Season Summary: Updated October 20, 2016


Name: Will Harvey

Date: Oct. 17, 2016

Location: Glenwood, Minnesota

Weather: Warm, could use a cold front.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Close to average.

Feeding Conditions: 90 percent of beans have been harvested and farmers are going at the corn pretty hard.

Species and Numbers: Decent numbers of geese, duck numbers are low.

Migrations: Saw a couple small pushes in the last week or so, but it doesn’t seem like much of anything stuck around besides a few extra geese in the area.

Season Stage: Early/Mid.

Hunting Report: Hunting has been OK.


Name: Casey Hopfer

Date: Oct. 18, 2016

Location: Richmond, Minnesota

Weather: Mostly sunny, highs in the 50 to 60s.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Lakes and ponds are still high, standing water in fields is beginning to dry up.

Feeding Conditions: Corn fields are now being harvested.

Species and Numbers: Diver ducks have begun to show up, still some mallards in the area. Low goose numbers.

Migrations: Our first push of new birds happened last week, bringing some mallards and divers into the area.

Season Stage: Mid-season.

Hunting Report: Hunting has been tough unless you are able to find the areas holding pockets of birds.

Gossip: This push of divers into the area has offered some birds to hunt again, otherwise it had been a slow season thus far.


Name: Richard Shamla

Date:  Oct. 18, 2016

Location: Clara City, Minnesota

Weather: Overcast with high in the 50s and in lows in the 40s.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Water levels are high with sheet water present.

Feeding Conditions: Plenty of harvested fields and some flooded fields for waterfowl to feed in.

Species and Numbers: Geese numbers are good as are ducks numbers in the area.

Migrations: Slight movement of new birds, but nothing big yet.

Season Stage:  Mid-season.

Hunting Report: Good duck and goose hunts are spotty but still reported. Pheasant opener was last weekend most did well.

Gossip: None.


Name: Ben Cade

Date: Oct. 15, 2016

Location: Watson, Minnesota

Weather: Warmer than average.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Good.

Feeding Conditions: Improving with more corn being harvested.

Species and Numbers: Excellent numbers of Canada geese and puddle ducks.

Migrations: We had a good migration on Saturday as NW winds moved in along with a front. I saw many new high flocks entering the area. Good push of birds.

Season Stage: Mid-season.

Hunting Report: Hunting has been excellent on Canada geese and puddle ducks.

Gossip: Many were out pheasant hunting.


Name: Malory Owens

Date: Oct. 17, 2016

Location: Winona, Minnesota

Weather: Lows in the 40s and highs in the low 70s.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Steady rain and cloud coverage. Mild!

Feeding Conditions: Poor. The wild rice crop is below average this year. We have had a very wet summer and the water level has consistently been up.

Species and Numbers: The birds that are around are very spread out. And numbers are way below last year.

Migrations: I have seen some flocks of migrating geese, divers are in.

Season Stage: Just opened form the split.

Hunting Report: Better numbers reported than the past few weekends.

Gossip: Mallards are getting curled up.


Name: Greg Owens

Date: Oct. 18, 2016

Location: Reno, Minnesota

Weather: Lows in the 30s and highs in the 70s.

Snow Cover:  None.

Water Conditions: It’s high still, but it’s falling.

Feeding Conditions: Poor. The wild rice crop is really poor this year. We have had a very wet summer and the water level has been high all summer. The farmers are taking advantage of this nice weather to go full bore at their harvest of beans and corn. Most of the bean fields are harvested and the corn is coming out quickly.

Species and Numbers: We still have a good number of woodies and teal around, and the divers are showing up in good numbers down here.

Migrations: Yes! Sunday was an awesome migrator day down here!

Season Stage: Duck and goose opened up from our split on Saturday.

Hunting Report: Many limits were shot over the weekend.

Gossip: Vote for Trump!


Name: Tyler Huettenrauch

Date: Oct. 16, 2016

Location: West Yellowstone, Montana

Weather: 40s overnight and increasing to mid-50s by midday. Rainfall over night and partly cloudy throughout the day. Winds 15 to 25mph.

Snow Cover: Minimal in mountain peaks. None down in valley.

Water Conditions: Plenty of rain recently making fields a little bit muddy, river systems are about average.

Feeding Conditions: Geese still feeding mostly on old wheat fields and the few corn fields around.

Species and Numbers: Good number of geese in the area coming off local ponds or the river. Duck numbers are still low on fields, majority on the rivers.

Migrations: Small push of geese into the area with little bit of colder weather past week.

Season Stage: Third weekend of duck and goose hunting.

Hunting Report: Local wheat fields are still able to produce limits of geese. Good hide and average sized spreads, birds are finishing very nice.

Gossip: Max Barta can’t hit the broad side of a barn!


Name: Max Barta

Date: Oct. 17, 2016

Location: Yellowstone, Montana

Weather: Rain early Monday, rest of the week high of the mid-50s during the week, lows in the mid-30s overnight.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Lots of rain lately, the potholes, sloughs, and rivers rose a little. Plenty of water for the birds.

Feeding Conditions: Ducks are hitting the fields right at first light, geese are about 20 to 40 minutes after sunrise. Still mainly feeding in wheat/barley, with the occasion chopped corn field.

Species and Numbers: Still not a whole lot of ducks. Canada geese starting to group up more, average feed of 150-300 birds. Birds are still local, and getting smarter every day.

Migrations: More ducks and geese should be on the way soon, very soon.

Season Stage: Early, third weekend of the season.

Hunting Report: An afternoon scout is more than okay to find a decent field of honkers. The trouble is the permission. Always seems like someone beats you to it. A ton of hunters around, hardly any ducks though.

Gossip: Fall fishing is unreal, browns munching on the meat.


Name: David Ortley

Date: Oct. 18, 2016

Location: Kalispell, Montana

Weather: A week ago we were reminded that winter was not far away. Thankfully the snowy reminder turned into a week of rain, wind, and cooler temperatures. Highs have reached into the low fifties and lows have dipped to the mid-twenties a couple of nights. The forecast is for moderating temperatures with highs in the fifties and lows into the low forties. The real story has been rain. In the past week we received record rainfall with up to four inches in some areas. The rain is predicted to continue.

Snow Cover: We have snow at the upper elevations only.

Water Conditions: The current river flow continues to increase because of the rain.  Normal river flow is about 4,000 cfs and we are 10,700 cfs. The river is running faster than normal and is brown with run off. This is good for the backwaters and small bodies of water that hold birds.

Feeding Conditions: Feeding conditions are still really very good. The wet conditions have brought an end to any work in the stubble so the birds continue to have free reign.

Species and Numbers: As was the case last week, fewer local ducks have been on the wing and in the local sloughs. The hunting pressure, light as it is, has driven the birds into the far reaches. We still have local birds but no new arrivals and no growing flocks.  The number of geese is surprising! Geese can be seen and heard throughout the Valley.

Migrations: They have been no new arrivals. I suspect some local birds jumped south to the Missoula area.

Season Stage: We are in the fourth week of our general season.

Hunting Report:  The rain and wind continues to affect hunting. Field hunters continue to have great success!

Gossip: The record rainfall is bringing hope for great hunting in advance of the freeze. General deer season opens Oct. 22 and it looks like it will be a banner year based on the number of deer. Lake trout fishing continues to be great with the spawn in full swing.


Name: Russell Brzezinski

Date: Oct. 15, 2016

Location: Berkley, Michigan

Weather: Cool, partly cloudy shifting to sun.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: None.

Feeding Conditions: Corn just coming off in a number of areas.

Species and Numbers: Fair number of mallards and black ducks, but most small ducks (teal, woodies and ring-necks) have apparently moved on. Did see a good number of geese which probably coincides with the corn coming off the fields.

Migrations: None — expect the migration to come in with the full moon later this week and next.

Season Stage: Week after opener.

Hunting Report: Fair success on ducks, but geese were better. About half the bag is geese vs. ducks. The weather wasn’t helping with the fair conditions and little northerly winds to move anything around. Waiting for the next push of ducks!


Name: Gerry Mazur

Date: Oct. 18, 2016

Location: Bono, Ohio

Weather: Sunny and in the upper 60s.

Snow Cover: No, sir.

Water Conditions: Levels are consistent for the area, but strong southwest wind pushing water out.

Feeding Conditions: Beans are starting to come down and wheat fields are grassing up for some different food and feeding areas.

Species and Numbers: Local geese and some ducks. Full moon has pushed in some new birds.

Migrations: Specklebellies moved through the area on Sunday morning along the western basin of Lake Erie.

Season Stage: South Zone for Michigan continues, Lake Erie zone in Ohio just opened and north zone in Ohio opens Oct. 22. As always hunt with you lawyer and federal land surveyor.

Hunting Report: Plenty of shooting at a few ducks in the area. Circus atmosphere described by officials.

Gossip: Nothing at this time.


Name: Justin Bomia

Date: Oct. 17, 2016

Location: Onslow, Iowa

Weather: 60s and 70s daytime, 40s and 50s at night.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Fair to good. Rivers have gone down some.

Feeding Conditions: Good feeding conditions with harvest in full swing.  More out by the day.

Species and Numbers: Mallard, pintail, gadwall, teal, and goose numbers are all slightly up due to cooler temps last week.

Migrations: Very small migration of new birds late last week.

Season Stage: Early season, duck and goose just opened back up for the rest of the season.

Hunting Report: Good hunts over the weekend with mallards and pintails harvested.

Gossip: The warm weather is back, but hopefully not for long.


Name: Steve DeMaster

Date: Oct. 17, 2016

Location: Peoria, Illinois

Weather: Sunny and warm. Mid-60s to lows at mid-40s.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Plenty of water due to large amounts of rain.

Feeding Conditions: Moist soil and fresh cut corn fields.

Species and Numbers: Large number of puddle ducks in the area with good amounts of geese. Some specks are coming into the area.

Migrations: One decent push has happened with specks coming in over the weekend.

Season Stage: Opener is this weekend.

Hunting Report: None.

Gossip: Most birds around for opener we have had in many years.


Name: Shaun Patrick

Date: Oct. 19, 2016

Location: Troy, Missouri

Weather: Highs in the 70s, lows in the 60s.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Good, pumping starts this weekend.

Feeding Conditions: Good, harvest is almost complete.

Species and Numbers: Still seeing some early arrivals in the area, with a good cold snap on the way later this week we should see some new birds coming into the area.

Migrations: Small pockets of early migrators around.

Season Stage: Opens Nov. 5.

Hunting Report: None.

Gossip: Hopes are high in the area for the season because of the great crops most were able to get in around the bottom areas this year.


Name: Jacob Bailes

Date: Oct. 18, 2016

Location: Columbia, Louisiana

Weather: HOT and dry.

Snow Cover: None. HA!

Water Conditions: Turned my pumps on yesterday! Let the flooding begin!

Feeding Conditions: Prime, water in the fields will offer optimum food sources.

Species and numbers: None.

Migrations: Too hot! Front coming in this week though that should change that.

Season Stage: Twenty-nine days till opening day.

Hunting Report: None.

Gossip: It’s been a long hot summer and fall. 


Name: Nick Patin

Date: Oct. 18, 2016

Location: Sunset, Louisiana

Weather: Hot, a front on the way through by the end of the week will help. It’s not good for the migration to be setting records for high temps in October!

Snow Cover: At the North Pole, maybe.  

Water Conditions: Pretty dry, need several inches of rain.

Feeding Conditions: Poor, no water in harvested fields.

Species and Numbers: Some local wood ducks and mallards, nothing from the north.

Migrations: No movement yet with hot conditions.

Season Stage: About a month out.

Hunting Report: None.

Gossip: No birds … a lot needs to change.