cluckmeister wrote:Man that's a tough question to answer, its so dependent on the weather north of us in Nebraska and the Dakotas. The peak could happen anytime during December. Other issues are cold weather and freeze up. 3 nights of calm 20 degree temps will freeze most of our marshes and ponds that time of year and the birds head to the rivers and big lakes or go south. Kansas is a crap shoot state in all honesty and as a saying that's well known here in Kansas goes. What is here today, may be gone tomorrow!
cluckmeister wrote:Barnacle, if you've read some of my posts then you know that I absolutely hate to see fellow hunters deceived by our State Tourism Dept, they could care less about anything but bringing bucks into the state of Kanas. If you would PM any of our more active state members, Mudpack for one, Im sure they would agree on the subject. If you're like me and don't have a money tree in the backyard, you want value for your money spent. If you can plan your trip a week before the actual departure date you're far better off, closely watch our weather for 2 weeks before your trip and also the weather in Nebraska during the time period. As for bird populations the http://ksoutdoors.com/ has updates all season long and at times can be helpful ,some areas are more reliable than others on the populations. And finally the perhaps most important thing to watch is the amount of rainfall the different areas of Kansas gets from June 1st on. Hunting in Kansas, yep its a real crapshoot every year, even for us locals
mudpack wrote:In a "normal" year, mid- to late-December would be a good time here.
As Cluck said, we won't know what the conditions will be until the time arrives. Your dates are as good a guess at this point as any other time, so I'd stay with that schedule BUT be prepared to cancel if we are frozen up at that time. Late January can also be very good in certain areas IF we are frozen and IF the birds are here. This year, the mallards/birds were NOT here the last half of January, but they are certainly here NOW!
Check back with us the first part of December and we'll try to give you accurate intelligence.
Ramblingman wrote:I concur with all that has been posted but if I had my druthers, I would take Veteran's Day to T-Day over December or January Everytime (provided marshes have water). That's just my sweet spot for where I hunt. If I could only hunt 2 weeks a season it would be those.
Barnacle wrote:cluckmeister wrote:Man that's a tough question to answer, its so dependent on the weather north of us in Nebraska and the Dakotas. The peak could happen anytime during December. Other issues are cold weather and freeze up. 3 nights of calm 20 degree temps will freeze most of our marshes and ponds that time of year and the birds head to the rivers and big lakes or go south. Kansas is a crap shoot state in all honesty and as a saying that's well known here in Kansas goes. What is here today, may be gone tomorrow!
I was afraid of this answer! You're telling me that Kansas is no different than anywhere else? I thought it was a "waterfowl mecca"!? (if you can't tell, I've read some of your posts)
Anyway, it's looking like the 2nd/3rd week of December.
Ramblingman wrote:All good points. I would contest that the peak being referred to is not so much of the highest count of mallards in the state, as it is concentrations of mallards in large numbers, typically in highly visible areas. If you take all of the mallards hanging out on marshes, ponds, sloughs and backwaters that are really building throughout the mid to late November timeframe, and push them onto larger bodies of water that hold waterfowl during the freeze thaw regime and dietary shift that occurs early to mid-December, I think it isn't as much of a peak as the experts think. By no means am I saying that early November is peak, not even mid November, but I am saying that the best mallard hunting is not necessarily the peak,....at least in my experience.
Yuchi1 wrote:Check each week for where the contintntal snow line >12" is located. The migration of mallards will be situated just south of it.
Yuchi1 wrote:Agreed, however if they can get to open water, they will stay, food access permitting. Have a photo in the shop (01/1996) of ~250K birds roosting on a borrow pit lake in Kearney, Nebraska adjacent to the Platte river (which was still open in places) and with access to the corn fields east of town. It was -15 degrees that day and had been in that range for ~2 weeks which illustrates to me the hardiness of large race Canada geese & red leg mallards.
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