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.
Central MN 11-23-2012 19:09
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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.
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.
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.
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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!
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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.
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.
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.
Brainerd area 11-04-2012 10:45
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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.
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!
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!