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Holes Opening Up..Bird Patterns

Discussion in 'North / South Carolina Flyway Forum' started by Blake C, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. Blake C

    Blake C Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Piedmont, NC
    Had a pretty good day this past weekend with everything locked up. We found open water and shot some birds we normally don't see in this area. Crazy thing was that we hardly saw any of the birds we normally see. Only 1 group of mallards and a few woodies, no geese. It seems everything stayed seated or either moved out.

    That said, stuff is a thawing. Trying to get a gauge for what folks expect.

    Do you expect birds to "pile" back into their favorite hole after the thaw or do you think they've adapted a new routine/moved on? Theoretical I know, just looking for opinions since we rarely see freezing like this.
     
  2. Bluedog

    Bluedog Elite Refuge Member

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    Raleigh NC
    Will be interesting to see. Historically our birds pop back and are on a “new bird” sort of pattern. Kind of like they just migrated in from up north. This cold snap was more severe than most and quite possibly some of our birds may have created a new pattern south or more likely east of our location. I am looking forward to Saturday to see what it holds. My gut says we are in for a good day. All of our stuff should be opened up by late Thursday early Friday and with the food we have these birds should be hungry. Lots of fun just trying to figure them out and getting it right every now and then.
     
  3. Bluedog

    Bluedog Elite Refuge Member

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    Talked with buddy in Midwest. Their refuge area was holding 50k+ before the cold snap and lots left. He said yesterday evening durIng their hunt wave after wave after wave flew in from the south and dumped into the refuge area. They kill a seven man limit in two hours. I am sure it will be just as good here hahaha
     
  4. burgawboy

    burgawboy Elite Refuge Member

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    Yep, all mallards too.:joker
     
  5. Blake C

    Blake C Refuge Member

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    Piedmont, NC
    Nothing wrong with dreaming!! Hahaha

    But yea you're right, part of the fun is figuring them out. I would welcome a "new bird pattern" regardless of location. Last weekend was the first hunt all season in the Piedmont where I called ducks directly into the spread at 15 yards. And gadwall at that. Got a couple spoonies as well. It felt awesome. Obviously new birds and the lockup on small water helped us tremendously. The thaw could both help and hurt us here by allowing birds back into the cubbyholes we can't hunt. But if we get any influx of uneducated birds that haven't seen recent pressure and aren't weary to the call it may be game on.

    We're scheduled to head east and hunt Kitty Hawk Bay Saturday. Being there was 2-3" of ice on the sound not sure KHB will even be thawed by then. Granted it's not a hot spot for beautiful bags, but it is a free hunt with some good buddies and it's east of I95 so harder to pass up. Usually bufflehead central with the occasional stray diver or mallard/black wandering in too close. Forecast shows 20-30mph wind out of the south right now so not sure how that will affect the birds if it holds true. If the wind swings west we may actually stay around here (as crazy as that sounds). Amazing how 10 miles down there can produce a drastically different hunt and bag. Talking around and folks expect the impounds down there to turn on the first couple days of the thaw.

    I have seen quite a few migrators around here, mainly ring neck and spoonies and tons and tons of new geese. We usually don't target geese because they hang out with the mallards in illegal places, plus....they're geese. With the strong influx I would definitely be interested in getting into a bunch. Doesn't seem like many have been hitting fields though and following them to open water is tough.
     
  6. burgawboy

    burgawboy Elite Refuge Member

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    My buddies impoundment had around 800 strong yesterday evening. Some coming to roost, some leaving. Mostly woodies, with about 70-80 big ducks, and some teal. Pretty good for SENC.
     
  7. Blake C

    Blake C Refuge Member

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    Definitely not bad news. Did they improvise some thaw tactics or just natural?
     
  8. burgawboy

    burgawboy Elite Refuge Member

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    About half that many have been coming everyday even though it was frozen. Some landed on the ice, but most would circle, and then land in the creek. There are certain spots that have gotten "slushy", and that's where most of the birds are landing. He waited too late to try anything to help keep any water from freezing, and it has thawed naturally. The edges in the shade are still locked up tight. It's going to be tough to wade in there.
     
  9. Blake C

    Blake C Refuge Member

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    I've been surprised at how many birds I've seen posted on ice since the freeze hit. I'd imagine by Saturday he'll see most of it open with temps next couple days around 60.
     
  10. burgawboy

    burgawboy Elite Refuge Member

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    I think so too. He wanted to try yesterday morning, but I talked him out of it.
     

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