The latest waterfowl migration update has ducks and geese scattered from South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin all the way to the gulf coast. After a brief moderation in temperatures over the weekend, another strong cold front has pushed through the midsection of the country and right on it’s heels is an Alberta Clipper. A lot of the ice that formed 10 days ago has thawed out in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska with the mild temperatures and rainfall over the weekend. Waterfowl have responded by heading to the fresh resources and a few southward flight birds have been noted the past couple days riding the strong northwest winds behind the front.
Large concentrations of mallards are still finding open water in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. The large rivers still have open pockets that are loaded with ducks. Further south, large numbers of mallards are in northern sections of Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois. Great successful has been had in corn fields in these areas. The cold weather has forced birds into the energy packed cornfields and this should continue in the near future. These areas have the highest numbers of mallards with a few other species mixed in. More on the number of waterfowl in Missouri can be found here on this migration update provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation. There is also a large number of mallards as far south as Arkansas. South of I70 in Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois, numerous other species are mixed in with the mallards.
Canada Goose Migration
Canada geese have been making their way into southern Minnesota and Wisconsin and as far south as Nebraska, Iowa, and northern Illinois. In these areas, find open water and you’ll find geese and more than likely, they’ll be there with ducks. Field hunting is your best bet, but if you can find a loafing pond with open water you could have a great hunt as well.
Light Goose Migration
The light goose migration has bounced back north the past few days as temperatures have moderated. During the cold spell, most snow geese and specklebellys had made their way into Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisianna, but in the past 3 days, there have been reports of flocks streaming back north riding the south wind. The bulk of the migration is near it’s wintering grounds, but there area always a good number of geese that bounce back and forth along the snow/ice linen and they’ll continue to do so over the coming months.
After the clipper today, temperatures look to moderate across a large portion of the country. Highs this weekend should be well into the 50’s and even 60’s in areas south of I70 over the weekend. Right on the heels of the warmup is another strong cold front that looks to sweep across the country Sunday into Monday and that will be followed by another rebound of above normal temperatures. The Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin looks to stay at or below freezing over the next week. With all the back and forth in temperatures, the waterfowl migration could be very active the next week with ducks and geese bouncing back and forth with the huge range of temperatures. Be sure to check out our latest “The X” Tip Video for Realtree where we discuss how the weather effects the migration and give some strategies on hunting the changing conditions.