What's everybody seeing out there on this bone dry year?? Most smaller potholes are dry or just a puddle not seeing much for local hatch either atleast for ducks, some geese but very few and far between SE WI.
Hunted dunn county for the opener. Shot a teal and a mallard. Hunted afternoon and got chased off by a storm. Did find ducks scouting however they were in very public spots. Decided to get away for the opener.
Hunted waupaca county this weekend, our usually opener spot had water and fowl 3 weeks ago and last week went bone dry, plan B, buddys semi private spot but a 1.5mi walk against current up a river but hard bottom get to blind and rain starts boys shot 2 scraggly timber ducks, left at 8 SOAKING wet, napped for a few hours and went fishin. Yesterday AM hunted a gentleman spot gorgeous cool and dry morning we saw more ducks than I expected and knocked down 2. Still great to be in the marsh again with good friends.
If you plan on hunting Horicon marsh this year, you might want to get out there and scout. It is all but impossible to hunt without a mud motor. Even with a mud motor it is still very difficult to get around in many of the areas. Won’t get any better regardless of rain because the dam is no longer holding water like it should. Many areas that normally have a foot of water, now have 1-2” at most with 18” of mud. Not easy to push pole if your boat ain’t floating. Sad that its come to this.
Finished youth hunt with my two grandsons in the Tomahawk area. Warm and foggy in the AM. Lots of mallards flying. Kids took several shots but missed. We all had fun. Things look good for the nothern operner next week. More mallards than usual.
Got out sat am on a local pond I can hunt I wasnt expecting to much due to not seeing much for birds around, but much to my shagrin as the sun rose and the boys were setting blocks atelast 100 geese and over 100 mallards and woodies trickled out, so there are a few around. We ended with 3 geese and several first hunt rust missses, was a great morning in the marsh with good friends, even the dog did good.
Not much around the Mississippi either Ruff. Most backwater areas are bone dry. I did see a few large flocks working around the Pool (7). Very little shooting. Few geese around. Couple of the field hunters did ok on the early goose opener. I've been mostly wing shooting Doves and prep work for the upcoming buck chase.
OK a few things as some seem to struggle with comprehension.
1. No where did I say there are ZERO migrating ducks before December. I said there are some mid season pushes, as there was yesterday, but those stick around for one day and move on. Also, what happens during the yearly warm fronts that hit during October/November every year? There are weeks at a time every season when there is nothing new coming in. During December, there are new birds coming thru every day. During October/November, you have to be out on the cold front days, if you are a day late or early, you are SOL. Plus during that time of year, any birds that stick around sit on Lake Geneva or other unhuntable water bodies because every fudd and their cousin is out sky busting from their permanent blind on big Muskego every weekend until opening day of gun deer, and the ducks want nothing to do with those areas. Once its cold, 90% of "hunters" in this state would rather drink and watch the packers than scout and find an area the ducks actually use. As far as these ducks being residents, I guess I didn't realize that all these bands from Canada that were shot last day of the season were put on the birds in my local park and the banding agent made a mistake when he entered Canada as the origin.
2. Did I say to not have the season open in October? No, just put another split in it somewhere like plenty of other states that are far better known for their duck hunting do. That October 10th thru 24th ish timeframe is warm more years than not, and during that warm timeframe is miserable for duck hunters as nothing new is coming down. I mean I get it if someone wants to shoot eclipse mallards during that time, to each their own, but late season, full plumage redheads, goldeneyes, and mallards seem much more worth the time, to me anyway. For Those worried that Big Muskego and their 1 spot will be locked up late season, there's these things called corn fields and rivers. They never freeze up and the ducks love them. For the hardcore fudd, who refuses to change tactics, may I suggest taking a black tarp and an ice auger out onto the ice, yes, decoys in your ice fishing holes can work. Lay the tarp over the ice, throw about a 5 gallon bucket worth of water over it, and set a few full body decoys on the ice around the tarp. Every duck that flies over that will dump right in. Side note: its HILARIOUS watching a duck land on a tarp that it thinks is water.
3. Arkansas. The magical place that the ducks that are shot in Arkansas come from is called the Dakotas. Also known as the prairie pot hole region, one of, if not the largest waterfowl breeding grounds in the world that just happens to sit NNW of Arkansas. What winds do ducks migrate on again? NNW? Ok cool we are on the same page. Here's an interesting tidbit on those late October thru thanksgiving ducks that are getting shot in Arkansas. I go to ND every year the 3rd week of October, and every morning I am breaking ice to setup (except for the random off year where a warm front hits, but that is rare at best) and every year we see MILLIONS of ducks migrating thru, and we kill them on frozen potholes that we broke open. When was the last time anywhere in Wisconsin was frozen up during that same timeframe? When was the last time anywhere in Wisconsin froze up before the Dakotas? The vast majority of ducks getting shot in November in Arkansas, are coming from the frozen up Dakotas, not from Wisconsin.
Anyway, I know this is all a waste of time as it will never change, Y'all enjoy your ice fishing. I'll be following the ducks down thru Illinois.
there is always a handful of know it all types that want the season open later, They don't realize 99% of all ducks have passed through by the end of November typically. other than sea ducks on lake Michigan and some late mallards.
I couldn’t agree more, I shoot plenty of Mallards during the season, but the last 10 years or so my cornfields are loaded mid December. Mallards bombing in late December, I would rather shot those then just about anything.
I wish we could hunt ducks during the late goose season too. Usually more ducks around during that timeframe then in October. Open the same time as normal then close for almost all of October and allow hunting again November/December.