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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Migration Alert: Still Waiting for the Big Push in North Dakota

Report posted October 27, 2011

By Jeff Kurrus

Avery pro-staffer Joe Fladeland reports that waterfowl numbers in the Dakotas appear to be in a holding pattern right now, and a powerful cold front is sorely needed to help move new ducks and geese into the region.

"Right now it's tough," says Fladeland, who hunts in central and southeastern North Dakota. "Our weather has been really warm here of late—we're in the mid-40s right now. A lot of waterfowl stage to the north of us in southern Canada, where there's plenty of water and food and hunting pressure is relatively light. We still have small pockets of local birds here, but they are getting pressured pretty hard right now."

Lately, Fladeland has been successful focusing on areas that aren't particularly well known for holding large numbers of waterfowl, but where hunting pressure is light. "Right now I'm looking for spots where I can find a few birds that will decoy," he says. 

Fellow Avery pro-staffer Evan Sieling agrees with Fladeland's assessment. "We're at a standstill right now," says Seiling, who hunts between Grand Forks and Devils Lake in the eastern part of North Dakota. "But things are looking up. Devils Lake is starting to pick up a lot of snow geese, and we are starting to see mallards with good color on them. That's always a good sign."

Clearly the big push of waterfowl has yet to come to the Great Plains states. So in the meantime, hunters in this region will have to keep putting miles on their trucks to find hidden pockets of waterfowl, while keeping a close watch on the latest weather reports.

More reports from DU migration map

Hutchinson, Minnesota

Jeremy Anfinson
DU Field Reporter
Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Ringnecks, red heads, canvasbacks and buffleheads are on most area lakes. Mallards are starting to move now. Lots of geese in the area and more showing up daily.

Riverhead, New York

Ron Kee
DU Field Reporter
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Surf scoters and longtail are starting to show up in numbers in the coastal waters of Long Island

Public Report for Kennewick, Washington

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011
T. Green reported No migration; few local birds
Time: Mid-morning
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Temp: 41-50 degrees
Wind: Calm from Southwest
Comments: Still nothing but locals. Might be a few early birds but no large migration as of yet. Need Canada to get a good cold snap to start them on their way.



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