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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wow the stink is getting terrible. Friday....skunked ! Monday....skunked !
This morning....skunked !.......Gee's even Tess is going to sleep on me in the blind she's so excited......lol I guess the "Real" bad part is I did not see that many ducks, either coming or going from fields to bay and back. I'm not giving in yet !..........I don't even care if she starts singing !.....:)
 

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I think we should all face it....this will go down as the crappiest duck season in the history of Michigan and northern Ohio.

Seen it bad....but never this bad.

SK said it a couple weeks back....and I didn't believe him...but now I do...

Something to the tune of..."yeah..the migration has already happened..."
 

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we've been holding 20k stale birds for 3 weeks now. lost some geese week or 2 ago...losing ducks daily. nothing new joining the refuge and don't really expect anything before end of season this year. maybe a small push of birds holding from fish pt or nq pt.
 

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Definitely been a rough one. Per day bird average for me personally is a little less than half of last year and I have had two hunts with blanks...none last year at all. I am sure it is not the worst, but it is the worst since I moved back to Michigan as far as I can remember.

Here's to holding out false hope for the last week and then waiting for the split.
 

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My daughter was deer hunting in the thumb, east side near forester. She saw ducks up very high in big flocks headed south. that was two weeks ago. she said there was flock after flock for a hour or so all headed south. sounds to me like they just flew over with out stopping.
 

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my lease is out of birds, the river I hunt is out of birds, alot of corn is still up, still over 40% moisture content according to farmer at church, so the geese that have been roosting on my lake have moved on, made a call to a buddy about a trip to ****own and he has been skunked twice in a row, he hunted this afternoon so maybe a better report, put a ton of miles on today looking for birds, found 10 geesers but no permission...found another 40-50 but per the home owner "there is a giant buck running around that weve been chasin" so "NO", sorry.....wife says Ive been crabby quite a bit, my lab has put on 5-7 pounds....I need ducks
 

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I too spent a loooooong day watching the sky today. Did manage one mallard, but god's honest truth I don't think we saw 20 birds total all day.

Not doubting the theories that the birds have passed us up this year. However something to think about...got an email this morning from the farmers we stay with in North Dakota (who Shi Kid knows), and they're just getting going good picking the corn. They said they just never saw the big bunches of ducks there this year, and honestly don't expect to. And they're out there every day sunup to sundown. They have snows up the ying yang right now (sent some pics that I'll shoot to you Dan), but almost no ducks. And this is the breadbasket of ducks we're talking about guys. So at least I can report that we aren't alone in being baffled by it this year.
 

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so, what you guys are saying is that, the birds have already migrated? Because i was thinking that we were still waiting for the weather to hit to get the birds moving. I thought maybe a late migration. Whats the common consensus here?
 

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Forgive me if I'm wrong, but don't most of our birds come from Ontario? I've been watching their weather & their in the same boat as us...mild weather. In fact, Manitoba just finally started to freeze up at night this past week. So in other words, I'm still holding out that there is still hope. I know there's always a push the second week of October and then the trickling migration, but there are also a good number that won't migrate until there is no choice.

All I know is that we need to rid ourselves of the January split and instill a normal mid-season split. The boys in Ohio are going to be smiling this Christmas at the start of their two week split.
 

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Well, from what i gather, Ontario has been froze out like 2 1/2 weeks ago(Source: Buddy deer hunted up there and then the cyberscouting here:evil:). So, that shoulda pushed allot of birds down i would think. Now, noone seems to be tearing them up consistantly from the reports from different areas of the state on here. Seems like everyone has some birds around and for the most part theyre pretty stale. So, id say that there may be some small pushes with weather, but i think for the most part its already happened. IMO, we havent had a good push in at least 3 weeks when a bunch of fatty mallards moved in, which would seem like a result of the colder weather leading to the freeze up up north. They were fun, but have become wise to the game and are just chillin out or have moved on.
 

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PS: this weather has me really, really crabby!:rant:
 

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Naw, im having a hard time buying that. I can usually judge migration by the river i live on. My section of the river holds birds all year. Its a very good section with plenty of food and cover. I have only saw local mallards on it. Theyre in my freezer now, im waiting for some migrators to show up here. Im on that river 3 days a week and i havent seen any new birds. Its my belief that they havent arrived. I always know when theyve arrived because the new birds are in places that are outwardly attractive to the birds then as they are there for a little while they end up in the sweet spots. Soooo My vote is for the birds havent gotten here yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The normal bird movement says there's more birds on the way. That's in a "Normal" year. This Has Not been a normal year. During the early goose there were more ducks around here than you could shake a stick at. Then a NW blow....a "Lot" left. Three days before the opener another NW blow..A TON of ducks were here. More ducks than I've ever seen for the opener....and that's a bold statement.

Every waterfowl bird that travels through FP has been here and gone already.
Everything was early. The pinners, swans, little geese, even the speckle belly's came through 2wks ahead of schedule. Then warm weather hit ! And we've been stuck in this warm weather pattern for way too long.
We "Might" get a little push this week-end in the Bay area, but there's no doubt in my mind the guys in southern Mi will never see it. There's just not enough season left. And we will not see the numbers we did last year based on the amount that's already been here and gone.

Heck Fish Point killed over a 1000 ducks on the opening week-end. And we're just short of 8K now. This total is waaaay over the normal years average.
Another example:.....About a mile due south of FP is a 100+ acre picked corn field with nothing around it. It sits there all by itself, a Mallard magnet if I ever saw one. My last three times to FP I go by it, and have yet to see a duck working it. Somethings wrong there for sure !! I've hunted this area for many, many, years. We'll be lucky if we get a shoot or maybe two for the rest of the season..........:sad:
 

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i agree i have cut corn down all along the river and nothing in it. THere are some geese around. The blacks just showed up here 2 weeks ago and we have a good number of divers but like i said havent seen any migrators on the river and about the time the blacks showed up the woodys left. So its strange for sure. I cant say im down on birds taken because my shotgun fit was wrong for the first half of the season. I was on shootable birds but couldnt hit em. I have seen some decent sized mallards but not in great numbers. Have hunted the managed area on a fairly regular basis and havent seen a remarkable number of birds though there are a good number staged and using the fuge but like everywhere else they are stale. I have been seeing swans which is not normal to see them without having a decent amount of ducks move through. No doubt its been a strange season but im still not convinced the mallards have come and gone.
 

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Hey Mike, it could be our location too. Where you are it could be that you guys are holding the staged birds that im waiting for. Im sure in this next week or so those birds will hit my area. Fish point sag bay NQ point Shiawasee. Were waiting for you guys to release those birds im down here in the south so that big push of birds is what were waiting for. Funny thing is my river holds birds right til the river is completely frozen so i guess im waiting a gift. We would know whats going on if we got a nice clipper that would be true test.
 

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migration is right on schedule here. just no weather to move them around is all. we peaked in our refuge at the same time as most years (mid-november). nothing really different except bird harvest is down. We haven't had 1 day in the past 3 weeks with wind over 5-8mph. We haven't had but a couple days all season of sw-w-nw-n wind. east or southeast wind and u can write off the flats. it usually sucks.

you south east guys will be laggin behind us by a week or 2 but keep this in mind. Buffies/golden eyes started being the main staple of most the bay hunters like 2 weeks ago. blacks showed up here 2 weeks ago. Was out yesterday and pretty much half the birds i seen were blacks. Add those 2 things together and that spells backend of the migration.

will there be more mallards that push thru? sure, some birds never leave michigan all winter. west side will see quite a few birds come thru mid december, we will have the same 20k birds here after season as we did during season if it don't freeze. Weather has more to do with killing birds than the migration does when u start talking late season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey Mike, it could be our location too. Where you are it could be that you guys are holding the staged birds that im waiting for. Im sure in this next week or so those birds will hit my area. Fish point sag bay NQ point Shiawasee. Were waiting for you guys to release those birds im down here in the south so that big push of birds is what were waiting for. Funny thing is my river holds birds right til the river is completely frozen so i guess im waiting a gift. We would know whats going on if we got a nice clipper that would be true test.
I would say you are very correct, I've also noticed quite a few blacks. Typical of the end. So if we do get a NW they should move, there all fattened up and ready to travel. Now how far ? I wouldn't be looking for big numbers, at least from here FP. Now if some bug out from SHI then it "Might" be different. As the kid said there's stale birds here now and a more to come. I just feel we do not have enough season to take advantage of them, whenever they get here. The southern Mi guys will have a blast on the two day Jan hunt.
 

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Forgive me if I'm wrong, but don't most of our birds come from Ontario? ...
Not suggesting our birds are the same birds as they get in North Dakota. All I was trying to say is that their pattern this year is similar to ours, and they haven't seen a real influx of mallards there either. In addition to just being out in the fields like farmers do, there are several large potholes in that area of Nodak that act like refuges, and they can see the mallards real easily when they show up. Even in smaller dribbles of birds. Not rocket science...just simple observation. So in their case either (a) the major groups of birds went right past them because of the fact that the corn harvest is so late (which I doubt because they didn't see them...even flying over in large flocks), (b) they just came in dribbles during the entire season, (c) they came and went during the nighttime (which happens, but they still see the flocks flying because they're out in the fields), or (d) the birds are still north of them as well in the Canadian provinces. Don't have the answers, but just saying their birds never showed either.
 
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