Updated September 29, 2015
Name: David Ortley
Date: September 29, 2015
Location: Kalispell, Montana
Weather: A brief summary of our summer weather is in order as it will impact our fall and the hunting. We experienced the driest spring and summer on record. We saw only occasional showers which yielded little moisture. As a result we suffered a terrible fire season and record low water levels. It was not until early September that we received appreciable rain. The temperatures were far above normal as summer and into the early fall. Currently we are enjoying highs into the high 80’s and low dipping to the mid 30’s. The forecast is for more of the same. We desperately need a nasty fall and a worse winter!
Snow Cover: None currently although we have seen a skiff of snow at higher elevations but it is gone.
Water Conditions: The lake and river are lower than I have ever seen.
The flow and level are at record lows. To sustain flows to the west we will see a significant drawdown of Flathead Lake. The river is at levels we see in late winter and many of the sand bars are fully exposed. Small bodies are very low and have little flow. As a result we will see early freezing of otherwise open bodies of water which hold birds during the migration.
Feeding Conditions: Feeding conditions are still good although he fields are being worked early and what would be late season forage is gone. This is not good news for bird hunters.
Species and Numbers: We have normal mix of local birds and a larger than normal number of Canada geese.
Migrations: No noticeable migration but the geese are flocking up and moving in flocks which are increasing in size.
Season Stage: Our general waterfowl season opens this coming Saturday. The youth season was last weekend.
Hunting Report: The youth season was good although blue-bird weather limited success. Field hunting was reported to be good.
Gossip: Weather and the absence of water is the topic. The whitetail deer population is very high and the general season is expected to be good. Time will tell if we enjoy a decent waterfowl opener and early season. If we get an early winter the season will be tough as small water freezes and the birds head south to open water. The river will prove to be the hot spot.
Name: Kirk Steffensen
Date: September 30, 2015
Location: Lincoln, NE
Weather: Seasonable with highs in the mid to upper-60’s and overnight lows in the upper 40’s.
Snow Cover: None
Water Conditions: Good, rainwater basins are all full and local lakes and ponds are also full. Weekly rain is keeping water levels up.
Feeding Conditions: Seed corn is being picked but field corn and/or bean harvest hasn’t started yet.
Species and Numbers: Some teal around, very few big ducks seen.
Migrations: Teal migration was slow during our early teal season.
Season Stage: Everything closed with duck zones 2 and 4 opening this weekend and dark goose season doesn’t start until October 28th.
Hunting Report: No reports.
Gossip: Nothing at this time.
Name: Jared Shepard
Location: Scottsbluff, NE
Weather: The forecast for this coming week shows highs in the upper 70’s and lower 80’s early in the week and highs in the 60’s later in the week with overnight lows in the 40’s and 50’s.
Snow Cover: None
Water Conditions: The North Platte River continues to rise as irrigation season comes to a close. A wet spring followed by a fairly dry summer has left only a few ponds with water.
Feeding Conditions: Wheat and most beans are now off and some third cut alfalfa is short enough to feed on. High moisture corn should start coming off within the next couple weeks.
Species and Numbers: Teal numbers have increased in the past few days and our local ducks and geese remain in the area. Overall numbers are low but should be enough for a decent youth hunt.
Migrations: A small teal migration has been observed over the past week but no cranes or snows have been seen or heard migrating yet.
Season Stage: Teal season is now closed. Duck season is slated to open October 24th in the Zone 3 High plains region and goose season is set to open October 28 in the Panhandle Unit. Youth waterfowl season opens for the weekend of October 17-18. White- fronted and light goose regular seasons also open October 3rd.
Hunting Report: Hard to say at this time what the season will hold…
Gossip: The dove shooting has finally improved!
Name: JD Ourada
Location: Overton, NE
Weather: Sunny, highs in the low 80s, lows in the lower 60s. Weather changing tonight to cloudy with highs in the low to mid 60s and the lows in the lower 50s with chances of rain for the next several days.
Snow Cover: None
Water Conditions: Water is plentiful and open.
Feeding Conditions: Farmers are getting crops out with good progress, plenty of corn fields with great conditions to feed in.
Species and Numbers: Mixed puddle ducks mostly are just locals are appearing to be grouping up in low numbers
Migrations: Nothing to report.
Season Stage: Pre-season
Hunting Report: None
Gossip: With the weather changing this week into a more seasonable feel it has most hunters including myself getting restless for the upcoming hunting season.
Name: Lance Ohnmacht
Location: Hutchinson, KS
Weather: Dry….. highs in the low 90’s and lows in the high 60’s. Pray for rain…
Snow Cover: N/A
Water Conditions: Fair on public but not much water on private lands without pumping.
Feeding Conditions: Moist soil plants had a good summer and most places should have good feeding conditions for early migrants. Fall harvest of crops is just under way.
Species and Numbers: Numbers are low.
Migrations: Saw a few teal today but nothing wonderful.
Season Stage: Early teal season ended in the low plains zone 9/27/15
Hunting Report: Heard of some good action the first week but I think the heat and lack of private water wore the new off teal season pretty quickly.
Gossip: Nothing yet… stay tuned…