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I am one of the few who think the opposite, I cannot argue the fact there are more migrant geese this year. However, I am not seeing the local birds (ducks) feeding very hard, they are focused on sloughs and for the most part only hitting the field for a short time. I haven't seen any frost or a hard freeze yet!!!!!
 

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We've had at least 5 hard frosts here already and today when I was scouting for our opener on Saturday I found 6 goldeneye. I've never seen them this early in the year, it was unreal, usually nothing till late October. Should make for an interesting opener.
 

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Saw a ton of big, full color drakes last and this weekend and this weekend. I don't think they are local birds. Found a field Thurs night holding probably a couple thousand birds and the slough/roost near it probably that many more. The S&Bs are abit early when looking back at the last ten years or so but going further back they are about on time. If it was as dry up north as it was here they may not have as much food up there as in the past. I'm not betting on a hard winter yet.
 

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Western Dakota Waterfowl said:
animals know more then we do
Absolute truth!

I've been hearing a lot of reports of really full colored drake mallards taken on opening weekend. That seems strange.

I've also been hearing of a lot of guys seeing flocks on snows in the state already, which also seems strange.

I'm gonna go with the bad winter call WDW made.
 

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Interesting observations, although I have never seen any information that says that you can tell where a mallard is from based on its coloration. Maybe we need to do a mythbusters on that since it seems most people think they are seeing northern birds whenever they see a nicely colored greenhead.

By the way, out of about 20 drakes shot by my groups so far this year, only 2 have been anywhere near fully colored and most have been not even close.
 

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slough said:
Interesting observations, although I have never seen any information that says that you can tell where a mallard is from based on its coloration. Maybe we need to do a mythbusters on that since it seems most people think they are seeing northern birds whenever they see a nicely colored greenhead.
We got a mix up here. When I said that people were seeing full colored drakes, I wasn't implying that they were from farther north, rather I was saying that maybe their coloration is coming back a little bit faster this year because their animal senses are telling them that it's going to be a harsh winter. I wasn't very clear when I said that, my bad.
 

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alot of the drakes we took last weekend were pretty well colored for this early in the year. only a few were close to full color, but it was relatively easy to distingiush hens from drakes. ususally you'd have a helluva time pickin em out.
 

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Birds get color based on when they hatched or molted for the older birds, weather has nothing to do with it.

Less food to the Great White North will have more to do with earlier birds than an early winter. Last year Canada had a lot of grain in the fields so the birds stayed late.

How long they will stay in ND -SD- MN - NE - CO will depend on food supplies and weather and hunting pressure and from what I here more people are staying home this year.

JMHO
 

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Well the way it's looking now hopefully theres still some migration going on when that corn is cut, so they haven't all pushed through! Every day that comes along I get more worried they are going to make a big push. I just love hunting the corn I guess.
 

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Muskrats have built there house's earlier this year than usual and I saw a small flock of snows just north of the S.D. border today. Makes ya wonder if they know something we don't.
 

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I think we're seeing a higher percentage of near full color drakes right now because their old birds. I dont think theirs alot of young birds, or the young ones are not making field runs yet, just staying on the sloughs. (The NR's should get lots of young birds on the water :D ).

As for the geese being earlier, I havent seen anything yet that would tell me winters coming early. We've targeted huntable numbers of snows, blues, and lessers every year on the second weekend of season in our area. If anything, maybe the migration is finally reverting back to the way it was back in the "good ole days".

I had a guy telling me he thinks the whitetails are getting ready to rut in another week (due to the "early winter")......photoperiod, not weather spurs the rut.
 

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We have shot a bunch of fully colored greenheads so far and my friend shot one that had 2 curls. I found that kind of wierd because we usually don't start shooting fully colored ones until a little before mid October. And I have also seen a whole bunch of lessers a couple giants and some smaller flocks of snows and blues.
 

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Leo Porcello said:
I shot a 3 curler on Sunday but I am of course some what of a big deal when it comes to waterfowling. Just sayin... 8)

OMG it has gone to his head. :eek:

I have seen lots of fully feathered drake mallards, but I am of course no big deal as some are on here.

:beer:

Ima870man

:wink: :wink:
 
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