How is it lookin in ND?

Discussion in 'North Dakota Flyway Forum' started by Rangerbob, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. PorkChop

    PorkChop Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Well today and tonight are the last of the cold snap. If your areas birds tufted it out things should be pretty bright for a couple weeks.

    I think I counted five spreads this morning in fields. Two in the same field. Drove by them around 11 and at least two of them were picking up from what I could tell. Being that it was 4° this morning I am guessing they did not shoot anything. I would say if you stick it out that long for geese mise well stick it out for another two hours till it closes at 1 PM.
     
  2. Feathers

    Feathers Senior Refuge Member

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    Just left south central. I’d say about 80 or more of water is froze. The stuff that is froze is thick enough to walk on so I’m not sure if this upcoming warmer temps will open anything up. Big lakes and rivers or sloughs the birds were keeping the holes in the ice open are the only things not froze. Still lots of field ducks and geese around and some divers on the big lakes but birds are very concentrated. We saw a ton of birds migrate through during our trip. It’d be interesting to know how many birds are still holding up in Canada.

    I know of several groups that went to ND early in the season and had very little hunting pressure. They all did well on birds primarily hunting water. The first few days of our trip the hunting pressure wasn’t bad. On Friday it got very bad. Trucks every where scouting and all field hunters. We saw several groups set up in fields that didn’t even have birds in them the night before. Had guys set up in posted fields we had permission to that I know the farmer did not give permission to them. Had guys set up in the same unposted field we were already in. Saw some guys set up in an unposted winter wheat field and learned an expensive lesson about that from a federal warden. Had unposted fields get posted over night which seemed very suspicious considering the land owner did not live in the area. My guess is hunters posted it. I’ve gone to ND about 15 years and Canada about 5 and I’ve never seen anything even close to the amount of hunting pressure. My guess is a lot of the guys who opted to go to ND instead of Canada chose to go late season when field hunting is typically better because most guys who go to Canada field hunt. That compounded the pressure.

    Morning feeds were basically non existent. We usually target the late push and I’ve been on lots of trips in very cold conditions, some of which were much colder than this and birds always feed heavier in the afternoon but we’ve always still done very good field hunting in the morning. The traditional scout in the evening and hunt in the morning was not working very well this trip since the vast majority of the birds just sat on the roost all morning and started feeding in early afternoon. Lots of birds were changing fields everyday as well. We did okay but it was probably the toughest trip we’ve had due to the birds behavior and pressure. We still had fun. It is always enjoyable to get out to the prairie and meet some of the fine folks from ND. Might go back out later in November if it works out with the weather.
     
  3. prairie hunter

    prairie hunter Elite Refuge Member

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    Vast majority of waterfowlers (mainly goose hunters) that visit SK and AB are indeed field hunters including North Dakotans that hunt Canada in October. I suspect MB gets more water hunters and hunters with boats in the interlake region.

    The rush is on especially those with two 7 day licenses.

    It used to be that snow geese and their follow along mallards would set up on established refuges. Back then the amount of water across the Dakota prairies was a fraction of what it is today. They would fly out each day to feed ... often flying out 10+ miles as pressure increased. Snow geese often learned to tell time and often would not leave the refuges until after the 1 PM closure if pressure around a refuge was high. Pressured geese would also feed close to the refuge in the evening and then fly out miles and miles in the morning.

    That was then .. this is now.

    Now these birds often set up on bodies of water right adjacent to the fields they are feeding in. They don't go far and if the farmer does not allow hunting they still until the food source is depleted and move on. You would think that behavior would also spread out hunting pressure, but I guess not.
     
  4. in2b8er

    in2b8er Senior Refuge Member

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    couple things happened. 1: field we hunted got fed out they moved onto a posted field we couldnt get access too. 2: pheasants are insanely thick in SD on the private ground we hunt. 3: grouse number are through the roof on the ground we hunt. so what would you do. pound your head on solid ice or go watch your dog kick *** in 10" of snow in SD finding downed runners 4 hrs after they were shot? id much rather stare at my dogs *** then try n shoot a limit of ice cubes
     
  5. Bullet21XD

    Bullet21XD Elite Refuge Member

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    You can't hunt a winter wheat field?
     
  6. Dean Nelson

    Dean Nelson Moderator Goose Hunting/North Dakota Moderator

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    Not without permission.
     
  7. brentbullets

    brentbullets Elite Refuge Member

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    could you clarify this please?
     
  8. prairie hunter

    prairie hunter Elite Refuge Member

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    Winter wheat would be considered an unharvested cereal grain crop. You cannot enter or hunt unharvested crops in ND without permission (posted or not).


     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2020
    QakQak73 and Bullet21XD like this.
  9. brentbullets

    brentbullets Elite Refuge Member

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    Thanks
     
  10. Littlecwis

    Littlecwis New Member

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    Debating if we are going to head up north of devils lake early next week. Not sure the effects the freezing weather had on the birds the last few days. Please keep the updates coming so I can try convince the other guy to still go.
     

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