How was your season?

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How was your season?

Postby frostypawsryan » Mon Dec 26, 2011 9:17 pm

I saw an average amount of woodies at the beginning, and more bills and buffles than ever at the end. I have never seen so few mallards as this year.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby BootsUpDucks2121 » Mon Jan 02, 2012 5:12 pm

Was out near fish point goose hunting, have never seen so many flight mallards in my life, literally thousands flying all day long. I just think it has not been cold enough to get the birds down, they are moving now though ...
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Re: How was your season?

Postby A-Bomb » Thu Jan 05, 2012 12:39 pm

Awesome season. Pounded the hell outta the mallards. More than i can remember ever. Guess it just depends on where you were. Goose season was good for us as well. Lotta geese left, just cant get the damned thigns to cooperate. Coming out too late in PM. Grrr
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Re: How was your season?

Postby Joshua » Sat Jan 14, 2012 12:41 pm

Average season with the number, I think 27 ducks like most years. I got 1 hooded Merg (female tho), around 5 Mallards (Most ever), and the rest woodies except for my first Black Duck. I did not think that Black Ducks looked that cool in pictures but seeing one up close gave me my first urge to mount an animal, they are a very cool duck, but no money so I just ate it. I could have had higher numbers but some days I felt like just getting out and did not fire a shot. :hammer:
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Re: How was your season?

Postby Fowlmouth421 » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:17 pm

I shot my first duck which was a Woodie. Other than that, nada.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby waterfowlhunter » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:14 am

Down a lot from last year but still had a good season, Only got to hunt about 15 days due to other obligations but hopefull that next year offers more time in the blind.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby waterfowl1030 » Sun Jan 22, 2012 7:09 pm

I hunt over on the west side in muskegon and i had a decent season. didn't get to shoot many divers tho thanx to our new f'd up 2 day duck split. If they would have left it how it has been and how it should be then i would have had 2 amazing days like i do every year but this year, there were not near the number of divers that are normally down for the 2-day solit, can anybody tell that i was upset this year about the season chamge... :mad:
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Re: How was your season?

Postby sws002 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:00 pm

waterfowl1030 wrote:I hunt over on the west side in muskegon and i had a decent season. didn't get to shoot many divers tho thanx to our new f'd up 2 day duck split. If they would have left it how it has been and how it should be then i would have had 2 amazing days like i do every year but this year, there were not near the number of divers that are normally down for the 2-day solit, can anybody tell that i was upset this year about the season chamge... :mad:


Apparently there is a DNR survey floating around addressing this issue. Supposed to address the option of adding a 4th zone for all the bay hunters that screwed this up for us. And calling the 2 day "a split" is just insulting, especially when it happens 5 days after the end of season. I would like to see at least two weeks of season open during actual duck hunting weather, be it the end of December or start of January. I will find the number you have to call to get the survey and post it, but in case you needed a little more reason to push the season back, I will post a video my buddy took this last weekend while goose hunting. Makes a guy sick that we can't shoot ducks right now...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_sxxLDwmes
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Re: How was your season?

Postby ducks'n'bucks91 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:05 pm

My season was great, shot 302 between me and my clients, only 2 times a week, we hammered them, shot 30 teal one day in middle november, the teal stuck around all season this year, even got one in december, shot lots of ducks, have some land in the middle of jackson county and we shot 10 different species of ducks, in cluding a hen can, crazy because we never get divers, but shot widgeon, bwt, gwt, mallards, woodies, pintail, canvas backs, merganser, shovlers, blacks and a bunch of geese. Crazy mix bag this year.
The reason they changed the 2 day split is to help all the counties not in the west because we freeze up by january---not this year because it was insane. But usually, and you cant blame a change in the 2 day season for your crappy season the absolute most it could add to you total is 12. 12 ducks dont make or break a season.
302 ducks this season off my farm, not bad for michigan.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby sws002 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:46 pm

ducks'n'bucks91 wrote:My season was great, shot 302 between me and my clients, only 2 times a week, we hammered them, shot 30 teal one day in middle november, the teal stuck around all season this year, even got one in december, shot lots of ducks, have some land in the middle of jackson county and we shot 10 different species of ducks, in cluding a hen can, crazy because we never get divers, but shot widgeon, bwt, gwt, mallards, woodies, pintail, canvas backs, merganser, shovlers, blacks and a bunch of geese. Crazy mix bag this year.
The reason they changed the 2 day split is to help all the counties not in the west because we freeze up by january---not this year because it was insane. But usually, and you cant blame a change in the 2 day season for your crappy season the absolute most it could add to you total is 12. 12 ducks dont make or break a season.


I agree two days can't make or break a season, although it can help to cap one off with a great hunt. However, two weeks most certainly can. I just find it odd that Michigan basically only gives us two days of guaranteed (I use that term loosely) duck hunting weather. This year is an exception, and really shouldn't be counted in the argument, but it is no secret that SW Michigan stays open MUCH longer than the duck season allows, and there are a couple rivers that never freeze, thus the birds never leave. Don't get me wrong, I like being able to hunt in a hoodie as much as the next guy, but as duck hunters, we all know that nasty weather makes for better duck hunting, and time has shown that we simply don't get that nasty weather until well into December. Take a look at that video I posted, here we are, a full month and a half after season has closed, and we are covered up in birds. Now granted, this year has been unseasonably warm, but this happens every year, and the 2 day split seemed to fall right into the middle of it. I don't think it's too much to ask for 1-2 weeks of hunting during that time of year. If you are frozen up, you only missed a week, but if you aren't, you might get the best week of hunting in your life. Truth is, only in the last few weeks have we started to get migrators, and we haven't been able to hunt them for a month. All we do is kill our local birds, and the rest of the birds pass through unscathed after the season has closed. No wonder our GLM population is way down...
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Re: How was your season?

Postby waterfowl1030 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:15 pm

They will not add 4 th zone by splitting the south zone in half, a more sensable thing to do would be to just drop the line down on the east side and add the bay into the middle zone. this way your split will be in december before it freezes and then the rest of us on the west side can have a later split so we can hunt lake MI, at least this makes the most sense to me.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby sws002 » Wed Jan 25, 2012 2:23 pm

waterfowl1030 wrote:They will not add 4 th zone by splitting the south zone in half, a more sensable thing to do would be to just drop the line down on the east side and add the bay into the middle zone. this way your split will be in december before it freezes and then the rest of us on the west side can have a later split so we can hunt lake MI, at least this makes the most sense to me.


I believe that is one of the proposed options, the 4th zone option would be to make the bay a zone all itself.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby waterfowlhunter » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:03 am

I definately DO NOT want saginaw Bay in the middle zone. The ducks are just starting to build good numbers on the bay the second week of october when it opens. And it would really screw up Bow hunting the first week of Oct.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby spartansfan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:44 pm

waterfowlhunter wrote:I definately DO NOT want saginaw Bay in the middle zone. The ducks are just starting to build good numbers on the bay the second week of october when it opens. And it would really screw up Bow hunting the first week of Oct.


but seriously if we really cared about duck hunting interfering with deer then we'd close for the 2 week gun season. the duck season should have ZERO to do with what deer season dates are. putting the bay in the middle zone i think would be good because most of that area is usually froze up by the end of the south season
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How was your season?

Postby DeadEye_Dan » Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:14 pm

Good season overall.

As for the other discussion: it's asinine to even think about moving zone lines or creating new zones unless we are going to determine DATES now.
Gonna be some pizzed of mo'fos when they get a 4th zone and then find out the season is going to open 10/15.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby sws002 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:21 am

DeadEye_Dan wrote:Good season overall.

As for the other discussion: it's asinine to even think about moving zone lines or creating new zones unless we are going to determine DATES now.
Gonna be some pizzed of mo'fos when they get a 4th zone and then find out the season is going to open 10/15.


For once, I agree with you. I would personally rather see the Bay in the middle zone, or its own zone altogether to which I could care less what the dates are. I wonder if Michigan has ever considered taking the middle zone's split (or any zone for that matter) and adding it to the start of the season instead of the end, i.e. their would still be an opening weekend, but then it closes for the week and opens for good the following weekend. That being said, all I really care about is getting 1-2 weeks where we are all but guaranteed good duck hunting weather (end of December, beginning of January). There are too many places in SW MI that never freeze and hold birds almost all winter, but the big numbers of birds don't show up until the season is long over.
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How was your season?

Postby DeadEye_Dan » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:48 am

In '04 or '05 the Z2 split was in October, it was a disaster. Season ran until 12/8 (or thereabouts) and everything was frozen by Thanksgiving-most of Z2 lost 2-3 weeks due to splits & ice. We've had some mild fall's the past couple years, but from US 10 N its going to be frozen out 2/5 years by Thanksgiving.

When everyone is up on their soapbox advocating for sweeping changes to zones & splits, keep this in mind:
DNR data shows that the majority of hunters across all zones utilize more days in October than any other month, & the DNR is all about increasing participation. There's not a snowballs chance in hell they are going to trade a majority of October days for December days, in any zone.

Shipping the Bay off to Z2 isn't going to guarantee you get later dates in Z3.
Creating a 4th zone isn't going to guarantee you later dates (remember 2010 when Z's 1&2 had the same dates??)

Set parameters for dates now. Before we go effing with the zones.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby sws002 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:02 am

I don't think the dates in Zone 2 are the ones in question, as the dates usually coincide with everything icing up fairly well, give or take a week. Definitely not enough to validate changing those dates. As far as Saginaw Bay goes, I could care less what the dates are, just as long as they don't determine the dates for the rest of the third zone. The hunter participation dates argument is irrelevant, there are more seasons open in October than the rest of the year, of course hunter participation is going to be at its highest then. The only thing the DNR is really concerned with is getting your permit money, they could care less if you actually hunt, they get paid just the same. At that, waterfowl hunting is such a small portion of the permit money compared to deer hunting, it really is pointless to bring the DNR into the argument. Point in case, the DNR doesn't even set the dates for the season, the CWAC does. Fact is, unless they add an ACTUAL split in Dec/Jan (1-2 weeks, not 2 days), there is no way to prove that participation days would decline, it is purely subjective of you to say it would. I would actually argue that 2 weeks in Dec/Jan would increase the number of hunter participation days. Take for example, if they cut two weeks during Oct/Nov, those that would normally duck hunt those two weeks might instead pursue deer for two weeks, thus instead of their days overlapping, now they have an extra two weeks of hunter participation days. Regardless, I agree, unless they are going to get the dates right, there isn't much need to screw with the zones.
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How was your season?

Postby DeadEye_Dan » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:45 pm

CWAC advises the DNR/NRC- they Do not set dates.

You can't advocate putting the bay in zone 2 and then say "zone 2 dates aren't a consideration".

Bay guys don't want Z2 dates and z2 guys don't want Z3 dates...

It's a cluster until you iron out what the dates are going to be.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby sws002 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:39 pm

Yes, the CWAC "advises" which dates for the season, but we have spoken with the DNR about it, unless there is something completely off the wall, the DNR will adopt what the CWAC says because they assume it is what the waterfowling community wants. Granted, adding a true split in Dec/Jan could be off the wall, but there is no way to know exactly what the DNR will do unless we actually vote to change it. I don't get it, from the sounds of it, Bay hunters want a shorter season. They don't want zone 2 dates, so they don't want to start any earlier, but they don't want zone 3 dates to go any later either. Even though you have yet to address your idea that the DNR is concerned with hunter participation dates (which I don't think they are, and I addressed that anyway), I would like to hear exactly what are you proposing? Keep everything the same? I would have to say you are the only hunter I've talked to that thinks this is the best case scenario.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby DeadEye_Dan » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:44 pm

I dont advocate changing anything just for the sake of changing it. I've talked to a few squeeky wheels in SW MI that want to hunt the entire month of Dec, everyone else I associate with is fine leaving things the way they are or with a minor tweak to the splits. I said before (and you agreed) its absolutely beyond effing retarded to talk about changing zones & splits unless we are going to talk about DATES for those zones and splits. Every CWAC rep & DNR rep I've talked to and have seen quoted has said they are not willing to talk dates at this time, yet they want input on zone changes :fingerhead:

As far as "participation" goes in the DNR's view...they FLAT out said last August at the Bay city CWAC meeting that October splits were a no go. Period. Their reasoning was that according to their studies and reams of data they had - more hunters were in the field in October than any other month and they would not allow October closures. You said yourself that all they care is to sell more licenses...that would put "participation" at the top of thier list.
You are partially correct that the DNR/NRC goes along with CWAC's rec's unless they are off the wall. What you don't know (or fail to acknowledge) is that CWAC gets a list of acceptable dates before thier meeting where they make their reccomendations - dont kid yourself for a minute that they have that much pull...its sort of like "Here are your options. A) I'll give you this candybar or B) I'll punch you in the face. Go ahead and make your reccomendation as to what you'd like me to do. IMO, CWAC is nothing more than a feeble attempt to allow the common folks to think they have some say in how things are run.

A word of caution: The SW guys screamed and hollered for more December days. Then you got more December days, aaaannnd you didn't like those days. I can tell you several CWAC members and DNR/NRC personnel were shocked that by giving you guys what you'd been asking for, you were still unsatisfied. BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR, YOU MIGHT JUST GET IT. Go ahead and jockey the zones all around, hell create a new zone - I dont really care. Just know that you're never going to start a duck season later than the middle of October. In any zone.
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Re: How was your season?

Postby A-Bomb » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:38 pm

Lotta talk this off season thats for sure. I vote to keep it the same. Had a great season and a great split. And i definitely dont wanna move the bay to zone two without knowing some dates. Its big water, freezes late, lots of opportunity there for those that wish to seek it.
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