Waterfowl Reports and Migration- 2020

  • lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #1978695

    Had an opener thread going, but time to move on with the season. Saw a decent number of ducks and geese in central MN this weekend, but thinking most are local birds and not much coming down with the warm temps and south wind this past week.

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #1978697

    Hunted this morning 10/10 solo. First 45 minutes were quiet but then had a flock of 10 bank high and fast over me. Picked out the lead duck and dropped him as the others whizzed past. Dog made the mark and went on command but it dove multiple times on her. She stuck with it and eventually stuck her head under water and grabbed him. Was pretty pleased.

    Had two other teal commit and doubled up which was sweet.

    When I cleaned the ducks, saw that ring-neck had two shots through the chest, broken leg and broken wing. Yet he was still diving and fighting until the end. One tough bird…

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    Charlie W
    Participant
    TRF / Pool 3 / Grand Rapids, MN / SJU
    Posts: 980
    #1978704

    Hunted the Sauk Centre area today (and will tomorrow). Saw lots of ringers, mostly locals but some new birds too. Also saw the first flights of cans and gaddies too. We typically see the first push of them right about now. More will follow with cooler temps this week.

    Did not see any woodies or teal today for the first time this season. That’s ideal imo.

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #1978803

    Yeah, looks like a big temp swing and some stiff NW winds coming this week.

    Jensen
    Participant
    Posts: 461
    #1978877

    Alot of pintails in western Minnesota on Sunday. Overall more ducks seen with the wind than Saturday.

    404 ERROR
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 3918
    #1978901

    I’m just a poor southern hunter, so I can’t speak for this last weekend…This Saturday I plan on hitting a small duck hole in my dads backyard that had about 100 woodies in it last weekend. Then maybe a bigger lake hunt Sunday.

    Had some wood duck parmesan for supper last night, got me in the mood for more!

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #1979804

    Wow. Lows in the mid to low 20s in the northern half of the state. Worried my duck season will get cut short again (after it being almost 80 last Friday)

    Do you think some of the smaller sloughs in northern MN could start locking up this next week?

    404 ERROR
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 3918
    #1979873

    Do you think some of the smaller sloughs in northern MN could start locking up this next week?

    I doubt it. The ground is still relatively warm and takes some time to cool off. It may crust towards the end of this front but if it warms up after, I doubt it will stay frozen.

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #1979876

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>lindyrig79 wrote:</div>
    Do you think some of the smaller sloughs in northern MN could start locking up this next week?

    I doubt it. The ground is still relatively warm and takes some time to cool off. It may crust towards the end of this front but if it warms up after, I doubt it will stay frozen.

    Agreed, still warming up during the day too.

    fishmantim
    Participant
    Posts: 133
    #1979900

    Historically I’d just say that this last big blow will blow a lot of the local birds out of the state and then we’ll be in the lull until Canada starts to freeze up. The real trick is to time the next big surge which will be the biggest, when lakes and skinny water starts to lock up and then hope we don’t get 2 ft of snow and they all blow through the state in one night.

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #1979945

    Hope you guys are right. I am seeing highs in the 30s next week, up north. Could see shallow water especially with rice freezing. I should have a report this weekend

    Jensen
    Participant
    Posts: 461
    #1980176

    Alot of mallards and seen numerous large flocks of speckle bellies yesterday western Minnesota. Mallards and teal filled the bag.

    rjohnson8404
    Participant
    Posts: 199
    #1980187

    Alot of mallards and seen numerous large flocks of speckle bellies yesterday western Minnesota. Mallards and teal filled the bag.

    Specks in Minnesota is that relatively new? Always thought they never saw Minnesota

    Jensen
    Participant
    Posts: 461
    #1980468

    Rare has been the case in the past. But in the last 4 seasons been seeing more and more and have actually harvested a few in Minnesota.

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #1980585

    Well my fears were realized this morning. Tried breaking ice for an hour in the dark and eventually it became useless it was just too thick. Close to a half inch. Set up the best I could right at shooting time but it was a bust. 22 degrees out, the trail I broke refroze heading back in was tough too. Should have known better I guess but didn’t think it would get that thick overnight.

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    Tom Sawvell
    Inactive
    Posts: 9559
    #1980647

    For all the backwater fishing I’ve done this fall I have heard shooting on one occasion. Very few ducks around. This new shot of cold should have the birds on the wing.

    404 ERROR
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 3918
    #1980770

    Hunted a private pond this weekend east of Mankato. The pond generally only holds Woodies and usually large concentrations, but are now mostly gone from the area. This weekend wasn’t a total bust, but I shot 1 of the 2 woodies. 2 weekends prior I counted 68 woodies fly into the pond before they started taking back off…

    Saw a few bigger groups of divers and a few small packs of Mallards going from one lake to the next, but that’s about it. I imagine things will pick up on the lakes down there for this weekend.

    I’ll be heading to the Mississippi this coming weekend to hopefully get on a Mallard hunt. The Mallard hunt could quickly turn into a diver hunt, however…

    BassinBill
    Participant
    La Crosse, Wi
    Posts: 243
    #1980899

    Out in west central Wi. Some skim ice on the flowage. What ducks are coming through get sucked right in. Bonus, got my first mallard

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    CaptainMusky
    Participant
    Posts: 17614
    #1980916

    I wasnt hunting waterfowl, but up in the Bemidji area for the youth firearms deer season this past weekend and wave after wave after wave of large flocks of divers were flying over. Hard to tell exactly which breed they were, but there were thousands of them. The wind was horrible and I am afraid for you waterfowl hunters it may have pushed many through the state since it was favorable for their migration.

    404 ERROR
    Participant
    MN
    Posts: 3918
    #1982407

    Ended up hitting the Mississippi yesterday. Saw lots of high flying big groups of both divers and mallards. We did ok, finished with 7 birds. A mix between puddlers and divers. Any mallards low enough were very interested and gave us an opportunity, there just wasn’t many low groups…

    ganderpike
    Participant
    Alexandria
    Posts: 951
    #1982433

    Big push out of ND Thursday 10/22. Ruined what could have been a greenhead beatdown. Managed some pretty GWT and a stud mallard. Water < 200 acres is iced up. Not ready for short stick season

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    Charlie W
    Participant
    TRF / Pool 3 / Grand Rapids, MN / SJU
    Posts: 980
    #1982475

    I hunted with 3 friends Friday and Sunday. We shot 24 ducks both mornings. Essentially all ringnecks in the W central area on two different lakes. We did not see many ducks that were not ringnecks.

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #1982482

    Good reports guys

    I was up north on Winni this past weekend. Sounds like we missed out on some good hunting all week long but like Ganderpike said there was a push 10/22 or 10/23 out of the area.

    We still did OK and had a couple memorable hunts

    lindyrig79
    Participant
    Forest Lake / Lake Mille Lacs
    Posts: 5043
    #1982485

    Shot my first ever Canvasback. We broke a lot of ice to get out

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    gimruis
    Participant
    Plymouth, MN
    Posts: 13991
    #1982517

    Nice can Lindy!

    basseyes
    Participant
    Posts: 2311
    #1982637

    Awesome! Great pics!

    tornadochaser
    Participant
    Posts: 756
    #1982640

    Was bored yesterday afternoon. Drove to a local SD lake, threw out 12 floaters. Turned the spinners on and loaded my gun at 3:30pm. Was packing up and walking out at 4pm with a limit. GWT, mallard, & a spoonie.

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 9603
    #1982657

    Didn’t hunt this weekend but was up in the Nevis area and most of the smaller ponds and bays were locked up. Even some ice on Belle Taine by my parents house. And lots of big flocks headed south.

    Forrest Melton
    Participant
    Alexandria, MN
    Posts: 61
    #1982668

    My son and some friends did awesome in Alexandria area this past weekend.

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    Charlie W
    Participant
    TRF / Pool 3 / Grand Rapids, MN / SJU
    Posts: 980
    #1985486

    Have people been seeing much for puddle ducks around central mn? We have been doing very well on divers since the cold hit, but have seen very very few puddle ducks (except for some mallards). Im talking gads, wigeon, spoonies, gwt etc. That push of October puddle ducks seemed non existent??? I’m starting to think a lot of them blew right through or went east or west during that first cold front.

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