Report from Week of 10/21-28

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Report from Week of 10/21-28

Postby Percman » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:08 pm

Returned from a week of hunting near the Rugby/Balta area. Great hunting throughout the week for 3 hunters. Here were my observations:

Monday, 10/22: Cool, overcast skies. Thousands of snows, blues and cackling geese in area; locals report they just arrived following the brutal winds from the week before. Mallards seem to be where the geese are and in numbers MUCH larger than we saw at the same date a year ago in this area. Birds are very concentrated, not a lot of smaller groups we experienced the year before, but the water levels are down significantly. Birds did not cooperate (what's new when it comes to snow geese), but a stalk and jump-shoot of a mid-size farm led to 9 ducks.

Tuesday, 10/23: Steady rain and NW winds in the 10-20 mph range. Birds were flying, but not going very far from roosting sites. Big water holds the majority of ducks. Over .50 inches of rain have turned fields into muddy messes.

Wednesday, 10/24: Overcast, cold and 10-15 mph W winds. Bust day as hunters in field we scouted arrived before we did, then forced us to a Plan B that produced only a couple of ducks.

Thursday, 10/25: Overcast and very windy (20-30 mph sustained, with 40 mph gusts). Best day of week with limit of mallards, widgeon, gadwall, bufflehead and blue bills that worked three ponds separated by 10 yard levees. Mallards in full plumage, but not in big numbers. LARGE flocks of mallards can be found on big water and with the geese.

Friday, 10/25: Sunny and very windy (25-35 mph winds). Got half the limit among the three of us from the same bodies of water from the day before, and again a "mixed bag" of ducks. Scouted cut cornfield where some of the largest flocks of snows, blues and other geese ever witnessed fed, along with hundreds of mallards. Find geese and you'll find mallards. Shorelines froze from overnight temps in the low 20s.

Saturday, 10/26: Set up on cornfield we scouted the night before, and while there were MORE birds on the water than we "put to bed" the night before, the hunt was a bust as they decided to hit a field just to the south of us. All the water was frozen after a second night of cold temps (15 degrees overnight). A dozen ducks froze on ice, some becoming meal for family of 3 bald eagles, and crows. Hunted same area Saturday afternoon and limited on geese, including a half-dozen mature snows. Geese were resting on frozen pond, but by nightfall they were all gone. At midnight as we packed to leave to head home, the clear skies, nearly full moon-lit night, we heard constant geese flying overhead.

Great week of hunting, but required a fair amount of work (e.g. scouting) to determine best chances of success.
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Re: Report from Week of 10/21-28

Postby jesse_hntnfever » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:45 am

Good report. I was up there the same time as you, although close to Cando. There were a ton more geese near the Rugby area but the ducks were closer to Cando. We limited everyday on ducks except the first by 9:00am.
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Re: Report from Week of 10/21-28

Postby Percman » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:51 pm

Just curious, were you getting duck limits field hunting? Here's the reason I ask. I grew up in WI and we hunted puddle ducks on water and geese on fields. Puddle ducks just didn't visit fields like we see in large numbers do in ND. But we found a lot of success on lakes and the WI River. I knew hunting ND we couldn't practice the traditional methods we grew up with, but while I recognize that, my two hunting partners are slow to accept the premise. So while we did hunt a couple of fields, most of our hunting were smaller bodies of water that ducks were working. I think we'd have more success if we'd adapt.
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Re: Report from Week of 10/21-28

Postby jesse_hntnfever » Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:01 am

Percman wrote:Just curious, were you getting duck limits field hunting? Here's the reason I ask. I grew up in WI and we hunted puddle ducks on water and geese on fields. Puddle ducks just didn't visit fields like we see in large numbers do in ND. But we found a lot of success on lakes and the WI River. I knew hunting ND we couldn't practice the traditional methods we grew up with, but while I recognize that, my two hunting partners are slow to accept the premise. So while we did hunt a couple of fields, most of our hunting were smaller bodies of water that ducks were working. I think we'd have more success if we'd adapt.


Yes, we field hunted out of layout blinds every day. We could have shot a few ducks off the potholes and sloughs, but the mallards were really working the fields. I had the same mentality as your hunting partners when we first arrived, but was easily persuaded after a limit of mallards in a cut corn field. There's nothing like shooting ducks hoovering over your layout blind.
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jesse_hntnfever
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Re: Report from Week of 10/21-28

Postby don novicki » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:35 pm

Great report, sounds like decent hunting and a good pic of your success......nicely done.
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Re: Report from Week of 10/21-28

Postby Percman » Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:09 am

Thanks for replying and sharing ... I'm convinced, just got to do more work on my brother and dear friend. We'll be back again next year. As I said, while we saw large flocks of birds working fields, and we hunted some, it seems they were more interested in following the snows and blues, and you can't pattern those darn things! Great picture of some very mature birds. Safe hunting all.
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Re: Report from Week of 10/21-28

Postby duckwagon » Fri Nov 09, 2012 3:00 pm

hunted up their the end of october into november for about nine days we have never water hunted up there, scout the fields and set up and they will come.Twice as much fun as water hunting.Chased the snows but didnt do no good but had lots of greenheads working.But its funny they seem to figure out when shooting time is and go feed after hours!
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Re: Report from Week of 10/21-28

Postby grey duck » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:34 pm

We lit gwt in fields in ND
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