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Absentee Mallards

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

  1. michiganoutdoorsman

    michiganoutdoorsman

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    Shot maybe about 40 or so mallards this year. Definitely just a bad year for them around here. Not seeing huge numbers at all. If it weren’t for geese I’d be having my worst season since I started waterfowl hunting and had no idea what I was doing. Geese were in thick September through middle of November. Still around just doing what geese do. Very elusive now. Had my best year ever for honkers and my worst year for mallards!
     
  2. rcleofly

    rcleofly

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    I’m not going to comment to much. I do the same hunt here in West Michigan every year on Thanksgiving week. This year was the first year we walked away empty handed. Mind blown. It’s always a good hunt. Just didn’t have any ducks in the area at all this year.
    So for me it’s an odd year.
     

  3. Retiredducker

    Retiredducker

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    We have a few private lakes that act as refuges... just no numbers there at all. Walpole ( Canada) had a big push yesterday and today.. or else birds just congregated in their marsh. Hard to tell but they shot a bunch today.. best of the year


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  4. michiganoutdoorsman

    michiganoutdoorsman

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    There was about 50 mallards bobbing in the waves on one of my half acre ponds today. Haven’t seen that many ducks in awhile. I got excited but who knows if I’ll even hunt them. Sad to say it but I’m pretty burned out this year.
     
  5. Outdoor Gal

    Outdoor Gal

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    Just let me know where they are and Bravo and I will get rid of them for you so you aren't tempted any more. Lol.

    I tried jump shooting yesterday after I took the kids to school. Safety zones were my nemesis. Found a couple of mallards and then a pair of wood ducks in another spot. All birds were in spots I couldn't shoot. Oh well. Got the dog some good obedience work and a romp in the woods. I'd love to finish out the season with just one more retrieve for the pooch.

    Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk
     
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  6. just ducky

    just ducky

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    Could be in your corner of the state it was true. But in the major bird movement & staging areas of the state (anything SE of a line from AuGres to Coldwater), we did see the birds for a few weeks. Again, the counts at the managed areas provide a clear picture.
     
  7. craigrh13

    craigrh13

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    Those birds must have left the bingos and hauled ass out of state and skipped PM all together or for the most part as well. My mallard season was saved by shiawassee. 150 mile trip to shoot mallards gets tiring but somehow worth it in my mind. My wife thinks I’m stupid, I have to agree with her, unfortunately.
     
  8. carsonr2

    carsonr2

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    I never once referenced any other part of the State. You brought in the almighty managed areas and SE portion of MI. I'm actually kind of surprised that some discussion of Nodak didn't make it into your response as well. You should save your hands from the carpal-tunnel syndrome you must be seeking by arguing points with me that were never a subject of the debate.

    BTW, of course flooded cornfields are going to maintain a certain threshold of birds, to think to the contrary would be silly.
     
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  9. lastflight

    lastflight

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    Amen! I really wonder how many days JD actually hunts in MI. Most of his "data" is anecdotal, second hand, or from the DNR managed area reports.

    BTW, I saw more mallards working ag fields yesterday than I have seen all season.
     
  10. just ducky

    just ducky

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    Who poked your brain, and why are you jumping in my ****??? I've hunted 1...count it 1 time at a managed area in the last 2 years. And that was only because I was at FP hunting the bay and a friend wanted to do the bingo. My hunting now is primarily Saginaw Bay and other inland marshes. Why? because contrary to what some want to believe, that's where the birds are in this state. Talk to the DNR or anyone "in the know" LOL Has anyone ever wondered why the "managed waterfowl areas" are located where they are? Because those are the primary routes for waterfowl in this state. So tell me then how you would "count" the birds in your corner of the world when there is no definite area or pattern to where they are, such as the various refuges in SE Michigan? Where would you get your data? One person sitting on a marsh in Manistee County? Hardly. So before you shoot down my rationale for making my argument, let's see the data for your argument? Yeah...you don't have any.

    And further...the OP was about absentee mallards, and the focus of my posts have been the fact that IMO they have come and gone, which is why they seem to be absent. How is that not on subject?
     
  11. just ducky

    just ducky

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    15 -20. I never once stated that I hunted every day in Michigan. Work and family responsibilities make that impossible. But I hunt enough in the prime areas of the state to see what's happening, as well as having a large network of pretty damn dedicated hunters who are in the field.

    And about you seeing them in the ag fields...I agree. I said before, there are pockets around. I hunted a field last week where there were thousands of birds working. But that was definitely not the norm, as other hunters in that same general area saw zip. But just because you have a swarm or two in a field doesn't mean the majority of the birds haven't left. No different than watching a refuge at a managed area, where there may be a few thousand birds. But outside of the refuge, nothing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  12. carsonr2

    carsonr2

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    My data consists of hours upon hours of scouting this season and every season. I regularly burn full days vacation (multiple times) during the prime 3 week period to scout (not hunt) for 7 to 8 hours. I cover water bodies in 4 counties when I scout (usually 7 to 10 lakes and 3 rivers, from multiple vantage points). I have a circle of friends who each scout several counties outside of my area, but in the 10 county NW region of the State. We all will drive a couple of hours just to get on the birds that one of us located. We share information with one another and then all hunt together. Heck this past Friday afternoon we all scouted and then came to the same conclusion that we were going after grouse with the dogs this past weekend as there was no point in chasing ducks.

    The birds were never here in large concentrations that is a fact, save for some populations of buffies and GE that showed up a couple weeks ago. I also have multiple contacts through work with LEO's, USFS staff and DNR staff that I try to gleam some information from and do in many cases as they spend considerable time in the field. So save your ideas about what you think you know about NW MI and those of us who are "In the Know".

    My initial post was in support of what AB stated about NW MI and nothing else. You took it as an opportunity to interject your .02 and debated my and many others findings (along with those of AB's friend) with information from your observations in SE MI and those of the managed areas counts. That is where you strayed from responding to the OP post by quoting my message and interjecting your points and evidence that have nothing to do with my statements about NW MI.

    Don't worry though JD, you're right as always, as you are the king of MI duck hunting, and no one else can provide information if it doesn't fit into your nice managed areas counts and personal observations.
     
  13. Retiredducker

    Retiredducker

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    Oh get at em!


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  14. just ducky

    just ducky

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    Personal observations and that of your colleagues. Calling my data "anectdotal" then is a bit like the pot calling the kettle black then? Mine is based on actual counts at the various managed areas, which we all have access to on-line. And ask your DNR contacts where they get their data for waterfowl migrations...same place I do. Better yet...come to the CWAC meetings like many of us do on our own time, and interject your thoughts. I'm sure the members would be interested.
    You won't see me saying I'm always right. In fact, my friends will tell you I'm typically not :) But I can say that I know a fair amount about what happens on Saginaw Bay each fall based on my own knowledge over the years, as well as that of many other veteran hunters from that area. And I would put historical Saginaw Bay waterfowl movement information way ahead of anything from NW lower Michigan when trying to decide when the overall migration happens in the state of Michigan as whole.
     
  15. michiganoutdoorsman

    michiganoutdoorsman

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    My buddies and I are gonna try to give em hell one last time before the season closes tomorrow with the little bit of snow and northwest winds they’re calling for. If the ducks beat us, then we’ll get them come late season (hopefully). Finals for exams are coming up next week and church on Sunday, I’m studying and thanking God for another week on this earth instead of chasing feathers this weekend!
     
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