Name: Rick Turch

Date: December 10, 2017

Location: Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Weather: Cold this past week.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: If not frozen they are trying to but it’s been windy.

Feeding Conditions: Frozen.

Species and Numbers: A lot of geese around.

Migrations: A lot of geese in the area.

Hunting Report: I am surprised the geese stuck out this cold week. I thought many would move on but over the weekend there seemed to still be piles of geese in the area. Of course, this time of year the geese don’t get in a routine. It pays to stay in the blind all day when it gets late in the season!


Name: Will Harvey

Date: December 11, 2017

Location: Glenwood, Minnesota

Weather: Slightly above average temps.

Snow Cover: Around 1 inch.

Water Conditions: Mostly frozen. Some ponds and lakes opened up last week and seem to be staying open despite well below freezing temps last week. Really weird.

Feeding Conditions: Great, fields are out, lots didn’t get tilled and hardly any snow to bury the feed.

Species and Numbers: Still plenty of geese around, with the temps in the forecast they’ll probably be here for a while.

Migrations: A trickle of geese coming south as water freezes up north of us, but the big push is done here.

Season Stage: Late, goose only.

Hunting Report: The only thing I did any hunting for this weekend was to hunt down a few walleyes on early ice. From what I heard, geese still aren’t going out to feed until almost the end of legal shooting time. Needs to get colder and a little more snow!


Name: Richard Shamla

Date: December 11, 2017

Location: Clara City, Minnesota

Weather: Overcast and windy with highs just above freezing and lows in the 20s.

Snow Cover: No measurable amount of snow on the ground.

Water Conditions: Most water is frozen except rivers and a few small pockets on large bodies of water.

Feeding Conditions: Waterfowl are feeding in harvested corn fields.

Species and Numbers: Good numbers of Canada geese and mallards still exist in the area.

Migrations: We lost some birds with the cold. Canada geese numbers are still good.

Season Stage: Late goose season. Duck season is closed.

Hunting Report: Limits of Canada geese are being taken by those still hunting. The cold windy weather helped the geese decoy better.

Gossip: Enough ice has formed for foot traffic to start ice fishing.


Name: Gerry Mazur

Date: December 12, 2017 

Location: Toledo, Ohio

Weather: Cold with flurries but a storm front coming across Lake Michigan will move into northwest Ohio Wednesday afternoon and into Thursday bringing up to 4 inches of snow.

Snow Cover: Varies from several inches to the north from Detroit to just a dusting across the state border for now.

Water Conditions: Open water on the Bay and Lake but along the shore is now locked up with ice from the west winds and freezing night temps.

Feeding Conditions: Good grass and food source everywhere, but birds are feeding in the city. No need to go anywhere else.

Species and Numbers: Canada geese are bunching up with a few ducks mixed in with them. Maumee River holding some ducks but they are in the Metropark.

Migrations: Waiting and waiting and waiting.

Season Stage: Ohio is open along the lake until the 24th.

Hunting Report: You can hardly find anyone hunting let alone bagging.


Name: Carter Klatt

Date: December 10, 2017

Location: Sioux City, Iowa

Weather: Temperatures are above normal for the week and are predicted in the upper 40s with lows in the upper 20s to low 30s for the week. Some northern winds are expected.

Snow Cover: None, all the snow that we had has melted off.

Water Conditions: River is open and free of ice. Most potholes are iced over.

Feeding Conditions: Birds have been feeding later in the day and going into harvested grain fields.

Species and Numbers: Snows high up and headed south. Decent numbers of mallards and honker pockets spread up and down the river. Decatur and DeSoto are both holding nice numbers of birds.

Migrations: Have had some mallards and dark geese push into the area along the river.  Snows are high flying and headed south.

Season Stage: Late season. North zone closed for ducks, south zone closes on the 14th and Missouri zone closes next weekend. Goose season extends into January for all zones.

Hunting Report: Hunters having good luck shooting honkers up and down the river and in the area in general. Geese fed after sunset yesterday and might continue to do so with warmer temperatures this week.

Gossip: Nothing at this time.


Name: Kip Strickland

Date: December 11, 2017

Location: Baxter, Iowa

Weather: Cooler, windy from the NW the last several days.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Partially frozen areas, shallow water is frozen unless it has current.

Feeding Conditions: Good.

Species and Numbers: Good numbers of Canada geese to hunt, as well as mallards in the south zone.

Migrations: We have had some bird movement the past week with major cold weather moving in last week.

Season Stage: Late season for ducks, south zone closes the 14th. Goose is still in mid-season stage.

Hunting Report: Hunters are having success in dry fields due to the colder weather and frozen areas congregating birds on open water.

Gossip: As in most years, the mallards show up in Iowa with only a week left to hunt them … die-hard hunters still wish for a later season date.


Name: Kory Pohlman

Date: December 10, 2017

Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Weather: Sunny, 32 degrees, NW wind.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Most of the water is locking up.

Feeding Conditions: Plenty of corn available.

Species and Numbers: Increasing mallard numbers as well as Canada geese.

Migrations: Birds moving with every front.

Season Stage: Late.

Hunting Report: New ducks are finally dry feeding in the cornfields during shooting hours.

Gossip: Nothing at this time.


Name: Brett McMains

Date: December 12, 2017

Location: Missouri Valley, Iowa

Weather: Temperatures have been in the 10s to 20s overnight. Temperatures during the day range from 30 to 40 degrees.

Snow Cover: No snow yet.

Water Conditions: Good. Small ponds are iced over. Birds are keeping some areas open.

Feeding Conditions: Most of the crops are picked and conditions are good. Farmers are plowing some fields, making it hard to hide in some places. Birds are feeding once a day.

Species and Numbers: Over the weekend, a nice number of ducks were in the area.  Fair amounts of Canadas were in the area as well.

Migrations: A good number of ducks and geese remain in the area. Over the weekend a lot of snow geese were migrating.

Season Stage: One week left of duck season depending on zone. Dark geese are open until middle of January for our zones.

Hunting Report: A lot of birds staying on the Desoto Bend Refuge. Birds are still flying after shooting hours if it is a clear day. If it is cloudy, the birds will leave the refuge a little earlier to feed.

Gossip: A lot of hunters are having the same issues with birds feeding after shooting hours. This upcoming weekend is the last weekend for ducks in our zone and we have only seen the tip of the migration.


Name: Justin Bomia

Date: December 12, 2017

Location: Onslow, Iowa

Weather: Cold, low temps and northwest winds the last few days, slight warm up coming at the end of the week.

Snow Cover: Trace of snow to the north.

Water Conditions: Most small bodies of water are frozen; rivers remain open with a little bit of chunk ice.

Feeding Conditions: Feeding conditions remain good in the area.

Species and Numbers: Mostly mallards and geese present in fair numbers.

Migrations: Few new northern mallards to the area with the cold front.

Season Stage: North zone is closed with a few days remaining in the south zone.

Hunting Report: None.

Gossip: None.


Name: Shaun Patrick

Date: December 12, 2017

Location: Troy, Missouri

Weather: Highs in the 30s, lows in the 20s.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Shallower waters are beginning to freeze.

Feeding Conditions: Good.

Species and Numbers: Still good amounts of birds in the area but we have lost quite a few after last week’s cold snap.

Migrations: We haven’t seen a noticeable push of birds in several weeks.

Season Stage: Mid-Season.

Hunting Report: Hunting in the area has been very tough. Birds are concentrated in certain areas. There are some places that are having some good hunts but it’s been somewhat sporadic.

Gossip: The big cold front last week failed to move large amounts of birds into the area, but it did break them from their nocturnal pattern a little bit.


Name: Hunter Parrish

Date: December 12, 2017

Location: Chillicothe, Missouri

Weather: Cold! Finally got the temps we normally have this time of year. Warmer weather coming again though.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Very good. Even with almost no rain this season the levels have stayed strong. Had ice Friday thru Sunday. Got warm Sunday afternoon and yesterday and it opened most water back up.

Feeding Conditions: Good. Saw ducks starting to hit some cornfields.

Species and Numbers: Numbers have dropped significantly. Over the last two weeks we had one refuge lose 85,000-plus ducks. Full moon hurt us then the cold front must have pushed them out.

Migrations: None have come in, most have left. Got to think there are still some north of us, just not sure how many.

Season Stage: Mid- to late season in north zone. Roughly 3 weeks of season left.

Hunting Report: Not much success for most people out there.

Gossip: Most thought last week would be really good with the cold temps and bitter cold up north. Didn’t turn out that way. This season has been one of our top seasons regardless of how these last few weeks turn out.


Name: Trapper Padgett

Date: December 12, 2017

Location: Lonoke, Arkansas

Weather: Sunny, windy, cold, lows in 20s and 30s and highs 40 to 50s.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Once again the water levels are extremely low. No rain in the 15-day forecast and what water we did receive back a few days ago is dried out and gone.

Feeding Conditions: Feeding conditions are great in dry fields and in flooded fields. Not much water in green timber, but what does have water there’s a great source of food. Hopefully if rain comes we will only increase feed areas in the state.

Species and Numbers: Lots of snow and specks in the state, ducks are around I’d say below average numbers across the board on species.

Migrations: Had a cold front move in the state back end of last week. Will have another move through tonight so we should see new birds with it but not much water to hold them. What water there is will hunted not leaving many resting areas for them to go.

Season Stage: We are in the second season of ducks and geese are wide open.

Hunting Report: Goose hunting has been excellent because of all the food and areas for them to go. Duck hunting has been good on private but public is only fair.

Gossip: Lots of folks will be sleeping in or will try to goose hunt with conditions the way they are. Not much relief with water issue. If something doesn’t change it will be one of the worst seasons I’ve ever seen.


Name: Cody Grisanti

Date: December 11, 2017

Location: Wynne, Arkansas

Weather: Lows in the mid-20s/low 30s with the high reaching mid-50s to 60s.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: This is the driest I have seen Arkansas in a long time. Most fields that are pumped are slowly losing water back into the ground creating a headache for hunters that can’t afford to pump all year. L’Anguille River might as well be a dry creek.

Feeding Conditions: Most ducks are found feeding at night due to pressure. Fields are being eaten out thanks to large number of geese in the air.     

Species and Numbers: Finally, we are beginning to see large numbers of mallards, gadwall, pintail, etc.

Migrations: The “Artic Blast” pushed a lot of birds into the area, unfortunately, due to the lack of water … every piece of water has hunters on them so we are essentially hunting late season birds in early December.

Season Stage: Mid-2nd split.

Hunting Report: Birds in the fields are already call shy and pit shy, most big ducks are acting like late season birds in December.

Gossip: Mississippi State football is looking promising with the hire of a new head coach and Ole Miss is squandering so I have that to look forward to next season! Hunting is slow so I look forward to a Greg & Jim’s breakfast after each morning hunt.


Name: Brock Perry

Date: December 11, 2017

Location: Stuttgart, Arkansas

Weather: 30 to 70.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Low, and getting lower each week with no rain.

Feeding Conditions: Good.

Species and Numbers: 200,000 in geese, 25,000 in ducks.

Migrations: None, ducks holding due to rising temps.

Season Stage: Second season.

Hunting Report: Fair, birds that are here are highly pressured.  

Gossip: No new birds as of yet.


Name: Ken Myers

Date: December 10, 2017

Location: Dermott, Arkansas

Weather: Clear and sunny and low 30 degrees. Wind from 1 2 mph out of the SW.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Minimal water in fields due to drought.

Feeding Conditions: May be low due to early geese feeding.

Species and Numbers: Very few ducks observed. Very few waterfowl at all.

Migrations: Did not observe any ducks migrating.

Season Stage: Opening weekend of second split.

Hunting Report: Hunted until 11 a.m. with one mallard harvested.

Gossip: Word on the street was very few ducks harvested from Jonesboro, Arkansas, to southern Arkansas. Even the well-known clubs had poor hunts.


Name: Chris Huckabay

Date: December 7, 2017

Location: Lake Village, Arkansas

Weather: Mid-30s in the morning, with a high in the 50s and sunshine.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Pumped-up fields, but finally had a rain come through.

Feeding Conditions: Rice stubble.

Species and Numbers: Geese numbers remain very good – few mallards, gadwall and teal.

Migrations: No migration – local birds only right now.

Season Stage: Second split opener for Arkansas.

Hunting Report: Killed some geese, but duck hunting was very slow.


Name: Jay Hayter

Date: December 11, 2017

Location: Lake Village, Arkansas

Weather: 30 to 50s.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: Fields minimally flooded, rain needed.

Feeding Conditions: Good — crops out of fields.

Species and numbers: Specklebellies- fair, ducks-poor.

Migrations: None observed.

Hunting report: Poor, very uncharacteristic of second split opener.

Gossip: Need rain!


Name: Devin Singleton

Date: December 11, 2017

Location: El Dorado, Arkansas

Weather: The morning low is 39, with it rising to mid-50s later in the day.

Snow Cover: None.

Water Conditions: No water, no significant rainfall in the last 30 days.

Feeding Conditions: Dismal, very little water has ducks leaving the area.

Species and Numbers: No ducks!

Migrations: None.

Season Stage: Second season opener.

Hunting Report: None.

Gossip: Loose lips, sink ships.


Name: John Gordon

Date: December 12, 2017

Location: Chatham, Mississippi

Weather: Cold over the weekend with lows in the upper 20s. Temps leveling out later with clear skies.

Snow Cover: None but it did snow to the south of us in the Jackson area.

Water Conditions: Very low, very little rain in the past few months has everything dry.

Feeding Conditions: Good, birds hitting vegetation and aquatics.

Species and Numbers: Gadwall, wood ducks, mallards, with some snows and specks around.

Migrations: Good push last week, especially on gadwall.

Season Stage: Still early, we run through the end of January.

Hunting Report: Much better hunting in the area once the gadwall arrived.

Gossip: Cowboys clinging to playoff hopes but must win out.


Featured image: iStock