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Absentee Mallards

Discussion in 'MichiganWaterfowl.com' started by Retiredducker, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. craigrh13

    craigrh13

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    I think the erratic weather isn’t helping us. When we finally get the winds we need they come on strong and hard. I think a lot of birds just fly right through. In years past when we have steadier winds and weather the hunting has always been better. Where I’m at you won’t see mallards hitting corn until the shallows freeze up and we get a little snow. Only once in my life have I seen or shot birds around here without those conditions. Mother Nature is screwing us.
     
    babs2699 likes this.
  2. dinoday

    dinoday

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    I saw at least 100 mallards in 3 close groups yesterday morning, just before shooting time of course.
    Unfortunately most of the lake had froze up and they kept on flying.
    Most birds I've seen at once in a long time.
     

  3. just ducky

    just ducky

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    Hate to burst anyone's bubble, but IMO the masses are already gone. Sure there are pockets around, but the major push has already happened guys. Just talk to people in states downstream of us...the birds are there.
     
  4. Duck-Hunter

    Duck-Hunter Staff Member Mods

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    A couple weeks ago I sat in my back yard and watched flock after flock of high flyers heading south. Cool sight to see until you realize they got the cruise control set and bills pointed out of town.

    These last few years have been getting worse and worse. This season I'd like to think its because I didn't get out as much as I used to but I honestly don't think bird numbers are what they've pumped them up. Compared to last season this season we had the colder Temps, just lacked more North winds.
     
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  5. carsonr2

    carsonr2

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    A buddy and I were out in the Nebraska during the second week of November when that big storm came across. The amount of birds that pushed down with that front on the leading edge of the freeze up was amazing.

    First few hunts prior and on the front was a true mixed bag of gadwall, teal, widgeon, reds, blues, cans, spoonies and mallards.

    The last couple hunts with the ice freezing up most every lake, with only moving and very large water open saw cans, mallards, buffies, GE and a few bills.

    Locals out there said the brunt of the migration came through during the 3rd and 4th week of October. I'm not talking mallards, they were showing up thick when we were out there in November.

    Just like every year, the migration moving through in late October and early November. Up here I agree with Adam B.'s buddies assessment, worst season I've witnessed in NW MI. I don't think we're waiting on our migration, they flew over us and never really stopped.

    Now we'll get the last push of birds along the heavy ice line and many will think the migration just arrived, when really what is happening is we are seeing birds concentrated due to ice and getting the final push of hardy mallards, GE and buffies.
     
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  6. just ducky

    just ducky

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    Opinions are like A-holes...everyone has one and they all stink.

    I would disagree that they flew right by. I believe the migrations have evolved into a slow trickle, instead of a mass of birds moving at the same time. I base this largely on the bird counts in the refuges at Nayanquing, SRSGA, Fish Point and Harsens. Let's face it...those areas are in prime location for migrating ducks, and if you review the weekly refuge counts that are on-line, it shows a gradual build-up through late October into early November, then a pretty significant drop off of bird numbers. Those are the best, most realistic "counts" we have. Graph it...same spikes every year around the same time, almost like clockwork...some just don't care to believe it.

    As I said in an earlier post, yes there are pockets of birds left around. Some pretty large pockets in fact. But overall...the fat lady has sung. At least IMO
     
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  7. walter sniper

    walter sniper

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    I was hunting wigwam area that day and at 11 am we walked the boats to shore in knee deep water with waves coming over my shoulder
     
  8. Jerry Lamb

    Jerry Lamb

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    Yikes. I've been in water like that before. In a 16' boat with following seas the waves were so big when the bow would rise, the motor submerged, still running! It did stall but I did get a restart and made it back on 1 cylinder. Good times
     
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  9. adam bomb

    adam bomb

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    It was incredible. This series was all the same day.
    ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1512480419.366659.jpg
    ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1512480465.084192.jpg
    ImageUploadedByOhub Campfire1512480481.436070.jpg
     
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  10. Goosedown

    Goosedown

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    The east side of Saginaw bay has lost a good number of mallards over the last several years. The birds seem to have changed their migration patterns. We see VERY few birds working the cut corn fields south and east of Sebiawang and Unionville. Could-all of the windmills have effected the feeding patterns or have the birds passed us over for a new flyaway. On a sw wind the bay between the Sebiawang and fish point would be packed with flights of mallards chocking on corn returning to the refugee. No more! Oh well we now have long tails. Not a good trade based on taste.
     
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  11. craigrh13

    craigrh13

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    Yet those birds never showed up at PM. I truly believe a lot of them flew right by. Generally when the Bay Area loses birds we pick up birds. That hasn’t happened the last couple years.
     
  12. craigrh13

    craigrh13

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    The east side north of sebewaing has been off the last couple years. The high water must have effected them and the feed. The south and west side seem to be attracting them lately.
     
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  13. just ducky

    just ducky

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    well...all I say to that is you apparently aren't in the right locations. They are, or at least were, there. Thousands of them. Gaining access to hunt is a whole different story however.
     
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  14. carsonr2

    carsonr2

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    So you agree that the majority of migration has come and gone as I said above, and that the bulk of the migration comes through from the 3rd week of October through early November.

    I know you have a lot of experience in southern MI and the bay, but they didn't stop in the NW part of the State like they do most years....that is a fact that seems to be supported by my observations as well as those in my circle up here and seems to be shared by others (see reference to AB post). I'm betting I get out a bit more in the NW 10 counties than you do each year, sure I also scout a lot more water up this way as well. I'm not referencing the managed areas or the SE portion of the State as I don't spend time down there.