Michigan Duck and Goose Hunting Report Archive

Posted By:
John-Cottenham
Field Editor

N Dakota report 06-18-2012 15:56
– – –
Spring Duck Index Up, Water Conditions Down

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department’s annual spring breeding duck survey showed an index of 4.8 million birds, up 16 percent from last year and 112 percent above the long-term average (1948-2011). The 2012 index is the third highest on record.

All species were well above the long-term average. Wigeon (+88 percent) and green-winged teal (+221 percent) were at record highs. Mallards, gadwall, blue-winged teal, shovelers, redheads and ruddy ducks exceeded the long-term average by more than 100 percent.

Only pintails, shovelers and canvasbacks were down more than 10 percent from last year, and mallards were essentially unchanged. Blue-winged teal were at their highest level since 2001, missing the record high by less than 1 percent.

“Excellent production last summer brought many breeding pairs back to the state,” said Mike Szymanski, waterfowl biologist. “Fortunately, there was still enough habitat to attract them to North Dakota.”

The spring water index was down 57 percent from 2011 and 6 percent from the long-term average. Compared to last year, Szymanski said water indices observed on individual transects were all down 50-65 percent. The water index is based on basins with water, and does not necessarily represent the amount of water contained in wetlands.

“Water conditions were good in larger wetlands, but the lack of snow this past winter and the lack of significant spring rains reduced the number of temporary and seasonal wetlands,” Szymanski said. “Undoubtedly, many wetlands dried up within days of completing the survey.”

Additionally, nesting cover in North Dakota continues to decline. During the survey, Szymanski noted many large tracts of grassland and Conservation Reserve Program land had been converted to cropland since last year. “North Dakota currently has about 2.3 million acres of CRP, which is down about 30 percent from 2007,” Szymanski added. “Projections are that more than 650,000 acres will be lost in 2012, and an additional 1.1 million acres will be lost in 2013-14. The loss of critical nesting cover will be disastrous for breeding ducks, other nesting birds and hunting opportunities in the future.”

The July brood survey will provide a better idea of duck production and insight into expectations for this fall. Observations to date indicate prospects for good production across the state given abundant breeding pairs and average wetland conditions.

jacduck Getting the plans in motion for the 11-12 season. Hope to be able to hunt 130 days + in several states again. You guys in the central flyway keep your powder dry! A serious hunter has to plan ahead! BSEG!

Posted By:
John-Cottenham
Field Editor

middle of the mitten 06-08-2012 15:08
– – Over 70 Degrees
I had good news from TX. Our group which leases around 22,000 acres in the Matagorda Co. area is expanding into AR. Looks like we have a lease of 9,000 acres of farmland and ponds in SE AR. What fun to see the opportunities expand. If it works out like I think it might the TX dudes that join up will be amazed at how many ducks there really are.

jacduck Getting the plans in motion for the 11-12 season. Hope to be able to hunt 130 days + in several states again. You guys in the central flyway keep your powder dry! A serious hunter has to plan ahead! BSEG!

Posted By:
John-Cottenham
Field Editor

middle of the mitten 06-08-2012 15:05
Mostly Sunny, No Precipitation – Over 70 Degrees
Well it happened again! June 5th the molt migrants passed through the Gladwin area. There are still some stragglers flocked up and it is easy to tell them from the nesters who are paired and escorting young. Anyone else follow the migration north?

jacduck Getting the plans in motion for the 11-12 season. Hope to be able to hunt 130 days + in several states again. You guys in the central flyway keep your powder dry! A serious hunter has to plan ahead! BSEG!

Posted By:
John-Cottenham
Field Editor

Middle of the Mitten 11-09-2011 16:02
Cloudy, High Winds – 40-45 Degrees
Looks like a big snow north of us in Canada so get out there tomorrow and the next day and then see what happens for the week-end.

jacduck Getting the plans in motion for the 11-12 season. Hope to be able to hunt 130 days + in several states again. You guys in the central flyway keep your powder dry! A serious hunter has to plan ahead! BSEG!

Posted By:
John-Cottenham
Field Editor

Middle of the Mitten 11-08-2011 06:56
Cloudy, Rain & Thunderstorms – 35-40 Degrees
Well today is the last day of goose season here in the middle and it is raining like mad and I don’t hunt in the rain. Field geese decoy shy but I got my two yesterday in soy beans a first for me. Never hunted cut soys before. Water geese decoy shy and still loafing on small waters. Got my two day before yesterday. All in all a so so season on geese for me and ducks are absent where I have been hunting. May get to da bay tomorrow if the rain lets up.

jacduck Getting the plans in motion for the 11-12 season. Hope to be able to hunt 130 days + in several states again. You guys in the central flyway keep your powder dry! A serious hunter has to plan ahead! BSEG!

Posted By:
John-Cottenham
Field Editor

Middle of the Mitten 11-02-2011 06:30
– – –
As advertised the majority of woodies left here around the 26th of October. There are still some around but the majority have left. They are called summer ducks elsewhere but I now consider them to be calendar ducks in the middle of MI since the past 27 years I have watched them on my home lake they have chosen Oct 26 as the departure done gone date.

jacduck Getting the plans in motion for the 11-12 season. Hope to be able to hunt 130 days + in several states again. You guys in the central flyway keep your powder dry! A serious hunter has to plan ahead! BSEG!

Posted By:
quacksmaker
Web Member

zone3 livingston co 10-22-2011 19:05
Sunny & Clear, Winds Calm – 40-45 Degrees
its been a good week today shot 8mallards.looks like most woodys moved on.time to get out layoutboat in water for divers good luck be safe keep up post on sagbay.

Posted By:
John-Cottenham
Field Editor

Middle of the Mitten 10-22-2011 18:07
Mostly Sunny, No Precipitation – 45-50 Degrees
Back from ND and what a blast. Thanks guys for the posts I appreciate them. Family problems are keeping me from the water but soon I hope to be into some birds. Report from the sunrise side of Sag Bay says bills are in but not great numbers. Water levels good which really means better than a few years ago.

Play safe, many of you know we lost a hunter at fish point to a gunshot wound. Only speculation is what I am hearing so I will not repeat any so called details.

jacduck Getting the plans in motion for the 11-12 season. Hope to be able to hunt 130 days + in several states again. You guys in the central flyway keep your powder dry! A serious hunter has to plan ahead! BSEG!

Posted By:
quacksmaker
Web Member

Zone 3 Livingston County 10-16-2011 13:23
Cloudy, High Winds – 45-50 Degrees
What a difference weather can make. Saturday the 15th shot 4 Woodies and 8 Mallards. Sunday the 16th shot one Woody and 7 Mallards not a bad weekend. Keep your eyes to the sky and you will see more Ducks!

Posted By:
Leduck2u
Guest

Fish Point Refuge, Unionville MI 10-14-2011 11:55
Cloudy, Winds Calm – 60-65 Degrees
Hunted in the morning of the 13th. Decent draw, not many birds flying in the morning. Maybe this new front will bring them in. The skybusters are alive and well here so far.

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