Wisconsin Hunting Reports

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72 Comments

  1. Went to Horicon Thursday afternoon. The city docks were frozen in, however on guy did bust ice to get to the main ditch. Launched at Greenhead (with about 4 other boats) and was able to get to the main ditch and Stoney Bay. Ice has closed up all the smaller areas and where we traveled with the boat, ice was about a quarter inch thick 4 feet away from the cattails. Last night the winds died down and I saw Beaver Dam got down to 19 degrees so I’m thinking a lot more of the Marsh froze last night.
    It looked a lot like a typical freeze out day yesterday. Huge flocks of birds headed south and all very high. We managed to get two flocks of Shovelers to come past us and took 3 home. For me this was one of my better seasons at Horicon. We took more birds home than usual. Didn’t have any spectacular days but always seemed to bring something home.
    Hard to believe the season is done at Horicon but with the 10 day forecast showing temps below freezing, this might be it.

  2. Eau Claire County, checked local lake today and ice other than the middle. No ducks seen in the open water. May be some on local streams and rivers, but I am calling it a season. Most disappointing season in the last 15. Two good hunts, two decent hunts, and more than a few poor ones. Never shot a diver and other than two mornings, never saw a migration. Not good.

  3. Hunted horicon on Saturday the 8th. We got one spoonbill on the only shot taken. Someone less than 200 yards away was getting most of the shots. I heard from a reliable source that we need to be field hunting west of the federal refuge as that is where all the Mallards are going. Tried jump shooting and couldn’t even get close to the ducks.
    On Sunday hunted a river we usually try when Horicon sucks. This was just as bad. no ducks seen at all.
    Tried Horicon again on Tuesday afternoon because of the snow up north and cloudy windy conditions. no shots taken. Few shots heard in the marsh. Had 3 birds buzz us 10 minutes After closing.

  4. While on Bow stand I heard several flights of Tundra Swams on the move.

  5. Went back to Horicon on Sunday and still not much happening. We managed one drake mallard. We also skied into an area that we saw ducks go down into the reeds on Saturday. Chased out a few birds but couldn’t get close because this was the first time crashing through the reeds and we made too much noise.
    Went back on Tuesday afternoon and skied that same area and this time we brought back one bird. This was the only shot taken all day. When we set up with the decoys, the ducks ignored us and everyone else in the marsh. Talked to the locals at the boat houses and they weren’t getting anything either. We really need some new ducks to come in.

  6. Apparently a lot of hunters thought the front would bring some new birds to Horicon. Both parking lots in the city were full on Saturday and it was hard to find a spot in the marsh. There were some birds but not enough to justify the increase in hunters. We got one duck each in our boat and only shot at one more bird. Hunters were leaving by 9:00.
    When we got to the dock, someone came up to us and asked if we had seen a lost dog in the marsh. It was lost Friday afternoon somewhere north of Burnett’s Ditch and between the main ditch and the old river bed.In Horicon that is a relatively small area but with the temperatures we had and lack of dry land, I don’t think this ended well. Over the years I’ve heard of several dogs dieing in the marsh from overexposure to the cold. One year we even helped a guy carry his dog out of the marsh because it had gotten too cold.

  7. Was at Horicon on 10/25 and 10/30. Managed to get one duck each day and that was all I shot at. Pretty slow except for one or two guys that seem to find the X. Not as many hunters going out either so I’m sure we are in the mid-season slump where we wait for a new mix of birds. Could be this weekend with the front going through.

  8. Horicon was pretty dead this morning but that was to be expected with no wind and all sun. Ground fog in the morning made the trip out very interesting and slow. Only about 7 cars in the two docks in the city. Don Miescke was at the dock this morning and we got the should have been here yesterday speech. “The Redheads and Canvasbacks were coming through”.
    One guy at the dock said he did something he had never done before. He fell head first out of the boat picking up a duck. He was laughing about it so what could have been dangerous just turned out to be embarrassing.

  9. Had a good opener in Green Lake Co. We got a total of 7 ducks, and 4 geese for 2 guys. This past weekend was pretty flat, only 1 goose.

  10. We had a pretty good weekend with what appeared to be some new ducks. Had nice bunches of mallards working on Saturday and Sunday. The woodies and mallards we shot were nice mature birds.

  11. Hey, who invited all these guys to hunt Horicon?! I’ve hunted there for 40 years and haven’t seen anything like this. You can’t even find a spot to park the car after you launch. I had to wait 10 minutes just to get my boat out of the water because hunters were lined up with there car and boats. I see a pile of empty shells in the bottom of one guy’s boat and he tells me he got 1 bird. Don’t know if that is the truth or not. Did see some young kids this year, instead of the old geezers like me, so that was good. And the early shooting at Horicon is getting ridiculous. Someone shot 20 minutes early the one day I was there.
    I say we go back to the old days the really old timers talk about where you could only motor up the main ditch and then you had to take a skiff and push pole back to the good spots.

  12. Eau Claire County, yesterday didn’t get set up correctly, still managed two ducks, many ducks down with the wind and rain, good mixture of puddle ducks and divers. Today in a good spot, but no birds, would have thought with a good n-nw wind overnight, it would have been a good morning, very disappointing.

  13. Eau Claire county, yesterday was the day from the hunters I talked to, couldn’t get out myself though. Was out today, scratched out a wood duck and a drake mallard. Not many birds stuck around. Wood ducks seem to have moved on, and still haven’t seen any teal. Good luck and safe hunting.

  14. Our shortened season came to an end this evening. Magoo and I will be heading north to Ontario for October for our Moose hunt at Happy Camp!
    We are Happy to report that in central Wisconsin, Teal are bunching up and we saw nice sized groups come to roost in our pond at dark along with Woodies and Mallards. Also, there is a good number of Geese in the area choosing various corn fields to hang out in!
    As I walked back from the pond with Magoo, I am reminded why I hunt, for the sights and sounds of birds, nature, dogs, and all that is brought to each and every opportunity! During the last week I have spent a lot of time in the marsh, got a few birds, but more importantly was reminded how special each hunt is. If we are able to get a few into the decoys and bring them home for dinner, great, if not, that’s great too!
    Until we reach the prairie of ND in early November, we wish all of you a fantastic season, take care and hug the hounds!!

  15. Went salmon fishing this weekend but should have hunted Sunday. Drove past multiple lakes in southern WI that were void of ducks Saturday but coated with coots, ruddy ducks and a smattering of ringers and red heads on Sunday.

    This mini cold front pattern id moving birds in a steady trickle it seems.

  16. If anyone is hunting the Eau Claire area I am a student here and I have two canoes on different lakes and I have plenty of decoys, I’m just looking for some new guys to hunt with.

    • Nathan — welcome to WFC. Be sure to pop into the forums and Online Lodge. A lot of old time members there who all met through WFC and have hunted together a lot over the years. I’m sure they will be wary helpful.

  17. Here we go fellow hunters! Good Luck to all and hope to hear all of your stories soon!

  18. Looks like a good opener here in central WI. I have not hunted here in years but will be this year! Good water levels around as well as Teal, Woodies and Mallards. Geese are in good supply and the field is ready for them.
    Magoo and I will be chasing them somewhere. Looking forward to seeing the feet come down locked on the blocks as Magoo shakes.
    Then the smell of burnt gunfire and wet dog, only smell better is the grilling of fresh ducks!

  19. We eneded up not chasing teal for the early opener and decided to go after dove. We put a pile of miles on the truck, hit 12 DNR sunflower fields and shot 8 birds. Pretty slow dove hunting, maybe should have chased teal.

  20. 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.