Waterfowl Migration Update – November 29, 2012

Waterfowl Migration Update

The cold fronts moved through as advertised, but they didn’t bring the mass migration that many of us thought it would. There were a few birds that moved south with the first front on Friday. Since that cold front, temps have been cool and more birds have trickled in. The latest front moved through Monday and coupled with the full moon on Tuesday, more reports of southbound waterfowl have accumulated. It’s not the type of waterfowl migration where everyone reports great hunting with new birds, but some have had good luck in the past few days.

The cold weather we’ve enjoyed over the last few days will be short lived as the latest warming trend commences. Waterfowl hunting success will be hard to come by this weekend with temperatures in the upper 60s and clear skies. In the places holding ducks, the birds will likely loaf all day with no need to feed extensively. There are hints of the next cold front in the middle of next week. Let’s hope it holds true. This pattern of 3 days of cold followed by 5 days of warm is getting old. Just when hunting starts to get going, it grinds back to a halt with unseasonably warm temperatures. As a whole, I’d say we’ve had more “cold” days already this year than last year, but we’ve been plagued with nearly the same warmth as last season. We can only hope that winter truly sets in and takes hold in December to get the waterfowl migration going.

Waterfowl migration numbers in Illinois continue to be ahead of their averages for the most part. The percentage of mallards on survey sites continues to rise compared to the last surveys. The amount of teal still in the central and northern part of the state tells us that the waterfowl migration is still in it’s early stages through Illinois. Their numbers are declining, but just like last year, many people will be killing teal into December. The number of birds in southern Illinois has declined from last week, but is still above it’s long term average.

Southern Illinois Waterfowl MigrationIllinois River, and Mississippi River.

Waterfowl migration numbers in Missouri have not been updated yet, but from the sounds of reports, they’ve experienced the same movement as we have here in Illinois. A slow trickle of birds coming in over the past week has increased numbers. Mallard percentages continue to increase as earlier migrators work their way south.

Snow Goose Migration

Snow goose numbers are on the rise across much of the central US. Many birds are already in portions of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Each north wind day seems to send more birds south. Hopefully this year, winter will get cold enough to force all of the snow geese to migrate south of us before their return trip north.

Atlantic Flyway Waterfowl Migration

Waterfowl Migration

We just returned from a trip to Michigan with Muddy Dog Outdoors hunting divers on Lake Erie. The cold front that swept through the midwest late last week brought thousands of divers into Lake Erie. We were only up there for a couple days, but the number of birdsaround was impressive. Sunny skies and calm winds hurt our success, but we still killed a few while layout boat hunting. The full moon allowed these birds to move the entire night. During the day, they spent most of their time in large rafts 10+ miles out in the lake. As the full moon fades, daytime activity and hunting success should increase.

Central Flyway Waterfowl Migration

Levi Daniel of C&L Outdoors

Southwest Missouri

private land waterfowl hunting

“Last Friday brought us a cold front, which we expected to bring new birds with it. But we couldn’t have been more wrong! Our local conservation area was holding close to 100k birds and lost them with the front with no new birds behind them. The hunting over the weekend washer of the same for us; slow days in the blind trying to coax stale birds into the decoys. We were able to scratch a few out here and there but nothing to really speak of. It’ll happen eventually, it always does.”


Bill Witt of Bag’Em Outdoors

North Dakota

decoy bags“Cold temperatures have moved a lot of the ducks out of the southern part of
North Dakota, but goose numbers are still high.  Thanksgiving was a good
weekend, we limited out 2 out of 3 days of hunting, with the cold
temperatures and high winds birds seem to commit and reacted to calling
well.  Most of the bodies of water are frozen over, but a few large still
remain holding most of the geese in the area, with no snow cover and plenty
of feed as long as the large water’s stay open the geese should hold.”


Bag’em Outdoors Waterfowl Gear

Waterfowl Hunting Accessories Waterfowl Gear for Organization and Transport

As waterfowl hunters, one of the aspects of the hunt that we dread is setting up and tearing down. It takes a ton of time and at the end of the hunt we often throw everything in the trailer as fast as we can in order to go eat or get home. In muddy situations we are forced to strap decoy bags anywhere we can find on the ATV or carry as much as we can through the mud. The end result is exhaustion from multiple trips and dirty waterfowl gear for the next hunt. Problems with decoy bags, trailer organization, and transport are a thing of the past thanks to Bag’Em Outdoors who offers decoy bags, ATV Decoy Bag Racks, and Decoy Trailer Bag Racks.

Trailer Organization

The hunt always starts at the trailer where all your waterfowl gear is stored. We often stack bags, totes, and blinds on top of each other. These can lead to disorganization, items falling in transit, and wasted space. The Bag’Em Outdoors Decoy Trailer Bag Rack solves these issues. The racks are easy to install with a handful of washers and screws. The rail systems, made of 11 gauge heavy duty steel, go at the top of the trailer on both sides. The rails are custom sized to fit your trailer and coupled with a support rail at the connection of the two tracks. This system allows us to hang decoys at the top of the trailer opening up storage underneath for other waterfowl gear. In transit, we no longer have to deal with stacks of items falling over. We attached the decoy bags to the slide poles using the heavy duty carabiner and simply slide the pole to the front of the trailer. Our trailer system utilizes three poles and allows us to hang 6+ decoy bags depending on the size of the decoy. The poles are locked into place via the Channel slide pole locks that fit into the rails. Many guys build shelf systems in their trailers. While this keeps gear in place, it also takes away from storage space for waterfowl gear. The Bag’Em Outdoors Trailer System takes up virtually no space, but still keeps your decoys in place and maximizes storage.


Decoy Bags

The decoy bags (dimensions: 36L x 34W x 24H) are heavy duty nylon and feature an eyelet on each side for attaching a carabiner. This allows the user to hang the bags higher than if the carabiner was attached to the handles. The Bag’Em Outdoors Decoy Bags feature shoulder straps for carrying, individual pocket drainage, and are large enough to fit even the biggest decoy. We were recently using Bigfoot Canada Goose decoys and could easily fit 6 in a bag with feet attached. We could also fit 20 dozen Snow Goose socks in the bag. The 20 dozen fit comfortably and depending on the type of sock used, you could fit up to 700.

ATV Decoy and Waterfowl Gear Transportation

Transporting the decoys and waterfowl gear from the trailer to the field is achieved through the ATV Decoy Bag Rack. The racks are customized to fit your ATV. They can be attached to either the front or rear rack and fastened with u-bolts. The rack system has arms extended off both sides allowing you to hang gear or decoy bags out of the mud. The best part is this gear is hanging away from the ATV so you still have room on the rack for more decoy bags, waterfowl blinds, or other gear. If you were to have racks on both the front and rear you could carry up to 8 bags at a time. Your transport time will be more than cut in half, you won’t be exhausted, and your decoys willstay clean. The arms conveniently fold in or you can take the side mounts off by removing two pins for pulling your ATV into the trailer. You’ll spend more time hunting rather than preparing for the hunt.Waterfowl hunters are always looking for ways to make the hunt easier. The guys at Bag’Em Outdoors have created decoy bags for trailer organization and transport that save transportation time and space for waterfowl gear. They’re hunters just like us who would love to hunt every day of the week. Instead, they’re limited to a couple days a week. The products that Bag’em Outdoors offers helps maximize the limited amount of time many of us actually get to spend hunting. We all lead busy lives and there’s no time to waste organizing trailers, making multiple trips across fields carrying waterfowl gear, or pulling a stuck truck and trailers out of fields. The Bag’Em Outdoors Decoy Bags, ATV Decoy Bag Racks, and Decoy Trailer Bag Racks give hunters solutions to these problems and allow them to hunt smarter, not harder.