The migratory crescendo has gradually gained momentum in Colorado's top waterfowl locales, and hunters have reported steadily improving action as the season progresses. Although November numbers are still forthcoming, monthly aerial waterfowl counts being conducted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife along the South Platte River corridor from Greeley to the Colorado Nebraska state line are expected Prada Document Holder Wallet
to corroborate hunter observations.
Bailey retrieves a mallard hen on a calm morning near Jackson Lake State Park last week. Waterfowl hunting has been picking up as more mallards and Canada geese have been migrating through northeast Colorado in recent weeks. (Scott Willoughby / The Denver Post)
"We saw a good number of ducks, mostly mallards," Brass said of his hunt near Jackson Lake State Park, part of the state's "Golden Triangle" of migratory birds that stretches to Riverside and Empire reservoirs. "It's good to see a lot of big ducks out there, too."
Field reports from opening weekend for dark geese ranged from a "banner day" to full blown "Goose ageddon" between Brush and Fort Morgan, with bag limits plentiful. For grateful Colorado waterfowlers looking at a long holiday weekend, the timing couldn't be better.
Mallard migration nears peak as dark geese come into season
Tim Brass of Fort Collins sets decoys under the full moon at dawn last week as he prepares for a morning duck hunt near Jackson Lake State Park. (Scott Willoughby / The Denver Post)
some issues with water early on and despite the floods, a lot of the ponds were still dry for the start of the season. Now that things are filling up, it's starting to improve," avid duck chaser Tim Brass of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers said after his hunting party bagged nine birds on a balmy Wednesday last week. "There's been a good number of ducks coming down recently, but I would say the main migration is still to come."
The goose population outlook in the Central Flyway also looks strong. Evidence of good production among Canada geese, white fronted geese and Ross' geese in the flyway has already been seen in large flocks of migrating birds passing through the Golden Triangle. Variable production was reported among lesser snow geese, but they're still expected to have another large fall flight.
After a long, dry 2012, hunters this season are already reaping the spoils of replenished groundwater.
MORGAN COUNTY Colorado ducks were probably thankful that Thursday was turkey day, or their goose really might have been been cooked.
record year of 2012, including mallards, which registered a breeding population of 10.4 million birds in the traditional survey area (36 percent above average). It's the first time since surveys began in 1955 that mallard numbers have exceeded 10 million birds in back to back years.
"There were Prada Cahier Bag Black
But with last weekend's cold front pushing birds south from Saskatchewan, the Dakotas and Nebraska, the Colorado numbers are starting to push skyward.
Bailey retrieves a mallard hen on a calm morning near Jackson Lake State Park last week. More photos. (Scott Willoughby, The Denver Post)
Northeast Colorado has seen its share of new birds on the leading edge of cold fronts sweeping down from the north, a reflection of last spring's strong breeding effort on the prairies. Relatively mild weather and ample surface water along the South Platte corridor has encouraged them to linger. Fish and Wildlife Service, the total breeding duck estimate in 2013 was 45.6 million birds, a slight decrease from 2012 but still tied with 2011 for the second largest population on record. The majority of common duck species remained at similar levels to the Prada Bag Moon Stars
"What has been nice this fall is that we haven't had one massive migration of birds. It's been a nice pulse of ducks and geese every five or six days," Mark Vrtiska, waterfowl program manager with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, said in a recent Ducks Unlimited migration update. "Just about the time you think that things are going to slow down and the birds become stale, you pick up a fresh batch of birds."
Led by Weld County's 33,590 ducks on the Nov. 4 count (25,000 at Empire Reservoir), duck numbers along the corridor Prada Bags Inside have climbed from 11,031 in early October to 58,202 earlier this month. Dark geese numbering just 3,356 on Nov. 4 were barely a blip on the radar.
Tim Brass of Fort Collins works his duck call at sunrise during a morning duck hunt near Jackson Lake State Park last week. An avid waterfowler, Brass has been watching the mallard migration increase throughout the past month in northeast Colorado. (Scott Willoughby / The Denver Post)
With the first split for the Central Flyway duck season coming to a close in Colorado's northeast and mountain foothills zones Monday, the mallard migration appears to be pushing toward its peak just as dark geese come into season (most units opened or reopened last Saturday). The ducks get a short reprieve before the second season arrives north of Interstate 70 and east of I 25 on Dec. 14 (Dec. 21 in the mountain foothills zone), setting the table for a heavy holiday weekend of waterfowl hunting statewide.
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