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Fsbirdhouse said:
Rain, Rain, and more Rain! And more forecast for later this weekend.
I've seen the opening day of Dove season, or even the end of September for that matter, not seem as much like Fall as have the last two days. But it ain't here yet!
The temp stands at 52* at the moment, and we have at long last closed all the windows on the house.
After this deluge is over, the Temps are forecast to be in the lower 80*s for a week, and that should suit the Morning doves just right for the opener.
Of course it had to come over the days of our get together here at the house. We may need the rain, but I sure wish it would have held off a week.
 

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Sounds like fall is starting to take shape back there. Friend of mine is fishing out of Ennis, MT and texted me pictures of the rain a few days ago. Glad you guys got some rain. High school football games started last night so I took my youngest and he got a little cold after the sun set. Football, cooler weather and in two weeks I'll be dove hunting. Can't wait for it all to start. Hope you all are doing well and have great starts to your season.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,303 ·
Traveled up off the valley floor East of Idaho Falls this afternoon. Saw a very few patches on this tree and that, that were turning to golds and yellows. Next week will see 'those' trees mostly in Gold, standing out in a sea of green.
It is turning cooler earlier in the evenings now, and after the rains, deeper, sharper greens in the forest, just waiting their turn to transition into the the Autumn colors. Almost there is muffled quiet after the hustle and bustle of the Summer months, as though to whisper, "Be still! Something is coming"
Never has my wife even hinted about violating our Fall tradition of decking out the house into the trappings of Autumn decor before the 1st of September, which has always been the kick-off to our 'Official' Fall season. But she was caught up in the sense of change that seemed to permeate everything we saw and felt on our afternoon drive today.
She'll soon have the Pumpkin Spice candles lit. The dining room centerpiece garlands of Gold and Yellow leaves, apples, acorns, Indian corn cobs, and Pumpkins on display, and just every good thing.
I didn't complain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,304 ·
I checked the weather.com weather radar against any storms that might be headed our way just before going to bed last night, and it showed nothing.
Some hours later I heard a very distant rumble I mistook for traffic. Soon I recognized it as thunder, and by and by it was booming louder and louder and overhead. Then the rain started and I drifted off.
Wife told me it poured for hours, and hard as well.
Dark skies, cooler temps, and lots of moisture every day now. YES! We are going to have just stupendous Fall colors this year.
 

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So, I see that the forum owners decided to celebrate the fall by forking up the layout. Sucks.

Today I'll be gathering gear in anticipation of heading back to work in California until Oct 20th. After that I head to San Diego to chase tuna for 8 days, then back home. I'm sure by the time I get back all the still water will be stiff, and I have no access to moving water, so at that point it'll be goose hunting for me.
 

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So, I see that the forum owners decided to celebrate the fall by forking up the layout. Sucks.

Today I'll be gathering gear in anticipation of heading back to work in California until Oct 20th. After that I head to San Diego to chase tuna for 8 days, then back home. I'm sure by the time I get back all the still water will be stiff, and I have no access to moving water, so at that point it'll be goose hunting for me.
I agree. the new layout stinks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,307 ·
It is what it is and we'll get used to it.
 

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I suppose I could get used to a stick up my ass too but I'd never like it. o_O
Well Gene, hows that stick feeling now, LOL LOL. Apparently the redo of this site has everyone else as excited about it as I am. I dont know what got the owners to redo this, but, the look and feel of it is even worse than a stick. It really does suck. Other than that, whats anyone thinking of the upcoming season? This will be the first season since I can remember even growing up that I cant hunt and thats due to my health issues. This pulmonary fibrosis has and will prohibit me from any waterfowl hunting for ever, at least thats still the prognosis :(. There's about a 1% chance down the road I may be able to hunt again if all of the stars align, but, I am not very hopeful.

As dry as the fall is looking, I'm not sure that a lot of hunting spots will even be accessible. I've been seeing a few this year broods starting to fly (ducks) but, even the canals around me are getting so low, not sure most of the water hunting spots will be accessible. The have started chopping corn fields around the area so might be some place to hunt, but, going to take some weather change to get anything huntable. Good luck to everyone and be safe but have one hell of a season if you can get out n hunt.
 

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Goosepond....I love my stick! :LOL::LOL:

I won't be back in Montana until the first week of November. At that point filling the freezer with deer and elk will be the priority. Once that is accomplished then I can start concentrating on geese. Gonna suck missing the open water hunting, provided the still water is frozen upon my return home, but having a fully enclosed front porch that is paid for is going to be really, really nice. I don't know what it looks like here around Yreka...it's too smoky to see any of it. :LOL: Right now I'm looking forward to October 23rd when I get on the boat in San Diego and go chase tuna for 8 days.
 

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So, I see that the forum owners decided to celebrate the fall by forking up the layout. Sucks.

Today I'll be gathering gear in anticipation of heading back to work in California until Oct 20th. After that I head to San Diego to chase tuna for 8 days, then back home. I'm sure by the time I get back all the still water will be stiff, and I have no access to moving water, so at that point it'll be goose hunting for me.
Gene, you are welcome to stop by here on your way home from CA if you want to sneak a couple of days of duckin' in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,312 ·
Gene, you are welcome to stop by here on your way home from CA if you want to sneak a couple of days of duckin' in.
Gil,
I'll be looking to see how the migration is going before I drag you down for a couple days hunt, but that is still definitely the plan.
How do you feel about a 1st of December drive here from over there?
That is traditionally beginning our peak of the geese and often the Ducks as well.
 

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FS, I just read your post on when our traditional peak of ducks and geese begins. I have records dating back to 2009 on when birds started working and staying around here particularly beginning in our corn fields. In 2009, it was about October 15 to 20 believe it or not and continued on at a steady pace. For some reason, and the corn fields and other normal hunting areas were basically the same, other than an increase in corn that was chopped for most of the dairy's, the fields that had residual corn that the birds would use for feed, started moving back. Gradually, and why I dont know and I've asked many different hunters around here their opinion and nothing was the same as far as a comment, the migration of most of our ducks and geese is now Nov. 15. Again, this is from my records for around me, near Shelley, and most of our birds come from Fort Hall, Blackfoot River and believe it or not, American Falls reservoir. So, December 1 is pretty sound as far as a date when birds are around, but, I really think if you look around, which I know you do, you could go up a couple of weeks.

But, the number of birds that are actually using and working and staying on the river has become less and less. Yep, there are pockets where the birds, mainly geese, are rafting up and roosting on the river, but, the ducks seem to be coming this way further and further away for food.

I dont know whats going on, and its a big topic for big discussions and so far there is no agreement on what's going on other than up north, where our birds come from, we just are not getting the hard freezes in the north country that we used to get. And, I dont think it's global warming as a lot say it is, but, I dont know what it might be.

I do know, our F&G WMA's north of us, management has changed so much and there is not enough water there to hold birds and the birds have gotten habitually ingrained into their heads over time that they dont want to be on the WMA's from 7am until after dark. You can sit and watch masses of birds move off these places right at and just before sunup and it lasts for about an hour, then what few birds are left behind they just sit. And to top it off, Market Lake over the past couple of years has drawn down the water so far that very very few if any people can really get into the refuge to hunt and it has had an impact on what few birds are staying around.

I just think that there is a huge impact on waterfowl that few have figured out but some of it is that we have just lost some of our more experienced waterfowl biologists around who used to understand and manage for waterfowl, but now days, big game and other wildlife seasons have taken over big time and waterfowl management sits in the back ground and no one wants to really hear anything from the waterfowl hunter. Also, I think you would agree, waterfowlers are very vocal individually, but, to get the entire group, which would put many other species management to shame on any recommendations never will happen.

So, I'm over my rant with information, I just had to shoot off some information I have been gathering over the past few years and throw out some of my comments I have been shoving off to F&G on waterfowl management to which there has not really been a response other than I dont know what I'm talking about. Oh well, at least I throw it out there for consideration.

Enjoy the season, as I cant hunt any longer due to this pulmonary fibrosis I have which was caused by pigeon breeders disease that was passed on through waterfowl. So, I will live the rest of my life of waterfowl hunting through all of you that can hunt. It really sucks after having grown up literally, hunting and being around waterfowl. So, all of you who are going to hunt, let them get close enough to see the pupils in their eyes and BANG, in the bag. Good luck to everyone, it will be here shortly and have one hell of a great season.
 

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FS, I just read your post on when our traditional peak of ducks and geese begins. I have records dating back to 2009 on when birds started working and staying around here particularly beginning in our corn fields. In 2009, it was about October 15 to 20 believe it or not and continued on at a steady pace. For some reason, and the corn fields and other normal hunting areas were basically the same, other than an increase in corn that was chopped for most of the dairy's, the fields that had residual corn that the birds would use for feed, started moving back. Gradually, and why I dont know and I've asked many different hunters around here their opinion and nothing was the same as far as a comment, the migration of most of our ducks and geese is now Nov. 15. Again, this is from my records for around me, near Shelley, and most of our birds come from Fort Hall, Blackfoot River and believe it or not, American Falls reservoir. So, December 1 is pretty sound as far as a date when birds are around, but, I really think if you look around, which I know you do, you could go up a couple of weeks.

But, the number of birds that are actually using and working and staying on the river has become less and less. Yep, there are pockets where the birds, mainly geese, are rafting up and roosting on the river, but, the ducks seem to be coming this way further and further away for food.

I dont know whats going on, and its a big topic for big discussions and so far there is no agreement on what's going on other than up north, where our birds come from, we just are not getting the hard freezes in the north country that we used to get. And, I dont think it's global warming as a lot say it is, but, I dont know what it might be.

I do know, our F&G WMA's north of us, management has changed so much and there is not enough water there to hold birds and the birds have gotten habitually ingrained into their heads over time that they dont want to be on the WMA's from 7am until after dark. You can sit and watch masses of birds move off these places right at and just before sunup and it lasts for about an hour, then what few birds are left behind they just sit. And to top it off, Market Lake over the past couple of years has drawn down the water so far that very very few if any people can really get into the refuge to hunt and it has had an impact on what few birds are staying around.

I just think that there is a huge impact on waterfowl that few have figured out but some of it is that we have just lost some of our more experienced waterfowl biologists around who used to understand and manage for waterfowl, but now days, big game and other wildlife seasons have taken over big time and waterfowl management sits in the back ground and no one wants to really hear anything from the waterfowl hunter. Also, I think you would agree, waterfowlers are very vocal individually, but, to get the entire group, which would put many other species management to shame on any recommendations never will happen.

So, I'm over my rant with information, I just had to shoot off some information I have been gathering over the past few years and throw out some of my comments I have been shoving off to F&G on waterfowl management to which there has not really been a response other than I dont know what I'm talking about. Oh well, at least I throw it out there for consideration.

Enjoy the season, as I cant hunt any longer due to this pulmonary fibrosis I have which was caused by pigeon breeders disease that was passed on through waterfowl. So, I will live the rest of my life of waterfowl hunting through all of you that can hunt. It really sucks after having grown up literally, hunting and being around waterfowl. So, all of you who are going to hunt, let them get close enough to see the pupils in their eyes and BANG, in the bag. Good luck to everyone, it will be here shortly and have one hell of a great season.
Very sorry to read about you health issue, I'm thinking certain of mine may put a damper on my ability in the not too distant future as well.
As far as the birds go, it always seemed to me that on an average year Thanksgiving weekend saw a big upsurge in the geese, peaking the following week. There were always exceptions dependent on weather of course
Noticeable increases of duck populations seemed 10 days before that, and the Swans seemed to be just ahead of the ducks.
AF reservoir is really low this year, and if all it's water is close to the town end of it that could be an unwanted wild card. Will the birds stay or go? Will they come back up here locally to feed? I've seen them do it, but blast if I can make a call on what or why even if things look the same one season to the next.
 

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Near Yreka, in northern California, where I spent 30 years chasing birds things started changing a few years ago. Irongate Reservoir, one of the impoundments on the Klamath, for many years held thousands of birds. About 10 years ago it started loading up with divers. There were so many that when hunting out of my scull boat getting 2 canvasbacks was an absolute given. Usually they were the first 2 birds I killed. The one year when we could get 7 scaup I could do that on a daily basis. After about 3 years of that all the divers disappeared, and never came back. Now even the puddle ducks don't frequent it. Nothing changed at the lake, the birds simply disappeared, and didn't come back. Strangest thing I've ever seen.
 

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Yep, I agree FS and Gene, Not sure what is going on or where it's happening but something is definitely changing the bird patterns or something. I do think that the migration routes are changing Nation Wide for some reason because we arent the only ones who have been complaining the lest few years. I do think that the habitat is one of the major issues but what's causing the rest of it to move birds to other places that we dont have a feel for, I guess it's a wildcard that we wont figure out and the Feds havent either because they arent changing bag limits and are basing them strickly on hatch and counts which I dont know if thats the right thing or not. All i can hope for is that there is enough birds move down for a good season over all. I do know one thing, we sure dont have our early bird season that we used to have either. That's a wildcard too that no one is figuring on happening. Good luck everyone and Ill be watching to see how ya all do :(
 

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Last year was the first time I have done more field hunting than water. After chasing geese I have come to the conclusion that I like that a whole lot better then tromping through the mud looking for ducks. Might be a good thing since it appears that the goose population is increasing while ducks seem to be getting skinny. Last week I saw a post about Gander Mountain getting away from hunting stuff so I checked their website and saw they had Higdon Alpha Magnum honker full bodies for $159/6, which was a good price, then there was a 10% off thing that popped up. I went ahead and ordered a dozen to go with the three dozen I already have. My total field honker decoy set up now consists of 4 dozen full bodies, 5 dozen silos and 5 dozen headed socks. All of that out is a pretty impressive spread, at least for me anyway. I got an Avery Finisher panel blind last year and discovered I like sitting up a lot better than laying down. Last week I ordered another one just like it. Now I'll be able to put them back to back and hunt 2 folks and a dog out of them very comfortably. I'll have to admit I really like driving into a field to set up as opposed to mud bogging through tules. An added benefit is my wife likes eating geese better than ducks so I don't get a lot of grief when I buy those things. Regardless, I'm looking forward to another year in the field.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,318 ·
Last year was the first time I have done more field hunting than water. After chasing geese I have come to the conclusion that I like that a whole lot better then tromping through the mud looking for ducks. Might be a good thing since it appears that the goose population is increasing while ducks seem to be getting skinny. Last week I saw a post about Gander Mountain getting away from hunting stuff so I checked their website and saw they had Higdon Alpha Magnum honker full bodies for $159/6, which was a good price, then there was a 10% off thing that popped up. I went ahead and ordered a dozen to go with the three dozen I already have. My total field honker decoy set up now consists of 4 dozen full bodies, 5 dozen silos and 5 dozen headed socks. All of that out is a pretty impressive spread, at least for me anyway. I got an Avery Finisher panel blind last year and discovered I like sitting up a lot better than laying down. Last week I ordered another one just like it. Now I'll be able to put them back to back and hunt 2 folks and a dog out of them very comfortably. I'll have to admit I really like driving into a field to set up as opposed to mud bogging through tules. An added benefit is my wife likes eating geese better than ducks so I don't get a lot of grief when I buy those things. Regardless, I'm looking forward to another year in the field.
Water hunts aren't bad if you drive to within 12 feet of the blind/water as you know mine to be.
But of course they aren't all that way.
I've had many water goose hunts that they outnumbered the ducks in the bag, but not so many duck hunts in fields where they outnumber the geese on average
No matter where, I love 'em both!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2,320 ·
Two weeks from today guys :) DROP THE MIC, lol It's here
Dark rainy days seem to be a real mood setter for me.
Going up into the mountains to see the leaf change around Palisades dam on Tuesday. Always do a week or two before the general Waterfowl opener.
Ordered out a little flock for 7 decoys a couple of days ago.
Got just a wee bit of grassing to do on the mobile blinds and two weeks to do it in.
A fair number of geese are showing up over the house each day, but I'm hearing not so much about the ducks.
Maybe the opening morning barrages at AF reservoir will push some up river as it did on the last opening?
 
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