Michael Furtman


The cold front that delivered freezing temperatures and snow to the northern reaches of the Central Flyway at the end of October brought the first significant migration of Canada geese, mallards and other ducks to Colorado.

According to DU TV co-host Colin Mulligan, the influx of new birds and cold temperatures were just what Colorado waterfowlers had been waiting for.

“Heading into the season, we had a lot of water along portions of the Front Range, which allowed those birds that were here to spread out, making them much more difficult to hunt,” Mulligan says. “With that cold front, we not only got new birds, but the cold temperatures put ice on some waters, which forced everything to concentrate on open water. Our hunting really improved.”

This included good hunting opportunities for Canada geese and mallards over water and in the fields. In the time since the initial drop in temperatures, however, the tide has turned.

“We are unseasonably warm right now,” says Vance Stolz of Loveland. “Those mild temperatures have allowed everything to open back up.”

And Stolz says that means the ducks and geese that recently arrived in Colorado are now able to spread out and take advantage of the water on the landscape, putting the pressure on hunters to once again scout to find concentrations of birds.

With an extended run of mild temperatures now in the forecast, Colorado waterfowlers will be waiting for the next major outbreak of Arctic air from Canada to bring fresh flights of waterfowl and concentrate those birds already in the area on open water and fields.

“You still see Canada geese and mallards in the area, and we have a lot of little ducks around, too, but they are scattered,” says Mulligan. “At this point, we'll take what opportunities we can find and then wait for the weather to shake things up and get things rolling again.”

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