November 2012 has been one of the driest and warmest ever recorded. Torrington received a meager 0.6 inches of precipitation during the month. The high temp for the month was 76 degrees on November 21st. The end of November should bring us high temps in the low 40's and night time temps around 15 degrees.The 30th of November the high was 67 and the low was 27.
Thank heavens Montana had one storm in the middle of the month that pushed some birds south. Truth is it caused one of the most dramatic migration days I have ever seen. Canada geese and mallards came down the river all day long. Flock after flock of five hundred to a thousand lesser Canadas raced by on their way to Colorado, Oklahoma and north Texas. Skeins of snow geese were accompanied by spirals of sandhill cranes as well the tail end migration of gadwall and blue wing teal.
There are two major things that move big Canadas and northern mallards; ice and snow. Their water must freeze and snow must cover their food. If they have open water and a food source, cold alone will not move them.
Now that my pity party is over, I have to confess that November was my best month ever for mallards! I am blessed to hunt in perhaps the finest location for consistent mallard hunting in the entire US. I hesitate to say exactly how many mallards my hunters have taken because I don't want area hunters to know how good I am doing. In November we bagged more mallards than we took all of last season. And I didn't start hunters until the 10th!
Suffice to say, Mother Nature took a swing, butt she missed!