Michigan-Sportsman.com banner

1 - 20 of 43 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,386 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Our decades old tradition of a duck hunt in third week of October was broken. My brother has to attend 2 weddings in consecutive weekends in mid to late October down state. We had to choose early October or late and “we chose poorly “.
I saw one merganser and one goose on the NE corner of the bridge late weds afternoon.
That was a harbinger of our hunt. We focused mainly on Munuscong bay. Normally we hit diver migration spot on or a little late.
We were early. Yesterday morning (mon 10/7) we saw some small groups of redheads migrating in. Their descent from the heavens to the lake deck was heralded by the sound of tearing linen! They cruised the bay and moved on.
We found a hundred or so ring necks but they were inaccessible to us. The depth of the marsh water will easily accommodate a 14’ boat with 25 horse Johnson. HOWEVER the sudden appearance of this water lily has made it really tough to motor and row in.
Too deep to wade and too congested to motor/row makes hunting locations limited for us.
The rising water levels have opened hundreds of acres of marsh to the ducks. We saw a very few widgeon , gadwall, teal, and mallard fly around and drop into one of the hundreds of marsh openings that exist now.
We watched 2 brushed out boat blinds idle the hours away in the middle of the bay while we posted watch on the edges. They were doing almost no shooting as well.
We took a break and hunted a series of private ponds near Barbeau. At the end of shooting hours dozens of teal and woodies piled in. Was really cool to watch but was too late to shoot.
After decades of hunts in the books we decided it is way more important to be late in the migration than early up there.
All told fantastic time watching the dozens and dozens of raptors migrate against the backdrop of near peak fall color!

Trip south over the bridge 0 waterfowl observed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,972 Posts
we are abandoning our annual trip to Raber this season for a trip to long pointe Ontario for Nov. 7-11, 2019. out last few trips there in late oct have been awful....andy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,386 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
we are abandoning our annual trip to Raber this season for a trip to long pointe Ontario for Nov. 7-11, 2019. out last few trips there in late oct have been awful....andy
Mid Oct seems best. Last year multiple days of strong sustained winds out of the NW pushed birds past the bay into L St Clair (I watched them pour in with my dad just before our hunt)
We are getting the itch to travel west for birds.
Financial obligations re college kids keep bursting that bubble
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,419 Posts
Brother went to MTU. After helping him move in I said no chance in hell, and spent five years in Flint instead.

She's also looking at Princeton - I'm down with sneak boxes and hunting black ducks and greater snows in the tidal flats of NJ.
 

·
Registered
remington - turkey, grouse, woodcock, duck, goose, deer (and pheasant if any exist)
Joined
·
1,012 Posts
Hunted around newbery opening weekend. Even less birds than i saw hunting around Marquette in last year opener
Up opening is terrible, but provides nice sunrises
Glad i took golf clubs and grouse gear! Haha

Sent from my SM-G950U using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
961 Posts
Spring came late this year. Obviously summer stuck around in September. The season is running 3 weeks late. Adjust accordingly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
92 Posts
Hunted around newbery opening weekend. Even less birds than i saw hunting around Marquette in last year opener
Up opening is terrible, but provides nice sunrises
Glad i took golf clubs and grouse gear! Haha

Sent from my SM-G950U using Michigan Sportsman mobile app
The way I see it, it's because there has IMO been zero effort or funds used in the U.P. in general to improve or maintain the public areas we have to hunt for a long time. That and a dry summer with low water in some inland spots that I hunt didn't give us much of a chance of keeping and holding ducks this summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,316 Posts
The way I see it, it's because there has IMO been zero effort or funds used in the U.P. in general to improve or maintain the public areas we have to hunt for a long time. That and a dry summer with low water in some inland spots that I hunt didn't give us much of a chance of keeping and holding ducks this summer.
Tom Casperson did an excellent job of buggering things up for waterfowlers in the U.P. when he froze MDNR land transactions. Money had just been let to finalize the purchase of the Autrain Basin Refuge and all signatories had put their names of the document. Monies were frozen in place...Onota Twsp. received no tax monies on the parcel. Farmer share-croppers did not get paid for wildlife plantings and dropped-out of the program. Roads and parking areas grew back in, etc. Water is still there, but a fair number of the 16,000 or so geese that used this area are now gone or dispersed.

The drought area was offset by near-maximum rainfall everywhere else on the peninsula, filling just about every wetland, permanent and seasonal, to the brim which has really spread the birds out, both locals and migrators.

Eucman, keep spreading the word that hunting sucks in the Keewenaw and environs, those of us who "know the dirt" appreciate your pronouncements greatly!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
976 Posts
Pretty empty.

I crossed the bridge midday Tuesday and did not see a bird until I reached Iron Mountain about five or. Lake Antoine had scattered birds on it but nothing major. Spent Wednesday between Iron Mountain and Iron River. Talked to a farmer in Iron River that actually gave me permission to kill all the geese I wanted. But he hadn't seen many this year.

Up to Marquette Wednesday night. Couple scattered packs flying. Spent today between Marquette and Escanaba. All my contacts said pretty thin birds. Never spotted a single one in all the driving around.

Back in Marquette for the night before home tomorrow. Will update bridge information after I cross.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
35,294 Posts
Far better hunting and fishing on the eastern side.
I was at MTU for four years . I think the DNR put the deer per sq mile for the Keweenaw peninsula at 4!
No ducks but a quick exciting goose season
Lol ya I think I saw 3 sets of tracks up there.
 
1 - 20 of 43 Posts
Top