Remember when mallards migrated in October? - IAWaterfowlers
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default Remember when mallards migrated in October?





A guy use to be able to bank on the last week of October since I can remember. This is now the 2nd year in a row without late October mallard pile photos for us. Whats going on? Sure there is a hand full of locals most of which are content to sit on refuges all day long. But what I'm seeing and hearing it just wasn't happening with mallards dropping out of the clouds this year in October. Waterfowl count surveys really don't support it either. So what does this mean? Later hatches?(they look the same size on my summer up north fishing trips as always) Stronger willed birds? Out of all the birds I've shot so far this year not one was a mallard shot in Iowa. I'm sure their not far to come but man have we had epic last week of October hunts in the past. Just a trickle of gadwall, cans, ringbills and goodly numbers of greenwings last week in my hood.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:59 AM   #2
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?





0 mallards shot in our group so far this year as well. Hunting up in NE Iowa the past 4 years we usually had a good push of mallards sometime in october. However this year is starting out to be the worst year for any ducks. We usually end up between 100-150 birds and we might be pushing 30 birds right now going into November. Only 1 decent flight day so far and that was 2 weeks ago. Glad I'm not the only one struggling
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

We need cold. Why would they move with highs close to 70? I have no intention of hunting in the near future with the projected forecast we have.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

I'm shooting numbers this year just not what I'm waiting for.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

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Originally Posted by bd2135 View Post
We need cold. Why would they move with highs close to 70? I have no intention of hunting in the near future with the projected forecast we have.
Calander migration use to be a real thing. We use to shoot migrating mallards in short sleeved shirts. If Canvasbacks are moving Mallards should be IMO.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

Weather and also food availability I believe is playing a role in later mallard migrations such as this year.

Canada and the Dakota's have been very mild for the most part this fall and with more and more crop land being planted, birds have more food.

Open water & food, why migrate?

Obviously some birds will migrate like discussed in the other thread based on moon phase, daylight, calendar, instinct, etc.

I was out quite a bit Wed & Thurs hoping to see alittle bit of mallard movement, instead it was teal and gray ducks and even that was pretty slow.


And everyone wonders why we would like to see changes in the season structure
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:35 AM   #7
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Talking Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

They must be reading the new season dates and plan to fly later to show up when season is open.
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

Mike I'm not trying to start another season dates post war. I do like your idea of food. When you think about the Dakotas they have never been so full of corn. Is that enough to make the difference though?
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

not sure whats going on but there isnt any ducks moving thats for sure!
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Old 10-31-2015, 12:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

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Originally Posted by IAtaxidermist View Post
Mike I'm not trying to start another season dates post war. I do like your idea of food. When you think about the Dakotas they have never been so full of corn. Is that enough to make the difference though?
For years the guys in Arkansas have been accusing northern states of "shortstopping" the ducks by placing corn in the refuges. I think that we shortstop birds, but it's not by placing corn in refuges. Now it seems like we're being short stopped by the Dakotas.
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Old 10-31-2015, 01:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

Quote:
Mike I'm not trying to start another season dates post war. I do like your idea of food. When you think about the Dakotas they have never been so full of corn. Is that enough to make the difference though?

MN this past year had lost more habitat than you could shake a stick at. Just so you know.

1. Yep the Dakotas planting corn and soybeans when 30 plus years ago it was wheat, oats, barley ect. Not no more. Then you throw in those Big ASS reservoirs that even when extreme cold hits nearly a million mallets never leave or go to far. They might come down river a bit but when temps climb they go back up. I see it every year. It isnt the corn on the refuge areas, its the combination of corn and big water up in the dakotas.
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Old 10-31-2015, 02:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

Things change for sure. I remember back from 98-2001. 60% of the ducks shot out of my boat were gaddys. Now I maybe shoot a handful a year. This year has been my worst year ever. But I havent put much effort into in either. But it use to be we'd have at least 50-75 mallards shot by now. This year I've shot 4.
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Old 10-31-2015, 03:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Remember when mallards migrated in October?

The majority in favor of earlier seasons should shoot limits next week!
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