Season Summary: Updated February 4, 2016

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Name: Eric Bartlett

Location: Hollis, Maine

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: This year was unseasonably warm for the whole season.

Winter Snow Summary: Snow was very minimal as well. At the end of the season we saw a couple storms with minimal accumulation.

Season Water Conditions: Water in small pockets got a little ice near the end of the season and actually melted. Late in the season water started to freeze again.

Overall Feeding Conditions: Feed in most location I believe was very poor. Lack of acorns seemed to keep birds moving around and away from the areas that I frequent. Crops were harvested clean and left very small amounts of loose material for geese or ducks to feed on.

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Duck numbers seemed to be non-existent compared to years past. Every hunt was a challenge. At the end of the season and after as temperatures dropped a bit some ducks began to filter in.

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: A hand full of migrating geese came through the area but far fewer numbers than normal.

Notable Duck Migrations: Honestly none.

Notable Goose Migrations: Same with geese. Scattered flocks came through.

Overall Hunting Report: The 2015 season goes down as my all-time worst.

Not many ducks or geese. Just quality time spent with friends talking about hunts where we saw ducks.

 

Name: Mike Bard

Location: Montezuma, NY

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Abnormally warm with very little snow both in the area and to our north.

Winter Snow Summary: Very minimal snow, nothing that stuck for more than a couple days, which is not normal.

Season Water Conditions: Conditions really depended on the water. We experienced some flooding a couple times, but there were still some regulated areas that the water levels were lower than normal.

Overall Feeding Conditions: Feeding conditions were excellent right up until the end of the season.

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Significantly less

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Canadas were similar, but snow goose numbers were up.

Notable Duck Migrations: There was one big duck migration at the end of the first week of January, other than that nothing notable.

Notable Goose Migrations: Geese started coming mid-October and continued to trickle in through December. There were a couple notable migrations in early December and early January.

Overall Hunting Report: Those focused on geese fared well this season; however duck hunting over all was poor – one of the worst seasons I can personally remember.

 

Name: Robert Vellucci

Location: Clinton, NJ

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Super warm for most of the season.

Winter Snow Summary: Only one snow event to report. It was a doozy.  31 inches of snow in 24 hours at the end of January.

Season Water Conditions:  Water remained ice free for most of the season. There were a few events of high water but no major flooding.

Overall Feeding Conditions:  Excellent for most of the year.

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Very low

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Low

Notable Duck Migrations: None really. Only migration I noticed was the early ducks leaving after the early season pressure.

Notable Goose Migrations: Early October calendar birds were right on time. Not much after that.  Most geese left after the snow storm in January.

Overall Hunting Report:  This season was an uphill battle.  The warm weather made this season one of the worst ever.

 

Name: Dave Weidner

Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Extremely warm

Winter Snow Summary: Other than the 2 foot blizzard – nothing.

Season Water Conditions: Low

Overall Feeding Conditions: Normal

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Extremely low

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Extremely low

Notable Duck Migrations: None

Notable Goose Migrations: First week of October–before the season was open.

Overall Hunting Report: By far the worst duck season that I have ever had in terms of shooting puddle ducks.

 

Name: Sean M. Fritzges

Location: Abingdon, Maryland

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Weather this season was the warmest on record. Just recently, New Year’s week, we finally experienced temperatures of normal conditions for this time of season. Thanksgiving week, our AP opener, we had temps in the low 70’s which lasted through Christmas week. Friends of mine living in Syracuse and Buffalo reported no snow fall until the week of 20 December. The weather up north didn’t help us with the cold to push the migration south this season.

Winter Snow Summary: No snow in our region until the “blizzard of the century” visit on January 23rd. This storm brought a record 37” to my home town. Hunting geese this week has been very difficult with access to fields and pits but also enjoying. The windblown hill tops have exposed grass and fields making for easy/hungry goose decoying.  

Season Water Conditions: Tide levels normal. Freshwater ponds and lakes just recently froze over during the past week with the newly arriving cold weather conditions.

Overall Feeding Conditions: This season, an abundance of food offering of corn and soy beans along with winter wheat and grass fields for the geese. The lack of snow cover and low rain count provided lots of open areas for the geese to feed. The low numbers of geese during the season also allowed plenty of food picking into the late season.

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: No ducks on my farm other than a few occasional passer-bye. Zero taken this season.

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: The past two seasons have been very difficult for us in N. Harford, MD. Three and four years ago, we were able to harvest very high numbers of geese, as many as 400+ Canadas. The past two seasons have been tough. Our area is excellent. The weather has been the issue.

Notable Duck Migrations: N/A

Notable Goose Migrations: Migration this season was very late and still continues as I type. Just yesterday morning and evening, I’m still noticing hundreds of migrating Canada’s working their way south through our region. Now that the season is coming to a close next week, they’ll be back next year!!!!

Overall Hunting Report: Very slow season but had a great time with my family and friends….that’s what this is all about, the great memories!!!!

 

Name: Marshall Starkey

Location: Essex, MD

Notable Weather: Very warm all season with a blizzard at the end of January. Changes/Differences This Season: The birds never fully showed up. Geese were over a month and a half behind normal and ducks never really showed in large numbers.

Winter Snow Summary: A blizzard hit the state on 1/22-1/23 dumping 18-36 inches of snow across MD.

Season Water Conditions: Water levels remained high all year. There was no ice until the last two weeks of the season.

Overall Feeding Conditions: Average to normal compared to other years.

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Numbers across the board were way down.

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Numbers were way down with geese also. Once birds were here they remained very concentrated in certain areas.

Notable Duck Migrations: Seems like I am still waiting for a duck migration to happen.

Notable Goose Migrations: There were two or three bigger migration days but overall we did not see the numbers of migratory geese we usually do.

Overall Hunting Report: Very poor for me. On one of my leases that usually account for a few hundred Canada goose kills did not reach forty for the year.

 

Name: Kenny Gray

Location: Chestertown, MD

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: One major blizzard and warm weather the majority of the season.

Winter Snow Summary: Only a week of any type of snow cover here in Maryland.

Season Water Conditions: Water was in good supply for the majority of the season.  With the warmer weather we experienced for the majority of the season, most small farm ponds stayed open for the majority of the season.

Overall Feeding Conditions: Food wasn’t a problem this year. The combination of a warm winter and good conditions during harvest time lead to the typical waste grains and an over-abundance of winter wheat.

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years:  Duck numbers were down. We never had a good duck migration.

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Dark goose numbers were down until the last week of the season. I know a lot of people are complaining about the birds showing up later and later every year. The numbers of Canada geese that were around Saturday was amazing. Snow goose numbers are finally building, but I still believe we are a few major pushes away from being at our peak.

Notable Duck Migrations: Never really had any.

Notable Goose Migrations: The majority of our birds showed up last week.

Overall Hunting Report: Overall it wasn’t a good year numbers wise. This year was definitely one for the books. From a personal stand point, it is a season I will never forget as I got to witness my oldest son (7 years old) harvest his first duck!!!!

 

Name: Jeff Kreit

Location: Baltimore, MD

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: Season went from too warm to too much snow and then the season was over.

Winter Snow Summary:  Had a historic snow fall 29.6 in in 1 day.

Season Water Conditions: All rivers and bays are frozen.

Overall Feeding Conditions: Any openings in the hills of fields had geese.

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Less ducks this year than any year other year in the last 20.

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Goose numbers were worse than I can remember.

Notable Duck Migrations: None

Notable Goose Migrations: Early October

Overall Hunting Report: Season was horrible.

 

Name: Bryn Witmier

Location: Strausstown, PA

Notable Weather Changes/Differences This Season: This season had multiple months that were the warmest on record.  El Nino years are horrible for waterfowl hunting in the northeast.

Winter Snow Summary: Huge snowfall towards the end of January.  30 inches of snow fell in a 24 hour period.

Season Water Conditions: Warm weather equals no ice.

Overall Feeding Conditions: Good

Duck Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Much lower this year than previous years.  Some ducks were around but they were scattered.

Goose Numbers Compared to Previous Years: Low

Notable Duck Migrations: None

Notable Goose Migrations: A normal push was seen in late September/early October.  The lack of weather to the north made life easy for birds after that and pushes were almost non-existent.  Geese that were here bailed after the big snow in January.

Overall Hunting Report:  This season was a bust. If it weren’t for a few trips out of state it would have been the worst waterfowl season ever.


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