Missouri River Valley Migration - IAWaterfowlers
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Old 10-22-2018, 06:04 PM   #1
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Default Missouri River Valley Migration





For years, a couple of us have often talked about the unheralded resource that this Valley offers.

This year is going to be really unique. The Big Muddy has literally been above flood stage from Sioux City, south all the way to the Missouri stateline, since April and May. And the Valley has experienced heavy rains which have only added to this flood. Subsequently, there are thousands of acres of corn and beans that are standing in water sometimes ~2' deep. Again :: 1000s of acres!

Because of this
, waterfowl from all over North America will somehow get the word and come to this Valley to rest and reload. Here are a couple examples:

1. The Teal-only season was outstanding and the Bluewings are still hanging around! One could bag 6 Bluewings in an hour still - in late October!
2. Whitefront Geese -- normally transit the area and keep heading south. This year has been very different. I have observed flocks of 2 to 5 thousand birds in 3 different areas and they are still here - 2 weeks later. Again, these birds are normally transitory too, but this year is different. We never see these many birds, flocked up, staying for so long. There is so much casual, quiet, surface water in crop fields that they are not moving at least for now.
3. The short, first split was also spectacular. We are seeing a wide variety of puddle duck species -- and in good numbers. There will be good hunting at least until freeze up. Further, there are several large bodies of flood waters that are (this year) too deep for puddle ducks, but should attract a lot of divers! That is exciting to me as we have not seen many Canvasbacks or Redheads, but their numbers are growing and this year should really be interesting. These waters are all along the Big Muddy and are DNR managed - open to the public!
4. The next split -- from 27 Oct to the end should be spectacular. Yesterday afternoon until dark I watched ducks EVERYWHERE! I really doubt if I have seen so many ducks flying into the dark. It was awesome and wish I could have shared the sights. All species of puddlers they were almost as thick as the mosquitos!
5. After all this water gets really hard ? There will be some areas that have open flood waters for some time and the river will be flowing fast. The river will be dangerous for sure, but those backwater chutes will hold potential. Certainly the Mallards and Canadas that arrive in December - after snow covers the Dakotas - will use these waters and feed in the cornfields.
7. Some corn may never get harvested as the grain quality goes down and combines cannot get to it. Crop insurance may be an option and some fields might get disked up in late February. How would that affect the snow goose migration come March?


In sum if you are willing to do some heavy scouting and have a plat book - that has landowner phone #s, you may find yourself a honey hole. Team scouting will be the key. Next year could be entirely different, so plan accordingly.


As always, please remember our military folks who sacrifice so much for our right to hunt and own firearms. Remember especially, those ~6,000 Air Force service members who have and are suffering greatly at Tyndall AFB, FL. That base has literally been BLOWN AWAY. America has lost Billions of $$$ in aircraft that were not flyable and were destroyed. Service members have been scattered across the continent and it will take years to regroup and reconstruct the mission this base was tasked with. Likewise, the civilians in this area are also in shock! The folks who survived are so fortunate, just to have their lives! Lord, take care of these people and comfort their minds and souls. Amen
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:08 AM   #2
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The season has been great so far for sure. Everywhere you go along the river, the birds are showing up and I’m shooting some nice mixed bags. Haven’t had a bad hunt yet and I’m not that great for calling. Mallard action has been steady and seeing more early this year compared to years past. Thx for sharing and good luck.
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Old 12-26-2018, 06:41 PM   #3
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friends on the other side of the river said good movement this morn ahead of the rain.bad dog
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Old 12-27-2018, 03:18 PM   #4
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I have been there and yes it is unbelievable just wish Bad dog owned farm ground over there I might have a chance to bring my pit blind over there and share it with him! I like comfort!!!
Thanks Stu for the updates
Hope those snows due move north the end of March to SD that is my reservation date!
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:13 PM   #5
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Just better make sure your pit is on the east side of the dike or it could be under water most of the time. I have a friend in Southeast Missouri and they are having a bad season.
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Old 12-27-2018, 07:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dean Downer View Post
just wish Bad dog owned farm ground over there I might have a chance to bring my pit blind over there and share it with him! I like comfort!!!
Thanks Stu for the updates
with the bad harvest we might get an opportunity.
ill let you know what a gate key will cost you.bad dog
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Old 12-28-2018, 05:11 PM   #7
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propane tanks filled,trailer loaded with darkies,roy on the ready,sunglasses cleaned,hevie shot packed,DD customs in pocket,everything but ambition.workin on that after supper:drinking .bad dog
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Old 12-30-2018, 08:46 PM   #8
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quite the show in the valley.have never seen large concentrations of speckel bellies stay this late.everyone knows that there no ducks in Iowa after thanksgivein freeze up,but there are thousand apon thousands of imitation imposters.hope to make a pile again after new years.bad dog
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Old 01-04-2019, 03:51 PM   #9
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Last evening (Thursday), watched several swarms - clouds - of Malliards come from the north and swirl down into our corn stubble ( yes finally got the corn combined on 2 & 3 January) a few landed, but for the most part, these three swarms of perhaps 30,000 +/-. Then they flew northwest at low altitude toward the Big Muddy and disappeared. There were a few geese - Specks and Canadas - mixed in, but less than 2,000.

This morning, nothing flying at first light. However, about 0830, there came from the south, a mile plus string of Snows & Blues - about 2,500 to 3,000! They were low looking for a suitable corn stubble. About 0900, another string, much higher - about 1,000'AGL, came from the north. I thought they were "travelers". About 10 minutes later, another string of several thousand also came from the north heading south. And in another 10 minutes, another string of several thousand birds - also moving south! Then about 1100, a huge string of Snows came back north at 500' and they were followed by another string a mile or so long same direction - heading north! What is Nature telling us? These birds should be a thousand miles south - not in southwest Iowa in January ??? Specks should all be far south - 6 weeks ago, yet we have 2 to 3 thousand still in this area of Fremont & Mills County!

FHD is seeing thousands all the way to Sioux City! I am puzzled! We need a good snow in the Dakotas to bring the Canadas in much higher numbers to this area. This area has become a southern migration destination for lots and lots of waterfowl like never before.
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Old 01-04-2019, 05:23 PM   #10
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( yes finally got the corn combined on 2 & 3 January) This area has become a southern migration destination for lots and lots of waterfowl like never before.
glad to hear that your harvest is complete.dont know if they finished across the road,will find out soon.asked the wife if she would like to go to a more southern destination for a weekmr roy said he did not think there was room in the trailer for her.bad dog
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Old 01-05-2019, 06:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bad dog View Post
glad to hear that your harvest is complete.dont know if they finished across the road,will find out soon.asked the wife if she would like to go to a more southern destination for a weekmr roy said he did not think there was room in the trailer for her.bad dog
Mr. Roy and you both could end up in the dog house old buddy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And The Mrs could break your dinner plate and bowl!
Dean

Last edited by Dean Downer; 01-05-2019 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 01-08-2019, 07:27 PM   #12
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after unexpected detour back on track headin down the valley next couple days.bad dog
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Old 01-08-2019, 09:12 PM   #13
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Good luck. You taken that guy from Massena with you? I hear he is a good cook.
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