The Tale of Muck-Boy
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Muck Boy Waterfowl Archived Reports Page
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Nov 24th 2010 - Field Reporter Paul Genesee Co. Mi - Duck hunting has been fairly slow most of the season as my buddy Blue and his sons have been averaging only a few birds each trip to the managed units. The only thing slower is this old body of mine.

With the approach of cold weather just before Thanksgiving, I dug the diver decoys outta the shed and Duck Daddy, his son Lucas, and I tried a small lake in Genesee Co. Although the temps where in the 20's and the breeze was stiff out of the SE we saw only a few birds in the air. The highlight of the morning was when a brightly colored Bull Goldeneye swung in tight over the spread, we gave the shot to Lucas and he dropped the bird amid our GHG Oversize Goldeneye decoys. Not an event filled morning but a great day in the marsh with friends.

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Nov 6th 2010 - Fish Point State Game Area - Tuscola County Mi. Again the weather was not what we would have selected for a duck shoot but we take what we can when we can get out. Temps were in the upper 30's, sunny and the winds were light out of the Northwest. Our luck in the draw was fairly good and we did get one of the zones we thought would be good for the conditions. We arrived at our area a little after 12:00pm and the morning party was just coming out, they explained that they had a fairly good shoot and that they also lost a couple of birds in the corn. Our timing was good as we were set up right at 1:00pm with our 50 decoys. It didn't take long and a drake green wing teal came right to the spread and he was number one. That's when the lull set in with not much activity. So it was time to go look for the birds that the morning party could not find. It didn't take to long and Kodi found a very nice drake green head, so by 2:00pm we had two. The bird's started to leave for the corn fields and work our area about 5:00pm, "WARNING" watch out for the teal, of which right now there are many, this evening they were flying low and fast and a couple of times they almost took my hat off. We managed to take a couple more mallards and teal in the last minute rush that always takes place just as shooting hours end.
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Good Start

Checking the Football Scores

Happy Kids
Nov 2nd 2010 - Branch County Mi - Had the chance to hunt with Best Chance today and a couple of Buddies Troy and Dave. The day was going to be nice with little wind, lots of sunshine and cool temperatures. The guys from Best Chance Guided Bird Hunts decided that our best chance at some birds in that weather would be to go down to place they hunt in Coldwater. Since it would be a 2 hour drive down from Grand Rapids we met in Hudsonville at 5 am and drove down to meet the guys from Best Chance at 7 am. We met them and drove over to our spot. The spot we were hunting had 600 geese and quite a few ducks on it the night before and when we walked in to set up they were all still there from the night before. It was cool to here them all get up and fly around while we were setting up. It definitley did not take long for the ducks and geese to start to come back to where we were set up. The only problem was that there was not any wind to pattern the birds and get them to committ to the decoys. We all used a few more shells than we would have liked but when it was all said and done we shot 20 ducks and 4 geese which was a pretty good shoot for the conditions. If you are looking for a chance to get some good shooting I would highly recommend giving the guys from Best Chance a call.
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Nov 1st 2010 - Fish Point State Game Area - Tuscola County Mi
Had a days vacation and thought I would spend the afternoon in the marsh. I knew the weather was not going to be duck weather, the forecast was for sunny skies with light winds. But my plan was to get in a spot close to the refuge to take some pictures and watch and listen to the "show" (birds in the refuge) and maybe I would get lucky and a few birds would see the decoys and give the decoys a look. The draw worked in my favor and I got one of the spots that I had planned on. I had the decoys set out at 12:30pm and waited for the birds to show, as always at 12:45 two blacks and a drake mallard skimmed the dike and just dropped into the decoys 20 feet away, now I thought my plan was a stroke of genius. Well as we all know they didn't stay long and the only other thing I seen was a lone hen mallard that followed the same flight plan as the earlier three. Right into the decoys, my shooting could have been a little better, but I got it done. That was it at 4:30pm the little wind we had died and no more birds were seen. There was other shooting in the area during the hunt but not much.
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Oct 10th 2010 - Field Reporter Paul Genesee Co. Mi
Old Quack started the 2010 season hunting some swampy farm ponds with a couple buddies and their young gun's, the action was slowed by the warm weather and there was not a lot of action, so we let the youngsters do most of the shooting. They shot well and bagged a Wood Duck, Mallard, and two Canadian Geese. The hunt was followed by a lesson on how to breast out waterfowl.

A few of the same crew hunted a winter wheat field in the same area that evening that the geese had been using the previous day. Again the near 80 degree weather foiled our plans as the geese decided not to dine that evening.

Oct 9th 2010 - Fish Point Tuscola County Mi. I got lucky this year and got drawn for a 2nd day PM reserved hunt at Fish Point, but that's where my luck ended as we drew 28th outta 33 and ended up in one of the not so hot areas.

One and a half days into the Southern Lower Michigan waterfowl season, and you could tell the birds were wary and educated. We picked a zone that my buddy and son had shot nine ducks and a goose out of the previous evening but not many birds worked the area while we hunted it on the 10th. We finished the day with three wood ducks and a mallard by bagging 4 of the 5 ducks we had in range. One of the drake wood ducks I shot had a band adding a bright spot to a rather bleak day.

Water was spotty, with a lot of sheet water and pockets of water in most fields. It'll be a few days before the fields are totally flooded.



Opening Day


Fish Point
Sept 15th 2010 Field Reporter Paul Washtenaw and Livingston Counties, Mi
I started the day on a morning hunt with a group of guys from "The Michigan Refuge Gang", an internet forum group. We hunted a farm in Washtenaw Co. run by "Huron Valley Honker Hunts", our group of about 20 hunters, hunted out of three pits on the farm. Although we saw a few large flocks high and in the distance none visited our field and birds were scarce. A few small flocks and some singles and doubles, however, provided us with some shooting, as 15 geese came into the field and only one lucky goose left. We hunted over large spreads of decoys which included everything from the "top end" DSD and Drop Zone decoys to the regular fare of GHG and Big Foots. The hunt was followed by a potluck lunch, cold beverages, and actual face to face talks with our internet friends. This hunt was recorded by Jenny Olson from MOOD and should be aired on "Michigan Out Of Doors" somewhere around the first of October.

Since we were nowhere near a limit, my friend Mark, from the Refuge Gang invited me for an evening hunt in Livingston Co. where he has permission on a few farms that had geese working cut corn the previous few days, the warm 80 degree weather kept the geese down until about the last half hour of shooting time then they seemingly started coming all at once but began dumping into a freshly seeded rye field adjacent to ours, we however did managed to dupe a few small flocks into shooting range and closed Michigan's early season with 4 more geese in the bag.

Overall the Michigan Early Goose Season in our area wasn't too bad, seemingly not as many geese as the previous couple of years but enough to keep it interesting. My friends and I overall rid the State of 52 nuisance geese on 6 hunts in the 15 day season with only one skunk. That's a few pounds of jerky.


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Sept 5th 2010 Field Reporter Paul Genesee Co. Mi - Got my buddy Chris, "Daddy Duck." to make a short hunting trip before church services, this Sunday morning, to a field he had permission to hunt that the farmer had just started chopping corn in a few days ago. Geese have been scarce in this part of the county also and we weren't expecting much, about 7:15 am a flock of about 20 birds gave our decoys a look and we dropped 3 from the flock. About a half hour later a small flock of 3 geese locked on to the decoys 2 two thumped the dirt between the rows of corn stubble. These were the only geese we saw that morning, so about 9 am we left so's he could get cleaned up and put on his Sunday duds.

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Sept 1st & 2nd 2010 Field Reporter Paul Genesee Co. Mi Not a lot of geese in our area, but we managed to dupe a few flocks the first couple o' days.

The first day we started by dumping a single that thought our buddy AJ looked like his girl friend and tried to land in the blind with him. Then we took 4 outta a small flock that side swiped our spread and finished with 10 biting the dirt out of a flock of 15 -20. The birds seemingly shut down about 8:30 am and the 80 degree temps had us old guys on the verge of heat stroke just sitting there, so we packed up and went to find some shade and cold beverages.

The second day was hot, humid, calm, foggy, and the geese were later coming to the field. The geese appeared to be having some trouble navigating as the flocks were landing somewhat randomly in the field. As the fog thinned we got a few flocks to zero in on our decoys dropping 6 out of a nice flock of a dozen or so and then totally wiping out a flock of 8 birds. Again the heat drove us from the field as the sun rose and burned the fog away around 9 am.

All in all, 29 geese for two short morning hunts was not too shabby considering the number of birds in the area and the stifling heat.

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Mar - 06 - 10 - Field reported Ernie Smith and your webmaster had the privilege of participating in the Fish Point Wildlife Association's 2nd annual Pheasant hunt at Walkiewicz's Pheasant Farm between Deford and Kingston Mi.

The days weather good not have ben better for early March in Michigan, with temps in the 40's, plenty of sun and light winds.

32 association members started the morning with a tower shoot, were over 200 birds were released.

After a break for lunch and to count the morning totals, everyone participated in an afternoon walkup, where the birds who managed to get by the morning tower shoot gave the dogs who waited during the morning shoot finally were let out for some work. For me this is the best part of the hunt, watching great dogs do what they do best.

Can't wait until next year.

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everyone headed to their stations

Tower Hunt Success

Preparing for the afternoons walkup
Jan 04 - 10 - Field Reporter Paul Genesee Co. Mi Temperatures in the single digits and wind gusting to 30 mph, with wind chills below zero all day, nobody would hunt in that right.

Wrong!

Yep! We hunted on the 2nd, it's 9 pm on the 3rd as I write this and my brain has finally thawed out enough for my vision to return.

We set up about 8am and hunted to about 11 am and never saw a bird in the sky.Then we went in to thaw out, ate a large bowl of venison chili, and drank three pots of coffee to warm up. Then about 1:30 pm we went back out to face the elements. Ya see there was over 100 geese in this field the day before and where we set up the snow was all packed down with goose footprints and there were more droppings than in a month old untended litter box.

We had one flock come in about 4 pm, I was snuggled in my layout blind in a light slumber caused by the onset of hypothermia when in a dreamlike state I heard "geese shoot" and was rudely awaken by gun fire. Seems the geese had busted the tree line in stealth mode and took 'em by surprise, they dumped 3 outta a flock of about a dozen. All I got to see was the backside of the flock as they caught a gust of wind and hightailed it outta there. It's tough being an oldtimer like me.

Two other groups of hunters we know that hunted Genesee Co. on the 2nd in fields the geese had been using the prior day had the same experience as we did. Hopefully, when the weather warms a little the geese will get back on a normal schedule.

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Jan 01 - 10 - Bay County Mi - Saginaw River - Several of us have spotted these birds hanging around the only open water around, other than the Saginaw Bay. They have been here for over 2 weeks. I have been getting the itch to do a January waterfowl hunt, so this morning I decided to see where this group of geese were going to feed. I arrived at 8:00am and stayed for over an hour and from what I could tell they had no desire to leave. The only thing I can think of is they must be feeding in the middle of the day.

If you look at the pictures you can also see mallards, mergansers, gulls and a few domestic geese.

As I am posting this it is 9 Degrees and the wind is blowing out of the north at 17mph. Maybe it was good they didn't go out and feed.

 
Dec 05 - 09 - Field Reporter Paul Genesee Co. Mi
Got out with my son Scott for the first time this season. We hunted a small lake from my custom made boat blind ('70's vintage, they were all custom made back then). About a half hour after shooting time a pair of mallards landed 30 yards outside our spread and swam in, we scared 'em up and took the drake. A while later a trio of mallards tried to land on the outside edge of our spread and Scott shot at a drake and dropped that along with a suzie that crossed into his pattern, giving him a two for one shot while I whiffed on the other drake. While his dog Daisy was retrieving the mallards, two canadian geese that were back in a nearby cove were upset with our shooting and decided to leave the lake. As they tried to clear the treeline we hit 'em with a few notes on our calls and they made a hard turn toward our decoys and in a few seconds were feet down over our Big Foot floaters. I dropped the one on my side while Scott still giddy about his two fer shot whiffed on the other. We topped the morning off at about 10 am with a single drake that piled into our decoy pocket like a homeless dude at a free Thanksgiving dinner.

We saw 4 or 5 small flocks of divers mostly bufflehead but they paid little attention to our spread even though we had four of our oversize GHG buffie decoys off to the side which usually brings 'em in on a string..

With the temps in the mid-twenties most of the morning I was glad I wore my polar fleece long johns as everything in the boat was frozen with spray from the dog shaking off including my fingers. If we thaw out by tomorrow we may try it again as it's the last day for Michigan's regular waterfowl season.

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Nov 26 - 09 - Field Reporter Paul Oakland Co. Mi- Finally got out to hunt some ducks, it was my first duck hunt since I was sidelined by knee surgery 2 1/2 months ago. It was an easy hunt in my buddy Duck Daddy (Chris) drove me right up to the pothole with his truck. Where I could sit on a marsh seat in the cattails on the edge. It was a short two hour Thanksgiving Morning hunt that only lasted from shooting time til about 9am. A flock of about a half a dozen mallards dropped in shortly after shooting time at 7:09 a m and we each shot a greenhead. A little later we broke 3 blackfeet off a flock of approximately 30 geese. They were cupped and locked dead on the call but slid off to Duck Daddy's side as they spotted the spinner in the small spread of 6 mallard decoys, and he dropped one. As he went to retrieve the goose a flock of 3 mallards swung in over the decoys and I dropped one out of the flock.

Although my shooting was a little rusty it was great to get out again and bust a couple of mallards.

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Nov 07 09 - We were out for our first local hunt this year at Fish Point State Game area on the east side of Saginaw Bay, and the weather couldn't have been any better if you wanted to get a tan!

To be honest we have never had any luck at the draws, but today we had some fair luck and drew 12th and managed to get a hunting zone we had taken birds in before.

The hunting in one word was slow.

We hung in there and managed to take two mallards. One nice green head early and we took a nice sequence of pictures of our Labrador Kodi making his retrieve. About four o'clock a hen surprised us coming in from who knows where and a quick snap shot took care of that situation.

At about five o'clock we had three more birds locked up and headed to the decoys until the party in front of us shot and dropped another bird and of course the other three took off and that was the end of a slow day.

It was good to be out hunting again and as always the dog enjoyed the work.

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Watching the Sky!










Sept 5 09 - Field Reporter Paul - Genesee Co. MI - What difference a few days and a 20 degree upswing in the temperature makes. There was considerably less geese in the air on Saturday. We had a couple of flocks check out the field but very warily. We broke a pair off that would have been a decent shot but we passed trying to get a better shot for a first time goose hunter with us. Then it went downhill from there, three came in from the west but swung to our backsides at the last minute, then a single came in stealth mode surprising us as we sunbathed and was soon gone as we all scrambled for our shotguns or cover. One flock we watched pass over high had many geese with holes in their wing feathers and my buddy said he thinks he even saw a few Band-Aids. Most birds were carrying their diplomas I think most were BA's mixed with a few PHD's, well educated to say the least.

My son 3 Shells hunted water that day in Genesee Co. and saw a few, they had two drop into the decoys and managed to shoot one.

A couple of other friends one hunting Tuscola Co. and one hunting Livingston Co. had about the same luck as we did.

 
Sept 3 09 - Field Reporter Paul - Genesee Co. MI - In the V-Gang's dementia riddled thinking there was still some geese to be had in the area, even though it was hunted heavily on the 1st. So we braved the elements laced with a variety of pain killers for sore muscles and stiff joints and set-up for another hunt of our local nuisance geese. We got to the field about 5:45 am to set up early but got delayed as we soon discovered that we had left the motion stakes for the decoys about 8 miles away in the garage. (It's really tough getting old fella's.) About 20 minutes later we were setting decoys on stakes after a hot run back to the farm. Well at about 7 am we were in our blinds waiting for the geese to show up and were soon greeted by a flock of about 8 swinging across the decoys, 4 stayed. After a couple of flocks swung in off our backsides, no wind again, we spun the blinds around 180 degrees to try out smarting the fickled geese, this ploy worked as we managed to drop 8 more prior to 9 am when we decided to get out of the hot sun and avoid heat stroke. You could tell the pressure of the first day had gotten to the geese as there weren't as many in the air and those that worked the field weren't as gullible as the prior day. Our downtime between flocks however was lightened by the visit of a local entertainer "Rapper Blue" who entertained us by crackin' a few rhymes.

We used basically the same setup as the first day. The ThermaCells went into action today as it warmed earlier in the morning and the skeeters rose from the stubble in clouds to feast on our poor old weary bones. Needless to say they never felt a thing when I swatted 'em after a swig of my tylenol infested blood. It was and enjoyable hunt and another page of memories added to this seasons waterfowling journal.

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Sept 1 09 - Field Reporter Paul - Genesee Co. MI - The Viagra Gang took to the fields again in search of those heavy bodied blackfeet on the Michigan Early Season Goose Opener. We had our decoys and blinds set in the wheat stubble by about 6:30 am and it wasn't long till the first flock showed up, at about 7.05 am a flock of about 15 or so swung in from behind and just off our right and at least 5 geese fell to the first barrage of the season. The second flock pulled the same trick and a few more geese fell. The third flock was more centered on our spread than the first two and it rained geese. A few small flocks later we finally had time to retrieve our downed geese and our first tally was at 18. The blackfeet came in flocks large and small and off and on for the next hour, the light and variable winds allowed them to swing in behind us, out front, and off to our sides many times without any wind it was hard telling what they were going to do. At about 8:30 Blue finished our 6 man limit of 30 with a nifty double on a pair that swung off the right side of the spread and a little behind us.

We hunted over a spread of Avery decoys consisting of 3 dozen FFD Lessers, 1 dozen FFD Honkers, 4 FFD Lookers, and 1.5 dozen Pro Hunters. The decoys were set in small family groups in a roughly C-shaped pattern. We used Lynch Mob, Buck Gardener, and Big River goose calls. We hunted out of FA Eliminator and Top Gun blinds, and also a couple of Cabela's blinds all were heavily grassed with straw which blended well with the stubble in the field. It was a good start to another season.

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Feb 1 09 - Field Reporter Paul - Last Day Late Goose Season - Genesee Co Mi. - Had a few geese in the area and Bob called and said he had a few workin' one of his dad's fields. The geese had been flying at midday so we set up at about 9 am but the balmy 40 degree weather threw use a curve and the geese didn't move in our area until after 4 pm. It was a long, cold, windy day in the corn stubble. We saw a couple of singles and doubles throughout the day but nothing was interested in our field. About 3:30 pm Bob made a food run and checked out a few day roosts in the area to see if the birds had moved yet today. With one man short at about 4:30 pm we had a flock of 7 come in as they settled into the pocket beautifully after a few minutes of sweet talk from our calls. We only dropped 4 of the 7 as one of the other guys shotguns jammed after the first shot. Bob watched the whole scene from his truck out on the road. Shortly after he got back to his blind we had a single break off a pair and he dropped it right over the decoys. That was the last bird we got to work our spread. We ended the day with 5 geese for our efforts.

Our spread consisted of a mix of about 7 dozen GHG and Big Foot full body decoys and another dozen of GHG sleeper shells. They were set in a rough U pattern with our blinds upwind at the base of the U. All in all not a bad finish to a long season.

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Nov - 16- 08 - Tuscola County Michigan, Fish Point State Game Area morning hunt - Well finally after playing and losing at the ducky bingo the last couple of weeks, we had a fair draw (24th) this morning and managed to get one of the zones that has produced birds for us on previous hunts. The weather was perfect, temperature in the 30's, clouds and winds from the west, northwest at about 15 to 20mph, but the ducks were still not real active. We set out about 3 dozen duck decoys and after waiting for one and half hours a pair of mallards circled the field with just a couple of lone hen and feeder calls they dropped right into the decoy pocket. We could not have drawn it up any better and of course they didn't leave. A few minutes later a lone duck, high and quite a way out turned and headed in our direction and to our surprise nobody in the area shot and the mature drake mallard made it all the way to the decoys - see picture to the right.

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Watching the morning skies at Fish Point STate Game Area
Watching the Skies

Mature Drake Mallard
Nice Mature Drake

 

Nov 13 08 - Field Reporter Paul - Ducks seemingly still behind schedule and the geese are still fickle.

November 7th thru 9th - Ogemaw Co.

Went up to the cabin to see if we could repeat last years bufflehead hunt on a local lake.

We went out Friday afternoon, the 7th, to check out the lake with a quick shoreline setup, there were only a couple of small flocks of bufflehead and a few mallards on the lake. Nothing worked our decoys. With only about 30 bufflehead on the lake it only had about 1/5 of what we had last year to work with.

We were up early on the 8th and set up for a morning hunt, we had one drake buffy in early that escaped my three shot barrage. That was the only bird to decoy that morning as the few small flocks on the lake wanted to work the far shore.

The morning of the 9th had me the "Old Man" worn out and my son Scott (3Shells) went out in the snowin' and blowin' weather to try to outsmart those crafty ducks. He took the Puddler and set up on the far shore where the birds had been working the previous morning. Set up at shooting time he said it wasn't until about 9 am when a flock of seven buffies pulled into the decoys and as they bunched up over the dekes he shot three times, as he began to reload for possible cripples he noticed there were six ducks belly up in the decoys (his limit) and only one left in the air. He later said that he was in order for a nickname change as his alias 3Shells/3Seconds came from when he was young, his dad was buyin' the shells, and every duck he shot at got the three shot salute through an 870 faster than most people could shoot an auto. He now wanted to be called 3Shells/6Ducks. I told him that'd be fine as he was now buyin' his own shells and was shootin' a lot slower.

November 12th - Genesee Co.

Some geese were workin' the cut corn at a freinds farm the previous evening, so we set up bright and early hoping for a few mallards to work the sheet water in the field. Never saw a duck in the air all morning and this has been a good spot for years. About 8:30 am a single goose locked up and swung into the decoys where we busted him. Then nothing in the air til about 10 am when 50+ geese flew about 1/2 mile to the west, one flock swung our way and we broke one off from the flock and the rest began to follow. But one high circle was all they gave us and proceeded to land in a field about a mile to our south. Darned fickled geese. Again 2 dozen GHG FFD lessers had the single feet down over the decoys. Well at least it wasn't a skunk and breakfast at a local restaurant sure was good after sittin' in the cold all morning.

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Nov 06 08 - Field Reporter Paul - Still very slow for puddle ducks locally but there are still a fair amount of Canadian Geese in the area.

Oct. 24th - Fish Point
Hunted the PM Hunt and we never fired our guns, very few birds working the fields. Until 15 min. after shooting time then 100's dropped in. Those are well educated birds.

Oct. 25th - Genesee Co.
Hunted a small pothole on a friends deer hunting lease, he had been seeing quite a few wood ducks and mallards using it while bow hunting. We pushed 8 mallards off the pond when we went out for an evening hunt. That was all we saw except for the 2 mallards that came in with about a half hour left to shoot they did not leave. Really slow for ducks here locally.

Oct. 28th - Nayanquing Point
Really been slow there, so slow that there were only 6 parties in the PM draw that day. Water levels and crops are good there this year, a big change from last year. We saw very few ducks and heard almost no shooting til the last 1 1/2 hrs. We shot 5 ducks, 3 mallards, a black, and a pintail. Out of the three singles and one small flock to work our field. Weather has been way too nice and the birds all have their PHD's in hunter encounters.

Oct. 30th - Genesee Co.
A buddy had been seeing quite a few geese flying in the area of his farm, we had a pheasant hunt planned for the day, so he asked that we show up early and try for some geese. Most of the geese were headed to a harvested corn field about a mile away but we managed to break two off a flock and get 'em over the decoys. We picked up at 10:30 as it was a beautiful Indian Summer day and proceeded on our pheasant hunt.

Oct 31st - Genesee Co.
Same field as the previous day. Again 100+ geese were headed to the harvested corn and we had to run traffic. We managed to turn a small flock of 3 birds and sucked 'em into point blank range over the decoys. That was all we could sweet talk from the masses that morning. But 3 birds in the bag was a success considering the circumstances. In the 2 days of hunting that cornfield pothole we did not see but 2 ducks and this is usually an area that has a good population of mallards.

Nov. 5th - Genesee Co.
Lack of ducks has our attention on geese as they are still fairly plentiful. A number of birds had been working a buddies field (winter wheat) the past few warm days. After the first 45 min. I thought it would be a replay of a week ago as we watched 100+ geese pour into a corn field a mile away that they had began harvesting the previous morning. When at about 7:30 am a flock of about 8 approached low and quietly over the tree line and locked on to the decoys. Five shots later there were 3 geese on the ground. While lamenting our poor shooting another flock approached in stealth mode from our backside with locked wings and then black feet down just over the decoys. We dropped one to complete our limit and our hunt was over in about 10 minutes after our first shot. The last 3 goose hunts have been over 1 - 2 doz. GHG FFD Lessers and they really seem to be doing the job on these wary local geese as all that we've shot have been feet down over the decoys, either when running traffic or being on the "X" as we were today.

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Oct. 22 08 - Field Reporter Paul -
It has been a slow start to the season for this old man.

October 14th - Genesee Co.
A friend called and said he had 100+ geese landing in a field near his house that he had permission to hunt. Was to meet him after he got out of work and hunt it. Unfortunately the geese decided to dine early that day and beat us to the field. We bumped 'em and they came back wary and we couldn't get 'em to commit.

October 18th - Genesee Co.
Another friend called and said he had about 50 geese in one of his fields a few days before and wanted to hunt it on the weekend. Three of us hit the field Saturday morning, a cool clear day, the birds were not moving in the area as we only saw about 20 all morning and none wanted anything to do with the field.

October 21st - Oakland Co.
We hunted a private lake that we had done well on in the past that morning and saw lots of birds in the area but they were well educated. Lots of geese trading around the lake but they kept their distance, would respond to a call but avoided our decoys like they had the plague. A few wood ducks gave us a pass early taking us by surprise as they came low over the cattails in stealth mode. We did manage to work in couple of pairs of mallards, dropped one pair in 2 shots and whiffed on the other.

I have been seeing a fair number of birds but most are still locals and are well educated. But the last time out I did see some big flocks of high flying geese which may be migrants.

 
Oct. 11th & 12th - Field Reporter Paul - Ogemaw Co. To avoid the crowds in the southern zone waterfowl opener my son and I headed to the cabin in the northern lower and hunted our little wood duck spot. The woodies were numerous and we saw quite a few mallards and a few geese in the area. Although the geese and mallards had other places in mind, it was quite easy for us to take our limit of woodies in the first few hours of daylight. The little Carsten "Puddler" marsh boat came in handy again in the swampy areas the wood ducks love to frequent. All birds were shot over 8 G&H mag. Mallard decoys.
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Sept. 15th - Field Reporter Paul - Genesee Co.
The V-Gang had plans to hit our Lapeer Co. spot on the morning of the 15th but canceled due to wet fields and legs too old too hump the gear in. My buddy MSP60 called about noon and said he was outside and couldn't believe the geese flyin' around his farm in Genesee Co. that morning and was surprised as he hadn't been seein' much since the first few days of season. I asked if he had water in his pond (heck after three days of monsoon type weather that was a stupid question). Well, I picked up Blue about 3:30 pm and we were setup about 4:30 pm. Eleven floaters and six full bodies in and around the pothole. About 5:30 we had a flock of 6-7 parachute into our hole in the corn after a few waves of the flag and some coaxin' with our calls. Four didn't leave. Saw a few flocks in the distance but nothin' close. Then a few minutes before shootin' time at 7:41 pm we looked up and a single was locked up for the deeks, a few moans for encouragement and it came in crosswind low over corn and got dusted. So we finished the early season with 5 geese for the day and a total of 22 for the V-Gang in 5 hunts with only one skunk. We capped it off with a few beers and pizza while sittin' around the fire pit in the cool evening air reminiscing the season.
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Sept. 7th - Field Reporter Paul - Genesee Co.
Hunted a wheat stubble field with four other friends this morning. We no sooner got the spread set and the monsoon started. After nary a feather in the air for over an hour most of the crew was in some state of slumber or just buried in their layout blind trying to avoid the deluge. When outta nowhere in stealth mode a flock of about 15 or so geese strafed the decoys at about 25 yds. Taking us all by surprise and sending us scrambling' for our shotguns as we wiped the sleep and rain drops from our eyes. I tried to pick a goose as they came back upwind at now about 40 yds but as I threw the gun to my shoulder all I could see is my sling draped over my barrel. Somebody either made a heck of a shot or got darn lucky as one fell from the sky much to my dismay as it was fallin' toward the lower half of my blind and all I could see in my minds eye was a replay of "The Goose's Revenge" but luckily it hit 6 foot in front of me, so's I'm still speakin' in a normal voice. That was all the action we had before we picked up at 10 am looking like a bunch of drowned rats and headed home and dry our gear.
Sept. 8th - Lapeer Co.
Team Viagra (The Over 60 Bunch) hit the fields again this morning. Took a younger member with us, who had to leave early so's he could go ta work and insure that the other three of our's social security checks would keep on a comin'. It was his first hunt with us this year and he was really excited when he found a band on the leg of the first goose he shot. Afraid that we might pull a prank on him and remove the band when he wasn't lookin' (he's been around us before) he removed it immediately himself. Then he asked us when DU started banding birds I told him I didn't know it must be a new program this year. I said let me see that I haven't ever seen one before. Well, I looked at it and written on it was "DU Good Luck" and had some numbers after it. I said "Why that looks just like the ones they have at DU Banquets for raffles" as the color drained from his face and his chin dropped as the light went on. It seems Old Blue was up to his pranks again and had slipped the bogus band on the leg when he had retrieved the goose for him.

Well, we started the day with two singles that came in and never left then took three outta a flock of five that swung in too low and too close. That was before the bright sun got higher in the sky and started casting shadows and makin' things too clear making a few flocks of those spooky educated geese pull off the spread about 80 - 100 yds out. By 9:45 we took our five and called it a day.

 

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Here's a pic of the V-Gang with 4 of the 5 (we left one with the farmer before picture takin' time). Good thing our photog didn't take any longer as it looks like Old Blue was about ta really turn blue from holdin' his "Bud Tumor" (stomach) in. Now me I gave up tryin' ta look pretty a long time ago. Dats Quack (me) on da left and MSP on da right Blue is the one in the middle with a strained look on his face.
Sep - 07- 08 - Saginaw County Michigan - What a difference 6 days make. These local geese sure do wise up in a hurry. I hit the hunting spot at 6:15am set the decoys out in 4 small family groups 3 on the grassy shore and one in the lake. Soon after I got myself settled into the small amount cover where I had set up, it then started to rain and it rained for the next 45 minutes. If I had know this I would have slept in for another hour. Soon after the rain ended the 30 or so geese that call this place home, took off for the fields to feed. This was the most excitement I had until about 11:00am. The birds started to return. First a small flock of 5 dropped right in to the middle of the lake and then a flock of about 12 again right to the middle of the lake, 15 minutes later 5 flocks of around 10 birds each started their drop falling from side to side only this time they were not in such a hurry to hit the center of the lake as the others had been. They all circled a couple of times and finally 4 pulled away from the main group and one of the came right over my position. So I ended my day with one goose, but it sure was fun to see that many birds working all at one time, it was well worth the wait.
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September 4th  - Field Reporter Paul - Genesee Co. Hunted same wheat stubble field as on the 2nd as we didn't unload on most of the birds we had working the field. However the game plan obviously changed for the geese as we only saw one flock far to our south all morning. Another early season skunk due to fickle geese. There was also a good possibility that someone may have busted the roost a few miles south of us between hunts.
September 6th - Livingston Co.
Hunted a cut alfalfa field that my buddy Chris (Daddy Duck) had just secured permission for with his son Lucas and his little buddy Jason. Turned out to be a decent traffic field as we saw a few flocks in the area and got some over the decoys. We set our 5 doz. decoys in a "U" shaped pattern open down wind. About 7:15 am a single approached from the west a few waves with the flag accompanied by a few clucks and moans and it was sliding left to right at about 15 yds over the decoys it did not leave. Another flock of about 10 or so responded to our flagging and calling they made a few passes just in range off the right wing but while waiting for a better shot they skidded out and landed 60 yds behind us. Didn't figure out why until a little later as the breeze picked up a little and we realized it had switched from W to NNW effectively causing our pocket to close. Before we could correct another flock of ten or so birds passed near the field and we broke three off the flock that swung and landed behind us again but only 25 yds out this time and we dropped two as we spooked 'em.

 

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Sept. 1st - - Field Reporter Paul Smith's Update -Lapeer Co.
Hunted a wheat stubble field in Lapeer Co. for the opener. Set about 4 dozen decoys in an inverted V with a left and right downwind wings consisting of a couple of family groups on each side. Filled in around the blinds and strung the remaining dozen centered upwind. Not much action til around 8 am when 3 flocks joined together and busted the field 50+ strong. After circling a half dozen times a flock of about 15 pulled in about 10 - 15 yds off our left wing as we manage to drop 5. About a half hour later a flock of about 8 -10 centered perfectly touching down at about 20 yds we managed another 5 outta that flock. That was it for the day as the FA Eliminators were starting to get like ovens about 9:30 am as the sun climbed in the sky and we wanted to get the birds on some ice.
Sept. 2nd - Genesee Co.
Another wheat stubble field with a lot of rag weed making it so we had to add some green in our stubble straps. No wind at all with some low hanging haze at day break we set up for the predicted light SSE winds but they never came. Used basically the same decoy setup as on the opener. The geese started early about 7 am but completely taking us by surprise with 30+ coming in low, quiet, and from behind us catching us sunbathing with the blinds open. They circled numerous times but wanted nothing to do with the ugly faces they saw on their initial approach. The largest portion finally set in about 100 yds behind us, we walked em up so's they wouldn't suck approaching geese from our spread. About a half hour later a flock of about 15 pulled the same trick but we got 'em to set about 25yds off our right wing and what shoulda been upwind. We spooked 'em a dropped two. Again the heat started getting to us and we headed in to clean the birds before it got too warm.
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Sep - 01- 08 - Saginaw County Michigan - Early goose season started fair for us today, the birds from time to time this morning but never in serious numbers. The weather was great but a little more wind may have helped pattern them the birds when they wanted to get onto the lake.

We managed to take two this morning, the first came at 7:30am when a single broke over the south west tree line and came on a straight line right for our spread, it made one pass a little high, did a 180 degree turn cupped its wings and right into the decoy opening.

Our second goose came, right after a flock of about 12 landed in the middle of the lake, six more was following this group, but we did manage to get one when they made a swing heading straight to the 12 in the middle of the lake.

We thought we had hit the jack pot at about 10:30am when a flock of about 50 circled the lake twice before landing once again in the middle of the lake followed by another flock of about 20 again circling just out of range before landing in the middle of the lake. Even tully all of them got spooked and took off.

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Jan - 5 & 6 - 08 - Field Reporter Paul Smith's Update - Genesee Co -

Saturday, January 5, 2008. Southern Genesee Co.
Buddy Bob said he had a few birds using a bubbler at a local Marina that he had permission to hunt. Couldn't hunt it til after 9 am but had a small flock in just after that and managed to drop three. Bob, a diver for one of the local law enforcement agencies, added a new twist to the hunt as he donned his dry suit and retrieved the ducks that had fell out on the thin ice.

Sunday, January 6, 2008. Northern Genesee Co.
Buddy Mark called while I was out hunting on Saturday and said a few birds had started working his fields, so Sunday morning we gave 'em a try. We spread 28 full body geese (shoulda brought the other 22 sittin' in my garage along with the 3 doz. shells in the shed) and 30 mallards in the field (forgot the Mojo), the birds were skittish (lot of shootin' nearby) and didn't offer many easy shots but we did manage to get 4 Geese, 4 Mallards, and a Black for the four of us. We must have had about 200 ducks over the field at one time but couldn't get 'em to commit into shooting range. It did get my old "Ticker" a poundin' pretty good though. Again the muddy chisel plowed field made us settle for less than an optimal set up, as we didn't set out 1/2 the decoys we should have.
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Nov - 23- 07 - Field Reporter Paul Smith's Update - Genesee Co - My buddy Mark called on Thanksgiving and said he had a few geese working his fields. So we hit it Friday, pretty disappointing as nothing, absolutely nothing was flying in the morning, never saw a goose in the air. We took a midday break and headed out for and afternoon hunt, the wind had shifted 90 degrees but after the slow morning and being just plain lazy we didn't adjust our set up. Well, the geese started flying and we couldn't line 'em up for good shots and only ended up with one for our efforts.

Lessons learned. We headed out for an afternoon hunt on Saturday, made sure we were correctly set up for the wind. When the geese showed up we were ready and had our three man limit in less than 20 minutes. A muddy chisel plowed corn field isn't the easiest place to make necessary adjustments when conditions change but if you don't it can make the difference between a few birds or a limit.

 

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Nov - 18- 07 - Field Reporter Paul Smith's Update - Ogemaw Co- My Oldest son Scott (3 Shell) and I went up to our cabin to pull the dock and get other chores done, so we decided to mix in a little duckin'. After a little scoutin' Sat. morning we weren't seein' much. Till we hit a small (around 70 acres) lake on state land, it was loaded with Buffies, only problem no launch and since I had the boat/blind I couldn't use that there, didn't bring the Sportboat, only thing I had we could get in on the lake was my little one-man Puddler. Well, I dropped 3Shells off with the Puddler while I went back to the cabin to get the big boat ready for an afternoon hunt on another lake. Just him his shotgun and 6 GHG bufflehead decoys, picked him up 2 hrs later and he had 4 buffies and was a bit lighter in the shell department than he had been a couple of hours before. Since we had no success at the "Bigger Lake" Sat. afternoon, we decided to hunt the Puddler on the small lake Sunday morning. 3Shells took the first shift starting at shootin' time he was back at the Cabin with his limit of buffies by 8 am, so I finshed my coffee and took a 9 am to 11 am hunt (cause we had to leave by noon or so). Well, I was back at 11:30 with 5 more.

What'd I haul the boat/blind up and all them diver decoys All I needed was a 1/2 doz. buffie decoys and a little marshboat. Who said ya need big water and lots a decoys ta hunt divers.

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Field Reporter Paul


Scott (3 Shell)

Nov - 10- 07 - Fish point State Game Area - What a great day for November, but these kind of days are not made for good ducking in Michigan. These are the kind of days that dogs just love to run and explore. Our next trip here will be when the weather is more of a duck day and not a sun tan sort of a day.

We took zone 9 after drawing 23rd out of 24 parties in the draw. The good news is, there is now about 6 inches of water in front of the blind which was great for setting out decoys. The bad news was the ducks weren't flying.

This was our first opportunity to use our cart to haul our decoys, instead of hauling them like a pack. The cart worked very well, but we will replace the straps supplied with this model with bungie cords.

Better hunting next time - we hope!

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Nov - 03- 07 - Field Reporter Paul Smith's Update - This was only my second trip there this year as conditions and hunting has been poor.

Nayanquing Point has hardly any cover and only about 50% of the area has "some" water. Hunting has been spotty with few birds being taken most days. Very few.

You can get a canoe / small boat up the ditches but must carry gear into most fields as there is a lot of sheet water and dry spots.

However, on the 31st, we did manage a good draw on a good day with a front coming through, heavy overcast, mist, and 20+ mph winds got the ducks flying off Saginaw Bay. It was very difficult to pick out the Drakes in those weather conditions for a couple of old guys with tired eyes and the ducks were real wary of the two blobs sitting in the sparse cover and didn't want to fully commit. We both had headaches from eye strain by the end of the hunt but we did manage to eke out a limit.

My buddy went back two days later and only fired a few shots.

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Limit at Nayanquing Point

Oct - 23- 07 - Field Reporter Paul Smith's Update - Early goose was a bust for us, 4 hunts only produced 1 goose, we hunted local fields (Genesee Co. and Livingston Co.).

Went to Nayanquing Point on the 11th and never fired a shot, the situation there was dismal the corn is almost nonexistent stalks are sparse and only about waist high and very little water.

Hunted local fields (Genesee Co.) for geese the 13th and 14th, the last 2 days of goose season in the SJBP before the split. Went with my buddy Chris his Cousin and their boys, the geese flew well the 13th and we shot our 5-man limit before 10 am.

Went back to the same field on the 14th, since it was the last day of the split with Chris and his son Lucas and managed to take 3 geese out of the one flock that gave us a close enough pass.

Been a slow start for our crew this year.

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Oct - 07- 07 - Saginaw County Michigan - The opening week end of the Michigan waterfowl hunting season brought record warm weather and many many mosquitoes.
Saturday was a very slow day for us with only a lone drake mallard and goose giving us a look.
Sunday found many more birds in the air. We bagged a drake wood duck just after shooting time and that would be it, for the ducks. Geese were totally a different matter, over the course of the morning we seen upwards of 600 geese. I only wish we had that many wanting to get into our decoys. We did end up with 3 geese for the morning. The first one came when it broke away from another and came right into the set up just like you see on TV, it was a thing of beauty. After that a group of about 20 worked our spread for about ten minutes but they really never presented us a good shot. That was about it, except for high fliers, until what I call the 10:00 rush, this is the time when geese get off the fields and head to water. A small flock of about 8 came over the tree line, very quite, we gave them a few clucks on the calls, they turned toward us. We continued to work them with clucks. They passed us to the right and then turned and came right for the decoys. They never committed but two came right over us low enough for a good shot ending a very warm and productive morning.

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Sep - 09- 07 - Saginaw County Michigan - What a fabulous morning it was here, geese were moving and the weather could not have been better with a light north east breeze. I had 3 try to sneek in as I was setting up the decoys about 7:00am and that was the last that made an attempt to get on the lake, until about 10:00am. A flock of about 50 came across the western tree line and they made it straight into the western part of the area we are hunting. About 15 minutes later a flock of about 20 came over me from the north made a perfect swing into the decoys. When they made their swing I was concerned that they would not circle around again because of the other fifty on the other side of the area, I drew on the lead goose and that was that. What a great day.

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Great Morning


Its a start!

 

Sep - 01- 07 - Saginaw County Michigan - Early goose season started very slow for us today, no birds flying, but we did have a few ducks working the area and our setup. Will be after them in a few days when the pressure lets up a little. The dog had a great time checking out the the lake when he wasn't sleeping or back in the cattails.

Every season we all look through all the catalogs and see television ads telling us how great a certain product is and how we can't get along without it. So we are going to test these products and see if they have real value and use for the regular hunter. This year we will be using a two wheel cart, we plan to use it to haul our decoys in and out of the fields, it could also be used to haul gear into your deer hunting area and haul the big one back out. We will update you after every hunt as to how this cart performed or if we even have found a use for it. So check back often and if you would like us to try something just send us an email with what you would like us to try.





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Aug-19-07 - Went out scouting our early goose season spot today and as long as we were going we made it a family outing. Took the kids and dogs along, kids got a little fishing in and dogs well they did what dogs do, ran and ran and swam and ran some more. Fishing was a little slow but all had a good time. Oh, by the way there was a small flock that wanted in on the lake but we were making to much noise. We also spotted 3 other family groups about a mile from our area. Looks like we are set for September 1st.

Oct -28-06 - Fish point State Game Area -
Today the Muck boy crew had the privilege of taking Richard Houser of Reese, MI., on Richard's first waterfowl hunt at the Fish Point State Game Area. The afternoon hunt was a youth hunt that was sponsored by the DNR and the Fish Point Wildlife Association. We drew well and took zone 9 (note: the corn in this zone looked to be mostly eaten and the cover thin). The afternoon weather report was promising with occasional rain and heavy winds forecasted, and we were not disappointed. The decoys were set right at 1:00pm and the teal were everywhere. I can not remember when so many teal were in the area. I like to call them "bullet wasters" and we wasted plenty of bullets on them early. When the rain lifted and the wind picked up, the teal quit flying like they had earlier. Throughout the afternoon, an occasional mallard or pintail would check out the decoys. We managed to pick up four additional mallards to go along with the three teal we bagged earlier. Richard shot very well and had a great time. The Muck boy crew looks forward to taking him hunting again.

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Michigan  Waterfowl Hunting Report
Richard and 3 early teal.


Michigan  Waterfowl Hunting Report
Richard with his first Drakes.

 

Sep - 07- 06 - Saginaw County Michigan - Today the Muck boy crew was joined by Ernie Smith and his dog Tugg on a hunt for local geese. For a while we thought it was going to be a replay of 9/2/06. The day started with fog, it was not really heavy but thick enough that it kept the birds from moving early. About 10:00am the fog started to break and at 11:00am a flock of about 12 came over the trees from behind us, responding to our calls 3 from that group, came right in and we dropped 2. The next flock showed up 5 minutes later and we dropped 3 more of which 1 was a cripple, of course it was on the other side of the lake. Ernie and Tugg took off after it and in the mean time 4 more joined the cripple. When Ernie and Tugg got close to them they took off and flew right over my position and I downed the last bird of the hunt while Ernie and Tugg retrived the cripple. After 4 hours of waiting the whole hunt was over in 15 minutes.

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Michigan  Waterfowl Hunting Report

Michigan  Waterfowl Hunting Report

Sep - 02- 06 - Saginaw County Michigan - Well the picture to the right should explain the second day of the early goose season. Yes the fishing was better than the goose hunting. A few distance flocks flying at about 7:30am and then nothing.

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Michigan  Waterfowl Hunting Report
Sep - 01- 06 - Saginaw County Michigan - Early goose season started slow for us today, not many birds flying, the property owner says the birds have not been active for about a week now. There was an occasional flock that flew by but nothing that gave us a hard look until 10:00 am. A flock of about twenty came over the west tree line and may a straight line to our set up at about thirty yards they started to make a turn that's when we opened up and managed to take three.

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Michigan  Waterfowl Hunting Report
The Set-up

Michigan  Waterfowl Hunting Report

Michigan  Waterfowl Hunting Report
Reward after a long chase

Aug-13-06 - Went scouting our early goose season spot today and we were not disappointed. In this picture there are about 50 geese and before we left the area there were about 200. Well the blood pressure is up and we can't wait till September 1st. Stay tuned for our next report coming Labor Day week end.
Michigan  Waterfowl Hunting Report