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Discussion in 'Montana / Wyoming Flyway Forum' started by Mean Gene, Dec 3, 2019.
You guys killing any birds? Small water frozen yet? I would imagine a lot of it is.
I got frozen out about the 3rd week. I forget the date, but we had that big Arctic front come down, and it froze the river I hunt. I waited a couple of weeks and checked again, frozen solid.
I would imagine you would have to find big moving water, with grain fields in the area.
After last week, our small water is froze up here 150 miles northwest of you.
Thanks, was wondering how things were going up that way. I've only got to hunt 4 days, but that's OK, didn't figured I'd get to do much this year.
We are averaging 3.5 birds/hunter/day. Down from 5 last year. Last year was a strange year weather wise, but we managed to find birds more so than in years past. We have had some good days this year, and some poor days. Its real hit or miss, and typically dependent on a storm system moving birds into the traditional areas.
The hard freeze in October pushed most of the ducks out. A few geese around the valley. Still mostly locals.
I'll be very interested in what I'll find in the way of waterfowl hunting around Ennis. I've seen good numbers of birds early and into October, but I have no idea how long they stick around. I would imagine there's a few on the Madison when the still water starts to harden, but access might be problematic. I know there's good Canada goose hunting out near Forsyth, but I have not actually been there to try it out. My guess is me, the dog and the cargo trailer camper will be spending time in Canada each year. We'll see.
I didn't realize you were so close to me (Close, in MT terms) I pictured Ennis further North, and WAY East, in my mind. No reason why, I just did.
In my readings, I have often heard good things about hunting the Madison. I think you might be surprised. My river is very shallow, high altitude, and freezes very early (usually by Dec) I bet you get most of Dec with open water.
I see Ennis Lake North of you. That should hold large numbers of birds. The land, on the one map I just looked at, seems fairly flat (compared to my area) and thus should have grain fields. IF that is true, you will be able to hunt geese for the full season, if you can get access. If memory serves, mallard shoots can be epic toward the end of the season (mid Dec) both in fields and water.
If you can, get out in the Spring, and look for grain operations near water. Most will probably handle cattle also. Offer your help during calving season (early in the Spring) or anything else they might need a hand doing for a day or two. That will open a lot of doors for you.
I love where I live, I truly do. But I always tell people, I am a duck hunter, and I moved to elk country.
I don't think the Madison freezes except in extreme conditions, I suppose I'll find out. I've seen good numbers of ducks on Ennis Lake, mostly gadwall, but it's shallow and I would guess prone to early freezing. There's some grain over by Harrison but I don't know how hard it is to get access. Hebgon has birds, but that can be a nasty haul in bad weather. It'll all be a new adventure.
Gene, I am sending you an email about a waterfowl hunting opportunity in Montana.