pool 8 today had some oppurtunities just didnt capitalize birds were very wary but did work just took time seen about 100 mallards total that is with what was flying over refuge too had about 8 work the spread had three gadwall n about 15 gwt working too just missed the shots.also seen 1 flock mallards moving se high in v formation probably thirty birds.also were geese near by this morning but left after first five minutes shooting time.will b out again tomorrow will post when done at end of day.good luck all n pay attention to weather parts of canada r quite cold with snow winnipeg is exception last report was 34 degrees snow light mist

Posted By:
1gander
Guest

none 11-05-2011 19:14
Sunny & Clear, High Winds – 50-60 Degrees
didnt get out spent day oberving scouting seen fewer than 100 ducks total seen some geese not the normal amount i m used to seeing will b out on a small pool tomorrow with only a couple decoys will post results

Posted By:
jasonmn24
Web Member

west central 11-02-2011 00:59
– – –
Hunted a couple of public lands last weekend.

Saturday, we walked a half mile to a pot hole. There were ducks flying around by they wanted to be about another 1/2 mile north of us. 0 ducks shot.

Sunday, we dragged the jon boat to another public land. Buffleheads are here every year. Dogs first time in the boat this year. She retrieved 10 out of 11. The one drake we saw and shot dived on her. Other then that, she did well.

Posted By:
HonkerHotline
Web Member

None 10-31-2011 22:02
– – –
Paul,

Why fight it….. Season might as well open the last week in September and close until November.

I am as frusterated as you are.

Just arrived in NW ND. Will post up after each hunt.

Posted By:
hannibal
Web Member

Not in Missouri 10-31-2011 20:00
– – –
They have not moved down here yet. We had our worst opener since we bought our farm in 2007. Four of us shot 24 birds by 8:30am last year on the opener and this year 4 shot 2 wood ducks (morning and evening hunt)…..horrible. Absolutely no ducks (very few) down here so far. Obviously if you all are not seeing them must be much further North. I think based on the weather prognosticators that it is going to be a late push. My fear is it will be so late that you better plan your time off with the push or you will miss the show in it’s entirety. Normally there is a much better trickle migration by now and we have not seen anything like that yet. Thanksgiving week is when I get started and hoping that I have timed it “right” this year. It is about a week later than I normally get things cranked up. Right now I think the birds are about 2 weeks behind but that can all change with a blink of an eye and 1 foot of snow in the North.

Cross your fingers and pray for a push soon!

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