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2013-14 migration alert

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Below is a chronological listing of all waterfowl migration alerts provided by Ducks Unlimited during the 2013-14 hunting season.

Migration Alert: Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska Swarming with Light Goose Hunting Opportunities

Sporadic reports of small flocks of light geese are trickling in from South Dakota, but a major surge in goose numbers in northwest Missouri and parts of Nebraska has hunters frantically rushing to the fields in these areas. Last week's polar vortex stalled the migration, but as the weather cleared and the winds shifted to the south, massive numbers of light geese moved north.

Migration Alert: Light Geese Trickling North, Cold Front May Stall Migration

Light goose hunters throughout the lower Mississippi and Central Flyways should prepare for just about anything next week. A warming trend has the birds beginning to head north, while the expected arrival of a powerful cold front may stall the spring migration. Fortunately for Mid South goose hunters, the game isn't over – it's just getting interesting.

Migration Alert: Pacific Flyway Hunters Looking for Strong Finish

Pacific Flyway hunters will face early fog, sunshine, and then clear weather conditions from border to border for the last weekend of the 2013-14 duck season.

Migration Alert: Cold Temperatures in Kansas Will Help Hunters Finish Strong

Temperatures are cooling off, and if you can find open water you can find some ducks. By Field Hudnall, DU-TV host.

Migration Alert: Florida Waterfowlers Poised for Strong Finish

Brisk weather conditions during the month of January resulted in major movements of Atlantic Flyway waterfowl, and Florida waterfowlers are among the beneficiaries.

Migration Alert: Mississippi Waterfowl Counts Reveal Impressive Numbers

Mississippi hunters pray for cold weather up north to push ducks into their state, and this year their prayers have been answered. A series of powerful cold fronts, hard freezes, and snow storms in the Midwest has triggered one of the biggest migrations of ducks into Mississippi in several years.

Migration Alert: Opportunities Remain for California Waterfowlers

California waterfowlers are facing what has become the driest year on record, making habitat conditions less than ideal. Yet, waterfowl hunters throughout the state continue to be optimistic.

Migration Alert: Mid-Winter Thaw Benefits Colorado Waterfowlers

A mid-winter thaw is renewing hope for a strong end to the waterfowl season in Colorado. Canada geese arrived early along the Front Range north of Denver, says Avery pro-staffer Vance Stolz, but the bulk of the birds shifted to urban areas when the temperatures plummeted last month.

Migration Alert: Approaching Front Brings Much-Needed Change for Pacific Northwest Waterfowlers

The Pacific Northwest is bracing for rain and high winds this weekend, as a front approaches from the south and mixes with Pacific moisture from the north. This bodes well for wingshooters hoping to improve their season with a late regional migration throughout Oregon and Washington.

Migration Alert: 800k Mallards Counted in Arkansas

Warming temperatures, rain and thawing waters are changing the duck hunting picture in Arkansas.

Migration Alert: DUTV Crew Reports From Maryland

DUTV host, Field Hudnall provides information on weather conditions along Maryland's Eastern Shore. Frigid temperatures have waterfowl on the move and late-season hunting may improve as temperatures begin to increase.

Migration Alert: South Louisiana w/ Dr. Tom Moorman

Jan. 8, 2014 - Mississippi Flyway

Migration Alert: Arctic Blast Sends Massive Push of Geese to Maryland's Eastern Shore

Waterfowl are on the move in the Atlantic Flyway, following an Arctic blast that has brought bitter cold temperatures to much of the region.

Migration Alert: Arctic Blast Brings New Birds into Kentucky

Blowing snow and near-record cold temperatures swept across the central United States on January 5, and reports from around Kentucky verify some movement of new waterfowl into the state with this front.

Migration Alert: Dealing with Late-Season Extremes

From 60 to Zero in a Week, then from Zero to 60

Migration Alert: Changing Conditions May Improve Waterfowling in Washington and Oregon

Unfavorable weather conditions—warm temperatures, fog, and a lack of precipitation—combined with a full moon had Washington waterfowlers struggling over the holidays.

Migration Alert: South Texas Hunters Hope for Better Hunting Weather

After a solid start to the waterfowl season, many hunters in Texas's South Zone have reported lackluster results since the season reopened. It has been perplexing for many veteran waterfowlers and outfitters because the coastal prairies and marshes are full of ducks.

Migration Alert: Delaware Nears Mallard Peak Despite Shifting Conditions

Late November's frigid cold seemed a distant memory over the weekend as record-breaking 70-degree temperatures swept the mid Atlantic states. In Delaware, the balmy weather had a significant impact on waterfowl behavior and hunting success.

Migration Alert: Ample Food, Adequate Water Keeps Oklahoma Hunters Optimistic

Avid Oklahoma waterfowler David Williams says that he can gauge the potential of the upcoming season long before the first flights of ducks and geese arrive in the Sooner State. It all comes down to food, Williams says, so when he sees farmers enjoying a productive summer growing season, he knows that migrating waterfowl will have a buffet come fall. And this year, Oklahoma has duck and goose food aplenty.

Migration Alert: Texas Waterfowlers Looking to Finish Strong

Texas coastal ponds, prairies and marshes rested for 14 days and an Arctic front pushed ducks in from the north. Unfortunately, the second split opener of the 2013-214 season coincided with a full moon, leaving hunters to watch empty skies as sat idle.

Migration Alert: Ice, Snow Put a Clamp on Missouri Duck Hunting

Just a week ago, many Missouri waterfowlers were enjoying stellar duck hunting, with straps of greenheads being the rule rather than the exception. By all measures, the season was going great.

Migration Alert: Frigid Temps Change Waterfowl Behavior in Kansas

Ducks Unlimited Television co-host, Zac Pederson explains the hunting conditions in Kansas this week. Facing frigid temperatures, waterfowl have modified their feeding and resting behavior, making afternoon hunts the key to success.

Migration Alert: Drought Continues to Impact California Waterfowl

California hunters are hoping for the arrival of stormy and wet winter weather, which will hopefully result in more typical waterfowl distribution in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys.

Migration Alert: Waterfowl Numbers Increasing in Louisiana

Hunting resumes tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 14) in Louisiana's East and Coastal Zones after a five-day split and a 12-day split, respectively. (Hunting in the West Zone has been open since Nov. 16 and closes Dec. 15 for a six-day break.) Biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are completing their December waterfowl survey as this report was being written.

Migration Alert: Pennsylvania Mallard Numbers Peak

Flocks of mallards and black ducks poured over the tree-line in a seemingly unending string. They were in bunches of tens and twenties, mostly, but several flocks numbered at least 100 strong as the birds funneled down into the Pennsylvania cornfield.

Migration Alert: Winter Weather System Impacts Kansas Waterfowl Hunters

Dec. 11, 2013 - Central Flyway - Kansas

Migration Alert: South Carolina Hunters Off to Strong Start

Last weekend, waterfowlers along the South Carolina coast put up numbers that would be impressive anywhere in the country. Hunter-success rates approached a limit of ducks per person at two wildlife management areas.

Migration Alert: Winter Storm May Bring Fresh Ducks to Arkansas

All eyes north! That's where Arkansas duck hunters are looking as a massive winter storm blankets the state and sends temperatures plummeting. Anticipation of a new push of mallards from northern states is high, though they haven't arrived in appreciable numbers as of this writing.

Migration Alert: Mississippi Waterfowlers Keeping Close Eye on Weather

Another cold front is bearing down on much of the Mid-South, bringing hopes of a significant mallard migration into the Mississippi Delta and points south.

Migration Alert: 840k Mallards on Missouri River in South Dakota

The situation playing out along the Missouri River in central South Dakota is similar to what hunters witnessed in 2012. Massive waterfowl numbers are once again rafting up on this large impounded river system and feeding in adjacent grainfields in droves.

Migration Alert: Weather Changes Impact Missouri Bootheel Hunting

Wade Bourne, co-host of DUTV explains how drastic weather shifts have impacted waterfowl hunting in the Missouri Bootheel.

Migration Alert: Incoming Weather Offers Ideal Conditions in Washington

Ducks are filtering into Washington's upper Columbia Basin, says Chris Bonsignore, Ducks Unlimited's conservation program manager in the Spokane Valley.

Migration Alert: Cold, wet, windy weather a boon for Texas waterfowlers

Soaking rains and unseasonably cold autumn temperatures have been tough on the extremities, but you'll hear no complaints from Texas waterfowlers. Cold air means fresh ducks on the coast.

Migration Alert: DUTV Host Details Potential Weather System

DUTV host Zach Pederson provides a glimpse of a weather system shaping up in the Mississippi Flyway that has the potential to push birds all the way to southern states.

Migration Alert: Mallards Funnel into Missouri

The mallards are in Missouri! That's the late word from waterfowl biologists and hunters. Harsh wintry weather to the north and powerful cold fronts have pushed peak numbers of mallards into this state.

Migration Alert: Hunters Faring Well on North Carolina Coast

The job of waterfowl manager can be one of those "none of the credit, all of the blame" professions. Too often your efforts go unnoticed, except of course when waterfowl numbers and hunting success are poor. That hasn't been the case this year, at least in North Carolina.

Migration Alert: Nebraska Hunters Benefit from Improved Habitat Conditions

Timely movements of migrating ducks and geese have kept Nebraska hunters busy during the 2013-2014 waterfowl season, and excellent water conditions should result in continued hunting success as more migrating birds shift south out of the Dakotas.

Migration Alert: Oregon Waterfowlers Still Waiting for Northern Flights

Duck hunting has been improving in Oregon in recent days, especially for those willing to scout and locate birds. Most of the action is on the Oregon coast right now, but there are still plenty of birds that have yet to arrive from the north.

Migration Alert: Georgia Waterfowl Biologist Provides Season Forecast

Georgia state waterfowl biologist, Greg Balkcom gives his forecast for the upcoming waterfowl season, and gives his top picks for WMAs to hunt this season.

Migration Alert: Utah Waterfowlers Watching the Weather

After a strong start to the 2013-2014 waterfowl season, hunting success in Utah has tapered off in recent days, but that could all change this weekend as a winter storm system arrives.

Migration Alert: Waterfowl Season Off to a Strong Start on Texas Coast

It's a good time to be a duck hunter on the Texas Gulf Coast. Timely rains and cold fronts have made for a great beginning to the waterfowl season in this region. The rice prairies of Matagorda, Wharton and Colorado counties have more water now than they have had in recent years, providing vital habitat for wintering ducks, geese and sandhill cranes.

Migration Alert: Birds Arriving Right on Time in Virginia

Virginia waterfowlers can feel free to get excited: Ducks are on the move, and November 16 is shaping up to be the perfect weekend to reopen the season.

Migration Alert: North and South Dakota Migration Near Peak

For hunters in North Dakota and South Dakota, this steady migration of waterfowl from the northern breeding grounds has helped replace those locally-produced birds which filtered into Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and other points south earlier this fall.

Migration Alert: Hard Freeze in Prairie Canada Expected, Fall Flight Moves into U.S.

Marshes and potholes on the Canadian prairies are freezing up tight, and as an even stronger cold front pushes across the region this weekend, remaining waterfowl concentrated on deeper waters should also begin to move south.

Migration Alert: Impressive Duck Numbers Surveyed in Central Illinois

The latest Illinois survey on October 28 tallied exceptionally high numbers of pintails, gadwalls, and green-winged teal. Mallard numbers are also good and are expected to climb with each new cold front.

Migration Alert: Idaho Hunting Improves, Migration Picks up Pace

With Pacific storm fronts approaching from the northwest, coupled with the onset of freezing temperatures in prairie Canada, hunting success should only improve throughout Idaho and much of the Pacific Flyway.

Migration Alert: First Push of Dabblers Hits PA; Divers Delayed

A few weeks ago, much of Pennsylvania awoke to the year's first heavy frost, an event timed in conjunction with a full moon. So my friends and I had high hopes as we entered a public marsh last week, and the thin layer of ice crunching against our knees did little to dampen spirits.

Migration Alert: Michigan Waterfowl Numbers Increasing

A surge of cold air blew through this state this past week, and new ducks and geese arrived with it. Hunting action is improving, and numbers of waterfowl should increase to peak in the next couple of weeks.

Migration Alert: DU TV Reports Steady Migration in North Dakota

The DU TV crew in North Dakota reports flights of new birds coming out of Canada. This is good news for Central and Mississippi Flyway hunters.

Mid-October Migration Reports

As ducks and geese begin to move south, waterfowlers need to know when and where. Below are the Migration Alerts from this week, covering each flyway and providing valuable, credible information from DU biologists and state agencies.

Migration Alert: Mild Conditions Delay New York Waterfowl

New York is a point of convergence for numerous waterfowl species migrating from Quebec, Ontario and points further northeast. Therefore, when peak numbers are reported from the Empire State, it's cause to rejoice throughout the flyway. Unfortunately, that day has yet to arrive, but reports of the first geese and early migrating duck species are encouraging.

Migration Alert: DU TV reports from Utah

The DU-TV crew is currently filming in Utah on the Great Salt Lake. Conditions haven't been favorable and waterfowling has been slow. Future weather patterns should provide more birds as the season progresses.

Migration Alert: Oregon Waterfowlers Face Tough Early Conditions

In Oregon, record-shattering rainfall in September and the closure of national wildlife refuges and other federal lands to hunting were responsible for a disappointing start to the duck season this past weekend.

Migration Alert: Wisconsin Waterfowl Numbers Increasing

In summary, diving ducks appear to be increasing in number on Lake Michigan and on the pools of the Upper Mississippi River. In the interior, local dabbling ducks (mallards, wood ducks, blue-winged teal) are providing the most action as hunters wait for colder weather to move new ducks into the state.

Migration Alert: Saskatchewan Ducks on the Move

DU TV crews filming in Saskatchewan have promising news for several U.S. states based on observations from today's hunt.

Migration Alert: Strong Local Duck Production Drives Success in Montana

Reports of successful waterfowl hunts have been trickling in to Bob Sanders, Ducks Unlimited manager of conservation programs for Montana, from all over the state since the season started on September 28, but things have turned sour in recent days, and it has nothing to do with the ducks.

Migration Alert: State-by-state Pacific Flyway Breakdown

Early migrating waterfowl, feeling an early winter pinch, are filtering south throughout the Pacific Flyway states and finding variable habitat conditions upon arrival in the region.

Migration Alert: Options Abound for Massachusetts Hunters

Arriving ducks may find a shortage of wetlands in Massachusetts following a dry second half of the summer. Donnelly reports that many wetlands are low on water and choked with vegetation.

Migration Alert: Early Season Success for South Dakota Duck Hunters

The opening day of the duck season marks the official arrival of fall for many hunters in South Dakota, and for those who took to the fields and marshes this past weekend, autumn seems to have arrived with a bang.

Migration Alert: Prospects Good for Minnesota Waterfowlers

It's certainly not a flood of new ducks, but ringnecks and other early migrants are beginning to show up in northern and central Minnesota, augmenting local populations of wood ducks, teal and other species that have been targeted by this state's hunters since the Sept. 21 opening day.

Migration Alert: Better Late Than Never for Louisiana Teal Hunters

Louisiana's early teal season is ending with a bang, thanks to the arrival of good flights of bluewings during the latter half of September. The strong finish comes after a disappointing start for many Louisiana teal hunters.

Migration Alert: Kansas Wildlife Area Has Best Waterfowl Habitat in Decades

Last year's drought limited waterfowling opportunities on the area, but this phenomenon allowed natural and planted vegetation to gain a foothold throughout the property. Late-summer rains pushed rain gauges to 10 inches the first week of August, creating superb waterfowl habitat conditions.

Migration Alert: Texas Bluewings Arrive Just In Time

The Thursday Outdoors section of the Houston Chronicle, a barometer for many coastal hunters and fishers, painted a bleak picture for opening day teal prospects. What a difference a day makes.

Atlantic Flyway Hunters Ready to Roll

Many Atlantic Flyway waterfowlers kicked off the hunting year with resident Canada goose and early teal seasons in several states, while others are eagerly anticipating the main event in the upper end of the flyway. New York often provides a good indication of what the season will hold in states further down the flyway.

Migration Alert: The Stage is Set for North Dakota's Duck Season

For much of the past three weeks, Joe Fladeland has been bumping around North Dakota's back-roads chasing early season Canada geese, but the number of ducks gathered on the state's prairie potholes has the Avery pro-staffer excited about the opening of the general waterfowl season later this month.

Migration Alert: DU Chief Scientist outlines waterfowl season expectations

"Too hot, too cold, just right" characterize what I expect the 2013-2014 waterfowl season to be. Along with "too wet, too dry, best ever," the unpredictable combinations of habitat conditions and weather will certainly be the common themes for the upcoming season.

Migration Alert: Saskatchewan - Late summer on the Canadian Prairies

Wetlands conditions remain very good with many shallow seasonal wetlands still holding water. Due to an unusually late spring across the prairies, we know that duck production was delayed this year, especially for early nesting species like mallards and pintails.

Waterfowl Migration Resources


2013 Spring Habitat Conditions in Canada

Spring arrived one to two weeks late in most of Canada, which delayed some migrants, but early breeders are taking advantage of conditions.
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