The lull continues on ducks in the northern portion of the flyway with goose hunting still providing waterfowlers with consistent action. Duck activity has curtailed in southern Oregon and Northern California with Utah hunters begging for a touch of winter up north. If there is a bright spot in the flyway southern California gets the star as pressured northern birds continue moving in with gadwall, greenwing teal and wigeon being the primary arrivals. Southern California hunters are reminded these are educated wary birds so hunt accordingly. Snow goose numbers remain steady in the south with few reports of any notable influx of new geese. Continue reading
Duck activity in Washington and Idaho is low as the mid-season lull settles in hard. Honker shooting is good from Central Oregon north to the Canadian border and remains a waterfowl hunter\’s best opportunity for a successful hunt. Mallard numbers are increasing in both southern Oregon and Northern California with wigeon and gadwall numbers steady. In southern California, pintail numbers are improving dramatically with Canada goose numbers low and Snow goose numbers fair. Continue reading
The trickle effect has taken hold in the Pacific Northwest as each weather front drops a few new birds and much needed water in the region. Mallard and greenwing teal are providing the best duck action though the largest groups of mallards are inactive in protected areas. Goose hunting is providing the best consistent shooting in the northwest and field hunters are experiencing fair to good success.
In the southern portion of the flyway, goose hunters are also experiencing great success. Speckbellies continue to provide the hottest action in northern California and snow numbers are on the rise in the south. Duck hunting is hit-or-miss at best. Recent rains were much overdue in California and the front did provide a spike in hunter success with teal, sprig and the ever-present spoonbills (aka Hollywood-mallards) making up the primary bag. Continue reading
Recent storms have northwest hunters singing in the rain — and not a moment too soon. Rains in the Pacific Northwest have arrived just in time to hold the first flights of northern mallards in Washington and Oregon. Gadwall and wigeon continue to rise in the northern portion of the flyway. In Idaho hunters continue to struggle with educated local mallards and greenwing teal numbers remain steady with influx and exodus being equal. In California the opening week frenzy has ended and hunter success is sporadic with reports from excellent to poor. Hunting pressure begins to be the primary motivation for bird movements throughout the state. In northern California, teal, wigeon and sprig make up the primary bag with mallard numbers fair for this early in the season. In southern California the first Specs have arrived with scattered early snows. Teal numbers are holding steady as pressured birds move in from the north. Spoonbill populations are increasing daily making identification of flight birds critical for those hoping for an edible bag. With snow predicted for the Pacific Northwest over the next few days, conditions could change rapidly. Continue reading
The “Good Old Days” are back in California. What has been classified by most as the best opener in seven years surely foreshadows a great season ahead for California hunters. While Klamath Basin hunters are shaking their heads about current water management policies, hunters throughout the Sacramento Valley are ready to capitalize on the resulting dispersal of migrating fowl. While mallard, sprig and cotton-tops comprised a good portion of the bag in northern California, green-wing teal provided the hottest shooting from the far north to the extreme southern portions of the state. Speckle Belly numbers are reported in the tens-of-thousands at the Sac. NWR and reports from Oregon have more birds moving south past Klamath. Continue reading
For those practicing voluntary restraint on long-billed, chicken footed, pint-sized, toothy, non-duck species, here is a run down of happenings across the Continent:
The first reports of Snow Geese are finally drifting in from Alaska. Full-plumage divers are starting to arrive around the Kenai Peninsula — including Golden Eye, Scaup and Bufflehead. Fall temperatures persist throughout much of a frost-free southern Alaska that is still holding fair numbers of teal. In the lower forty-eight, Youth Seasons are wrapping up and General Seasons is fast approaching. Scouting has made the difference in success for those who have had the opportunity to venture afield during the early goose seasons and youth hunts. Harvest reports are as spotty as wetlands in the Pacific Northwest leaving hunters still hoping for a windfall of precipitation. In California, Speckle Belly Goose numbers continue to build in the north and the first Teal and Sprig sightings are trickling in. Continue reading
A silver lining was found in the cloudy prediction of a poor season for hunters in the Pacific Northwest. Despite continued dry conditions rains are beginning to fall and those who find water are finding ducks — and lots of them. Teal, widgeon, pintail and mallards comprised the bulk of mixed bags from Washington into Montana. The recent cold front brought skim ice and a few early migrants into Oregon making for a chilly but productive opener. Goose numbers are building throughout the flyway and teal and speckle-belly goose numbers continue to rise in California. Current scouting reports from California indicate that good conditions and numbers for this weekend’s opener. Continue reading
September rains across the country are providing much needed water to key way-points in migration routes. Thanks to the cooperation of Mother Nature things are improving on drought stricken areas and predictability and normalcy are returning to the migration equation. Notable exceptions would include Arkansas and North Dakota — which has been losing water for the past two months.
Under cover of darkness, Teal bugged out of the prairie in two major movements last week. The first occurred exodus occurred around 8th and the second during the later part of the week. Consistent pockets of teal activity are reported moving down the Central and Mississippi Flyways. For the first time since the season opener, states offering early seasons reported exceptional harvests. Continue reading