Migration Alert: Cold Fronts Deliver New Ducks and Geese to Colorado

Nov. 25, 2022 – Central Flyway – Colorado

© Michael Furtman

The same winter weather systems that delivered snow and freezing temperatures to the northern plains earlier this month also ushered in a migration of new ducks and geese to Colorado, giving hunters in that state a reason to be thankful during the holiday season.

Until recently, Colorado hunters endured mild weather and a slow migration of waterfowl into the state, creating isolated pockets of birds and only a very few areas holding any sizable concentrations of ducks and geese.

“That changed with the cold weather to our north,” says veteran Colorado hunter Vance Stoltz, who hunts in the Ft. Collins area. “The change in the weather was what we needed to get things going here.”

Stoltz says that the northern Front Range has seen a noticeable push of lesser Canada geese and mallards since mid-November, and a large number of those birds are staging on areas of open water and feeding in fields of harvested small grains and corn. He says the timing of the migration and the short-term weather forecast is creating ideal conditions for Colorado hunters.

“What has been nice is that the birds didn’t arrive all at once, so we’ve had fresh birds showing up off and on over the past few weeks,” Stoltz says. “Temperatures are going to warm up a bit for us, so our bird numbers should remain high. I wouldn’t say we’re at peak numbers, but we’re in a good spot for this early in the season for sure.”

Mossy Oak pro-staffer Colin Mulligan agrees, saying the push of birds from the north has produced some of the best early-season opportunities that hunters have seen in Colorado in recent memory.

“For this point in the season, these are some of the highest numbers I’ve seen in the last three years in terms of lesser Canada geese and mallards,” Mulligan says. “Eastern Colorado has a pile of snow geese too.”

With a strong number of juvenile birds in the mix, hunters in eastern Colorado are having good success decoying the light geese that are new to the area, producing some impressive hunts for those targeting these birds.