Swan Lake

Timber Hole

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I remember hunting Swan Lake a few times as a kid. The geese coming off the refuge was a site to see although they were pretty good at staying 100 yards high as they crossed the blinds. When did the geese stop using Swan? Are there just not as many Canada Geese now or is it just a matter of changing migration patterns. Just wondering when snd why it changed.
 

wakenda

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Swan went down hill fast after 1992. I grew up about 20 miles south west of swan. When I was to young to hunt dad couldn't keep the Canada's off the farm.
 

WuChang

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Supposedly a goose population shift…….ask the Illinois boys about Union County and Crab Orchard

it is a wonder that golf courses don’t sell day hunts LOL
 

Sam Ortmann

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Supposedly a goose population shift…….ask the Illinois boys about Union County and Crab Orchard

it is a wonder that golf courses don’t sell day hunts LOL
Where to though? Do you mean they just keep staying more and more north or it’s like actually shifted to the west? Cause I know in the central flyway you can have a bang up goose shoot as far south as the Texas panhandle.
 
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WuChang

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Where to though? Do you mean they just keep staying more and more north or it’s like actually shifted to the west? Cause I know in the central the flyway you can have a bang up goose shoot as far south as the Texas panhandle.

Good question……..and I haven’t really looked into it

I think it is the Eastern Prairie Population that used the area around Sumner?

When I was growing up in Oklahoma,most folks hunted quail, if you killed a goose…..you had a good chance of getting your picture in the paper. These days quail are rare and geese are thick.

There are/were law suits in Illinois about warm water cooling lakes we’re keeping geese north of I-80

Who knows? Maybe they killed too many of the tribe of geese that were ‘imprinted’ to that area.
Maybe Agriculture changes?
 

WuChang

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I know the last time I went thru Amarillo the place was over run with dark geese
 

Timber Hole

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I assume that area has as much or more food than it did back in the day but I’m just guessing. That was really the root of my question….where did they all go???
 

drakenuts

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When did they change the five-year plan at Swan Lake and eliminate agricultural production or reduce it down to almost nothing on the refuge?
I see historical photos often of corn spread on the banks of Swan Lake near where they would band the geese a few times a year. I would guess it is a multitude of things, overpressured, poor hatch after poor hatch losing the imprinting, etc., but those pictures of corn strung out along the banks of the lake tell a story. When did that practice stop?
I can remember when it used to sound like a train around sunrise as the hundreds of thousands of geese would get up and shift around on Silver Lake in the mornings when I hunted there as a kid. I read an article once on Mike Milonski who used to help run the place, I did not know the man, but he had a telling quote to all of his friends that was based on the premise that once these places are run by birdwatchers and non-hunters and not run by MDC employees that are also hunters, these places are in serious trouble and it will be the end of them. That train of thought has always stuck with me and historically has pretty much held true across the state on certain areas.
 

WuChang

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If you look at most NWR 5 year plans, moist soil is the preferred food source.
 

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