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Did Warm Weather Ruin Your Waterfowl Season?

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February 01, 2012
Did Warm Weather Ruin Your Waterfowl Season? - 6

You don't need an "Al Gore For President" sticker on the bumper of your Honda Prius to notice that it has been unseasonably warm this winter. And this long stretch of warm weather has thrown a monkey wrench in waterfowl seasons across the country.

Most ducks and geese only migrate as far as they have to. Once they find open water, food and safety, they stop heading south. Warm weather typically means more open water and a shorter or delayed trip.

The Denver Post reported last week that this exact scenario was happening in Colorado. This from the post …

"There are two main things that the weather has hurt us on," said Jim Gammonly, waterfowl biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "One is that even as late as a couple of weeks ago, there were still tens of thousands of Canada geese and ducks — mainly mallards — well north of us. Places like Montana have not had much of a winter either.

"The other is the weather here. We haven't had a lot of cold weather, so even if we had a lot of birds around, they'd be harder to get to because there are so many places for them to get away from the gun. So I expect the harvest data will be pretty spotty and probably pretty slow this last month or so."

How did the duck/goose season work out this year in your state?

Comments (6)

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from Casey Walker wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

We shot less then 1/2 the birds we did last year out of our pit. No snow up north to push birds down and with the warm weather they had way more open water to choose from then last year. Oh well that why its called hunting right.

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from 4everAutumn wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

We had a good opening day for ducks, but everything dried up after the locals got burned off. The new Iowa dove season was perfectly timed. We started out shooting doves on our duck hunts as bonus birds, but it became the other way around as the season went on. We also had the worst goose season we have ever had. Way too warm and no snow.

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from delvaux330 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

This was my first year waterfowling, and we had a lot of empty trips. But does this mean next year could be the year of a record harvest? It will probably mean an increase in the population.

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from tylerfreel85 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I wish WE had a warm winter...only been about 2 weeks total above -20 since october. it's been -40 to -55 the last week

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from dneaster3 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Same story for Arkansas. Ducks that are typically early-to-mid-season migrators (gadwall, teal, etc) were just starting to show up in big numbers during the last week of the season.

Oh well, La Nina only lasts a year at a time. They'll come back.

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from Dcast wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

In the Miami Valley area of Ohio the waterfowl season was pretty much a bust. We had an overabundance of rain and a lack of cold weather. The rivers and streams have been flooded since early December to the present time. What hurt me the most was the ODNR switch my area to the north zone this year cutting back or hunting season to Jan 1st compared to the normal south zone of Jan 22nd. The huntnig season over all this year stunk and now I'm awaiting spring crappie and smallmouth fishing hoping Feb & Mar. doesn't decide to release winters fury after the fact.

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from Dcast wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

In the Miami Valley area of Ohio the waterfowl season was pretty much a bust. We had an overabundance of rain and a lack of cold weather. The rivers and streams have been flooded since early December to the present time. What hurt me the most was the ODNR switch my area to the north zone this year cutting back or hunting season to Jan 1st compared to the normal south zone of Jan 22nd. The huntnig season over all this year stunk and now I'm awaiting spring crappie and smallmouth fishing hoping Feb & Mar. doesn't decide to release winters fury after the fact.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dneaster3 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

Same story for Arkansas. Ducks that are typically early-to-mid-season migrators (gadwall, teal, etc) were just starting to show up in big numbers during the last week of the season.

Oh well, La Nina only lasts a year at a time. They'll come back.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from delvaux330 wrote 2 years 23 weeks ago

This was my first year waterfowling, and we had a lot of empty trips. But does this mean next year could be the year of a record harvest? It will probably mean an increase in the population.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from 4everAutumn wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

We had a good opening day for ducks, but everything dried up after the locals got burned off. The new Iowa dove season was perfectly timed. We started out shooting doves on our duck hunts as bonus birds, but it became the other way around as the season went on. We also had the worst goose season we have ever had. Way too warm and no snow.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Casey Walker wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

We shot less then 1/2 the birds we did last year out of our pit. No snow up north to push birds down and with the warm weather they had way more open water to choose from then last year. Oh well that why its called hunting right.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tylerfreel85 wrote 2 years 24 weeks ago

I wish WE had a warm winter...only been about 2 weeks total above -20 since october. it's been -40 to -55 the last week

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

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