Ducks on the move - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-02-2020, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
DDX
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Ducks on the move

Yesterday in SW PA I saw a large variety of ducks. I saw an old squaw/longtailed male on a small pond, saw common, red breasted and hooded mergs on the Mon River, I saw a pair of wood ducks on a beaver pond and 3 black duck with a group of mallards on a small lake. I think these ducks are headed back north.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-02-2020, 01:23 PM
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I agree they are headed back North along with the 40,000 snow geese at Middle Creek.

If this is the kinda weather we're looking at for the future, I'm sure we should ask for both the South & North Zones, here in PA, to be open till January 31st like the Feds allow for duck hunting in the Atlantic Flyway.
Start the duck season around Turkey Day and run it till January 31st.
Well maybe give the October Wood Duck hunters 4 days to keep them happy.

Here's a pic showing the ice cover for the Great Lakes. No ice up there equals no ducks down here. The Green line is the median ice cover for the last 40 years, that doesn't seem to happen anymore.



"A follow-up from a prior post with updated ice cover data for the Great Lakes, if your last week of waterfowl season did not turn out well in the Mississippi and Atlantic flyways, understand that this is an extremely mild weather year for folks at northern latitudes...from our original post "Ice cover on the Great Lakes greatly influences timing and intensity of waterfowl migration in the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways and remains substantially below the long-term median. Winter 2019-2020 continues as one of the mildest in recent years for eastern North America."
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Last edited by Goosehunter; 02-02-2020 at 01:26 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-02-2020, 02:07 PM
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For sure man! I was excited a few years ago we they gave us a little bit more in January, now it is looking like they might have to up it later still. Interesting info there goosehunter.
These warmer winters are “ for the birds”
Pun intended. Ice line is the ultimate driver for our success here. We sure had none this season.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-02-2020, 04:49 PM
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Id be happy with a week for woodys and then the regular season start later and end later. I always see the most ducks around my area the two weeks right after the close.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-02-2020, 05:42 PM
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I'm one of those guys that likes the season dates the way they are. I'm in SW PA and if I did anything with the season I'd add more time in November when the calendar ducks are moving through. All those new birds that have been moving back north on these recent warm fronts had to have flown past here at some point in the fall, right? Everyone across the country sees more ducks when the seasons close, simply because the ducks move back into their preferred spots since no ones harassing them anymore. Push the season back another 2 weeks and we'd just be adding 2 more weeks before the ducks come out of hiding. Just my thoughts. I always enjoy the February goose season in the RP zone because of all the ducks we get to see.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-02-2020, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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I agree, Nov and early December is when the birds move through SW PA. Late season is just a concentration of local ducks cause of the small waters being frozen. Or birds following the ice line, usually. Last 2 weeks this year were dead with all the open water.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-03-2020, 12:50 PM
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I feel the season is brought in to early ,just local bird in oct. and they get hammered, I would rather see a later start
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-03-2020, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
DDX
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I went steelhead fishing today. Took a ride to PI beach 11. Over 1000 bluebills and several hundred cans just off the beach. A few redhead mergs and bufflehead too.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-05-2020, 12:07 PM
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I’ll say from reports from st Lawrence area over half of the snow geese never came this far south, as for ducks spending time and seeing divers know is telling me they finally got pushed south. I was able to shoot wood ducks all season. Watch out if the poplar vortex winds weakening like their saying at end of next week watch how many new birds you see
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Unread 02-07-2020, 11:18 AM
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Ice on the Great Lakes continues to be way below normal.

"UPDATE - Ice conditions on the Great Lakes continue way behind schedule. Reports of huge rafts of bluebills and redheads on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River tell the same story. Thanks Jessica Goretzke for the great photo."





I've spent most of my money on Waterfowling, Women and Whiskey.
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