The waterfowl migration is a spectacle that takes place over thousands of miles and many months. Ducks and geese migrate to find available food and open water. As the winter bears down, the waterfowl migration continues south providing great hunting opportunities for hunters.

16 Degrees Equals Ducks on the Straps

 

waterfowl migration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well at least we hope anyways!  Forecasted low tonight is 16 with a light wind.  That type of cold should have the birds on the move looking to fill their bellies.  We will do our best to entice them to come eat in our field/waterhole.  The light and variable winds tomorrow is the one concern, but you can’t kill em in bed.  I traveled 150 miles this morning in search of ducks in a couple off the wall places that don’t get a lot of pressure.  Historically speaking, this is the time of year the ducks usually hit these spots, but very few were around today.  So the Fowled Reality team will hit up the duck and goose club in the AM with some extra decoys, open water, and a full battery on the vortex in hopes of putting down some green!  Good luck to everyone else out this weekend.  The cold weather has it’s grips on a large part of the nation and it should make for great hunting for many waterfowlers along the Mississippi Flyway!

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Waterfowl Migration: Duck numbers in Southern Illinois continue to increase

Finally, with the arrival of colder weather and the beginning of the freeze up north, duck numbers are rising in Southern Illinois.  We were able to witness a large waterfowl migration into the southern part of Illinois last weekend.  The latest aerial surveys in Illinois continue to show increasing numbers of big ducks in the southern part of the state.  The numbers are below their 5 year average, but have certainly increased since last weeks survey.  With the forecasted cold the next few days, we should continue to see birds migrating south. Late weekend, and early next weekend, things look to warm up which leads us to think the birds will slow their south push and stick around for the time being.  Now is the time to hit the woods and water if you’re a duck hunter on the Mississippi Flyway and Southern Illinois. From the looks of the surveys, there are still plenty of greenheads yet to come that are along the northern reaches of both the Illinois River and Mississippi River.

Southern Illinois waterfowl survey: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/surveys/Documents/SI07Dec2011.pdf

Mississippi River waterfowl survey: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/surveys/Documents/MR07Dec2011.pdf

Illinois River waterfowl survey: http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/surveys/Documents/IR07Dec2011.pdf

*Surveys courtesy of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

All the rain that fell last weekend has led to an increase in resources for the waterfowl migration as they enter the southern part of the state.  Now is the time to put the rubber to the road and locate some off the wall places holding birds.  The Fowled Reality crew will be scouring the south central zone of Illinois tomorrow in search of ducks for our weekend hunts.  Good luck this weekend!

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Mississippi Flyway Waterfowl Migration is heating up!!!

This weekend was a tale of two days of different weather in the the south central Illinois waterfowl zone on the Mississippi Flyway.  Saturday, we were greeted with warm weather, little wind, and changeable skies.  We saw a fair amount of birds early and then again late.  A few birds showed interest, but the majority knew where they were going or just didn’t fly at all. With the forecast of an arriving front, light rain, and cooler temperatures, we had higher hopes for Sunday.

Our hopes of fresh waterfowl migration and colder temps came true on Sunday.  We witnessed numerous groups of waterfowl migrating south with the colder temperatures and rain.  We didn’t go more than five minutes without having birds work, or seeing them fall from the heavens into the refuge.  With the number of birds we saw, we should have easily had limits, but most birds had no intentions of working.  The crew tried numerous times to rearrange the decoys and adjust the mojos in hopes of enticing more, but nothing seemed to work. We made the most of the groups that did work and managed to take 17 birds with 4 guys in the pit!  Our take was a mix of mallards, widgeon, and pintail.

The new trailer for the upcoming season of Folwed Reality can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObKBYnhGMnI

With cold temperatures in the forecast, the hunting should continue to be great as the birds continue their migration south through Illinois along the Mississippi Flyway.  As smaller water starts to freeze up, the birds will become more concentrated on larger water.  Fire up the ice eaters in your pot holes, concentrate on rivers/large lakes, or spend some road time searching for birds hitting the fields and you’ll be in for a good hunt.

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Waterfowl Migration – December 1, 2011

We have finally had some colder weather up north and a few days of NW winds to start a little waterfowl migration.  The Southern Illinois waterfowl survey count is up over the course of the past two weeks, but still slightly behind the 5 year average.  Just under a third of the birds counted in Southern Illinois are at Pyramid State Park.  Chris and Blake are headed that direction tomorrow evening for a hunt on Saturday.  Hopefully it’ll be a good one!

Southern Illinois Survey courtesy of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources

http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/waterfowl/surveys/Documents/SI30Nov2011.pdf

With the cold weather this week, lakes are starting to ice over pushing the birds into the open water they can find.  From the Mississippi River surveys, it appears the largest concentration of Mallards is located in the central part of the river.  Over 270,000 ducks are in this area.  The next cold push should spur large waterfowl migration into our main area of hunting in Southern Illinois.  Looking long-range, there is talks of snow across portions of the central midwest the middle of next week.  With the snow comes colder weather, more ice, south flying ducks!

Mississippi River Survey courtesy of the Illinois Natural History

http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/fieldstations/forbes/2011/ms11302011.pdf

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We need colder weather…..

It’s been a slow week of waterfowl hunting in south central Illinois.  Nearly every day this week we’ve had temps in the 60s with a 20+ mph south wind.  Definitely not conducive to waterfowl hunting.  We managed to scratch a few out through the mild weather during the week and finally got into them pretty good this morning after the cold front passage and during a steady rain.  Most of our birds are stale and very few mallards are around.  We’re mostly killing green wing teal and really not seeing much of anything else.

Torry’s first ducks on November 16.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through the warm weather this week, the ducks were flying the first hour of the day then shut down by 730.  We have been seeing a few of the local geese feeding between 8-10, but they’re very weary being resident geese.  The ducks today stayed pretty steady through 10.  We had two mallards light before shooting light, only to leave before we had a chance, then the rest of the morning was filled with small groups of teal buzzing the pit.  We shot well early then started to lose our touch.  The day finished with a mixed bag of teal, a red head, and a couple local geese.  It was nice to actually hunt with cooler temperatures and calmer winds that aren’t out of the south.

 

With three days of rain in the forecast, we should have a little better luck this week than last!

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