How was your Idaho waterfowl season?

Discussion in 'Idaho Flyway Forum' started by salthunter, Jan 17, 2020.

  1. salthunter

    salthunter Moderator Moderator

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    Location:
    SE Idaho
    Slow slow slow to start with
    We finally got some geese. But we never had those days where you know you will have an easy shoot the next day.
     
  2. goosepond

    goosepond Senior Refuge Member

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    Dec 24, 2004
    Location:
    Idaho
    Well Salt, I cant really say how my season was or I'd be banned for foul language. I have to say on a truthful note, I had the worst season I have every had since I got involved in the waterfowl activity in Illinois on my grandfathers hunting club. Even when Illinois had a 1 duck season, I can't remember such a horrible season as I had this year. My take this year was down by almost 60% compared to my average and it was down by half from last year which I thought was a bad year.

    Many issues I think contributed to the season. We didnt get migration until almost a month after we normally do based on my own records. Water was low or non-existent in Market Lake which is normally a place where you can enjoy a few days of take and normally wont freeze solid until at least first week of November but was froze solid by around the 20th of October. Birds didnt want to work many of the fields on a daily basis as they have in the past. Seems like they were hit and miss. I did see more geese this year than I can remember but they too were hit and miss and instead of sitting in one field all day, they seemed to skip field to field for some reason.

    I dont know what is happening not just here in Idaho, but in talking to many friends in other states, mainly Illinois, they have had the same experience as what I have talked about. Fewer birds and hit and miss. And this even went into some of the southern states that get late birds. Some of that was due to high water due to flooding just before their seasons opened and it stayed around, but, they still didnt get the numbers they normally due during the season.

    And then, we had the last 10 days of the season, at least in East Idaho where I am at, we had snow snow snow and drifts and freezing cold and crust on the fields etc etc. I know we have had this before in our seasons, but, generally not this late. And wham, off the birds went south and not much of anything around here to be had. And the sad part was, we had that cold snap in November that did the same thing to us early but many birds came back but we also lost a ton.

    So, to end my rant, it was not a good year and I hope that some things change before next season. I have had Fish and Game make a promise to the waterfowl community that Market lake has great and wonderful things coming this next year but they wont say what until late March or April. I hope some thing change as Market Lake is loosing and has lost a majority of its habitat and hunting abilities for all hunters which is sad compared to what it was at one time not to long ago.

    I hope others have had a better year than what I have heard in the Mid-East Idaho area using Idaho falls as the center of the area.

    Have a great year and be safe everyone.
     
  3. waterswatter

    waterswatter Elite Refuge Member

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    Oregon
    I've hunted waterfowl in Idaho every year for many years. I was on several good goose hunts on private over there. I did not even bother to go duck hunting over there. Hardly a bird around.
     
  4. dukxdog

    dukxdog Senior Refuge Member

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    Jan 18, 2006
    Location:
    Idaho
    It really sucked from Thanksgiving through December. We had some good shoots last two weeks of the season. Still worst duck season I can remember.
     
  5. HaydenHunter

    HaydenHunter Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Hayden Lake, ID USA
    We are not over until this coming Friday, but I think goosepond summed it up with his statement of "fewer birds and hit and miss". That, and very low water levels in many places that we hunt (normally dam controlled but extra low water levels this year) made it challenging.
     
  6. Peregrine

    Peregrine Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Southwest Idaho, USA
    This was the worst season for me too, mostly because I only got out for one short hunt all season. I didn't get a shot that day. Sounds like I didn't miss out on much though.
     
  7. jjohnson_714

    jjohnson_714 Senior Refuge Member

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    Nov 20, 2005
    Location:
    idaho
    It was by far my worst season to date. It seemed like the birds just did not show up. What was still around the last half of the season were battle worn birds that just did not want to commit. The birds we got this last weekend had almost no fat on them, which I thought was odd this time of year too....
     
  8. Double Reed

    Double Reed Senior Refuge Member

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    Very good. Learned a new place for me, got out more than last year, met some new people, different ideas for next season and shot more mallards than I ever have in a season. No complaints and the slow days were better than being at work.

    Also got to hunt in the morning and watch my son play football in the evening and go to State 4A championship with a 13-0 season. Icing on a great day of hunting to see him play.
     
  9. Woodduck31

    Woodduck31 Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Idaho
    I'm guessing that most guys are referring to mallard numbers being down. I did shoot more mallards this year than usual, but that would be 5 lol. I take more of a coyote approach to duck hunting, I'm an opportunist, I go after whatever duck is available. This was one of the best diver years I've seen in a long time. I've never seen the number of bluebills and buffleheads as I did this year and the goldeneyes were just thick. Redheads were down, pintails non existent, we only saw a handful of gadwall and no canvasbacks this year. I would have been hard pressed to shoot a limit of mallards more than twice if I shot everyone I saw, but the other species more than made up for it. I don't remember shooting a single hen of any species however shooting hens would have probably allowed a limit on all but three or four hunts. We generally targeted specific species and guessed right most of the time. We had a crazy glorious wigeon hunt one day that will go down in the books as one of the best ever. At one point there were so many that we just kept letting them land for 10 minutes, there were hundreds of them on the water, almost like a field hunt with them continually cycloning in, we were able to pick out all drakes that day. We scouted mallards another day and they were gone the day we hunted and we didn't have any diver decoys to salvage the day, I won't make that mistake again. I'm working on decoy spreads to represent each species I hunt and have yet to make any bluebills, but that will be done before next year. I've been duck hunting 53 years now and this was one of the best.

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  10. Duck-Slayer

    Duck-Slayer Elite Refuge Member

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    as far away from u as possible!
    Ducks were way way down for me, shot 1 greenhead. Usually around 60 a year. Geese were slightly down, got 40, usually shoot around 50. Weather was way to nice in SW ID, almost 50 degrees most of the season.
    Matt
     
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