Wisconsin Hunting Reports

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51 responses to Wisconsin Hunting Reports

  1. I chased ditch chickens over the weekend and I was slightly amazed at how many ducks I saw on the spring fed creeks. I saw one flock 8 black ducks, that is 5 more than I have seen while hunting them. This is the year we could have used a few more days in December.

  2. Jeez, the report area is all the way to the bottom of the page! We ended the season on a high note by hunting a river and got 3 mallards on the last day. The last drake was taken about 20 minutes before closing. Love those end of the season birds. They are so much bigger than the locals. One of the birds was so stuffed with corn it was coming out of the beak when we picked it up.

  3. Took the dog for a walk this afternoon. There is a drainage creek between houses with some open water. I is maybe 10 feet wide but there must have been 20 big two curlers in that water. City ducks, they barely even swam away much less fly!

  4. The little river I duck hunt on filled up with green heads on Sunday afternoon. They appeared out of the heavens starting around 1:30 and kept coming till about 3. Or course I was sitting in my deer stand questioning if I should go home and get my dog and decoys. Last year the big groups of green heads showed up on October 30th.

    • We also hunt a little river at this time of year but have only been doing it a couple of years. We go for opening and it is usually done by 9. Do the ducks usually come to the river in the afternoon like that? Maybe we are going too early and would do better off by getting there at noon. Does it always pattern out that way?

  5. I had a normal season compared the last 5 or 8. Hit and miss all season, with the big push coming after duck is closed. Still have goose hunting opportunities in the Chippewa Valley, but it really sucks when the greenheads pile in too. Lack of water really condensed the ducks, but the geese were in their normal places at normal times.

    I don’t think that we need to push season back a week, but push the divider for north and south back to highway 64 where it was 8 or 10 years ago. We’d be in the south zone then where we belong. The northern guys would get their early start like they want, and us in the middle would be better off too!

  6. Went back up to Horicon today and as I suspected the marsh was froze tight. Even the greenhead lauch had ice on it. I did see where the river was open further down from the launch but once you got to the marsh it would be all iced over anyway. Looked like one boat broke through though. Burnett’s ditch was busted up for a little way but then it was solid too. Pike Lake on Highway 60 had ice for twenty yards around the edge and the bay on the southeast end was iced over. I didn’t see any birds in the open water.

  7. I agree Bill, I had 3 days in the Eau Claire area where I saw lots of birds, and that’s was about it. I wish they would move our season back a few weeks. I would rather get froze out than miss the big push by a week.

    • I also would like to see the season structure modifidied. Opener first Sat. in October. Open 9 days then closed for 5. Then finish out the 60 days. This would give us a chance at the early puddle ducks, then a break during a normal slow time, aand back at it when the northern birds are starting to move. I would rather miss a few days early and the possibility of teal and make it up on the back end with divers and Canadian mallards.

  8. Hunted Horicon on Friday 11/22. Water was totally open but was starting to freeze in the reeds before I left at 2:30. Did not see a duck and heard one or two shots.
    Hunted this morning and it was a typical end of the season freeze out day. Got to the Chestnut street dock and 5 boats were already there. Apparently a few other guys knew this was the day to be there. The boat houses were frozen in and about 25% of the marsh was frozen. More would have been except there was a strong wind blowing all night. All kinds of ducks were flying around in flocks from 10 to 100. Flights started about 9 and were still going on when we left at 1. Unfortunately we were not on the X again. Someone to the west of us were getting 90% of the shots. He was near the split between the main ditch and the Rock River. that boat had at least a half dozen ducks before we left. Great day for him. We took home one duck that we took out of flock of 6. Missed a single but those were our only chances.
    Unfortunately, I think the marsh will be froze tight by tomorrow morning, The temps will get to single digits and the wind is supposed to stop. When we were coming back in some of the ice was getting in that 1/2 inch range. Of course, Greenhead will be open but by the time you get to Malzone’s it will be froze over..

  9. With the northern season closed, I thought I would give my thoughts on the 2013 season. Only made it out 8 times, one great hunt, one good hunt, and the rest were slow. Number of birds seen were about half of what I saw in 2012. The lack of Ringbills and Teal was very noticeable. Could be I missed the days they were around, but I hit almost every cold front that went through. Overall I would judge the 2013 season in the Eau Claire area as fair at best and much worse than 2012. Also a couple of comments on the website. Don’t know if the changes turned people away, but their sure is not the exchange of information that occurred on the old site. I also miss the migration report maps on the old site. Good Luck to all.

  10. Horicon was about 1/3 froze over this morning. There was some ice in the main ditch but nothing that you couldn’t plow your way through. Stoney Bay was open and the area where the east rock river meets the main ditch was open. We went to the north end because more then one person told us that was the place to be. Two groups were in the only open water so we went back to the area by the east branch of the Rock River. The only shots we heard seemed to be from pheasant hunters in the distance. We had our usual success where we only saw two ducks and brought them home with us. A ringneck and a ruddy duck. Only the second time in 40 years of hunting we have bagged a ruddy duck.
    When we got back to the dock we got the usual “you should have been here” speech. The guy claimed there were 200,000 ducks from November 10th to the 12th and then they left. Shooting was great. How come I didn’t get the memo? We were on the south end on the 10th and didn’t see that many flocks so I don’t know what to beleive. And why would they leave already? The fields are open, the water freezes a lit bit and then reopens.
    This weekend we are going to have two consecutive days below freezing so by Monday I am sure the whole marsh will be frozen unless we have some really strong winds with it.

  11. Hunted a small river this morning before work. I think I needed a few more decoys to help get the ducks attention. There was a fair amount of birds down river and they pulled the birds in. I ended up with a couple nice green heads.

    I just saw the duck count from Horicon. They are saing there was 181,000 birds as of 11/14. Horicon hunters- Are you guys seeing some birds? That is a pile and I would have to imagine hunting is pretty good. If the marsh is slow, how is the field hunting?

  12. I hunted on Thursday and only about a third of the marsh was froze. With the warmer temperatures the ice should be melted. They are having a Wounded Warrier event this weekend and said they were sending out 20 boats on Saturday and Sunday from the Chestnut Street launch and asked that other hunters stay away and give the vets a chance at duck hunting.
    When we hunted on Thursday, someone was hunting about a quarter of a mile away from us on the same side of the river. He had his decoys set out the same way we did. For some reason he had the X spot and we had nothing. We got to shoot at one Shoevler and that was it.

  13. Anybody hunt Horicon this morning? If so see many ducks and was the ice gone? Thanks

  14. I hunted a little river this morning hoping for some new birds. I hunted until 8 and didn’t see a duck. I did hear a few that were roosting down stream but they never got up. Seems the cold weather had them sleeping in.

  15. We have hunted Horicon several times this year and we are experiencing the same thing as you have. We take a couple of birds but it is either doubling on the only chance we get or we happen to get two chances on an outing. The openings are wierd because at Horicon there almost always is shooting 10 minutes before opening but this year you are lucky to hear any shooting at opening. Haven’t seen many big flocks. Only heard good shooting at Cotton Island on one day. Overall it has been a pretty crudy year at Horicon. Can we blame the windmills?

  16. Has anybody been hunting Horicon? I’ve been there 5 times and harvested only 4 birds. It’s been real slow. Shooting time starts in the morning and there is no shots fired! Pretty sad. Talked to some trappers and they are not seeing much either. I launch at Bernet ditch. Should be better at this time in the season.

  17. Tried Horicon this morning. What a waste of time. I had the feeling when we were the only one at the dock that there must not be many birds around and it turned out correct. Only heard a few shots in the marsh and they all seemed to come from the same spot. So that guy probably thought it was a great day. We have been hunting a river lately and that has dried up too. You would have thought with the front going through that thing would have freshened up a bit but it hasn’t.

  18. Hunted Pool 4 on the Mississippi Friday (5) ducks, Saturday (never fired a shot) and this morning shot (3) all mix of mallards and teal. More mallards every day.

  19. The wood ducks seem to have vanished and the mallards are yet to show up in my neck of the woods. I have scouted a few new spots that are hodling a hand full of ducks. I hope they stick around until after the rut. The low duck numbers had me looking for something else so I looked to the Bay of Green Bay.

    I went out a couple times with a local guide and we had some great hunts in the past couple weeks. If you are interested in a great layout boat hunt, look up http://billsandgillsguideservice.com/. Jim will put you on the birds and you will be able to experience a great hunt on the bay.

  20. Brother got out on Mississippi River Pool 4 yesterday and shot some birds, he said a lot of birds flying today. Said he had cans, buffleheads and ringers in decoys. Said he could have filled out pretty early on divers if he wanted too. Said he waited on puddlers ducks. Here is pic of his morning hunt.

  21. Good hunt finally, LAKE Eau Claire, NW wind, 5-15 mph, cloudy, 33 degrees, Good number of new birds on lake this am. 6 bird limit in two hours, 4 greenheads, widgeon, and ringbill. PLenty of other chances. Two of greenheads had 3 curls. Overall season has been slow, with a lack of birds. Maybe the migration has started. Good luck to all.

  22. Birds are increasing numbers in Eau Claire. The ones flying west of town found the cut corn fields inside the city limits so good luck with them. More ducks are starting to show up finally, so that is good.

  23. Had a short hunt with brother today. Shot 2 mallards and 1 teal. Hunted for one hour as brother got sick and it started to sleet and rain. I posted a picture from our trip to Manitoba where 5 of us shot 216 geese and ducks last week.

  24. Seen plenty of geese around Appleton area. me and a friend shot 6 woodies on the wolf river bottoms today. first 25 minutes is crazy then nothing.

  25. A little push of new birds. Mallards seemed to increase, and definitely starting to see better color on the drakes. Geese seemed to increase in numbers also.

  26. Last weekend was ok, 3 of us shot 4 on Saturday and 15 on Sunday. A lot of BW teal and wood ducks

  27. I’ve been hunting and scouting from Stanley to Eau Claire to Augusta. Working hard for the birds we got, but scouting pays off. Opening was disappointing, guys everywhere around us – tried a new spot, my bad I guess. No migration, just locals flocking up on the refuges that are left.

  28. Had a very slow opener on Pool 4 Mississippi/ Lake Pepin.Five guys and no shots fired. Saw very few ducks. Sunday was much better. We shot (9) with a very mixed bag for (3) guys. All in all we had a great time with family and friends. There is not many ducks in area. Some of my friends on the Minnesota side shot (2) snow geese that came in to their decoys. I didnt believe them till they text me the pics. Yes they were Snow geese.

  29. Lake Eau Claire, dissapointing hunt,1 wood duck harvested,very few ducks around.

  30. Outagamie County …. somewhere near Shiocton

    I was out putting my blind up yesterday and saw a few woodies flying around the area but no mallards to speak of… Water is very low but hopefully I can scrape up a few woodies tomorrow and Sunday morning.

    Anybody hunting in this area see any flocks of Mallards?? Any geese??

    Have a great opening weekend?

  31. Last Saturday I took a friends son on youth hunt and had a great time. He shot (2) mallards and (1) GW Teal. Should have had a few geese. Not as many ducks as I saw a couple weeks ago. Water is extremely low. Be careful and good luck to everyone.

  32. Took a ride around Pool 4 on the Mississippi today and wow I am happy i invested in a Go Devil surface drive motor for my flat bottom. I have never seen the water this low. But I did see alot of ducks. I will be taken a friends boy tomorrow on the youth hunt. Cant wait for next weekends opener.

  33. AM hunt, warm and sunny, 1 goose, bad shooting on my part, several flocks in the area.

  34. Spent early morning on Fall Creek Pond, 1 lone honker bagged, 1 larger flock seen in the distance. Dissapointing.

  35. Had 2 flocks come over this morning while getting ready for tomorrow morning. So the geese are starting to move a little bit more, watched some go out to fields this morning which they haven’t done lately. Good luck to anybody headed out in the morning.

  36. only one more week tell goose season !!! but one problem I have yet to see a goose has any one seen any in the sky?

    • Garrett,

      Geese have been making limited, short flights in this heat (if they fly at all).

      Most are grazing on grass near water and avoiding even avoiding the few wheat fields that have ben harvested.

      From what I understand, feeding on grain raises their internal body temperature so I switch up your scouting to first light and grassy feeding areas.

  37. Already getting the itch for this season. Duck season opener with my friend is getting to be more exciting than deer season opener. Let’s get some rain now!

    Attached is a pic of last year’s Sunday morning hunt about 30 minutes worth of wood duck action.

    • Nice pic. Those are some great looking drakes.

      We sure can use that rain here along the IL/WI border as well. 3″s would be perfect.

      Most of the farmers here are saying bean yields could be way down with the lack of rain this past month.

      Hopefully we’ll get that moisture soon.

  38. Spotted my first Loon ever today on a pond in Germantown. It was a beautiful bird but only one of them. I thought they traveled in pairs, especially at this time of year. Saw some canvasbacks yesterday.
    Hopefullu this rain fills up the marshes for the spring hatch.

  39. With spring fast approaching we made it out to the march to check our wood duck boxes. We put up 11 houses last spring on some little ponds and the little creek. 4 of the boxes had nest and 1 box had 3 different nest, one on top of another. We had really low water levels last year so we are hoping with the snow cover and some spring rains, the ponds will fill up and we have a little better success rate.

    Took the camera out shooting some spring birds a couple weeks ago, it was nice to get out and see some waterfowl. Can’t wait until September!

  40. The Wisconsin season was not all that bad. The ducks never came down in huge numbers but enough to keep a duck hunter busy. Hoping for some spring rains to fill up our pot holes.

  41. Hunted quite a bit in WI this past season since our slough was bone dry in IL. Was nice for the kids to get out and learn how to scout public lands and become young mobile hunters. After a season of packing the decoys into deep, dark, secret spots — they learned how convenient having a private slough is.

    Until this season, the kids had never hunted divers — just small slough puddle ducks. Thanks to Wisconsin big water, they got to hear the F-16 sounds of ringers and how easy it is to shoot behind rocketing divers only a foot off the deck.

    Good times. Hope to hear everyone else’s season summaries and see the pics (using the new feature).

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