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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can honestly say that this is probably the worst that I have seen our local goose population since I have been hunting. We have five areas that we scout really hard, most years each area holds pretty good numbers of birds,(not southern Michigan good) but a healthy population of birds in each area.

Each of the areas we scout have only 1/8 to 1/2 the geese this year. Like every year we have scouted our arses off with 3 or more trucks driving most every evening for the past three weeks. We have the fields but no geese. Some years there are geese and we cannot get the right fields but that is not the case this year, there are simply no geese.

The last week or so I said we have got to be missing something, hidden fields or such. So I started looking hard at roosts at midday and night and the numbers on the roosts are identical to what we are seeing in the fields. This lack of honkers has caused us to branch out into new areas in which we have not hunted very hard in the past and these areas too are void of sizeable numbers of geese.

Please dont take this as whining and crying, because I feel really fortunate to experience the bloodbaths that I have experienced over the years.And please dont take this as someone who jumped in the truck for a half hour and is whining cuz their are no geese, because are group is extremely dedicated to windshield time. Just was wondering if anyone else is experiencing similiar results from scouting.

Through spring turkey hunting and scouting I noticed sizeable numbers of breeding pairs. I am somewhat curious as to if the large amount of rainfall we received (I will have to look up the dates) 9 to 10 inches in a week had an effect on breeding success. At this point I am more curious than upset and may contact a Bioligist as a result of curiosity.

Any Thoughts
 

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I really dont think numbers are down. If numbers were down we wouldnt have a five bird limit instead of a three bird limit. I hunt and scout a pretty big area and alot of the times the birds will change their flight paths because of food, weather, pressure, or water levels. I hope for your sake its just one of those years and you will have your numbers back next year. From what i hear there is a big change in the weather coming next weekend. Maybe that will start the molt migration and a few birds will come back into your area. All anyone can do is cross thier fingers, But isnt that the case for waterfowling most of the time? Good luck, hope you can at least get a few for the freezer.
 

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Dedgoose,
I would have to agree with you. I can only speak of my area really, but I've been seeing the same exact thing. The spots around me that ALWAYS hold geese, are just simply empty. Maybe they are somewhere else? But I've never seen some of these places not hold geese. I'm not even talking about only places that are huntable. Even the unhuntable spots that normally act as huge refuges are pretty much void of geese. But nobody else has said anything until now, so maybe it's just you and me.......
That being said, I'm not concerned. I don't put too much time into this early goose anyway. To me, it's just filler time until I can start throwing steel at big greenheads. But as far as I'm concerned, I definitely don't think you're crazy. I've been seeing similar situations.
 

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The same in my area. Nothing!!! After the morning scout,just empty fields.:sad: They were around one day and gone the next. I hope things change for all of us.

Good luck to all!
 

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I agree the birds are deffinatly hiding somewhere. Even the refuges like crow island are empty and the fields inside or the large chemical plant and waste ponds arnt holding birds. In my travels in dow iv only seen 2 flocks of abour 15 each compared to the larger flocks last year. but they'll come around they always do
 

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It's the same up here by the bay, there are just not the numbers that are usually here. My small family of 6 evolved to over 100. Now the family's still here but the rest bugged out and I can't find them. Normally there are geese at two different golf courses, nada. I went to FP thur. to take a look around and I didn't see a goose in the air or field. And the rye is just coming up, geese love that fresh rye. I know there's a few hanging at the point, but what concerns me is my local population. Where'd they go ? I'm wondering if the local geese that are normally here, were moved/captured by the DNR and given a free ride to other states.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's the same up here by the bay, there are just not the numbers that are usually here. My small family of 6 evolved to over 100. Now the family's still here but the rest bugged out and I can't find them. Normally there are geese at two different golf courses, nada. I went to FP thur. to take a look around and I didn't see a goose in the air or field. And the rye is just coming up, geese love that fresh rye. I know there's a few hanging at the point, but what concerns me is my local population. Where'd they go ? I'm wondering if the local geese that are normally here, were moved/captured by the DNR and given a free ride to other states.
You bring up agood point in the trap and transfer thing. My area however is all agricultural so for where I live in contrary to a metro area there would be little reason for a hush hush trap and transfer.

I always see early season as an appetizer for the flights. But there is def something wrong this year. I am somewhat intriqued that this isnt just a local area thing.
 

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Same thing here and not sure what is going on we put on 370 miles in two days and the birds are way down. Our norm is crap! Still looking for the big load of birds.:rant:
 

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Guys, Talked with Jim Knutson in Brooklyn, Mi today. Jim & Tom has been in the business of waterfowl hunting for many years. I
asked the same question about the birds & not seeing many. Their info is the birds here had an early breeding season & as soon as the weather got HOT, most went to the St James Bay. He said, " They'll be back but it may not be until after the regular season or abit cooler weather. My fields are bare also.
 

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Guys, Talked with Jim Knutson in Brooklyn, Mi today. Jim & Tom has been in the business of waterfowl hunting for many years. I
asked the same question about the birds & not seeing many. Their info is the birds here had an early breeding season & as soon as the weather got HOT, most went to the St James Bay. He said, " They'll be back but it may not be until after the regular season or abit cooler weather. My fields are bare also.

Well that is the first time I have heard that theory.

Local Giant Canadas flying to James Bay after the hatch? Hmmmmm
 

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Wer'e not finding many either. Scouted pretty hard again this morning and found a grand total of 3 flocks that totaled 41. I know theres a more than that around as i found more than that in one flock alone yesterday morning, so theres some hiding somewheres. That said, there certainly arent the numbers of geese around the area that there normally is at this time of year. Normally there are several hundred roosting along a short section of bay shore, you can bank on it...theyre just not there this year for some reason.....Its a little appetizer until duck season, so ill take what i can get and be happy with it....and hope the skeeters dont eat me up too bad....its gonna be a hot one boys!
 

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i went out for about four hours on thursday and found a pretty darn good number of geese. maybe.....400 geese total within a 25-30 mile radius. one harvested sweet corn field with 200 feeders in it, and how i found that was i saw 2 flocks of 20-25 flying out of it. so who knows how many were in there during the morning hours.....cant wait til monday morn now!!!!
 

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jim knuetson may have sold decoys for some time now, but that theory is silly. yeah, it did get hot and dry,which is probly why theres not many inland geese right now. farm ponds are dry, the grasses are dead, crops havent been harvested . but lake erie and the detroit river have quite a few honkers right now. there here still just not where your lookin:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Guys, Talked with Jim Knutson in Brooklyn, Mi today. Jim & Tom has been in the business of waterfowl hunting for many years. I
asked the same question about the birds & not seeing many. Their info is the birds here had an early breeding season & as soon as the weather got HOT, most went to the St James Bay. He said, " They'll be back but it may not be until after the regular season or abit cooler weather. My fields are bare also.
Guys, Talked with Jim Knutson in Brooklyn, Mi today. Jim & Tom has been in the business of waterfowl hunting for many years. I
asked the same question about the birds & not seeing many. Their info is the birds here had an early breeding season & as soon as the weather got HOT, most went to the St James Bay. He said, " They'll be back but it may not be until after the regular season or abit cooler weather. My fields are bare also.
Thank you so much for your reseach and posting of it:) And dont take this as critisim towards you but I am somewhat skeptical of it. If it is true I am somewhat baffled as to how we would have geese three weeks ago sitting on ponds their were still yet to take flight and would have other geese taking flight North. is their that much of a difference between hatch dates.

On the other hand maybe your theory has merit. The more and more I look and realize it is not just local, but is occuring in other areas of the state. Maybe your theory is correct, or trap and transfer, or weather, previous harvest etc etc Dunno but something has def occured this year and all of your guys posts have helped me to believe this.

Keep the ideas coming, it is keeping my mind rolling
 

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this is funny a month ago there were a dozen birds at my local pond watched them from hatchlings now the are no where to be seen. not even at the golf course next door:confused:
 

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I can say I am not having the same issues as you, More of mine are getting the access to the right lands. In the past week I have seen about 8 fields with 100 or more and a field this morning with over 200!!! And All are either being leased to guides or we were a day late and a dollar short.

We kept at it but I think ill be driving up to school tomorrow morning instead of hunting in a stubble field:rolleyes:
 

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I feel your pain guys All last week we did not have very many birds hanging around. This mornig we found that 4 of our fields are holding huntable numbers of birds. I have no idea where they came from but I sure was glad to see them. As for the trip to the north, I lived on a lake that always had about 70 geese on it every summer. about half way through August they would disapear for about 10 days. and it seemed like all the other little lakes were missing theirs as well. then they would re-appear. I don't know where they went, but it could be that they take their young on a training flight. Also I have noticed that when swans move in, geese move out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I can say I am not having the same issues as you, More of mine are getting the access to the right lands. In the past week I have seen about 8 fields with 100 or more and a field this morning with over 200!!! And All are either being leased to guides or we were a day late and a dollar short.

We kept at it but I think ill be driving up to school tomorrow morning instead of hunting in a stubble field:rolleyes:
Hey is that in BR at a home. I just graduated from FSU a few years ago, and most years for openener we would have a field with 300 to 400. Give me a PM if ya wanna talk sometimes I know some very good areas down there.
 
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