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Have You Noticed...

4645 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Dean Nelson
Have any of you noticed over the last 5-8 years that the snows leave the roost later in the morning than they used to? I remember 10+ years ago we always had the first few bunches come in when it was still 1/2 hour before sunrise (were talking fall hunting). Nowdays they wait till sunrise and also you see very few singles and pairs any more. Used to be if you had a bad morning.. picked the wrong field or the weather was too nice you could always pick off some juvy singles but lately you just dont see them, always in bunches. Weve had decent hatches and there are plnty of juvies around most years so they must be learning somehow.
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I don't know if I have noticed what Wood Duck has observed. There have been so few of the darned things in North Dakota the last few years when I have hunted that I was just happy to see a few all day. I suppose it depends on how close you are set up to the roost and the total number of birds in the area. Sometimes it takes 15 minutes for them to fly out to the feeding field if it is a ways away from the roost.

I do remember one time 10 or more years ago that a goose came into the decoys when it was virtually dark while we were setting up. We were only 20 yards away from the thing and could not see it clearly. It really couldn't see us either as we called to each other in our hunting party and assembled to watch it standing there. It eventually flew away.

I, like Ken, also remember back to 1976 when the birds would come off Lake Alice at about 12:45 p.m. There were some birds out earlier in the morning. But, the mass feeding movement was 15 minutes before we had to quit shooting. That was very frustrating. There were also tens of thousands around by October 10. Not anymore. "The times, they are a changin," said a fellow Minnesotan a few years ago.
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