November 3, 2003 – Migration Update

Snow is falling across much of Canada and the Northern Prairie, and waterfowl in the midsection of the continent are on the move.

Hello, folks, and, as always, welcome to

Tricks and treats were in the air for the Halloween weekend as snow begins to accumulate in Canada and the upper Midwest while the east coast faces a warming trend.

With the first real push of weather and birds driving down out of Canada, the Migration Mapping System and Field Reports are proving to be key tools for waterfowlers out to intercept the migration. Don’t let these great tools slip through your grasp. Join today for as little as $14.95. From ProShop discounts to REAL TIME MIGRATION TRACKING, it’s easy to see why folks are calling “…the best deal in duck hunting.” Just click on the JOIN TODAY button, sign up and see how a Membership to can save you time and money while giving you an extra edge to be in the right place at the right time.

If you are already a member, be sure to check your profile and renew your membership before it runs out. With the season underway, letting your membership lapse is almost as bad as getting to the blind without your gun.

And now, on to the Migration Report


SNOW! Now that about says it all. Snow and freezing weather is covering much of the country and the weather has the birds on the move. Areas yet to lock up are holding high concentrations of staging birds, and this may just be the week to come down with waterfowl fever and cash in your sick days.

In all but the eastern areas, snow fall and hardening water will be the name of the game this weekend and everything is primed for a major migration push.


Record low temps have invaded the upper flyway and fresh birds out of BC and Alberta are moving into the region. From the looks of the forecast, hunters east and west in the upper flyway should expect a good push of new birds over the next few days.

Further south and inland, hunters are reporting new ducks and geese as the cold front lingers. The outlook for the upcoming weekend is for temps to remain cool, if not downright cold, and bird movement should increase as if the weather holds.


With MT and ND turning white, the push is on for the upper flyway. Mallards and geese that had been holding along or above the Canadian border have begun moving south in good numbers. Snow and freezing weather across much of the upper flyway this week will concentrate birds on the remaining open waters. Also make sure to keep an eye on grain fields as the birds feast and fatten in anticipation of a hasty departure.

Mid and lower flyway states are already seeing a sharp rise in bird numbers as early migrants and local mallards depart the Dakotas. Gadwall and teal numbers should rise sharply. Reports from the Northern states last week showed these birds bugging out ahead of the front. Mallards, divers and light geese are also on the rise in mid-tier states.


Dark geese have been piling up in the northwestern end of the flyway over the past week and should continue to build in number as cold weather slides across the region. Duck numbers have been high for much of this portion of the flyway, but dry conditions on many areas have made the hunting tough. Some rainfall is forecast for the near term and should help fill sloughs and ponds, but big water and rivers are drawing the majority of ducks.

Eastern portions of the upper flyway will begin to feel the influence of the front over the next day or two and should see a rise in waterfowl numbers as the front moves in. Duck and goose numbers along, and north of, the Ohio continue to be good, but birds are becoming increasingly educated and reluctant to decoy. With any luck, the approaching front will send in some new recruits that are easier to manage.

Mid-tier states report a recent increase in waterfowl numbers, with light geese showing the sharpest rise. Duck counts have continued to build in areas as far south as AR, but warm weather has had the birds holding tight and difficult to work.

Far southern states have begun to report a showing of gadwall and teal with pintail ever-present in the coastal areas of LA. Unseasonable warm weather over the next week will make scouting tough, as the birds will be less likely to move and feed in the balmy conditions.


The warm weather that invaded the New England states last week and slowed the migration and bird activity will give way to more seasonable weather over the next few days. After a better than average start, upper flyway states are in the thick of a mid-season lull, but a ray of hope is on the horizon as the most recent front approaches. Here again, bird numbers are still fair to good, but hunting pressure and high temps have made the birds less active. The bright spot for the upper flyway is the recent influx of Brant. Coastal hunters are reporting a major push of these geese all along the upper east coast.

In the Carolinas and other mid-tier states, new birds have begun to arrive, despite the warm weather. Recent rainfall has made plenty of water available and birds are keying in on newly flooded areas.

Weather, as always, is showing its power to make or break a waterfowl season. As the leaves turn and snow begins to fall, the migration map is beginning to show the march of waterfowl down the continent.

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