Wednesday, March 6, 2013


I am currently in Fairbury waiting for the snow goose migration. So far, we have had a little stutter- start to the season. 

What appeared to be an early start for the snow goose migration has returned to a more normal time frame. The back-to-back snow storms that hit Kansas and Missouri have pushed most of the geese back to Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. However, we have seen a small migration beginning the last few days. The forecast calls for warmer weather and  hopefully that will kick things into high gear.

The 2012-2013 fall/winter waterfowl season was on a similar roller coaster. November through mid-December saw above normal temperatures along with continuation of the drought.  The North Platte experienced reduced flows; however, we had enough water at our river location in Nebraska. The river refuge at Lingle had enough water to attract the ducks and geese. We also had sufficient water in our lake in Wyoming.

The warmer than normal weather did affect our goose hunting this year. We had fewer big Canadas and significantly more lesser Canadas in both Wyoming and Nebraska. For the second year in a row, many of the big guys stayed in Montana. In February 80% of our geese were little yappers.

Have I mentioned I harbor a great dislike of the lesser Canada goose? They usually fly in huge flocks which makes them difficult to decoy into our normal shooting range. Oh, they get you all revved up when a hundred of them lock up and descend to eighty yards. But like the cheerleader in high school they usually break your heart. Well, not every time. I seem to recall a late night swim at Villa Springs that...never mind.

November through mid-December daily limits were the norm. It was the best mallard hunting I have ever had anywhere!

December 18th brought a sharp change in our weather. It was our first snow of the year accompanied by bitter temperatures. From then until the end of the season we were on two-week weather cycles. Two weeks of bitter cold  followed by two weeks of record warmth.

Weather changes are generally good for hunting. It causes the birds to get out of their daily routines. However, when it is either cold or warm for two-week periods the birds get patterned very quickly. And JJ gets very frustrated very quickly.

That being said, 2012-2013 season was WyoBraska Waterfowl's best season ever. We set records for mallard harvest as well as for geese. The record that is most gratifying is the record for number of clients.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....  (Charles Dickens)

Mostly the best.