2016 North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Report

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2016 Muck Boy North Dakota Waterfowl Hunting Report

The plans have been made and we are just waiting to begin our 2016 North Dakota trip. We will be traveling to Westbay Resort in Minnewaulkan, on the west end of Devils Lake on the 22nd of October. As like last year we will be starting out in the afternoon due to some of the younger crew members having a football game. The plan is to stop in Hudson, WI a little over halfway, then finishing up the rest of the drive on Sunday. This will allow us to see the last football game of the season on the 22nd and get an afternoon hunt in on Sunday the 23rd. As always we will be hunting with Curt Kenner owner of Kenner Farms and Kenner Guide Service (701-438-2451 Cell 701-866-4841).

Weather: The long range forecast looks good with a few clouds and little or no precipitation being predicted for the whole week. The weather up in northern Canada is forecasted to be cold enough to keep the birds pushing south.

New This Year: We will be taking Gaddy our a nine month old Black Labrador puppy. I have been training her since March and she is ready to go. You can read all about her getting to this point by going to Growing Up Gaddy at Muck Boy Outdoors. We will also be posting daily reports during the week, so you can follow the hunt. This year you will be able to follow us on both of your sites, Muck-boy.com and Muckboyoutdoors.com so check back often to see how things are going on this years hunt.

Growing up Gaddy Eight months - Returning with a real duck. Growing up Gaddy Eight months - Taking a break in hot weather.
10-23-16 Afternoon Hunt - Weather was warm about 50 degrees and sunny with a southwest breeze. We set up on the edge of a a harvested bean field using a dried up slough for cover. The hunting was no where as productive as it was last year at this time but we did manage to take four ducks three drake mallards and a hen. The good news - this was Gaddy's first hunt and she got to make her first retrieves of what I hope is a long career. She was a little tentative picking up the first bird especially when it flapped its wings when she got close, with a little coaxing she finally picked it up and brought it right back. On the second bird she went right out, picked it up and returned it with no problem. The third one was something special, I wish I would have had the video camera on, when she approached the bird it took off flying low with Gaddy right on his tail going around the end of the slough before folding, Gaddy didn't give up and made the retrieve. Next year I know Gaddy would catch it instead of running it down. The fourth bird made it out about 150 yards before hitting the ground, when I sent Gaddy she raced out made a nice retrieve and returned it with out a hitch. I think we have a retriever?
Gaddys first birds in North Dakota Gaddy using her blind while hunting North Dakota
10-24-16 - Morning Hunt -Weather was cold and frosty with very little wind and what wind we did have was out of the southeast. For this hunt we were joined by another group from Michigan called the Michigan Boys they are from around the Lansing area. We were setup on the edge of harvested corn and barley stubble fields. We set the blinds in the corn and with the decoys all around us. There was around six dozen full body goose decoys and another six dozen full body duck decoys, a large spread of decoys for this part of North Dakota but we had to battle a large mass of snow geese (50,000 or more) about a mile northwest of us. Unfortunately we did not have the numbers of decoys and the snow goose mob drew anything that flew into it and we did not have a bird work our spread.

To many Snow Geese to compete with The Michigan Boys hunting North Dakota

10-24-16 - Afternoon Hunt - Weather was windy and out of the southeast at 10 to 15 MPH. We were setup in the same field as we were yesterday afternoon but on the other side of a huge coulee. We have never had any luck hunting this area and our luck didn't change for this hunt.
10-25-13 - Morning Hunt - Weather was cool with another southeast wind about ten MPH. We moved our setup about a half mile to the west of were we were yesterday morning. We were setup where dark geese a mix of both giant and lesser canada's were see feeding the night before. This time we did have a couple groups of lessers work our spread with both groups skirting the slough that we were using to hide in not ever giving us a shot.
10-25-13 - Afternoon Hunt - Weather was windy and out of the southeast at 15 to 20 MPH with temps in the 50's. We were in one of our favorite spots on top of a hill next to a lake that holds thousands of birds. Hey! Something new a few birds looked at our decoys and didn't make it home and again Gaddy made good retrieves, she's really got it now.
10-26-13 - Morning Hunt - Weather was cloudy, misty and foggy with a light southeast wind. We once again teamed up with the Michigan Boys.This time we moved south of Maddock about twenty miles, where there was about 2000 ducks and a good number of geese roosting on a slough next to a harvested corn field that they were seen feeding in the day before. We set our blinds and spread where the birds were seen working. The ducks worked early and we took 19 we also managed to take four giant canada's who worked our spread. It was decided we would hunt this same spot in the afternoon as most of us thought the birds had really not feed yet, hoping they would feed in the afternoon. No such luck we only managed one drake mallard.
A break in the action whilw hunting North Dakota Adjusting the decoys for the wind change while hunting North Dakota
10-26-13 - Morning Hunt - Weather was cool with a slight southeast wind. Then a very, very thick ground fog rolled in (see pictures below). Needless to say with a fog, what birds did fly couldn't see our decoys and we couldn't see them. By time the fog lifted it was 11:30am and all the birds we did see were headed back to the soughs and water. Its easy to say this was by far our slowest week of the fifteen years years we have been going to North Dakota.
Gaddy asking wheres the Birds? Heavy ground fog while hunting North Dakota

Trip Notes: Like I stated earlier, it was slow for us this year, there was just not enough birds that had migrated into the area and when you hunt ND at this time during the season, you are hunting the migration and if it isn't happing your in for a long hunt. From what we understand the birds were hung up north of HWY 2 where there was water in the un-harvested bean, pea and corn fields, in other words Duck Heaven. There are also reports of a lot of birds still in Canada, the weather has and still isn't bad enough to force them to move south. The unfavorable weather also played a part, warm, cloudy, misty, fog and southeast winds all combined made it so the birds did not have to feed as much if it were cold with heavy winds.

We are already planning next years hunt, same time, same place. We still believe this is the week we need to be out there and like Kurt says he has never seen a lack of birds like this year and he's lived and hunted in ND his whole life.

Gaddy did great for her first major trip, she traveled well in the truck for a young dog. She did very well in the field staying in her blind when instructed. She had to stay in her travel crate a couple of times with no problems. Most of all she now understands for the most part, what her job is. Before this hunt she seen birds but didn't understand what they were for, now she can't take her eyes off of them no matter if its a sparrow, sea gull or canada goose she stops what she's doing to watch them. We couldn't be prouder.

Gaddy swimming in Devils Lake in North Dakota Gaddys one tired puppy an the end of the week while hunting North Dakota