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riverrat56

Thoughts on Oct. 4th opener?

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So now that most water except for the rivers (and even some of those) and very large lakes are frozen, who else is glad that we missed out on the early teal and wood duck flights to have this nice frozen final 3 weekends of the season?

We still might take a chance and hunt the river this weekend, but I don't have my hopes up too high....

Did anyone really think we would be shooting ducks in Minnesota in December other than in a few isolated spots?

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Did anyone really think we would be shooting ducks in Minnesota in December other than in a few isolated spots?

Not I.

The seasons are a tough thing. Open it earlier, and what local birds are around will get burned out and make the wait just that much longer for any new arrivals..... Open it a week or two later and we contend with this...

Hard to win.

I wouldn't mind seeing some kind of an early opener, then a two week split. But if the future is going to be as bad as this year was, it won't much matter.

This was the worst year I've seen in 35+ years of hunting. BAR NONE.

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Other than about the past 5-6 years the season always opened the first weekend in October. We got 60 days to hunt this year. Mother Nature froze the lakes a week earlier than last year. Its a bit of work but there are still birds to be gotten and places to get them. I'm not much of a cool-aid drinker but until the someone invents a magic weather machine there will always be a catch-22. Open it early and burn out the locals or keep it later and hope for a push. This by no means was a banner year for me, and if I chose to only look at my normal spots my season is over - that said I just signed up for some time off and I'm going to take advantage of the cheap gas and head south. Again no real answers here, just the perspective that if this is the worst year in 35 I don't think a 1 week later season is what is to blame.

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were not faring to bad this year but it is gettin down to the wire were at exactly 80 ducks and 27 honks which is down from last year 107 ducks 56 honks last year was a blow out year tho. this year was about average on a ten year scale

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just the perspective that if this is the worst year in 35 I don't think a 1 week later season is what is to blame.

Oh I whole heartedly agree. In this area, the weekend of the 8th was the best shoot of the year. It lasted two days. I had some decent hunting, but I had to drive to do it, and hunt during the week. As far as the number of ducks seen and in the areas I hunted, the early 80's with the 3 birds a day for 30 days, were far and away better for numbers seen.

Just no migration through here, and what little did, didn't waste much time hanging around.

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Open it early and burn out the locals or keep it later and hope for a push.

Whats the theory behind this statement, I don't understand it? Whenever we open the season, early or later, there will be locals around? I personally observed that alot of local ducks had left by opener this year with out ever being shot at.

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Just had to add that yesterday I opened the mailbox and pulled out my copy of the MINNESOTA Sportsmen magazine. Lots of ice fishing stories, but the funniest one was a 2 1/2 page article on December duck hunting.....huh? The season is open for 2 days! I thought it was a MINNESOTA magazine??!!

Actually, I think the season is just right. I'd rather have a few days of ice at the end of the season rather than the end of the sesaon before the ice! Also, I agree, the ice is early this year!

I'll be lying in a corn field this weekend....there's still plenty of birds around.

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Originally Posted By: HugoBox
Open it early and burn out the locals or keep it later and hope for a push.

Whats the theory behind this statement, I don't understand it? Whenever we open the season, early or later, there will be locals around? I personally observed that alot of local ducks had left by opener this year with out ever being shot at.

Riverrat -

My statement was paraphrasing what Chub said about locals being burned out. I understand where you are coming from, but from what I recall we didn't have freezing weather in late September and early October so I think there were still locals around - at least where I was hunting.

I rambled a bit, but I guess my point was that if the season was a terrible one I don't think that the fact that it started a week later than last year is what's too blame. Last year we could shoot two cans - this year none - this year there were more restrictions on bills. I guess my point was that regardless of the timing of the season, the duck numbers aren't what I remember them to be. That is more frustrating for me. In general I think my crew shot more ducks than prior years but overall we saw less which is dissappointing.

My only other point was that with the season being extended to where it is now some of the guys down south may have a crack at some of the migrators we were chasing last week.

Just my $.02 - but I'm also a guy who only got out about a dozen times between chasing kids so I'm guessing there are guys who hunted all over the state who may have better perspective on ducks numbers.

-erik

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I guess my point was that regardless of the timing of the season, the duck numbers aren't what I remember them to be. That is more frustrating for me. In general I think my crew shot more ducks than prior years but overall we saw less which is dissappointing.

That's it, in a nut shell. For those of you that haven't hunted for all that long, there was quite a stretch where we had gloom and doom seasons. 30 days, 3 ducks etc... . Supposedly there were no ducks back then.

I'm not that old, and my memory is still kind of intact..... the hunting was, on average, considerably better than it is now. There are lots of factors involved on why it's declined(habitat,climate, recreation habits, etc...), but moving the season one way or another isn't going to change much of anything.

This 60 day thing is what.....something new within the last ten years? I remember many of them being around 45 days.

There's some decent hunting to be had, but you have to be mobile and willing & able to go at moments notice. But overall it's decayed badly in the last 10-15 years.

One bright spot is if you like to kill geese, I don't know if it's ever been better smile

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i'll be out this weekend. still ducks to shoot and tons of honkers. my layout blind wont get put away till february. (sodak missouri river honkers) i'll be out to the river in january filling a 2-doe license and hopefully hurting the honkers as well. late season minnesota honker hunting should be pretty fun this year; as long as we dont get 12 inches of snow right before the season starts.

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My statement was paraphrasing what Chub said about locals being burned out. I understand where you are coming from, but from what I recall we didn't have freezing weather in late September and early October so I think there were still locals around - at least where I was hunting.

-erik

I do agree with almost everything you said, but it's just that whenever the season opens, we will "burn out" the locals, it doesn't matter when it is. Teal will start to migrate when the days start to get shorter, regardless of temperature. Wood ducks are heartier than most people give them credit for, a friend of mine shot one last weekend, but the majority was long gone by the 3rd weekend of the season.

I have only been duck hunting for 4 years now, so I don't know much about what it was like before then, but what I do know is that there is still some ducks to be had but you will need to endure alot of empty skys through out the year. Thats why it's called hunting.

I personally think that the season should open earlier than it does and we can all hope that this mythical thing called a migration happens to come through Minnesota before the season closes in Mid/Late November, if it even comes at all...

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I don't get it. I've wondered at what seems to me to be an "anti early season", attitude for years. I don't know how much current day waterfowlers pay attention to the birds prior to the season BUT, MOST seasons, the teal and the wood ducks are 50% to 75% gone by the first of Oct. Why duck hunters as a group are so against an early season is beyond my comprehension. I think we should have a one week (including two weekends) early season around the 20th of Sept. Make it a three bird limit (but I don't think it needs to be) if your worried about a slaughter. As it stands now, we only get two days oppertunity, at just a percentage of the original number of birds we produce before sending them to get shot in Louisiana. I don't think the mallards leave the area after being shot at. Most just go into a town or to a private puddle they don't get harrased in.

We used to be a state of great diver shooting late in the season the times have changed. If we don't change we will lose waterfowling. We have a lot of Wood ducks and Blue wing teal right here in this state and north of us. They migrate in Sept. That is when one needs to hunt them. NOT in October. Sorry about the rant, but I just don't get it.

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I don't think the mallards leave the area after being shot at. Most just go into a town or to a private puddle they don't get harrased in.

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There is nothing worse than looking out at the lake the day after the duck season closes and seeing ducks flying all over the place. IMO I would rather see fish house on the lake after duck season. That way I had the opportunity to hunt until the ducks were gone. Give me a big fat northern mallard in my decoys any day, over a woodie or a teal when its 85 deg. and muggy.

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If we want a true duck and goose opener close the youth season. I'm all for it but have a day later in the season. Seconde get rid of the early goose season and put it all in december or something. ducks and geese get very jumpy and thats why i think loclal ducks leave earlier and earlier. Overall our season has been out nothing spectacular but over ok! still some left the best hunting for us is still ahead I think!

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were not faring to bad this year but it is gettin down to the wire were at exactly 80 ducks and 27 honks which is down from last year 107 ducks 56 honks last year was a blow out year tho. this year was about average on a ten year scale

were at 60 ducks....this yrs opener was the best ive ever had we had a 3 man limit by 9:25 opening morning mixed bag of teal/woodies/mallards....i didnt think the rest of the season was to bad just had to wrk a little harder to grind em

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Quote:
Seconde get rid of the early goose season and put it all in december or something.

yeah and there will be no birds for the northern guys to shoot at while most geese will be in the southern 1/2 of the state, does good for you but not for some of us. Early season is great, most birds are locals...some migrators make their way but I have not see it affect my hunting season one bit. It has been a massacre since September 6th.

Quote:
were at 60 ducks....

That's better than at least 50% waterfowlers, some just go to the same spot every time out and shoot 1 or 2 each time out after a good opening weekend. Just work for them and it pays off, I've had my best season this fall with 250+ birds (ducks/geese) since Early Goose. The rain has helped out quite a bit too! Good Luck to these who are still hunting. I hope to make it out for the late season if possible.

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You must eat a lot of waterfowl! 250 birds? That is one heck of a lot of eating since the beginning of early goose.

I have 7 birds so far this year. Then again I missed 3 out of 4 of the first 4 weekends due to weddings. My son was married on opening day if you can beleive that, and he is my hunting partner! Everything is locked up now and I do not see any working any fields around here so thispast weekend I had a gun cleaning party in the basement. As we say here in Minnesota a LOT, "Oh well, there is always next year!"

Take care and N Joy the Hunt././Jimbo

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I would really like to know what people do with 250 birds? There is no way you could eat all of them. How many are in your possesion? Same with the snow geese in the spring? Just does not add up.

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imo snow goose isnt worth eating we shot 3 got one mounted and breasted the other two ended up throwing it away worst tasting thing ever...ive had snow goose jerky thats some good stuff though

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Guys- to clarify things up as Browning was saying "we're at 60 birds" I assumed he was talking about his trips with friends, group kill count and etc. I did not shoot 250+ birds this fall alone, I am talking as in my group count- when I was on the hunt. I have no birds in Posession as of now.

Quote:
I would really like to know what people do with 250 birds? There is no way you could eat all of them. How many are in your possesion? Same with the snow geese in the spring? Just does not add up.

Some guys just make all their meat out of jerky and they go fast. I have not done it myself personally, but tried some of my friends and they were tasty!

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Quote:
Seconde get rid of the early goose season and put it all in december or something.

yeah and there will be no birds for the northern guys to shoot at while most geese will be in the southern 1/2 of the state, does good for you but not for some of us. Early season is great, most birds are locals...some migrators make their way but I have not see it affect my hunting season one bit. It has been a massacre since September 6th.

Quote:
were at 60 ducks....

That's better than at least 50% waterfowlers, some just go to the same spot every time out and shoot 1 or 2 each time out after a good opening weekend. Just work for them and it pays off, I've had my best season this fall with 250+ birds (ducks/geese) since Early Goose. The rain has helped out quite a bit too! Good Luck to these who are still hunting. I hope to make it out for the late season if possible.

It appears as though you have shot 250 birds.

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congrats on the great season quackaddict we have gotten 85 ducks and 28 geese this year and I love the taste off duck can eat it all year long and it does make some great jerky and your right it doesnt last very long.

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Guys- to clarify things up as Browning was saying "we're at 60 birds" I assumed he was talking about his trips with friends, group kill count and etc. I did not shoot 250+ birds this fall alone, I am talking as in my group count- when I was on the hunt. I have no birds in Posession as of now.

Some guys just make all their meat out of jerky and they go fast. I have not done it myself personally, but tried some of my friends and they were tasty!

yes theres usually 3 or 4 guys i hunt w/.... and goose jerky is very tasty my brother and i are going to make a batch of duck jerky w/ the deer jerky

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