S—snow R—rain F—freeze-up T—temperature SF—spotty flight FF—fair flight GF—good flight EF—excellent flight GDW—good duck weather SC—season closes (or closed) BW—bluebird weather PG—poor gunning FG—fair gunning GG—good gunning EG—excellent gunning OP—outllook poor OF—outlook fair OG—outlook good OVG—outlook very good SO—season opens (or opened)
MASSACHUSETTS: SO Oct. 26 and OG with a little weather. Plum Island Refuge last week reported 11,500 ducks in residence, 10,500 of them Blacks. Over 1,000 Honkers also arrived, and flights are increasing. Cape Cod Bay black with Coot and Buzzards Bay southeast to Woods Hole and the islands are sprinkled with Sheldrake.
WISCONSIN: OVG/EG for Honkers around Hori-con Marsh National Wildlife Refuge as SO Oct. 15, 15 days later than last year, when 89 gunners in state-managed blinds managed to kill only one goose. Last week on a foggy, rainy day which kept geese flying low, 494 wildfowlers in 114 managed blinds downed 497 honkers. All sportsmen enthusiastic about delayed goose opening, which allowed the 34,000-bird flock at Horicon time to set up housekeeping in refuge and establish flight patterns to their feeding areas in nearby corn fields. Only FG for ducks, as northern flights have not yet started but GDW forecast and OG. Last week, however, many gunners and one in particular found to be unschooled in duckology. State biologists discovered happy hunter near Horicon Marsh with one mallard, one hell diver (protected) and one wood duck (protected). Hen wood duck shown to 75 other gunners, only five of whom could identify it despite intensive state hunter-education program.
NEBRASKA: OG as early flights of Snow and White-fronted Geese arrived last week in Sand Hills area. EG and OVG for ducks in Rain Water Basin and along North Platte River. GG for Teal and Pintails along Blue River, where there are also a few snows. GG for pintails in Gavins Point area in northeast state and Mallards beginning to dot reservoir.
Note: First Whooping Cranes to be sighted in Nebraska this year seen last week on North Platte River between Lisco and Oshkosh. Two young were identified in the group. Fine for shooting a whooper in Nebraska now $400, making it more expensive than driving under the influence.
WASHINGTON: SO Oct. 13 and best in memory with OVG. Mallards especially thick and GG now in spite of BW. Skagit Flats in western state, reservoirs and wasteways in Columbia River Basin and pothole shooting in northeastern state advertise GG. Goose OF, but Stratford Lake in Columbia River Basin and on breaks of Columbia in Benton County offer GG for Lesser Canadas. Most hunters happy except for two who recently staged a sneak on some ducks 20 minutes before legal shooting time. Undiscouraged when they found another man waiting, they yelled, "There isn't a warden in miles," and fired four times. Other man was warden. Their bag: two coot and a stiff fine.