The May Breeding Surveys have concluded and conditions vary greatly across the waterfowl breeding range. Overall, pond counts will be lower this year with breeding pairs will be near the 2011 and 2012 counts in most areas.
Hello folks, and, as always, welcome to Waterfowler.com.
In an average year the complexity of conducting the survey is monumental at best. This season the late arrival of spring and harsh weather patterns added widespread delays and difficulty to the entire process. Despite the delays caused by these storms, they did provide much needed rain in areas in many areas of the Dakotas.
Waterfowler.com encourages our readers to visit FLYWAYS.US to read the detailed survey reports from the regional ground teams and pilots as conditions varied greatly even within individual survey areas.
The eastern and western Dakotas were very dry at onset of the survey and in much better condition upon completion. Only time will tell if the rains arrived had arrived in time to significantly impact breeding. In Saskatchewan, the significant snow pack has provided excellent conditions and production is expected to be above average across the entire region. In Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario, conditions ranged from extremely poor to near normal with overall breeding pairs steady to previous years. Reports from northern Alberta (where nearly 50% of all scaup breed) were good and production is expected to be up in the area.
Survey results will be tallied over the next thirty days and the final report will be published around the first week of July. Waterfowler.com, as always, will post the report summary when it becomes available.
As we begin preparations for the coming season we remind our readers that many waterfowl blind drawings are conducted during the month of July and applications for special hunting areas are due June and July as well. Be sure to check with your state, county and local conservations departments to insure you do not miss application deadlines.
Waterfowler.com would also like to remind our readers that both our hunting reports and forums now have extended image capabilities, so be sure to post your digital images from last hunting season throughout the coming weeks.
Until our next report, keep in mind that early teal and Canada goose seasons are just over two and a half months away.