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Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway

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Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway
I was interested in reading Cody's thread on this years migration and what others are seeing. Iowa does a state waterfowl survey. I imagine other states do as well. Illinois does a survey through a facility called Frank C. Bellrose Waterfowl Research Center and is housed at the Forbes Biological Station near Havana, IL. Unfortunately, this survey does not cover the upper Mississippi River where I live so we rely on the Iowa survey. The first image is the recent survey count of the entire state of Iowa. Listed are two locations that affect my hunting areas in Illinois. Princeton, IA and Lake Odessa near Wapello, IA. You'll have to zoom in but as you can see the total duck count for IA is 190,620.






The second image is an article from 1965 about Lake Odessa. This was the first year of hunting when I was allowed to handle my gun and ammo while hunting with my dad and uncle. I was 10 years old. The article describes the area and how it's managed as a waterfowl area. We hunted the Mississippi River island potholes adjacent to Lake Odessa. As you read the article, you'll see the count listed as 250,000 ducks for 1965 and 200,000 ducks for 1966. Today Lake Odessa is showing 35,802 ducks. What a difference 56 years makes. In those days the season in Illinois ran from Oct 21st to Nov 30th. I remember making notches on the back wall of our duck blind indicating the number of ducks to killed. We hunted every Saturday and Sunday of the season. We averaged probably 6 to 8 ducks per person per day. That was before the point system when the FWS decided there was a significate down turn in the duck population.





I hope you enjoy a little Midwest waterfowling history from the Mississippi River pool 17.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
That's pretty cool Ed.

Kinda sobering about the numbers over the last 50 years or so..... I wonder what FL's numbers are like but they quit surveying years ago down here.
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Dani wrote:
That's pretty cool Ed.

Kinda sobering about the numbers over the last 50 years or so..... I wonder what FL's numbers are like but they quit surveying years ago down here.


Yes, the evolution of waterfowling has defiantly changed over the decades. I was, I believe fortunate to witness what they called the Grand Passage when I was a teen. The first flights of ducks started showing up at day light and didn't stop the whole weekend we hunted. There were V's with thousands of ducks and geese from horizon to horizon. I remember my dad saying "take this in, it's a sight you will most likely never see again". I want to say this was 1968 or 69. He was right as I've never seen anything close to that weekend. This year I shot a woodie on opening morning and picked up my decoys the other day without firing another shot as my pothole is now freezing up. In my younger days it was hard to find a place to park at the dirt parking area of our boat ramp. Today there may be 6 to 8 trucks parked at the ramp. The guys I grew up with no longer hunt ducks. The average bag at the ramp meetings of the minds has been 3 ducks. Many have not fired a shot this year. I have a deer stand within sight of my duck blind so I can see what's happening on the water. Consequently, I've spent many more day's bow hunting for deer. I will go out next week with a doz decoys as the weather is warming a bit and then the following weekend will be gun deer season which I'll participate in. After that I will sit on the bank somewhere and throw out a few diver decoys as the potholes will be frozen and the river hunters will bring in there floating duck blinds before the boat ramp is locked down for the season. I'll reminisce of seasons past and anticipate next season and hope for weather changes and breeding ground transformations and hope for more than a Woodie. God willing!

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
The trend in winter waterfowl in coastal Alabama was the same last time I reviewed the historical and current numbers.
Wintering numbers peaked in the 50s and 60s and its been a slow downhill trend since, with a big dip since the early 2000s.

I believe one factor is the creation of the Tennessee River lakes, the Tenn-Tom Waterway lakes and all the other major river reservoirs all over the MS flyways states, north and south.
As well as rice agriculture to the west in MS, LA & TX.
Ducks that were coming to the coast no longer have to do so.
This is now especially with warmer winter weather and lots of open water to the north.

The saving grace for us in the 90s/early 2000 was the huge increase in gadwall populations.
But now even they seem to winter farther north each year.


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
I was a worker at Lake Odessa DNR unit in around 95 and 96...quite a bit of history there. Was a beautiful area and had a lot of potential and many good people and stories from there. Maybe someone on here can talk stories about the "blue light special". I was there when it was draw for pics on blind sights.
Newbie from Rochester MN
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
That's really interesting! I don't know what year they started doing the spring surveys in but I do remember that the past few years that they were done were some of the highest counts that they have ever had, however I'm sure that pales in comparison to what they were historically. My understanding is that market hunting caused a significant decline in populations from 1850-early 1900s, and then populations steadily increased until the 1980s and then have fluctuated around since. I'm sure also that wintering areas have changed and will continue to change based on food supply, weather, etc. I feel like we are in for major changes in the next 20 years or so.




------------------------------------------------
"We base our hopes upon a willingness to go to difficult-to-get-at places, to work hard, to freeze if need be, to rise early and stay late." -Gordon MacQuarrie

Avery- the K-mart of waterfowling gear
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Carl wrote:
The trend in winter waterfowl in coastal Alabama was the same last time I reviewed the historical and current numbers.
Wintering numbers peaked in the 50s and 60s and its been a slow downhill trend since, with a big dip since the early 2000s.

I believe one factor is the creation of the Tennessee River lakes, the Tenn-Tom Waterway lakes and all the other major river reservoirs all over the MS flyways states, north and south.
As well as rice agriculture to the west in MS, LA & TX.
Ducks that were coming to the coast no longer have to do so.
This is now especially with warmer winter weather and lots of open water to the north.

The saving grace for us in the 90s/early 2000 was the huge increase in gadwall populations.
But now even they seem to winter farther north each year.


There is so many factors that I'll never know about. Even simple things like new farm ponds, irrigation changes in Ag and urban retention ponds can make a huge difference. Gadwall were THE duck when I returned to Illinois in the late 90's but now even they have disappeared.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Gary Mills wrote:
I was a worker at Lake Odessa DNR unit in around 95 and 96...quite a bit of history there. Was a beautiful area and had a lot of potential and many good people and stories from there. Maybe someone on here can talk stories about the "blue light special". I was there when it was draw for pics on blind sights.


That's very cool Gary. I'll bet you have many stories of your own. Odessa certainly has its history imbedded in the books. We had a cabin at Shaefer's Landing in the early 70's. We tried to compete but we never could. The locals and their huge flatbottoms with blinds and huge outboards were out of price range for my dad. We hunted the "B" area and did okay but not like the gunning the guys had running the Lateral Shute as they called it into the "A" area. I was fortunate to work for an engineering firm in the late 70's that was owned by an avid Lake Odessa hunter. I was invited a few times. He had a custom built 20' flatbottom with a 115hp Merc. The blind was custom built of aluminum and could shoot 5 guys. The blind had heat, fold down bunks with storage for personal items and clothing, kitchen with an ice box, oven and a porta potty. Dog had a heated area. I think there was storage for 6 doz decoys if I remember right.

I remember the drawing. It was at 5:00am. You had to be there and registered by 4:30am if I remember right. If your number was fortune enough to be drawn you had the opportunity to pick a site location for the day. You were not allowed to leave the ramp until all stake numbers and hunters were registered for the day. I don't remember how may stakes there were now but we never left the ramp area until all the tanks were gone. The wakes those boats put out would have drowned us. I remember the refuge was lined by telephone poles with electric lines to somewhere. I assumed the electric lines went to the gates that opened to allow water in and out of Lake Odessa. That area is where everybody wanted to be so the draw system was added to make things let's say a little calmer. It was something to see numbers in the thousands going out to feed or coming back to roost.

I left Illinois in the early 80's to chase ducks in Arkansas and returned home in 1996 so I'm not aware of what the "Blue Light Special" was.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
My understanding is they used to do some sort of signing in to hunt in area A. Then upon a certain time the blue light would go on and people would race for the best boats. It got so bad that certain people would have race boats driving ahead to get the good blind sight. Much like the old land races of Oklahoma. This became to dangerous, fights broke out, one time three boats were racing for the main opening and two ended in the timber and one made it through. Those were just some of the stories, as well as stories of mallards returning from feeding on the illinois side so weighted down with corn and large mudballs on there feet. Also heard a story from an old timer about the Armistice day storm and the search and rescue he helped hs dad with.
Newbie from Rochester MN
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
 
The Nov./Dec. 2021 issue of Gray's Sporting Journal has a very good article in the TRADITIONS section.

Waterfowl Memories When your personal past becomes duck hunting history. By Ross Kiner circa 1915.

Green River Marshes after leaving the Illinois River marshes.


IMO articles such as this are worth the price of the magazine.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Vince Pagliaroli wrote:

The Nov./Dec. 2021 issue of Gray's Sporting Journal has a very good article in the TRADITIONS section.

Waterfowl Memories When your personal past becomes duck hunting history. By Ross Kiner circa 1915.

Green River Marshes after leaving the Illinois River marshes.


IMO articles such as this are worth the price of the magazine.


I'm going to have to look that up. Thanks for sharing Vince.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Gary Mills wrote:
My understanding is they used to do some sort of signing in to hunt in area A. Then upon a certain time the blue light would go on and people would race for the best boats. It got so bad that certain people would have race boats driving ahead to get the good blind sight. Much like the old land races of Oklahoma. This became to dangerous, fights broke out, one time three boats were racing for the main opening and two ended in the timber and one made it through. Those were just some of the stories, as well as stories of mallards returning from feeding on the illinois side so weighted down with corn and large mudballs on there feet. Also heard a story from an old timer about the Armistice day storm and the search and rescue he helped hs dad with.


I was aware of the accident your describing. Since you worked there you had to know how dense that timber area was. Along the refuge line the trees and bullrush was so dense you couldn't get a boat through the timber. This is what initiated the draw system. This also started more fighting and heated debates with the DNR and the Oldtimers's that didn't like the draw system and didn't want the change. There was a signal that started the race. I didn't know exactly what it was so it must have been the blue light thing. We didn't start hunting there until the draw system was in place. I was told later on they didn't allow boats to race anymore. The hunters that had stakes for the day were allowed to leave in intervals to eliminate the possibilities of crashing into the trees. I imagine there are others that know the history better than me.

My great uncle hunted Armistice Day on the Illinois side. This was pre farm land when the river was marsh from the river all the way to the New Boston black top. Thousands of acres. He would walk in and hunt. He of course made it back that day but he had stories of guys burning boats and decoys. No one died in our area that I ever remember hearing about but there were many rescues from the stories from the old guys back in the day.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
When I was there it had stakes and people covered there boat blinds with pin oak limbs and branches.
Newbie from Rochester MN
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
 
Ed,

Your very welcome, and I hope you enjoy it.


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Ed et al,
Ed mentioned the Grand Passage when he was a boy.

I grew up in southern Illinois (Collinsville) which sits on the Mississippi River bluff, ten miles east of the river and St. Louis.

I remember playing basketball in a friends backyard in the spring of 1967. It was in the evening. looked up and watched flock after flock of ducks migrating north. Big flocks. They did not stop but just kept coming for over an hour. I stopped shooting hoops and sat on the ground in awe, not knowing it would be the only time in my life when I saw such a spectacle. Truly a Grand Passage. The sky was filled with different V's of birds all heading north.

I have seen what we called "duck smoke" on Lake St. Clair when thousands of birds got up for a quick flight and then settled back down on the water. I have seen a tornado of thousands of divers rising out of Walpole Island spiraling higher and higher and then at some unknown signal, heading south for the winter.

But I have never seen a continual flight of birds like I saw on that spring evening in 1967.

That was before I started duck hunting. Perhaps subliminally, I became a duck hunter that night?

Larry
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
I have been fortunate to witness these mass migrations. My in laws farm in South Dakota and we used to go there quite often to visit or to hunt (or do both I guess). While there are flocks of ducks, it is the flocks of geese that are truly spectacular. There are times when we see thousands upon thousands of birds flying. As far as one can see the sky is filled with flock after flock and this goes on for hours. It is truly something worth seeing in ones lifetime.

I don?t know who said this in an earlier thread but I said the same thing to my kids when we were there during the mass migration. I told them to appreciate what they were witnessing as not many people get to see this and who knows how long it will last. My kids still bring this up and the story will probably be told again this year at the Thanksgiving table.
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
A couple of the firefighters my dad worked with had Odessa boats in the 1970's; I got to hunt over there a couple times with them, but most of my/our gunning was Andalusia. I heard about the races, but only ever gunned it during the draw. It's a complete shame that Odessa is holding that few ducks and Princeton only holding in the hundreds.... Every Iowa small river used to have its own migration of birds...Wapsi, Iowa, Fox, etc., and they funneled down to the Miss.

Dad used to take me over to a guy's house in Rock Island who was a duck call and decoy collector. His stories of his duck camp on the Mississippi were amazing; the Interstate bridge (Centennial?) went across the river just up from his camp and ruined his gunning. He fought it with attorneys, etc. but lost to the Federal government...not surprising. He said the diver flight used to come off the bluff on the Iowa side with them dropping down into the river valley to feed and rest in the pool; it would last for up to three days with fresh birds moving in. I can't even imagine new flights of ducks in that volume. I've seen big flocks and migration, but can't imagine waves of ducks off and on lasting for days at a time...

Everything changes.
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Hi Rick,

How's gunning in Arkansas this year. I hear the Specks are the new game in town at least around Dewitt, AR. Very few birds in the area this year. Not only to warm and no real migration this year. That and I think the Quad Cities has just gotten too big and bright and the birds fly over at night or just avoid the area all together anymore. The maps haven't changed a bunch since you left the area but if you remember blind 149, the Wido maker (which I think you told me you'd hunted in the past) has become a diver blind for the most part. I talked to the guy hunting 152 which historically has been a good blind on Friday at the ramp. He told me they have 300 decoys out and haven't pulled the trigger this year.





I'm hunting blind T4 this year and have not had but two Woodies in front of the blind all season. Fortunately, I shot the drake. Of course, I missed the hen...lol. The "T" blinds are the old Patterson area which was the refuge back in the day but this year the river is so low you can't get back into many of the blinds. Some are grass fields now. Hickory trees took a real hit with the last flood in 2018 and the Derecho that came through really tore up the islands and with the drought this year there were not many deer on the islands. The deer on the islands herded up in an area of Oak trees off of Velie Shute and I was fortunate to get one during bow season. Tomorrow is the last day of deer firearm season but after 5 guys pushed the island where I was sitting Friday and never fired a shot I called it a season. They told me they started at Andalusia and worked their way all the way down to where I was and hadn't seen a deer. I heard one shot all morning and a guy I know managed a small doe. Like they say, there's aways next year.






Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
I haven't even been out this year. I've been on the road for work, so my focus/energy has been diverted. I've heard mixed reports, but we have low water, so the guys on the rivers and the big clubs with water are probably doing the best. Tried to kill a deer over Thanksgiving but no luck...spikes and fork horns, which aren't legal down here (have to have 3 points on one side, minimum). Most of the people I hunted with have quit chasing ducks, and trying to find another person or two has been a challenge; a friend's son is really trying to get into it, but they live 2-1/2 hours away, and he usually wants to gun areas that involve a 2-hour drive one way to try and meet up at 4 am or earlier to get in line and try to get a spot. He's got the mid-20's "I don't have to sleep" energy and I wish I did, too...

Yeah, specks are all the rage...the outfitters are swapping over to advertise coming down to kill 2/3 specks per day and ducks, where it used to be ducks and maybe some geese. Kind of a shame, really, and specks don't come down into the timber or really hit the rivers and places I like to gun.

We used to gun 123 (had it in the draw a couple times) and I think 256, but I might be remembering wrong. I'm sure I've hunted 149; I think they eliminated some of the blinds that were halfway down the islands...people would draw them and not understand that they were "scull blinds", not meant to decoy ducks, but to be lookouts for sculling opportunities...some were built with the boat hide underneath so ducks could be spotted and the scull boats just ease out from the hide under the blind...

Everything changes. I think the light pollution everywhere along the MS flyway is an issue...used to be that if you drove around Arkansas at night, if you got away from Little Rock, there was no city glow. You could see stars like nobody's business. That city glow is now Russellville, Conway, Little Rock and puts light out for miles around the area...hard to go someplace in the State any more that doesn't have a glow from some metro area, and that's a problem.

Last year I saw more fields during duck season that were already dirt and prepped for spring planting than I've ever seen. Rice comes out in August now, rather than October, and most of the fields are empty by the time the ducks get here (if they do). This year looks a little better, and that gives me some hope, but I had to drive to Memphis this past Saturday on an emergency trip and didn't see nearly the ducks I would've expected in my "sample corridor" along Interstate 40 from Brinkley to West Memphis. Tons of snow geese and specks, and that's good...last year I didn't even see them that much.
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Dani, I started duck hunting FL in the late 60's. There were ducks just about everywhere in FL then. You would not believe it compared to now. I hunted all over at first [ Lake Kissimmee area,Ocala National Forest lakes, east coast] but then settled in on the Chasshowitzka NWR/ Hommossassa area on the upper west coast of FL. Mallards, Black ducks, Pintail along with many widgeon were taken on a regular basis. We did not shoot divers much at all in those days, just watched them come and go in the decoys. Over at Meritt Island NWR/ Indian River area, on the east coast, it was the same way, although greenhead Mallards were rare there for some reason. They made up for it with the FL mallards[Mottled duck] and Fulvous Tree ducks however, which were not on the upper west coast of FL. I also hunted Tampa Bay/ Clearwater some when I was very young. There were so many blue bills in that area a 12 year old kid with a bolt action shotgun and 6 black duck decoys could generally kill his limit or come close. The total amount of bluebills wintering in that area was staggering. I can remember flocks miles long on the bays along Edgewater Drive from North Clearwater to Dunedin. I remember a sports writer named Bob McNally, who wrote serveral articles in Sports Afield or one of the others like Field and Stream concluding that 25% of the Atlantic Flyway ducks wintered in FL by late winter. The refuge in Chassahowitzka stated it was the most southern wintering area for the American Pintail, normally wintering 10 to 20 thousand pintails alone. Of course most of the refuge was closed to hunting but a 2500 acre area in a very prime location was open for hunting several days a week and it had the waterfowl! I had many good days there. The only problem it was very shallow and rocky with nice deep clay/mud. Back in those days most people who hunted it mainly used airboats so it was not very crowded, as in those days airboats were not very popular like they are now. I did not hunt NW FL/PANHANDLE in those days but many old timers, some of which you may know, [Retired FL game warden Robert Daniels?] said ducks [and some geese: Goose Pasture; E and W Goose Bay Wakulla Co ] were very, very numerous in the Tallahassee/ St Marks area too. Many people do not realize that the FL west coast used to get a fair amount of ducks from the Mississippi flyway too, not just the Atlantic Flyway. Just look at the old flyway maps if you can find one. Alot of that and so much more in FL has changed now for sure. One of many reasons a FL cracker is now living in Oklahoma.
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Thanks for this information that you wrote, Ed. I found it interesting. I still remember that post that you wrote after you bagged your whitetail buck on a favorite island you hunted on the Mississippi R.
Allan
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Al Hansen wrote:
I still remember that post that you wrote after you bagged your whitetail buck on a favorite island you hunted on the Mississippi R.
Allan


That's a very good memory you have there Al. That deer was taken in 2004. That buck was my largest antlered deer to date taken with a bow and arrow since taking up bow hunting in 1971. It was also the first deer taken with a brand new compound bow that year. I'm still hunting that same location to this day. It still produces. I've taken bigger deer even a 14 pointer in 2013 but none have had a rack that takes this one's place. This year was the toughest one since 1996. Low water and little food sources forced the deer to keep to the mainland this year. Private land is next to impossible to gain access to so I was fortunate to have bagged a doe this year from that same tree stand location and in fact I'm enjoying a venison snack stick as I type this.





Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
It is interesting how things have changed during my lifetime.

For example, when I was a youngster, the Willamette valley in NW Oregon used to have less than 100,000 geese, Anymore, they get over a quarter of a million geese during the winter.

The only constant is change, guess that is mother nature's way.





Don't just do something, Stand there!
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
That is a beautiful whitetail buck. I know how proud you must be. Thanks so much for posting that picture, Ed. That shoulder mount pose is a favorite of mine and who ever did the taxidermy work really did a fine job.
Allan
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Al Hansen wrote:
That is a beautiful whitetail buck. I know how proud you must be. Thanks so much for posting that picture, Ed. That shoulder mount pose is a favorite of mine and who ever did the taxidermy work really did a fine job.
Allan


Thank you. He did indeed! At the time he was a up and coming taxidermist that was suggested to me. He has done some stunning work. It's funny how a few weeks ago my grandsons were here for the day and they both know about my hunting. Especially waterfowl because I have pictures, decoys and duck and goose calls all around the living room. Anyway, I was sitting in my chair with my 4 year old grandson when I hear Camron ask his Nana "Nana how did that goat get on the wall and where is the rest of it?" I couldn't help but laugh as I heard his question and her explanation. Many times, I've seen him look up at the deer and I knew he wanted to ask but didn't know how.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
todd tennyson wrote:
It is interesting how things have changed during my lifetime.

For example, when I was a youngster, the Willamette valley in NW Oregon used to have less than 100,000 geese, Anymore, they get over a quarter of a million geese during the winter.

The only constant is change, guess that is mother nature's way.


So true Todd. in the late 70's and early 80's we use to take off from work on Friday afternoon for a 4 hour drive down to Missouri to a place called Sumner, MO and hunt out of goose pits with a guide service called Goose Haven. At the time it held the largest concentration of Canada geese in the Midwest outside of Horicon Marsh in Wisconsin. You may recognize the name Habitat Flats. Today that same area is owned by Ira McCauley of Momarsh and his associates where they have made a world renown duck hunting lodge. Habitat Flats | #1 Waterfowl Lodge Network in North America

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Heckuva goat Ed!! Sly

Dale, I have heard many many stories about how hunting used to be in FL. St. Marks was created to protect the migrating goose populations that came down here. West FL where I hunt quail and woodcock used to get lots of mallards, some black ducks and lots of gadwall and tons and tons and tons on lake seminole. Now we are lucky to get good populations of coots on the lake. We do get a few fairly large flocks of redheads on the Gulf but nowhere near like I have heard about. There used to be widgeon consistently on some of the rivers around here too. Not so much anymore. Sad........

But what do you expect? changing weather patterns and 600 new residents a day in a state that is mostly swamp and water. Fill it all in and the ducks go away....
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Re: Migration and a little history from my corner of the Mississippi Flyway In reply to
Dani wrote:
Heckuva goat Ed!! Sly

But what do you expect? changing weather patterns and 600 new residents a day in a state that is mostly swamp and water. Fill it all in and the ducks go away....


LOL...thanks Dani!

And speaking of habitat, in the world of conservation the Ramsar Convention for worldwide habitat and wetland retention was a great start but unfortunately season and bag limits hasn't been a worldwide issue for retaining sustainable numbers of waterfowl. When I was a kid waterfowling was called a "cottage industry" Today billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs worldwide have caused this hobby to become a behemoth on wall street. This of course will end at some point. I'm fortunate to have been here in the 60's, 70's and 80's when the hunting was good and we actually were considered as feeding our families. Don't get me wrong though if I'm above the grass next fall I'll be on the water as well.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford