Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

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Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby Mr.L » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:11 pm

I live about 6 miles from the north end of Catahoula Lake straight as the crow flies. When I was growing up in the sixties and seventies, everytime a cold front approached, you would see thousands and thousands of ducks flying south all day long. Many of which would stop at Catahoula Lake. I have hunted on Catahoula Lake for several years. I do not understand why there are seldom any more flight days. If this was a record year for ducks, what has happened to the migration days? Is it because we do not have the extreme northern cold fronts anymore that come down straight out of Canada? Do the ducks no longer have to come south because of shortstopping in agricultural areas to the north? Has the hereditary traits of ducks changed that they feel they no longer have to migrate as far south anymore? Does anybody have any answers?
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby D Comeaux » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:53 pm

I often think about that as well. I too remember watching flock after flock of geese and ducks passing by during the fall migrations. Just don't see that anymore. You would think that with the numbers as advertised this year, we would have had fields full of ducks. With the numbers of teal that showed up for the early teal season, I sure had high hopes for the big duck season. We have had some visible migrations in the 80's and 90's just not enough of it to remember. If the numbers are correct, I can only wonder if they're spreading out more during migration or just not dropping as far south as they once did?

This is cut from an article I pulled concerning a specific years migration:

"Mass Migration - Severe weather will occasionally trigger a mass migration of waterfowl known as a grand passage. In early November 1995, millions of migrating ducks and geese jammed radar systems and grounded flights in Omaha, Nebraska, and Kansas City, Missouri, following a severe blizzard in the Prairie Pothole Region to the north"
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby takemking » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:01 am

I remember the winter storm of '95. We arrived late at our lease in Vinton while being safe on the icy roads, and I can remember thousands of greenheads jumping off our pond when we got there. I kept asking my dad to let me shoot but he said no you'll shoot too many. I think it just doesn't get cold like that anymore. Combine that with the advancements in crop growing and there is more feed further north than there ever was before. Lastly even though we were told this was a record year, I think the drought may have had an adverse effect on the bird numbers. Even with all that said I had a record year down in the southeast with a total of 107 birds taken personally. Compared to a milder winter last year where I only took 73. I can see almost a direct relationship between how much ice/snow they get up north and how many ducks I kill where I hunt.
A duck hunter must follow hunters of the oldest kind in North America. He must live his life a nomad, following the flock wherever it might lead. Through flooded timber, fields or marsh, he does what he must to find success.
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby AaronR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:49 am

I have also thought about this. I didnt really get into duck hunting a lot until around 2003 or so. Just as the populations seemed to be declining and people were getting out of the sport due to the seasons getting progressively worse. I can remember a place in Ark we hunted where you could sit in the evening and watch thousands of flight birds migrating south. In my opinion, the reason we didnt this trend this year with the record number of birds and all is due to the drought. The migration was constant for most part during the entire season with a steady flow of birds passing up the drought infested areas going farther south. I dont think we ever got a massive migration at one time, just a steady season long one. As snow accumulated and temps dropped up north the birds moved south a little at a time. That is just my observations, could be wrong.
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby Ducaholic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:41 pm

We got snow and ice to the state line a couple of times...I didn't see a mass migration and I didn't kill them consistently...if you don't think the expanded duck habitat north of La. is impacting the "Push" that we use to count on then your fooling yourself.
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby AaronR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:50 pm

MeanGreen wrote:We got snow and ice to the state line a couple of times...I didn't see a mass migration and I didn't kill them consistently...if you don't think the expanded duck habitat north of La. is impacting the "Push" that we use to count on then your fooling yourself.


Yes we did get snow and ice. I never saw a mass migration but did consistently see ducks and kill ducks. Arkansas held the majority of the ducks that we hunted for most of the year IMO. I think they skipped over the dry states down to the fields in Ark that were flooded and held in every place possible until a front moved some of them south to us. Im sure it has a lot to do with where EXACTLY you hunt.
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby Ducaholic » Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:51 pm

AaronR wrote:
MeanGreen wrote:We got snow and ice to the state line a couple of times...I didn't see a mass migration and I didn't kill them consistently...if you don't think the expanded duck habitat north of La. is impacting the "Push" that we use to count on then your fooling yourself.


Yes we did get snow and ice. I never saw a mass migration but did consistently see ducks and kill ducks. Arkansas held the majority of the ducks that we hunted for most of the year IMO. I think they skipped over the dry states down to the fields in Ark that were flooded and held in every place possible until a front moved some of them south to us. Im sure it has a lot to do with where EXACTLY you hunt.




Where I hunt we didn't get the water when we needed it and when it came it was too much and too late...I have no doubt I was not in the right place at the right time most of the time... :wink:
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby AaronR » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:03 pm

MeanGreen wrote:
AaronR wrote:
MeanGreen wrote:We got snow and ice to the state line a couple of times...I didn't see a mass migration and I didn't kill them consistently...if you don't think the expanded duck habitat north of La. is impacting the "Push" that we use to count on then your fooling yourself.


Yes we did get snow and ice. I never saw a mass migration but did consistently see ducks and kill ducks. Arkansas held the majority of the ducks that we hunted for most of the year IMO. I think they skipped over the dry states down to the fields in Ark that were flooded and held in every place possible until a front moved some of them south to us. Im sure it has a lot to do with where EXACTLY you hunt.




Where I hunt we didn't get the water when we needed it and when it came it was too much and too late...I have no doubt I was not in the right place at the right time most of the time... :wink:


Yea the rain stuck it to us right at the end of the season. If we had that much water to start the season I bet it would have been unreal.
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby rebelp74 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:11 am

Biggest problem the migrating numbers have dwindled is due to the conservation efforts in Canada.
Indaswamp wrote:
jaysweet3 wrote:Looks a little small.

Dat's what She said....


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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby AaronR » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:23 am

rebelp74 wrote:Biggest problem the migrating numbers have dwindled is due to the conservation efforts in Canada.


Just curious what your reasoning is here?
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby rebelp74 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:18 pm

AaronR wrote:
rebelp74 wrote:Biggest problem the migrating numbers have dwindled is due to the conservation efforts in Canada.


Just curious what your reasoning is here?

Planting, which gives more food in the fields. The heated waters also play a part in it, as they do not freeze. There are birds year round in Canada. I went on a winter wolf hunt up there in 2011, there were 2 waterways heated by power plants. They were completely covered in birds. The birds would go into fields and eat then go back to the unfrozen water.
Indaswamp wrote:
jaysweet3 wrote:Looks a little small.

Dat's what She said....


Underradar wrote:We, the unsigned members of the HH, are not allowed to address such questions. But thank you for asking.
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby AaronR » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:48 pm

Yea I see where you coming from. I think there is positives of that too though. Canada season closes way earlier than US I think. If birds stay there, they are safe to breed in peace and you have more birds reproducing every year. More birds up north equals more birds down south eventually. Don't you think?
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby rebelp74 » Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:52 pm

AaronR wrote:Yea I see where you coming from. I think there is positives of that too though. Canada season closes way earlier than US I think. If birds stay there, they are safe to breed in peace and you have more birds reproducing every year. More birds up north equals more birds down south eventually. Don't you think?

Maybe, just depends on if they leave or not. If they have no reason to leave, they won't. The biggest reason for them to leave would be food. If they run out they will come down. In the last 10 years there has been some drastic migration changes. I also think the sparks in hunting pressure across the country have a little to do with it.
Indaswamp wrote:
jaysweet3 wrote:Looks a little small.

Dat's what She said....


Underradar wrote:We, the unsigned members of the HH, are not allowed to address such questions. But thank you for asking.
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Re: Absence of fall flight days ahead of fronts

Postby AaronR » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:41 pm

I agree.
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