North Dakota: Early Season Outlook

Sept. 26, 2012
By Jeff Kurrus

Following several weeks of warm, dry weather, the outlook remains generally positive for waterfowl hunting in North Dakota. "Our habitat conditions are slightly above average," says DU biologist Rick Warhurst. "While the small temporary and seasonal wetlands are dry, the semi-permanent and permanent wetlands still have water in them."
Warhurst says that unusually warm weather during the past couple weeks has resulted in little migration activity into the state. With high temperatures expected in the upper 70s through the weekend, the majority of ducks and geese will remain to the north in Canada, where wetland conditions are generally more favorable, until the weather changes. 

If you do plan to hunt in North Dakota during the next few weeks, take some advice from veteran waterfowler Jon Lee. "If you're looking for mallards, do what 99 percent of us locals do and hunt the fields," Lee advises. "You'll get a greater variety of species hunting the water. We've got plenty of teal, gadwalls, shovelers, and diving ducks on wetlands that are still holding water, but you'll have to get out there and scout to find them. If you can locate a spot where the birds are congregating, they'll probably hang around until someone hunts them."

Find migration reports in your area.