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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got off the phone with a game warden from the SC area of ND, and the situation isn't good at all. Most sloughs are way down. All the small sloughs are gone and the only water is the remaining water in the larger sloughs. Jump shooting is out of the question this year. Also, in his 25 mile radius area that he hunts there are only about 4 or 5 decent spots for mallards 1/2 of which you can't get access for, and with the number of NR hunters that are planning on hunting the area it is going to be a free for all. He talked to one guy that has a house that is planning on having 30 guys up for the opener. Hate to say it but I think most of you that are planning on hunting this part of the state are going to be dissappointed if you don't have connections. Sorry to be gloom and doom, but that is way it is shaping up right now. I was gonna head down that way this weekend, but I think I will hold off for the late season.
 

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what are you calling south central? Shoot me some city names.. How far central are you talking? Are you talking about aroung Napoleon/Streeter area? North of there or South of there? I would think it wouldn't be as bad up around Kidder county? Just going from what i have heard. What do you think about the zone 2 area???
 

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I talked to the same guy, decoyer, and also some farmers that said they haven't even been seeing ducks in the Kulm, Fredonia areas drier the further west you go, east of there, Lamoure areas very dry as well...one mentioned the outfitters are really at it trying to get more land tied up now that much of the leased acres they have are drying up. Nothing like the concentrations of mallards in years past and ditto on the puddle jumping.....just nothing left as far a seasonal wetlands. I cancelled my room for this weekend in Edgeley if anyone wants one for Saturday.

One problem is the farmers are making much more money growing corn and soybeans and just are not plantng wheat and barley like they were in the past. Soy beans harvest is just starting and the corn for the most part hasn't begun and will be lucky to be done by Nov deer hunting. Very little barley in all of the KULM area district.

There are some wet areas but I doubt that everyone is going to find GREAT hunting as in the past. Don't mean to start something here but if the snow doesn't come this Winter the G&F better start talking about capping the numbers next year......The areas that are wet this year will never sustain and hold the waterfowl for very long after 60-70,000 guys start hammering the birds...especially if the big water gets hit due to the lack of the seasonal wetlands.

Don't be suprised if you scout an area at sunset only to have a guide or outfitter post the field for the next day.....happened to us last weekend and only after "reasoning, hard" with the guy were we able to get access....this was in a field that had never been posted n the past.

Good luck to all this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This report is from Logan and McIntosh Counties, but basicly if you draw a line from the SE corner of the state to Bottineau, anything west of that line is borderline drought right now. The NE is about the only positive spot in the state as of now, and I don't think that will last after the onslaught of NR hunters coming this weekend. Pretty much the whole coteau region of ND is in the beginning stages of a drought right now.
 

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This is why season lenghts and bag limits based on spring pond counts is not as in the past a good indicator of what kind of preassure any one area can handle. While I was not a big fan of the zones this year it seems that it may be a good thing especially for later season birds. When the word sets out about the poor hunting and conditions from 20 miles north of Jamestown to the SD border, the DL area will be overrun.

The only bad thing is that the hotels and gas stations will see a loss of business and the tourism dept and the G/O will try and blame the resident hunters for the drop in business just like they did last year when the state froze up early in the north. Remind the small businesses when you stop that it is dry and opportunity if limited by the G/O industry in the area you are hunting is the biggest reason this may be the only time you see them this year. I can hardly wait until Sat in the local bar listening to the P##ing and moaning about no water and no ducks. I will sit back and smile and say I told all of you this is what was going to happen in March.
 

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I would definately confirm that the area around Oakes, LaMoure, and all the way over to Kulm are very dry right now. Many perennial sloughs are dry and birds can be hard to come by. I've seen areas where you have to drive over 6 miles just to see something other than corn. I'm sure i'll be encountering thousands of NR's this weekend as is usual in our area. I hope they have fun packing their bags with limited success.
 

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I would also confirm that there is a serious water situation down thre right now. The big waters still looks good, but the little stuff that people waded and hunted in years past is DRY. We were out in northern Kidder this morning and heard steady shooting in all directions, although admittedly from long distances. We were hunting cranes, but did not see much for ducks in the area. Some NR's wil still think it is good, but it will be nothing liek years past. I think there will be some unhappy people headed home this time. And the drops that small towns see will have little to nothing to do with the zones. All tied to the birds.

What will really be interesting is all the people who want multi species hunt and come the 11 to hunt pheasants as well. The pheasant/duck overlap is DRY, and will see alot of pressure before pheasants open up. That is going to be one tough hunt!!!!
 
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