Migration Update – March 31, 2014

Spring Harvest - Member Photo Credit; DukGuy

Spring Harvest – Member Photo Credit; DukGuy

The spring thaw is finally underway in the northern tier and light geese have arrived in the Dakotas in significant numbers.  While some juvenile birds remain in parts of Nebraska and Iowa, light geese are another step closer to the 49th parallel and the return to their arctic breeding grounds.

Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com.

The spring migration is generally a hurry-up and wait process.  Ducks and geese are in a hurry to return to the breeding grounds and they wait for a break in the weather to push northward.  Canada geese and mallards, being more cold tolerant and stubborn, generally arrive in the south last and are the first to push north – arriving ahead of light geese.

As southerly winds and warm temperatures pushed to the far north this past week, so did waves of waterfowl and songbirds.  Flights of Sandhill Cranes were reported in northern portions of the Mississippi and Central Flyways along with the return of many duck species to areas with open water. Continue reading

Migration Update – February 27, 2014


Photo Credit: Sunrise Snows from MallardMotel.com

A quick glance at the Snow Cover and Surface Temperature maps provide and instant locator for Mid-Continental light geese in the Central and Mississippi Flyways.  The burgeoning population of snow geese continue to stage below the snow and freeze as they await the spring thaw (like the rest of us) and the flight back to their nesting grounds.

Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com.

The Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri remains 97% frozen and light goose numbers are setting at a paltry 18,000 as of the last count.  Light goose numbers are good to excellent in Arkansas at this time and hunter success is fair to good. Continue reading

Migration Update – January 6, 2014


Member photo credit: Clickster.

If you are a follower of sunspots and tidal charts, like the folks at Farmer’s Almanac, the bitter cold winter we’ve been experiencing thus far should come as no surprise.  If you are a modern day meteorologist, who has succumbed to naming winter storms for branding purposes, the series of artic fronts are “shocking” news and good for ratings.  If you are a dyed-in-the-wool duck hunter, it’s just weather – the kind of weather that moves ducks and geese in a big way.

Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com.

Without a doubt, the extreme cold that was induced by the polar vortex the past week moved ducks and geese south.  While the extremely low temperatures played a role in the migration activity, snow accumulation in the north played a much larger role in the event.   In short, when the snow is too deep for ducks and geese to forage under, the head south in search of food and open water. Continue reading

Migration Update – December 4, 2013

Winter storm Cleon ignites migration activity.

Winter storm Cleon ignites migration activity.

As arctic air pushes across the Great Plains into the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys, waterfowl activity is expected to increase significantly and reach peak migration levels throughout the Central and Mississippi Flyways throughout the week. The near-record number of mallards resting along the Missouri River corridor in South Dakota are already on the move. Reports throughout the Central Flyway confirmed heavy migration activity in Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas and the Texas Panhandle.

As arctic temperatures move east, the abundance of waterfowl along the Illinois River are expected to move further south over the next few days as ice builds in the northern third of the nation. In short, winter storm Cleon has ignited some of the best migration activity of the season. Continue reading

Migration Update – November 11, 2013

Mallards arrive in MN - Member Photo credit, Swampgas

Mallards arrive in MN – Member Photo credit, Swampgas

The mid-continental mallard population has begun to move down the Central & Mississippi Flyways.  Mallard numbers in the Dakotas and northern Nebraska increased significantly over the past week, as well as numbers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and northeastern Iowa.  Diver numbers in the Great Lakes region continued to rise from Lake Superior to western basin of Lake Erie.

Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com.

A quick glance at the NOAA snow cover map reveals the mystery behind our nation’s current migration status.  Accumulative snowfall across the Canadian provinces has ignited the first push of mallards into the lower-forty eight states.   While a number of storms did occur in the U.S over the past fourteen days, those storms occurred below the bulk of the mallard population and have since return to average/above average temperatures, which resulted in moving early migrants further south and very few northern birds to replace them.

While the first weeks of November are traditionally host of classic clipper systems that move ducks in massive numbers, the jet-stream has remained relatively flat this autumn season and predictions fro the coming week are more of the same. Continue reading

Migration Update – October 25, 2013


Divers on Greenbay, WI – Member Photo Credit: DU870

Colder temperatures prevailed across the northern tier of our nation this past week – igniting of a burst of migration activity for blue-winged teal and wood ducks.  The unseasonably warm days of early October have transformed into blustery, cold winds, flurries and even snow accumulation in the Great Lakes region.  While one would expect a full-on barrage of fresh migrants in the north, the temperatures have done little more than push early migrants south as the hardy ducks continue to trickle down the flyways.

Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com.

As the days of October begin to wane, the duck hunting community is continually reminded that weather and hunter success are a fragile, symbiotic relationship.  As weather patterns become more extreme and less predictable, hunter success and the annual migration also become less predictable. Continue reading

Migration Update – August 30, 2013


Waterfowler.com Journal Returns in 100% Digital Format.

With only a few days remaining in the off-season, hunters across the nation are preparing for the official start of the 2013 Hunting season that begins on September 1st.  Dove and resident Canada goose season will open in many states this holiday weekend and the early teal season will follow in the coming weeks in portions of the Central and Mississippi Flyways.

Hello folks, and, as always, Welcome to Waterfowler.com.

While temperatures across the nation remain ten to twenty degrees above normal for this time of year, the dog days of summer will soon give way to autumn temperatures and the first flights of teal as they begin their migration south.

In celebration of the coming season, registered members who post their early season hunting or scouting report between now and September 30, 2013 will be automatically registered for a chance to win a Spectra-Shot sampler pack.  Participants can post on the WFC state-by-state hunting reports or simply Tweet there report to #waterfowlercom

Waterfowler.com reminds our readers that membership at Waterfowler.com is now completely FREE and includes access to all interactive areas on the site.

Continue reading

Migration Update – July 9, 2013

Blue-winged teal. Photo by Kammie Kruse, US FWS. Flyways.us

Blue-winged teal by Kammie Kruse, US FWS. Flyways.us

As we await the final publication of the 2013 Waterfowl Breeding survey hunters in the three flyways that offer an early teal season are expected to receive a bag limit increase from five to six teal and a possession limit increase from two times the daily limit to three. The proposal for the changes has been accepted by the service and the ruling is expected sometime in August after the public comment period.

Of course, this is only a recommendation and the states within those flyways must accept the increase individually so be sure to check the finalized regulations your state before heading to the field during the early season. Continue reading